Last year, as we began exploring deeper water depths for our research, we began having problems with visibility. We though about what sort of things we could do to improve our situation, and one of the team members told us of how they had done a headlight upgrade to their personal vehicle and the results were great. So, we began looking at the possibility of doing an OPT7 LED headlight conversion on our ROV (Remote Operating Vehicle). Well, we finally got around to the task last month.
As you might imagine, being able to see at extreme depths underwater is critical for a research team. Since we work in a zero natural light environment much of the time, if we don’t have adequate lighting from our ROV headlights, it is impossible to see much of the marine life more than a few feet in front of us. After the OPT7 LED headlight conversion, we are able to see at much farther distances than previously.
OPT7 LED Headlight Conversion Went Smoothly
Luckily, thanks to the help of one of our researchers who had converted the headlights on his car, along with the information that we found on www.lightheadz.com, our OPT LED headlight conversion went very smoothly. After we had selected the OPT LED’s, we contacted the manufacturer of our ROV, and they assured us that the OPT7 headlights would indeed fit.
Removing the old headlights wasn’t too difficult, either. The hardest part was removing the water-tight enclosures that each of the headlight bulbs are in. The wiring on the old bulbs was very similar to the new OPT7 LED bulbs, so wiring in the new headlights was a snap.
Last week was the first time that we got to test out the new OPT7 headlights. I am extremely impressed with the increased visibility that we now get from our ROV. We can now gather far more data and collect many more species of marine life, thanks to the new bulbs.
Additionally, the lower power consumption of the newer OPT LED bulbs allows us to stay under water longer, if only by a few minutes. But, each time that we are doing a dive, every minute counts, as the dive time is short. Those extra few minutes of dive time allow us to better observe the sea floor. In fact, we have observed several fish and shrimp species in the past month that we haven’t been able to see in years, thanks to the added visibility and dive time that the headlights provide.
We have had such great success with the new lights, that there has been talk among the team of upgrading the research boat with OPT7 LED bow lights, to increase nighttime visibility on the vessel. We will have to check with the maker of the boat to see if an OPT7 LED headlight conversion is possible.
We can’t wait to see what the discoveries we will make in the coming summer months thanks to the new ROV headlights. We’ll be sure to keep you posted should we make any new fish species discoveries in the deep blue.