NOT THAT MANY BRITISH DIVERS are aware of the name of Bob Hollis, or know that he was one of diving’s true pioneers. He was one of the first to explore the wreck of the Andrea Doria, and went on to establish a group of companies that manufacture and distribute diving equipment bearing the brands of Oceanic, Aeris and Pelagic.
Bob has also set up luxurious dive centres in remote locations such as Papua New Guinea. He’s a family man, and it was not surprising that his sons each came into a section of the group.
Lately, one of them has set up a technical-diving equipment division under the auspices of the grand old man, and at last the family name Hollis has been applied to some diving products.
What makes a bit of kit specifically “technical” Well, leisure-diving equipment is allowed to come in pretty colours, whereas technical kit can be in any colour as long as it’s black. The Hollis LED5 is a case in point. It’s a conventional-looking torch around 20cm long, constructed of anodised aluminium and anodised a deep black colour. It has a milled handgrip along its body, and a rubber insert around the shroud that encases the lamp front. It has that solid feel of something valuable. It is an undeniably tough lamp for the price.

Light Source
A single 5W high-output LED pushes out 260 lumens of light. It is such a small point source that a properly designed reflector can send it forwards in an almost parallel stream of light.

Power Source
The wider front part of the lamp screws off to allow access to the battery compartment. Three C-cells slip, in a satisfying way, down the tube that forms the main body of the lamp.
I say that it feels satisfying because the tube diameter makes it such a snug fit that there is no opportunity for the batteries to shake, rattle or roll.
A fresh set of alkaline batteries should give a continuous light for about eight hours, or you can substitute rechargeable cells.
There appears to be no over-pressure valve, so it’s as well to unscrew the front to allow the batteries to breathe from time to time.

The battery access doubles as a switch. Simply screw down the front part until contact is made. A big rubber insert around the barrel helps you get to grips with it.
This is a simple system adopted by many lamp manufacturers, because it avoids any through-body connections and it’s cheaper than a separate magnetic switch.
The lamp is made watertight by two well-greased O-rings in sequence. However, I would avoid switching this lamp either on or off while under water, because there’s many a slip… I would try to go in with this lamp already lit, and wait until I was out to switch it off.
In fact, it’s not that technical at all.

Because the beam is so well-focused by its reflector, the beam is really narrow at around 8° or even less. This makes it very penetrative where you point it, but will otherwise leave
you in the dark.
I found myself scanning around with it, to get an idea of where I was and what was going on around me. Be aware of your needs before you decide.

Mares EOS3, £85
Scubapro Nova Light 230, £79
UK Light Cannon eLED, £154

WEIGHT 525g with batteries
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