The History of Ikelite
Ikelite was the result of a wreck dive in the early sixties where all of the diving lights had leaked or imploded. Real lights for divers were not available. "Ike's Light" was our beginning and became the dominant lighting products. This was followed by our first failure, the Accessory Case. It seemed like a good idea; it never leaks; but few people have found it a necessity although it is finding new uses and proponents.
We also introduced a rotating bezel compass to the diving industry in the early sixties. This was a novel concept that became the industry standard for all diving compasses today.
Next we found a novel clamp system and wanted a diving product on which it could be used. The unsophisticated "wing nut" was the closure for camera housings at the time, and most camera housings were glued together plexi boxes. It seemed like housings could be molded without seams, and the cover could be secured with this novel clamp system. These clamps are utilized on most housing made today.
Our photographic lines proliferated as we offered housings for movie, rangefinder, single lens reflex, and video cameras. The first video cameras required a second housing for the portable recorder because the camcorder was yet to come.
The sixties put us squarely in the middle (or at the beginning) of the fledgling underwater photographic market. Photography required light which at the time was supplied by flash bulbs. Electronic flash was in its infancy as we started putting surface strobes in underwater housings. The era of bulky and buoyant flashbulbs would come to an end.
Surface electronic flash units lack dependable sync circuits when used underwater,
and the underwater photographer wanted more power and more coverage. We embarked on
the design of a super wide angle underwater strobe with a rechargeable battery system
and monitor circuits to produce consistent intensity and uniform recycle times.
This would be the SubStrobe 150 that became the famous workhorse for serious underwater
The SubStrobe 150 was followed by many models with varying coverage, intensity, and innovations. We introduced the aiming light, audible ready light, interchangeable sync cords, wireless TTL slave sensors, removable battery packs, smart charging, battery power indicator, faster recycle times, and the first two year limited warranty. All of the design and assembly is done here in Indianapolis, Indiana.
We were first to include a switch lock on underwater lights. We always strive to offer something better in each product. The closure systems of our RCD, PC and PCa Lites are examples of this effort. These are not "me too" designs, but represent innovation and value for the diver.
We produce sophisticated products like the only underwater digital exposure meter; sophisticated simple products like the AquaShot System for disposable cameras; sophisticated SLR housings that are realistically priced; sophisticated strobes with leading edge technology, and mounting systems that actually hold adjustment.
We are famous for customer support and repairs when necessary. Problems, complaints and suggestions are constantly monitored to avoid becoming our own worst competitor. And we remain a small company of about eighty people who continue to enjoy the business......
© 2012 Ikelite Underwater Systems
50 W 33rd St, Indianapolis, IN 46208 USA
Phone (317) 923-4523 Fax (317) 924-7988
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