Light Ammonite LED Stingray Rechargeable (Deluxe Set)

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Light Ammonite LED Stingray Rechargeable (Deluxe Set)

LAST YEAR WE CONDUCTED A GROUP TEST OF 25 DIVE-LIGHTS (Who's That Stumblin’ in the Dark?, October). I remember finding the marketplace awash with high-quality, high-output, multi-functional lights yet, surprisingly, single-purpose torches for underwater use were thin on the ground.
The situation has changed little since then. Light designers and makers seem seduced by all that LED technology available to them, and appear intent on cramming as many functions as they can into a single package.
So it was a breath of fresh air when UK distributor Blue Orb sent me its rechargeable Ammonite Stingray torch to test and review.
It has one function and one function only, to supply a white light in a single beam. I've been taking it under water for a few months to “well and truly” test it.

The Design
The LED Stingray is a compact light source designed to be hand-held as a simple underwater torch.
The light is supplied from three Cree XPG2 LEDs delivering a light output of 1000 lumens.
These are set behind a triple optical lens and 6mm of tempered glass – the lenses focus the light and distribute it as a tight 16° spot beam.
The body is made from aircraft-grade aluminium alloy with a hard-anodised coating, and is softly ribbed to aid grip.
The screw-down lighthead is built from Delrin composites and provides the means to turn the torch on or off.
A single rechargeable lithium-ion 18650 battery delivering 3000 mAh powers the Stingray, and it has a claimed burntime of 70 minutes.
The Stingray I was sent, the Deluxe set, came with six different-coloured silicon head-bands designed to individualise the torch and enhance the grip for switching.
It also included a stainless-steel piston-clip and split-ring for attachment, a USB-powered recharging cradle and cable, and a spare battery in a storage case.

In Use
The compact dimensions of this torch meant that stowage would never be an issue; I merely clipped it to a chest D-ring on my BC and was ready to go.
During bright daylight dives the 1000 lumens of light penetrated overhang shadows to illuminate dark nooks with ease, as expected. It was on our night and dusk dives that it really came into its own, the tight white beam penetrating deep in front of me without peripheral light bouncing back from suspended particulate to reduce visibility.
I found the light good as a navigation aid, but as a spotting light to find marine critters it was outstanding. The even beam laid a soft-edged pool of very bright light on the subject.
Switching the torch on or off is achieved by screwing the head in or out a few turns, and the enlarged diameter made this a painless operation, even when wearing gloves.
I thought the silicon head-bands were a wonderful idea. They make your own dive-light instantly recognisable, as well as enabling you to colour-co-ordinate (if that’s your thing).
Claimed burntimes seemed to be accurate – the torch certainly lasted throughout full one-hour dives, and still shone brightly on short post-dive RIB rides.
Charging seemed to take varying time-periods depending on the main power source, the fastest being from my iPad mains wall adapter. I also charged the battery with an adapter from my car’s 12V socket, my laptop and a portable power block.

Conclusion
It seems like only yesterday that 1000 lumens of light was the holy grail for torch-makers. By today’s standards that’s the norm, and 1000l is bright. Just ask my buddies who accidentally got in the way of the beam and were temporarily blinded, or the startled fish that froze like rabbits in the headlights as they were illuminated in all their glory.
I’m not sure if all that light is necessary, but what I do know is that this little gem of a torch delivered illumination in spade-loads in an easy-to-use, beautifully crafted package that did what it was supposed to do – light my way under water.

SPECS
COST £189
MATERIAL Anodised aluminium alloy / Delrin
DIMENSIONS 12 x 4cm max diameter
WEIGHT 180g with battery
LIGHT SOURCE 3 LED Cree XPG 2
OPTICS Triple lens
OUTPUT 1000 lumens
COLOUR TEMP Cool white
POWER SOURCE Single cell 3000mAh li-ion rechargeable battery
BEAM ANGLE Spot 16°
DEPTH RATING Triple lens
CONTACT www.blue-orb.uk
DIVER GUIDE 10/10

See more lights and torches in Divernet Showcase

Appeared in DIVER October 2016

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