|Am I brilliant?!|
download to German SCUBA
magazine tauchen 09/11
«Am I looking blindingly brilliant, or what?!»What might be intented as a joke my turn deadly serious in diving. But first things first...
In its accessory sortiment one manufacturer of full face masks offers a mask-integrated LED lamp. Does this make sense? At first glance, this seems to be an interesting idea: use the head space to built in a lamp.
full face donut
But let us now take the time to thoroughly think about this idea and its consequences:
- such an integrated lamp needs its own energy storage, outside the full face mask due to weight and size. The cabling needs to leave the mask somehow, so there's a point where the cable leads through the mask body and that point needs to be watertight. Maybe you can use the existing lead-through of a microphone cabling.
- The lamp is behind the visor. So it has to work with the visor as is. In contrast to this, any ordinary diving lamp uses its own, optimized lamp front glass. Of course, an integrated lamp has a fixed placement and direction, there is no way to tilt the lamp according to your requirements. Otherwise you end up with reflections and loss of intensity. Does such a compromise makes sense? Personally, I'm not sure.
- You need additional space in your full face mask just for your lamp. When you don't use a lamp, you still have this space in your mask ... and this space increases mask volume and thus additional positive buoyancy needlessly. Seen from a different place: this drives customers in buying accessories in order to proper balance their full face mask...
- You can perfectly blind your buddy just by looking at him. For instance, when you try to read his hand signs. So you need to either have your hand already ready at the lamp switch or you need to humbly look the other way. By the way: you can see this effect in several articles in the German SCUBA diving magazine tauchen. Their photograph perfectly caught this situation when setting the scene for the full face mask. Please see also the above cited photo from the additional magazine download. Source: tauchen 9/11, p. 98 and the supplementary tabular mask test overview download.
- On the other hand, an integrated lamp is perfectly suited to relax your neck: just give your buddy the O.K. light sign using your head lamp.
There probably is good reason for most full face mask manufacturers to not integrate all kind of accessories into their full face masks. This simply minimizes mask buoyancy. There is no cabling to keep watertight, et cetera. Attached lamps can be directed as required; they are not fixed completely in their (blinding) direction.
PS: The name of the supplementary download file is really funny: DL_Vollgesichtskrapfen_uw_0911.pdf ... this translates into «full face donut».