Heavy. That was my first thought when I removed the black waterproof container from the shipping box. Wow, was my next thought when I opened it to reveal the impressive, well made dive light inside. I was looking at the latest technology in underwater lighting, the Karik K5000L canister light.
Karik Technologies, LLC designs and manufactures canister and handheld dive lights for cave, wreck, technical, and sport diving and The Florida Dive Connection team had the opportunity to put Karik’s flagship light, the K5000L, through its paces in some of the harsh and demanding environments found in Florida diving. On the wrecks and in the caves this light always outperformed, never failed, and illuminated our dives like nothing we’ve seen before.
This light is solidly constructed and has the “mil-spec” look. Everything about it exudes quality and attention to detail. In fact, my first impression was, “This looks like something NASA, NOAA, or the U.S. Military would issue.” It is built to last and provide top performance for any SCUBA diving application.
The K5000L was designed primarily for cave, wreck, and technical divers but if you want illumination for any type of diving it’s a great choice. Its high powered LED light head packs a 5000 lumen punch big enough to brighten the blackest caves or cut through the darkness on the deepest wrecks. But, with its powerful wide beam, high and low power settings, and long burn time this is a light to be used in applications ranging from underwater video through basic sport diving as well as technical diving. We’re told the engineers at Karik have come up with some special lens configurations that address a wide range of uses.
The Karik K5000L is a big light; big in many ways. Its 5000 lumen output makes it comparable to a 35 watt HID light, but unlike the HID, the light is distributed over a 12 degree beam with a powerful focused beam in the center and bright peripheral light to illuminate the diver’s entire viewing area. You won’t have tunnel vision using this beast. And it’s big on performance with an 8800 mah Lithium-ion Polymer rechargeable battery capable of a 5 hour burn time on the high setting and a 10+ hour burn time on low power.
Out of the water the size of the light made me wonder if it would be troublesome or even in the way on the dive, but, underwater my concerns immediately disappeared. The heavy duty 3/8 cord was so pliable it wrapped easily on my arm without a hitch and the light head was no more noticeable on my hand than the compact 10 watt HID I normally dive with. My first dive with the Karik was on a wreck with strong currents. I was using both a video and a still camera so was carrying a lot of equipment. The K5000L performed flawlessly and was never in the way even when switching between cameras in the current.
In the darkness of the wreck interior or the total blackness of a Florida cave this light is awesome. Using it in familiar places we were seeing things we never knew were there. The powerful center beam with the wide peripheral light penetrates the darkness far ahead of the diver while it illuminates the entire field of vision, delivering performance superior to other dive lights on the market. The darkest corners of the shipwreck became like daylight and in the caves the Karik’s beam was so bright it made our other standard lights almost unnoticeable.
We tested the light in the blackness of a large cavern and found it lit up the whole room but still worked well for standard cave dive signals. Even the low 1500 lumen setting was more than enough light to make the dive comfortable and the powerful strobe got fellow divers attention quickly. We heard the phrase “I want one,” many times from other divers wherever we took the Karik.
Karik Technologies, LLC put a lot of attention into the details. The K5000L operates with a professional quality piezo electric switch with no moving parts. The battery compartment is fully sealed and even if the top were removed underwater the battery would remain undamaged. The light ships with a goodman handle along with both 110 volt and 12 volt chargers, and a spare O Ring as standard equipment. There’s no need for expensive optional equipment with the Karik. It’s all packed neatly in a high quality water tight container ready to dive.
Overall, this is a well engineered, top performing piece of dive equipment built to last. The K5000L screams quality and toughness. In the water it delivered performance beyond our expectations. After diving with the Karik it was hard to go back to what we considered the standard in the past. The light output far exceeds most lights currently on the market and is ready for the most demanding dive environments.