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Thread: Lights in Murky water

  1. #1

    Default Lights in Murky water

    Hi I see Z-max was doing experiments with the best color light penetration in murky water.
    Has anyone gone any further with this? I was thinking of trying a powerful laser pointer with the most suitable penetrating wavelength and spreading the beam a little with a lens so that it acts like a torch beam. Has anyone tried this, or does anyone know if it could possibly work? lasers are much more powerful than sunlight. I dive in 2 to 3 meters vis sometimes and any info anyone has I would like to hear from them

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    Welcome to CPF!

    Though the article I'm linking is answering a different question, and concerns ocean water depth, this very likely is related to your question.
    Red light has the longest wavelength and, therefore, the least amount of energy in the visible spectrum. Wavelength decreases and energy increases as you move from red to violet light across the spectrum in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

    As light wavelength decreases from red to blue light, so does the ability of light to penetrate water. Blue light penetrates best, green light is second, yellow light is third, followed by orange light and red light. Red light is quickly filtered from water as depth increases.
    It would seem to follow then that the best penetrators of all water, including murky water, in order of effectiveness, is gamma rays, followed by x-rays, followed by UV-C, UV-B, UV-A, violet, royal blue, blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green, yellow... I think you see where this is going. Although it might depend somewhat on what exactly the stuff is that is making the water murky and which wavelengths that stuff is absorbing, most of murky water is water, and the higher the energy the light is, the more penetration it will have.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    Welcome to CPF!

    Though the article I'm linking is answering a different question, and concerns ocean water depth, this very likely is related to your question.


    It would seem to follow then that the best penetrators of all water, including murky water, in order of effectiveness, is gamma rays, followed by x-rays, followed by UV-C, UV-B, UV-A, violet, royal blue, blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green, yellow... I think you see where this is going. Although it might depend somewhat on what exactly the stuff is that is making the water murky and which wavelengths that stuff is absorbing, most of murky water is water, and the higher the energy the light is, the more penetration it will have.
    Thanks Chillin, I did realize about the power penetration of the different wavelengths, that's probably why (so I am told) that some sea creatures can see further because their eye construction can see ultra violet spectrum. I see the problem I have is I may also have to consider is the light reflecting from the water particles back to the eye. This may be part of the problem. I read a comment on this forum by Z max but this was from 2009. he was experimenting with this and found amber light to penetrate further. I suppose that's why they use sodium vapor lamps at foggy intersections. I was wondering if even red although it doesn't penetrate water very far is less reflective on the particles back to the eye, and you could actually see further with a red light ? Perhaps the happy medium is in the yellow orange range. lasers are much more powerful than sunlight and I guess the only way to know is to try one. I imagine the military would have experimented with everything if it could be done. Maybe I need a high tech virtual reality headset that can convert ultra violet in to virtual reality, something like the military nigh vision goggles !! just joking I don't think this could be done at present :^) chaetodon <><

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    McGizmo is probably one of the more experienced divers/light experts on the board. Perhaps he would have some input? Just an idea.
    McGizmo&Sebenza: Get It, Use It, Love It, BAN IT!! McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review Malkoff MDC Review MY LIGHTS

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    McGizmo is probably one of the more experienced divers/light experts on the board. Perhaps he would have some input? Just an idea.
    +1 his underwater pictures are stunning to say the least. We know his lights are so amazing

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    Quote Originally Posted by Offgridled View Post
    +1 his underwater pictures are stunning to say the least. We know his lights are so amazing
    McGizmo's underwater photography is quite exceptional. I have someone close to me that has become an exceptional photographer, like the camera is a part of him, even all of his throwaway snaps are as perfect as I can determine, and I am hypercritical of such things. But he started diving a few years ago, and is now taking underwater pictures, and though fascinating, they don't have the punch that McGizmo's photography has, but are washed out with poor contrast and colors. McGizmo has figured something out; he knows.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lights in Murky water

    Quote Originally Posted by chillinn View Post
    McGizmo's underwater photography is quite exceptional. I have someone close to me that has become an exceptional photographer, like the camera is a part of him, even all of his throwaway snaps are as perfect as I can determine, and I am hypercritical of such things. But he started diving a few years ago, and is now taking underwater pictures, and though fascinating, they don't have the punch that McGizmo's photography has, but are washed out with poor contrast and colors. McGizmo has figured something out; he knows.
    Photography is a great art . Takes time to figure out the right camera lighting etc. I'm super impressed with those with this talent. Mcgizmo is among the best for sure..

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