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The much maligned C-light

Dee Hall

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In the beginning, Bob and I each had an ACR C-Light on our PFD's for when we ended up paddling in the dark. The first time I needed mine, it worked. Everytime after that, neither did and each time we opened them up, the batteries were corroded. Myself and many others have blamed this on leakage of salt water, even though the metal contacts inside were fine.

Today, I was talking to Alex and New England Small Craft and she mentioned that the rep for ACR said that the problem is gasses building up from the batteries and that the light needs to be opened periodically to let them out. We checked the label on a packaged one, and then I checked the website and neither had mention of this. However, I have an expensive, waterproof LED lantern that does have such a warning.

This evening I looked at my abandoned C-light and noticed that the contacts have since corroded. I left the light opened up in my gear box after throwing out the batteries, so at some point salt really did get into it.

Later this evening, I did a fairly rigorous waterproof test on it (I won't bore you with the details) and it passed. I now believe that it is waterproof and the gasses from the alkaline batteries caused the corrosion.

I find the need to keep opening up my light to let gasses out a bit of a hassle, so I am going to stick with my lithium battery solutions. However, for those who have C-lights, this is a wise move to prevent early self-destruction of the batteries inside.

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