You think the viz is bad in Monterey, try the Pacific Northwest which is my local area. I also dive Pt Lobos and the Monterey area once or twice are year.
You might want to check out the Sola series from Light in Motions, just down the street from Backscatter. I am an underwater photographer, and the Sola unit replaces my trusty Hartenburger, which is a superb light, but weighs a ton.
There have been quite a few quality control issues with Sola's, but Light in Motion is very good about correcting problems.
The other suggestion I would make is to either purchase a light with a red filter, or make one up. This really cuts back on backscatter, and critters are much more comfortable with the red filter.