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Metalsub - Case Study

Metalsubs challenge and Thal Technologies solution
A gray circle with a stylized, lowercase "p" in the center, resembling the Pinterest logo, set against a white background. Ideal for design work from Thal to the Netherlands.

Developing a sturdy waterproof housing was no problem. However, there were some challenges in the field of heat development where Thal could provide the necessary help.

Innovative diving lights

Who is Metalsub?

Metalsub develops quick-release systems for scuba tanks, high performance dive lights and underwater lighting for recreational and professional users. From high-quality hand and cable lights to custom LED lights for mini submarines; Metalsub offers LED solutions that continue to perform under very high pressure.

The partnership between Thal and Metalsub goes back to the early 2000’s when Halogen and HID lighting was replaced by LED, and new challenges and issues arose. Metalsub was looking for a partner who could help them drive the LEDs and develop custom aluminum PCB’s to help mitigate heat build-up issues. Over the successive years, the collaboration intensified and ideas and solutions were exchanged. This is how by working with Thal, Metalsub has succeeded in continuously innovating and getting the most out of the diving lights. New techniques succeeded each other and light beams became more and more powerful. 

“In the early days it was not possible to place a number of LEDs in a lamp and apply voltage to them. There were no drivers so we had to rely on resistors to distribute the voltage evenly. Thal helped us to develop our lamps and it instantly worked well between us. We were constantly looking for more powerful LEDs, so I always contacted Thal to find the most ideal solution together,” says Rob de Rijk, owner of Metalsub.

A workbench in a workshop in Thal, Netherlands, is organized with various tools and parts. Several electrical connectors with orange cables, segmented trays with components, and a pegboard on the wall holding tools like pliers and screwdrivers are neatly arranged under LED lighting.
A blue circle is filled with evenly spaced horizontal black lines, creating a striped pattern reminiscent of LED modules. The lines make the blue color appear as alternating light and dark blue horizontal stripes within the circle against a white background.
Adjust LED power to capacity

The challenges

Metalsub is the only Dutch company that produces diving lights with a background as a metalworking company. The company was founded when Rob and his colleague could not find good diving lights themselves. Developing a sturdy waterproof housing was therefore not a problem. 

However, there were some challenges in terms of heat generation. The high power of the powerful LEDs and the compact housing caused a lot of heat build-up, especially when using the dive lights above water as well. Thal’s thermal knowledge came in handy here. Thal develops custom made metal circuit boards specifically for Metalsub which – thanks to a very good contact with the lamp housing – can conduct the heat very efficiently. The lamps are now also equipped with a special thermal protection that switches the lamp off, or puts it in a low dim setting. 

Metalsub expects someone should be able to dive for at least an hour with the smallest lamp. In most cases the aim is for around 2 hours. In this way it is possible to do two full dives. Depending on the battery capacity that the diver can have with him, the LED power is adjusted to the supplied battery. ‘With the average battery

A man with a salt-and-pepper beard and receding hairline is standing in an industrial setting, possibly a workshop or factory. He is wearing a black jacket and is next to a machine with a screen displaying some data on TIM. The background includes a vent pipe and a white brick wall.

As a small company it is often difficult to get the best and the right LEDs. So there is intensive cooperation.

Customization and new products

The solution

Meanwhile, the market for dive lights has changed significantly. Cheap Chinese lamps are available almost everywhere and the interest in diving is declining slightly. ‘Metalsub has therefore chosen to produce only exceptional lamps. ‘Our new lamp is 120 watts and – in addition to being a diving lamp – is very suitable for underwater photography and film shooting.’

In addition to an extensive portfolio of standard dive lights, Metalsub also develops professional custom solutions. From head lamps for the fire department and navy divers, to special lamps used at very great depths on mini submarines. These must therefore continue to operate under extreme high pressure.

When Metalsub develops a new product they meet with Thal to discuss it. Thal then takes care of the design of the PCB and the purchase of the right LEDs. The latter is also very important for Metalsub: ‘As a small company it is often difficult to get the best and the right LEDs. So there is intensive cooperation. We also worked very closely with Thal on a special project for the Belgian Railways. The tender contained a specific requirement regarding the wavelength of two LED lamps. The development of this lamp ultimately took four years. Thal helped us a great deal with this’.

Close-up of a flashlight head with seven reflective sections and a central LED light. The metal reflectors, combined with efficient LED modules, enhance the brightness of the light. The flashlight rests on a light blue surface, ensuring optimal lighting performance without overheating due to advanced TIM technology.
A hexagon outlined by numerous thin, parallel blue lines is displayed against a transparent background. The lines run diagonally from the top left to the bottom right corner of the shape, creating a dynamic pattern within the hexagon, reminiscent of Thermal Interface Material designs.
High-End LED Modules for every industry

Thal takes a step further

For more than 20 years, Thal Technologies in Almere has been advising, designing, assembling and producing in the field of thermal management and LED lighting. 

We supply heat conducting and electrically insulating materials for the most diverse applications within electronics. This makes Thal Technologies a specialist in solving challenging problems in the area of thermal management. 

To collaborate? Please contact us
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A smiling man with curly grey hair and black-framed glasses is wearing a blue patterned shirt. He has a light complexion and is standing in a brightly lit room in the Netherlands, with blurred background elements including a window.
Richard van Moorst
Sales Engineer
Always ready to help

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Image of a Dutch-language case study about Metalsub, detailing their innovative LED dive lamps based on years of experience. The text is accompanied by the logos of Thai Technics Dive and Metalsub, as well as a photo of divers underwater and an image of a dive lamp.