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August 1997 Vol. 12, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

A Nite-Rider Reader Writes

from the August, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dear Undercurrent:

I enjoyed your article "Lighten Up" covering various night lights in the last issue. However, you didn't include the only light that I have found to produce a quantum improvement in night diving -- the Nite-Rider helmet light. I own an older model with a large weight-belt-mounted rechargeable-only battery pack. The helmet is comfortable -- easy to place on your head and aim, secure with its soft rubber head band and chin strap, foolproof, and incredibly bright! It has two bulbs, a 20-watt broad beam and a 12-watt narrow beam, independently switchable. I usually use both lamps at the same time. The battery is good for only 45 minutes, so I plan my night dives carefully, using a backup light (Ikelite PCa) until I reach prime animal hunting grounds. Then I turn night into day atop my head. Imagine the comfort of having both your hands free, yet seeing clearly for 25 feet in every direction you turn your head! Once you use a helmet light, you will never go back to hand-carried lights. Of course, you have to endure the comments of jealous dive buddies who laugh about your "spelunker" outfit, but the improved quality of each night dive will more than make up for the razzing.

I bought my original Nite-Rider light from the Performance catalog three years ago, but now they offer only a 10-watt version, the Cyclops Sport. Since my older rig cost about $450 and the new rechargeable Cyclops Sport costs about $180, I guess not many divers were springing for the higher price, and my original rig may now be off the market. But I assure you, the older rig is far better than the Cyclops Sport (which is still miles ahead of any handheld light).

Jeff Milman
New York City

Your older rig is still available. Nite-Rider Technical Lighting carries seven different systems, ranging in price from $120 up to $750. It sounds like you purchased their middle-of-the-road model, the NR 800. What surprised me most was that their overweight ranged from only 2 pounds to 4.8 pounds (neutrally bouyant to 1/2 negative in the water). Weight has been one of the factors keeping people from going to bigger lights. Now if I can just get past the higher price. To find a local dealer, call 619-268-9316.

J. Q.

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