Appeared in DIVER April 2017NOT TOO MANY YEARS AGO, I purchased a German state-of-the-art umbilical dive torch.
It featured a high-intensity gas discharge tube (HID), delivering what was claimed at the time to be the highest light output on the market and, with a huge bank of nickel-metal hydride (ni-mh) batteries, boasted a "whopping" burntime of 60 minutes.
I can remember cringing when I parted with just under a grand for this torch, but it served me well for more than a few seasons of deep, dark technical diving.
Alas, today this monster of a torch is gathering dust in my workshop. Why? Because that 60-minute burntime and 300 lumens of light it delivers is so yesterday.
Today we can enjoy torches with smaller battery-packs providing long-lasting power to LED light-heads that deliver lumens stretching to four or five figures.
UK distributor Sea & Sea sent me a torch to put through the DIVER Test treadmill that on paper would leave my old HID model floundering in the dark.