I recently took delivery of a few items from Escape Watersports (UK based dealer), included in my order was a Guardian Expedition Light. It cost around £12 and to be honest I didn’t expect too much for that sort of money!.
The light arrived sealed in bubble packaging and once removed I was left with the light, a clip and a set of instructions. The light itself is small, robust and well manufactured. It’s CE marked indicating that the product meets EU safety, health or environmental requirements.
The light source is a high power LED which is visible for over 3 miles. Power is supplied from two CR2032 batteries which are replaceable. The light is fully waterproof to a depth of 100m, more than sufficient for kayaking use!. It has two modes of operation, steady and flashing. Battery life is a very healthy 250 hours. I chose the white coloured light, however, they are also available in blue, green, yellow and red.
A clip is supplied and this attaches to the rear of the light, fitting takes seconds. This permits the light to be clipped to the strap of a PFD.
To switch the light on it’s a simple case of rotating the lens clockwise until the light illuminates, to switch it off the lens is rotated anti-clockwise.
As mentioned the light can be operated in steady and flashing modes. To swap modes the battery needs to be inverted in order to reverse the polarity.
To be honest it’s not something you’d want to do whilst afloat due to the chance of either losing the battery or inadvertently allowing water into the light. The flashing mode is best suited for emergency use, a flashing light being ideal for attracting attention. The steady mode can be used to aid location in an emergency, however it also makes a great backup light. Should your headlamp fail this light provides more than sufficient illumination to enable you to continue fishing. As I already have a strobe light fitted to my PFD I envisage that I’ll keep the Guardian light set to the ‘steady mode’ of operation.
The video below shows the light in action, swapping the battery over and a submersion test. It currently retails at £12 in the UK and around $15 in the US, for that kind of money you can go wrong!