Written by: David Alan Morrison
For divers, light is akin to a best friend – who wants to paddle around in the dark? Under 60 feet of murky Puget Sound , a strong, light source can be a savior. The UK 1200 Halogen night diving light by Underwater Kinetics might not be a savior, but you’ll definitely call it ‘friend’.
As with most new divers, I stood in the center of the dive shop staring at the variety of lights, BCD’s, fins, snorkels and masks with a growing sense of dread. How in the heck do I begin to outfit myself? When do I buy a knife? Should I? Why? But when my eyes fell on the display case of lights, all apprehension faded. A dependable primary light wasn’t up for negotiation – it is a requirement. After all; I’m a diver in Puget Sound.
I lucked out on the UW Halogen 1200 – a friend bought me one as a gift upon getting my Open Water cert. Trust me – I’ve thanked him a thousand times since. The facts of the light are easy to find: it runs on 8 ‘C’ batteries, has both a high and low beam; weighs in at 2.6 pounds (loaded) and is easily available. It is a highly trusted by many divers and gets mostly favorable consumer comments.
What they don’t tell you is that this light fits easily into your hand. I own the pistol grip (my own personal preference) but I’ve used the lantern grip as well. Both are smooth and compact, yet easy to grab through a 7 mil glove. The base of the pistol handle has an inset where you can attach a wrist layard or, in my case, a retractable coil that I clip to my BCD.
For those who dive in the daytime in clear water, this puppy is going to be overkill for you. The C8’s get heavy after a while and, unless you’re doing a night dive, the illumination it cranks out is going to be too much for you. This is especially noticeable if you’re shore diving – hauling this thing along the beach adds weight you’re not going to need. In this case, look at the 1200’s baby brother, the C4.
In either case, those of us who want to go more green can purchase the dive lights with rechargeable batteries . They cost a bit more, but the guilt-free diving makes it worth it.
The Underwater Kinetics 1200 Halogen:
*Price varies from 59.99 – $159.99 (retail vs. online)
*10 x 12 x 6; 2.6 pounds (loaded)
* SHOWN HERE: B001G5ZH1A / Model UK22