OVER THE YEARS, I’ve been shown some marvellous new ideas emanating from the R&D laboratories of Mares. Often, this has not been translated into products on which we could get our hands in dive stores.
As with all innovative ideas, snags are often discovered when units get out into the field. Diving is a particularly harsh and wet test-bed.
A typical example was a lamp I tried years ago. It used all sorts of clever electronics and, typically, it was the electronics that eventually failed in damp conditions.
It’s often better to be a developer than an innovator. The latest EOS 3 lamp is unambitious, in that it uses what has become fairly standard technology.
It is constructed from a mixture of plastic, thermoplastic rubber and aluminium. The body of this torch is ergonomically shaped so that it sits comfortably in the hand.
Its compact dimensions (it’s only 18cm long) allow it to slip into the pocket of most BCs, and it comes with a lanyard.
It feels quite weighty because it’s so compact, and is quite negatively buoyant in the water.

Light Source
A single high-powered 3W LED is set deep in a parabolic reflector that makes the most of its output, said to be equivalent to a 30W halogen bulb. It’s quite cool-looking at a colour temperature of 6400°K. That is like the light that illuminates shadows on a ski-slope, but will penetrate the water better than a warmer light with a longer wavelength.

Power Source
The EOS 3 is powered by eight AA batteries that drop into the main body after the front has been unscrewed, and the lamphead and electronics have been removed.
I installed rechargeable ni-mh batteries. The electronics ensure that the output is constant throughout the battery life, and burntime is around five hours. The rubber shroud at the front, which protects the torch from shocks, has slots to allow cooling water to get to the aluminium surrounding the LED.

Switching
A mechanical sliding switch with two clicks forward to switch on is restrained by a detent to prevent accidental operation. There are no brightness settings – it’s either on or off.
I have noticed that some divers get confused when under water. So it’s comforting to know that, should you suddenly imagine that you turn this one off by rotating the front shroud, as you do with many other lamps, you’ll find that it revolves without undoing the battery compartment.

Beam
The beam is well-focused to produce an image of the flat LED around 35cm in diameter, at a distance of around 2m. Because the LED is not perfectly even in the way it lights up, the image is slightly patchy, too, and colour temperature is quite cold.
Shorter (colder) wavelengths of light penetrate the water better, but may be less comfortable to view by than warmer beams.
There is some peripheral light, which serves to give the diver an inkling of what is going on beyond the brighter beam.

COMPARABLE LIGHTS TO CONSIDER:
Aquatec Aquamarine, £78
Hollis LED5, £72
UK Light Cannon eLED, £154

SPECS
PRICE £85
BATTERIES 8 AA
BURNTIME 5hr
DEPTH-RATING 100m
WEIGHT 500g with batteries
CONTACT www.mares.com
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