Equipment Review: Nanight Cave3 Light

Posted: May 25, 2019 in Cave Explorations
Tags: , , ,

April-May 2019

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I recently had the opportunity to test a cave light made by Nanight of Sweden. This was through the kind arrangement conducted by a good friend and fellow dive instructor Kent Barquin of Chicago, Illinois.

Kent also lent me his personal Nanight light products which were a pair of Sport video lights and a Tec2 light. All the Nanight lights performed superbly but this review is focused on the Cave3 light since it is the newest addition to the Nanight line-up.

Testing of the said Cave3 light was made in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

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At Pawod Underwater Cave System with (L-R) Jaime Lapac, Art Gardiner, Dean Apistar, author

Getting ready to dive the Liloan Ship Wreck with (L-R) Jaime using the Cave3, author with the Sport video lights and Nelson Que with the Tec2 lights.

The Nanight Cave3 is a 4000 lumens LED light with an umbilical head and a canister battery packed with 24,000ah of battery power.

The light was used in sidemount diving set-ups. Maximum depths reached during testing in a freshwater cave was 25 meters. Saltwater testing was made on a shipwreck to a depth of 45 meters.

Average dive duration during the tests was 1 hour.

Initial Observations:

Things inside the goody bag.

1. Attachment of the battery canister to a tank can be made via a supplied velcro strap.

2. Attachment to the waist strap (backmount) or crotch strap (sidemount) can be done using the pre-attached 2 pieces of hose clamps and webbing.

Attached on the crotch strap for sidemount diving.

3. Options available to use a carbon-fiber Goodman handle or a soft/ multi-mount Goodman handle. Both said items are supplied in the package. I liked the soft handle.

Observations During the Dives:

1. Intensity of the light is noticeably higher, and the beam is more focused compared to a Chinese made 3000 lumens light that I used for comparison (Cave3 is 1000 lumens higher).

A strong beam is fine in certain environments but if you’re diving in a site with a lot of suspended calcite particulates, such as in certain points inside Pawod cave, a strong light beam will result in a high back-scatter. You will experience something akin to driving on a foggy road with your car’s white headlights set on high beam.

We reduce back-scatter by shifting light power to the lowest setting. The Cave3 has two light settings but the lowest one is still strong in comparison to the other brands we use that has 3 levels of power intensity.

2. The lamp head is neutrally buoyant in fresh and salt water. This takes out the possibility of disturbing the silt if one should accidentally let go of the light. I really liked this particular feature.

3. Fully charged, it took a long while for the power to drain during use. Although we did not conduct an comprehensive battery test, I was pleased to note that I did not have to wait too long for the battery to charge after a long day of diving since it still carried a lot of power inside it.

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Upper left is the beam of the Cave3. Lower right is from the Tec2.

4. The strong beam allowed me to see more details inside the cave and the wreck. I particularly enjoyed the fact that although the sites we dove were well known to me, the excellent illumination by the Cave3 light gave me a fresh view of the sites.

Conclusion:

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Nanight Cave3 since it has a durable construction, excellent battery life, non-corroding components, strong beam and overall good feel to it.

The downside though is the cost of the product which might be an issue for divers who already made substantial investments for their existing equipment.

It behooves the new cave or technical diver to consider the Nanight Cave3 as his or her first primary light purchase. There is no doubt that this product will easily survive the challenges of the underwater environment and will be of service for many adventurous years.

Link to manufacturer’s site:

https://nanight.se/nanight-c3.html

EXTRA INFO

What I found lacking in the manual was a clear information on how to separate the umbilical cord and the battery canister to allow one to charge the battery. I searched through the internet but I did not find any details to perform the procedure.

Here then is my method:

1. Find a rubber strap, the ones you use to retain your hose on your SM tanks will do very well;

Fig. 1

2. Wrap the rubber strap at the base of the area where the umbilical cord starts (Fig. 1);

3. Grasp the battery canister with your left hand and with your right hand take the other end (use opposite hands if you’re a lefty);

4. Firmly rotate to the left the battery canister and rotate to the right the other end with the rubber strap;

5. The seal is very tight so be patient and do your darn best;

6. Once open, slide out the battery and do what you need to do (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Acknowledgements:

  1. Thanks a lot to Kent Barquin for making available the excellent Nanight lights for us to try.
  2. Thanks to my buddies who tested the products with me– Jaime and Nelson.
  3. Thanks to Jaime’s Dive Center for the logistical support.
  4. Thanks to Nelson Que for sponsoring the use of the boat to the Liloan Ship Wreck.

Disclaimer: The author was not under any agreement with Nanight to conduct a review of their products. This review was made through the initiatives of the author.

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