|Tekna Lite 3 back-up light|
Before this review begins let me establish the 'rules.' This torch is back-up light. A back-up light is designed only to be used should a divers primary light fail; allowing a scuba diver to terminate the dive safely.
A back-up light is not designed to be used for the sole purpose of lighting an entire reef, night diving, or diving a ship wreck in murky waters. It is what it is, and this review reflects how effective it is as per design.
TECHNICAL STUFF (what Tekna say)
Depth Rating: 1,000 feet (300 m)
Lamps: Hi-Power LED
Lamp Life: 10,000+ hours
Burn Time: 20+ hours at full power
Batteries: 3 AA Alkaline
Power: 150 Lumens
Materials: ABS and LEXAN®
Dimensions: 7.75" (20 cm) L x 1.25" (3 cm) Dia.
Weight: 0.28 lbs. (0.13 kg)
Where to buy:-
WHAT I ARE DIVER SAYS
LOOKS / BUILD
|Yellow, includes permanent bungee lanyard.|
Back up lights are pretty much aimed at a technical diver. The Tekna Lite 3 i got was yellow. Technical divers tend to dislike bright colours; especially yellow. It looks a bit cheap and fragile, the yellow ABS and LEXAN doesn't make me want to have one.
If you like yellow; you'll like the look of it.
|Long, skinny shaft.|
It's a long and skinny light, which again creates the illusion it's a fragile piece of kit. It's not as brittle as it looks being made of ABS and LEXAN, but it doesn't exude that air of invincibility that delrin lights profess. I very much doubt you could break the light whilst diving, but i wouldn't like to drop a twinset onto it on land.
This is a simple little light, which is perfect for a back up light. The torch is operated by screwing the head of the light clockwise; hence eliminating the need for a switch. No switch is a big positive in a back-up light, as the less moving parts the better. The head is protected by 2 o-rings so you would need to unscrew it pretty far to flood it.
|3 x AA batteries. Double o-ring protection. LED module. Screw down light head.|
It has a ridged handle for grip, and an eyelet on the end for securing the attached lanyard. I imagine most technical divers would remove the lanyard, and replace with a steel bolt snap via cave line.
It requires 3 AA batteries to power the small LED module. I like lights that take 'normal' batteries. AA batteries are both cheap and readily available; another excellent decision by Tekna.
|Remove light head to change batteries.|
conditions: UK waters. Dark, murky, visibility 2m, depth 21m, duration 60 mins, temp 6C.
Twisting the light head to operate the Tekna Lite 3 was a simple affair. Even wearing dry gloves and thick under gloves, the light was easy to switch on and off. The shaft of the light proved pleasant enough to hold, although it became instinctive to hold the light like a pen. It was weird, but it worked.
|Twist light head to switch on and off|
|Our preferred method of holding|
The brightness of the light was impressive. The beam from the Tekna Lite 3 is extremely tight, as expected from such a small light head. It is a white light and is very much a 'pencil-beam,' in that it throws the light very well, but it is concentrated into a narrow field.
It cut through the poor visibility well, and provided enough illumination for me to navigate the way back to the shot line, and follow it to the surface.
I passed the light off to Wifebuddy, and even alongside our team mate with a 21w HID, i was able to distinguish who was who. Of course, placed too near to a 21w HID beam the Tekna Lite 3 vanished.
|21w HID vs Tekna Lite 3|
It was certainly suitable for signalling, even in the poor visibility.
I like the little Tekna Lite 3. Wifebuddy used it for two weekends and became fond of it also.
It is certainly effective as a back up, and i would have no hesitation using it for such purposes. It would not be a replacement for derlin back up lights, they are in a different league. It's certainly a contender as a cheap alternative.
PROS: Cheap, effective light output, tight beam, good switch, takes AA batteries.
CONS: Looks horrible (in yellow). Not derlin, so not as durable as i would like a back up to be. No good for anything but a back up light.