More light for dark waters/very low-light environments

Hey all,

I had a quick look around, but couldn’t find any topics on this. I have also limited amount of time in my work to improve and maintain our BlueROV so hopefully I could get some good advice on this.

Using an ROV mostly in humic scandinavian lakes and under ice with thick layer of snow has turned out to be challenging as the standard set of 4 X Subsea lights are not providing enough light hence the visibility is limited. My questions are:

  1. What kinds of setups people have built to improve illumination for dark waters?
  2. Has these setups been connected to the controls on the surface or just run independently (i.e. turned-on on the surface)?
  3. Is there any short-ish reading to better understand how the lights are connected, can be connected, how the electronics function etc. to be able to better plan new light setup?

I am hesitating whether even another set of 4 subsea lights will provide illumination that we require due to the wide beam angle of these lights. Illumination disperses over a large area and the light doesn’t reach very far. Currently, I am considering whether the easiest (and cheapest) thing would be just to connect two small dive lights (such as Orca Torch D530) on the sides of the ROV. These would be turned on before diving and that’s it.

Many thanks for all your advice and thoughts!

hi, I also use the bluerov2 in an alpine lake, Lake Iseo in Italy, and I also had big lighting problems, here the waters are often cloudy, and since I am a diver and I use cheap but effective Chinese torches for making my videos underwater, I took 2 of these flashlights and mounted them on the bluerov with excellent results, they have 15 xlm2 cree leds and 6 red leds to better balance the colors. total of the 2 spotlights 12k white lumens and 1k red lumens. I also left 2 original bluerov spotlights pointed downwards, to eventually compensate for the dark areas of my shots. The Chinese spotlights were given for 100 meters, but the weak point were the power buttons, so I eliminated them and put some epoxy resin in their place, then through the SORS RESEARCH SPECIAL of turin we tested the tightness of the spotlights at 35 bar in a hydraulic pressure chamber, without having any problems. So I disassembled a bluerobotics spotlight, unsoldered the led and in its place I connected a 12v 80 ampere auto relay, then I took the second light channel of the pixhawk, and connected it to the board of the disassembled spotlight. I then built a li ion battery pack with 12 18650 cells, I put the battery pack in the 4-inch tube together with the relay and the spotlight board, and then through the cable glands I connected the spotlights with the battery tube. Now I have 2 independent lighting systems on the back and therefore I have a lot more light. For now I have tested everything at 206mt but soon I will go to the bottom of the lake at 270mt :slight_smile:

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Hi, E. Tuominen.

What helped me a lot was to offset light fixtures about a foot to the sides to give it a more soft fill.
I noticed camera choking on the dynamic range with lights blowing close subjects and auto exposure trying to compensate for it.

I am working on a standalone light rigg 1800w and 150000 lumen

Used to have 10 lumen lights but they floded so not manny left but it was quit ok when it worked.
Probarly better the newer versions i hop🤷🏼‍♂️


This is very nice work. What are those arms you’re using and how did you mount them? I might try something similar with cameras.

I have been a diver for over 30 years, I have done 3000 dives, and I have always made underwater videos, so I used part of my underwater video equipment by mounting it on the ROV. If you are in clear water you can mount the headlights close to the camera, if you have murky water, you need to mount arms to move the headlights away from the camera, and try to direct the headlights in order to have an unlit area for at least 50/60 cm in front. to the camera, otherwise all particles very close to the camera will all be white dots which will prevent good vision.

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