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Thread: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights?

  1. #1
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights?

    I have been asked to assist someone in finding a good flashlight for him, it should be an usefull allrounder, not an EDC light (he's none of us [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img] ). Therefore I need some input from these who have experience with some of the UKE lighs. The modells in question are the UK4AA (ESx or ENx), UK300, SL4 and SL6. What I need to know is:

    -How do they compare in output vs. size/weight,
    -carryability, what do they "feel" like in your hand?
    -useablitiy
    -beam pattern/quality
    -how is the 4AA compared to the UK300?
    -switch reliability, how good does the switch work

    As I have only handled the SL6 once before I feel that this light is too large and heavy for what he is looking for, in my opinion one of the other three might be the ideal light.

    Please only discuss the lights mentioned above (I do know the E-series lights but they are no option)! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Thanks for your input,

    Klaus. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* chamenos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights?

    UKE4AA without a doubt...or you might also want to check out the UKE2AAA LED light [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] i have a UKE SL4 and it definitely is too large and heavy to carry around on a regular basis.

  3. #3
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    SilverFox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights?

    Hello Klaus,

    The SL4 has the same form as the SL6, but it is shorter and lighter by 2 batteries. I have the SL4 and use it for long distance spotting while in my kayak after dark. I really like this light for its tight spot beam.

    It has a very tight beam with little side spill. The light is water proof and works well in a salt water environment. I have never had a problem with the switch. I can fit it in a coat pocket, but it is tight in the back pocket of my jeans and tends to pull my pants down. The 4 C cells add weight, but I must admit that the light feels good in my hands. The run time is around 5 hours with no regulation (i.e. divide the run time in half).

    The 4 AA light is going to be lighter because of the difference in batteries. The beam from the 4 AA is similar, but smaller diameter. I was going for this light, but ended up with the SL4 instead.

    Quickbeam does not have a beam comparison of the SL4, but it would be similar in pattern to the Mag Lite 3D.

    To get an idea of throw, I measured 4200 candela with the SL4.
    Using the inverse square law,
    at 29 feet you could read a book with it (5 foot candles),
    at 65 feet you are down to 1 foot candle,
    and at 648 feet you would have the same amount of light as on a full moon (0.01 foot candles).

    The numbers for the 4 AA, using Quickbeams numbers are:
    3500 candela,
    26 feet for 5 foot candles,
    59 feet for 1 foot candle,
    592 feet for 0.01 foot candles.

    By the way 1 foot candle = 10.7639104 lux and
    1 lux = 0.092903 foot candle.

    So, if you need the extra reach and can handle the added bulk, the SL4 is the one to have, if size and bulk are the issues, go with the 4AA.

    Tom

  4. #4
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights?

    Thanks so far for the infos, has anybody used the UK300? The SL6 is out of the game now as your experiences reflect what I thought - an excellent light but too heavy for what is needed. How good is this "bezel-turning-switch"?

    UK300 (for these who don't know what I am talking about)


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I have a 4AA. I find the bezel-switch to be finicky. Sometimes it lights at a certain point, sometimes I have to turn it some more. It also doesn't work at all with rechargables. I would recommend the 4AA with thumb switch.

    It is however very thin for a 4AA light, with its small reflector and 2x2 configuration.

    I have an orange 4AA for sale, with UKE holster, if you're interested.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* rlhess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I have given the 4AA to several people and the first respose was "Wow, that's bright." I gave my last one away after I got the L4...but the 4AA throws more. It's a tight beam, not a flood.

    I got a lower candela measurement on the 6V UKE stuff than quickbeams--2400cd for the alkaline and ~2800 for the 2L (same lamp assembly).

    But, while I had them, I really liked them.

    As an aside, when we went out to look at our Christmas lights a few nights ago, three of the four of us had flashlights--and we had all grabbed LED ones--of course, that's because we have a lot of LED ones, but they are so useful. My wife even opened up her waist bag and grabbed the Arc sLS. I had my L4 and my 9-year-old grabbed the Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA out of the den. My 10 year old, just wanted to look at the LED holiday lights. My point? Seriously consider LED for many applications.

    Cheers,

    Richard

  7. #7

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    Richard,

    Sounds like a real Flashaholic family!

    Brightnorm

  8. #8

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    UKE and Pelican both offer similar dive lights, and they're great, but in some ways not the best 'all-rounders'. They're bright, tough, and have intensely focused beams for amazing throw. However, that also means that the beam is too tight for many tasks, especially indoors. I was using a Pelican 4AA to find something under the bed the other day, and had real troubles, as the beam would very brightly light up an area equivalent to one shoe, and leave the rest in near-total dark. I had to pan the light very carefully over the entire area to see what all was under there. My Arc LSL-P would have just lit up the entire area all at once.

    The UKE lights are great outdoors, or where throw is needed (the Pelican version lives in my glovebox), but maybe not the best choice for this use.

    That said, its a very good light at a decent price, and amazingly bright for the size. A 'recreational flashlighter' would probably be very happy to find one in his stocking, and brag about it for years.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    You know, I suggest the Princeton Tec PT40. It's comparably bright to the rest of these lights, is similarly waterproof, and it uses a standard PR bulb instead of a special module that your non-flashaholic friend might not appreciate having to order from somewhere at replacement time.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    What are the person's needs and requirements? How is he going to use the light?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* rlhess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    Deanster,

    The UKE D8 is a very broad flood light. A friend has two that she and her boyfriend love for lighting up their large loft-type space. One of hers is the one that I used to have.

    OTOH, the SL6 is a very tight beam, tighter than the SRTH.

    But, the SL6 is the longest-throw alkaline light I've seen.

    Cheers,

    Richard

  12. #12

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I've had several UKE 2L's and the bezel switches have always worked just fine--it never occurred to me to care whether there was perfect consistency in how far I had to turn the bezel to turn on the light, so I've never noticed whether it's consistent or not. I turn the bezel and the light goes on, I'm happy. The one gripe some people have is that the two O-rings can make the bezel a little stiff to turn.

    For plain practicality though, you can't beat the good old Eveready 2D Halogen light which costs about $10 over here including two alkaline D cells. It's waterproof, reasonably bright, and has a side pushbutton switch that will never confuse anybody. I have no idea whether you can get them in Germany.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I have 2 of the UKE 4AA. It has an amazing throw for it's size, but as others have already mentioned, the beam is relatively narrow. It fits good in the hand, and the material seems to be very durable. My ones are switched on by turning the head, and so far I didn't notice any contact problems. Moreover, the contacts are self-cleaning when rotating the bezel.

    I have one 2AAA though, which does have contact problems.

    The 4AA is a little bit to big for EDC IMHO, but when hiking I have always one with me in my backpack, because it is lightweight, and I can recommend it as a good light overall.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* Size15's's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    The UKE 2L has been my companion as "rucksack" EDC backup light ever since I got it. It's been everywhere with me since Brock told me to get it.

    I have had to use it every now and again although I admit it more often is a waterproof last chance battery carrier for my SureFire EDC.

    Al

  15. #15

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I agree, the 2L is great as a long throw backpack light. I wouldn't want it to have a wider beam since I have a separate LED light for that.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I third the UKE 2L. I use it for late hikes most of the times for spotting trails, and being rugged and lightweight as well as waterproof, it gets the job done well enough. Also, the runtime is better than most other 2x123 incan lights, I dare say.

  17. #17
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    Wow, suddenly the thread takes off. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Thanks for your help, guys. I was trying to find something that could be used with standard batteries (I know, some of us have CR123A's for breakfast [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] ), that's why I didn't take a look at the UKE 2L. It does look very nice and tough, maybe I should take this one in consideration, too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

    Keep the infos coming. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  18. #18

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    RLhess - perhaps I'm wrong, but my memory is that the UKE D8 comes with a spot but you can buy as an accessory a wide-beam lamp module. The wide is as you're describing, very diffuse. It's certainly possible that you can buy it with the wide beam module only, but I've not seen it offered in that configuration.

    The D8's I've seen other divers with were all tight spots. The C8 is my primary dive light, and it's a typical dive 'laser spot'.

    However, it is good of you to remind us that it is possible to have dive-light features with more-diffuse beams.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* rlhess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    Hi, Dean,

    Both D8s that I'm aware of--both bought from Bright Guy--had the "orange peel" reflector and were very broad--too broad for many applications. In fact, I didn't think they put out all that much light for their weigh, but they did burn a long time.

    The 30W bulb would not work off alkalines (no surprise)

    I'm out of D8s now and am sticking with smaller things. The backup lamp system is great.

    Checking BrightGuy's Web site, the wide-angle reflector is listed as an accessory, but I may have gotten these both with that reflector.

    Even though the light is rated at 245 lumens, I don't think it's nearly that in most circumstances.

    I'm also moving away from alkalines to lithiums now that SF is selling them for $1.25 each.

    I still like the UKE lights, but I've been infected by LED and SF LED at that.

    I just find I wasn't using this stuff that much. I'm even selling two SF 9Ps now that I've gotten an L6.

    Cheers,

    Richard

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I had some good and bad experience with UKE 4AA lights. It used to be my standard EDC light and I love the light for it's brightness.

    I was cycling one day and fell off the bike. The light was resting in my left pants pocket so without a doubt it suffered a slight impact. Slight because my knee had already cushioned the main impact and slowed down the velocity of my fall. The focus on the lamp assemblies just went from throw to super flood. There is no way I could refocus the light head even though I tried toying around with the bulb.

    I next got a replacement bulb. 2 weeks down the road my girlfriend was using my computer when she accidentally sweeped my UKE 4AA onto the floor. Again the light went to wide focus.

    I bought another new UKE 4AA + a new lamp assembly as spare. I used the old one for flood and new one for throw. This combination seem to work fine until I suffered another fall while getting downhill on a rainy day. Now both my UKEs are flood.

    I bought it because it is cheap but although the body is strong the lamp assembly is not. One fine day I decided on Surefire and had since then given up my UKE for good.

    Andy Ho

  21. #21

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    The UKE D8 is a dive light and the 30W bulb is intended for underwater use only. It will overheat the light if used above water.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Experience /w Underwater Kinetics (UKE) lights

    I really love my UK 4AA AS2 light.

    Although, I am a two light person.

    I use a 3-LED light for most of my needs for its durability, long battery life, compact size and smooth white beam. It is a PT Attitude.

    The UK is used for throw when I need to light up something at distance.

    A nice "all 'round" light might be a Streamlight 1L TwinTask. It does use a 123a battery (single) but will run on the 3 LEDs for a long time on a single battery...and you've got the bright Xenon lamp if you need it.

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