September 21st, 2008
Which light should you buy: the LED 500 or the new LED 700? For any active tech diver, the answer is both. The difference is a lot more than 200 lumens.
The LED 500 needs 700 milliamps of current to operate. This is easy to maintain with good, quality alkaline batteries. The LED 500 gets a minimum of 12 hours of burn time; which is achieved with this style of light by utilizing a voltage driver. The result is 500 lumen output with fresh batteries. The reason the LED 500 can burn so long is because the driver tapers the power consumption, which in turn decreases the load on the batteries in order to maintain a usable light output for a long period of time. There is a decrease in light as the batteries are discharged, but it is slow and not significantly noticeable. This rate is so slow the eye doesn’t notice an appreciable change. Your eyes adjust to the surrounding light and it appears to stay the same intensity. There is a noticeable drop as the driver reduces the voltage requirement after the first 8 hours. This is why the LED 500 can burn for so long.
The LED 700 is a true replacement for the 10W HID primary light. The 10W HID has 450 lumens of light output, but the Kelvin temperature (6500K) makes it appear brighter than it really is. In order to achieve a brighter light with LED technology, we designed the LED 700 differently from the LED 500. First, in order to achieve 700 lumens of light output we are using 1000 milliamps of current. Since we want this to be a true primary light, we selected a driver that gives consistent light that does not taper. This gives the LED 700 the punch needed to surpass 10W HID lights. The higher milliamp draw coupled with the driver renders the same burn time and color temperature as a 10W HID light.
Beyond lumens, there are also differences in design application. The LED 500 is the perfect light for travel or anywhere charging batteries is an issue. It’s also the perfect back up light for any tech diver. The LED 700 is truly the new age of primary lighting with longer bulb life and more robust design than HID lighting for technical diving environments.