Intova Luxeon, £59.95
Buying a cheap plastic backup or spotting torch is a false economy, as they simply don’t go the distance. We’ve wrecked most of the popular inexpensive torches sent to the Test Centre over the past five years. We probably give them ten years’ worth of normal use in one year, and not one has survived longer than 12 months without going wrong. Usually they leak. Sometimes switches fall off or jam, and a few have cracked and fallen apart. So when we took delivery of a new torch from Intova, we were sceptical about whether it would buck the trend.
Nine months later, I can report that it has survived the whole summer season in the RIB, while also going on two trips to the Red Sea and a trip to the Canaries, and is almost as good as new. The anodised aluminium casing has a couple of small dinks, but other than that is perfect – and that’s after more than 100 dives. The switch still works, and the only thing we’ve replaced are the batteries.
Underwater, the 4.7-watt Luxeon LED bulb produces a punchy 130 lumens, with the light superbly focused into a narrow beam for extra penetration in murkier waters. With alkaline batteries, it burns at maximum brightness for about two hours, then slowly gets dimmer over the best part of the rest of the day. When using rechargeable batteries, this burn time is approximately halved, so it’s a good idea to have two sets of batteries if you are using the torch for a full day’s diving. The manufacturer claims it is waterproof to 120m, and that’s good enough for me. At 60 quid, it’s a touch more pricey than some of its rivals, but is worth every penny.
Robust and gives a bright light
Value 9 Performance 9
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