DEMA 2011 Product Review (including underwater field tests in Florida and Palau):

The Light & Motion Underwater Video System for Canon with Sola 4000 L.E.D. Video Lights

Review by

Paul G. Ranky, PhD

Editor in Chief

PADI Certified Rescue Diver and Professional Underwater Videomaker, Professional Engineer with Significant Underwater (Harsh Environment) Field Test Experiences of Human Engineered Systems

Copyright Paul G. Ranky,



First Impressions

I was very pleased to have this system in my hands at DEMA2011, and particularly during the 3 week long underwater field tests I have conducted in Florida, and then in Palau, Micronesia.

The video housing is rock solid; a truly wonderful mechanical design with excellent controls. The two light heads deliver adjustable 4,000 lumens each, offering excellent solutions for both underwater video makers as well as underwater photographers.

The LED light heads are ultra compact, though one has to balance the entire system to achieve neutral buoyancy (the way I like my underwater housings with the lights on).

Short sample video clips shot in Palau (in good 720p HD quality; please be patient if you have a slow Internet link):

(A lot more here:,

and here:

Test Results

The LED video light heads are ¼ the size with twice the power of the 2010 Sunray 2000 lights. Light & Motion designed this with the next generation Lithium batteries, the latest LED breakthroughs combined with 20 years experience designing lights. The Sola® 4000 truly delivers beautiful white light under the ocean! Note, that I have also tried the cyan filters (sold separately), which I strongly recommend for color accuracy. I really like this system!

The Video Light comes with an integrated rechargeable battery. It has a smart charger enabling the battery to be quick-charged in an hour or less, depending on the remanent charge of the battery. The charge holds well, and for video I typically used the lights at 50-75% power settings. Even after 2 dives I still had plenty of power in the batteries, although I was careful not to waste them during the dives. Truly excellent performance! For macro shots I typically used them at 25-50% and the beautiful white light worked superbly!

The lights come with standard ball mounts, or an optional lock-line style mount. I prefer the ball mount, due to compatibility with other systems, though the lock-line mount on this system offers smoother adjustment opportunities when you need to adjust the lights fast under water. This can be critically important for macro shots.

These lights offer beautiful, evenly spread white light. There are no sharp edges, just smooth white light in the entire cover area/ zone. Really works well in most circumstances.

Technical Specifications

In the lumen test, the manufacturers (ref.: claim the following data, and although I did not test all of them, I have no evidence, that they are not true. Actually, I am truly delighted with the field test results!

The (ref.: chart represents the actual lumens or light output measured in a calibrated integrating sphere that records total light output. White light is a combination of all the colors of light and the integrating sphere measures each wavelength and adds them together. High performance LEDs show a high level of blue light which increases the contrast for better night vision compared with the warmer colors. Light and Motion, unlike most of its competition, tests and confirms the output of its lights and publish the results so you can be confident in the lumen reporting.

Pros and Cons...

Pros: Very nice white light, evenly spread. Compact lightheads. High quality, robust mechanical design and manufacture; all works well! The batteries charge fast and the entire system is reliable. Can be used by casual as well as pro-videomakers. The LED lights are immediately bright and white, no need to warm up and use significantly less energy than other solutions (e.g. HID). With careful manual energy management lasts easily 2 to 3 dives without recharging.

Cons: Really none; the weight of the are a little bit high with the L&M Canon housing, nevertheless this can be compensated by hard foam floats. The Light and Motion float works very well, but you might want to add some more, depending on the conditions. It also depends on the housing you are using. Considering what NASA and the auto industry is developing, battery technology is constantly improving, therefore we can expect huge changes in size and power within a few years. The User Manual should be improved, nevertheless Light and Motion's customer support emails are answered fast and they are very helpful. (They really know their systems.)


5 of 5 star rating! Excellent! Cannot wait to review other Light & Motion products.

Contacts and Thanks To:

Special thanks to DEMA 2011 for bringing us all together! (See you at DEMA 2012!)

Copyright Paul G. Ranky,

Please email me if you have further questions or comments: Email: