Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Facebook Marketplace - Scuba Dive Lights

From Stacey Pilotte Meston cross posted on Lakewood, Colorado buy/sell/trade and Colorado Divers.

"If the ad is up, it’s available.

Three dive lights for scuba diving. 

Tovatec Fusion 260: comes with pouch, extender, lithium battery (included) charger.  $25.00.

Tovatec Fusion 530: comes with extra batteries.  $25.00

Princeton Tech Pistol for night diving:  $15.00

All in good working condition.  Cross streets are Coal Mine and Platte Canyon."

I have been looking off and on for a dive light.  I do not really need one, but it would be a nice to have.  I had settled on the Dive Rite CX2 which is brighter, has a USB charger and a battery level indicator.  It is also $159 which is about the right price for a dive light.  The CX2  is 11.0 oz (with battery) and 7.1 x 1.6 inches.  

By comparison, the Tovatec lights retail for lesser, are lighter, smaller and are not as feature rich.  The secondhand price is about 25% of retail and I am heavily leaning towards the Fusion 260, but may end up getting both.  I have had mixed results with rechargeable batteries and like the AA option and AAA option on the Fusion 260 and Fusion 530 respectively.  The Fusion 530 is missing the charger which can be purchased for $11 from Tovatec.  I would probably want to grab extra o rings from my local dive shop.  Extra rechargeable batteries are readily available on Amazon.  The latest generation of Tovatec is the Fusion 1500 and retails for $153.95.

I ended up getting both for $40.  

The one is definitely the Fusion 260 and works well.  It might need a new rechargeable battery.  This will be my primary light for local diving and travel.  It has 4 modes (3 power levels and strobe).  It has a pressure release.  It is a good size and can take AA batteries with the extension handle.  It is well used, but in great working order.  Battery is CR14500 Rechargeable Li-Ion 3.7V 750mAh.  I could get a 4 pack from Amazon for $20 and there are probably cheaper options.  Battery seems fine.  I have it on full power for 40 minutes and no issues.  I will go a full hour and then power it off and disassemble.  The latest generation is the Fusion 1500 at $154.

The other is not a Tovatec Fusion 530.  It only has one operational mode with an on-off switch and takes (2) CR123A non-rechargeable batteries.  It looks exactly the same as the Intova Nova Wide-Angle Torch aka IFL WA (listed on B&H Video and Amazon).  It is a cheaper light on the order of $50.  It does not have a zoom feature or any features for that matter.  It appears to be a wide angle that was sold circa 2011-2015.  It is a solid light with double o rings and the batteries are easy to come by.  It is brighter than the Fusion 260.  It has less wear and does not appear to have ever been underwater.  It came with (5) batteries all of which seem to be in good working order.  The latest generation is the IFL660-R at $80.

In chatting with Stacey, her and her husband are avid divers.  He got her involved and she has on the order of 275 dives under her belt.  She did use the lights in caves including the lava tubes in Hawaii.  She upgraded to a modern do it all dive light.  She has never been diving locally.  They ski and snowshoe and travel to tropical destinations to dive.  She recently got back from 5 weeks in Indonesia. 

The Princeton Tec Miniwave LED has a higher list prices at $170 and is still distributed by Princeton Tec.  It takes (4) C batteries and was getting good reviews on Amazon in 2013 and 2014.  The latest iteration of the torch is the 1200 Lumen Sector 5 ($110) which has a 6 hour battery life with 4C batteries.  The big advantage is that these are relative light for primary dive lights.

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