Kraken Video Lights

Kraken video lights are some of the best performing video lights on the market with lots of excellent features.
By Nirupam Nigam

Underwater video lighting has moved forward by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Kraken Sports has remained at the center of innovation in the field since its inception. They design their video lights with the need of underwater videographers and photographers in mind - from beginners to working professional. 

 

Innovative Features

The defining characteristic of Kraken video lights are without a doubt their features....lots and lots of features. Each light is jam packed with them. From a rainbow of colors to strobe-like burst features, Kraken video lights have anything an underwater videographer and even an underwater photography might need. 

Although design can vary between lights, there are a few characteristic features that are common throughout the Kraken video light lineup.

1. Dual Button Controls

Kraken video lights are controlled with two easy to use buttons. The buttons can be operated with any sort of underwater gloves. Pushing down both buttons, which can be a little difficult to do with one hand, turns the lights on and off. Pushing the left button switches between light types, and pushing the left button switches between intensity levels.

 

2. Many beams, many colors

Kraken rarely limits their video lights to just one flavor of light. Most lights come with multiple beam types and colors. Except for their focus lights, all video lights come with the option for a wide, even flood beam or a narrower, spot beam. Both the flood and spot beams have adjustable power settings. Kraken usually goes beyond this, especially with their popular Hydra lights, and provides a red beam (for sneaking up on skittish animals) as well as a UV beam (for visualizing fluorescence, and for creative effect). 

 

3. Burst "Strobe" Modes

Most recent models of Kraken video lights have a built in burst mode for the light mimics a strobe by increasing in power when triggered by a fiberoptic cable. This increase in power is short lived, but longer than a strobe flash. Usually, the light will increase in power by about 50%. Although this can be used to take macro photos, the burst mode only really helps in a pinch. We wouldn't necessarily recommend using it to replace a dedicated strobe for underwater photography. 

 

4. Interchangeable Batteries

Kraken video lights maintain their compact size with their batteries taking up most of the internal space. These batteries can be removed and replaced with additional rechargeable batteries. This means that you don't have to charge the light after every dive like with Solas. Some batteries, like those in the Hydra video lights can be used between different lights or even with the Kraken strobe

 

5. High quality, even beam throughout the dive

There's a lot to be said for a high quality beam. It's one of the defining characters of any Kraken video light. Each light has a wide, even flood with no hot spots. Most importantly, Kraken lights maintain power throughout the dive with a "hard" shut down. This is preferable to some competitors who's lights decrease in power over time, making the beam inconsistant for video shooting.

 

Current Models

Kraken is constantly coming out with new and innovative models of video lights. Who knows, perhaps we'll need to update the features section of this article within the year - that's the speed that Kraken produces. Here is a quick list of the current line up of Kraken video lights. Or course, this is subject to change. 

 

1. Kraken Hydra 2500 Macro

 

2. Kraken Hydra 3500 S+

 

3. Kraken Hydra 5000 S+

 

4. Kraken Solar Flare Mini 12000

 

Other Brands of Underwate Video Lights

 

Sola Light & Motion Lights

Sola light & motion lights are smaller lights with a high-quality build, the the most ergonomic design on the market. They feature as single switch that can turn the light on and off as well as swithc through power and color settings. The lights can be charged "wet" without removing a battery, which is a great option if you can charge between dives. 

 

Big Blue Video Lights

Big Blue video lights are slightly larger lights. They deliver high-lumen output for a great price point, but they can have a lower quality color temperature.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. Now he works as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.com!

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