The Design
The Nova 700R has a solidly built anodised aluminium body with a dark-grey gloss finish.
A shock-proof rubberised cover on the light-head protects the electronic circuitry from bangs and knocks, while adding a grip to twist the head to turn the light on or off.
A hexagonal-shaped section at the rear of the torch allows it to be left on flat surfaces without fear of it rolling off and getting damaged.
The light source is a single, latest-generation CREE XML2 LED capable of delivering a light output of 700 lumens at a colour temperature of 6000° Kelvin. The beam angle isn’t specified in the maker’s specs but is classed as narrow.

The Nova 700R is powered by a single rechargeable lithium-ion Polymer (liPo) battery that needs to be removed and placed in a mains cradle for charging. It is claimed to have a maximum burntime of 2.5 hours.
Double O-ring seals give this handheld torch a depth-rating of 300m.

In Use
I found the Nova torch compact, fitting nicely into my palm. The small wrist lanyard gave a feeling of security, and meant that I could use a double-ended snap-clip to secure it to either
a spare D-ring or inside a pocket when I didn’t need it to hand.
The beam angle was narrow, producing a tight shaft of light – just the ticket for reduced-visibility dives on which wide-angle beams tend to illuminate the periphery and reduce the visible range (akin to driving in thick fog with the main beam on).
This was apparent when my dive buddy Alun Evans and I penetrated the wreck of the Dunraven. We had followed a group of divers who had unknowingly disturbed the silt, which hung in the water like a thick mist.
The Nova’s beam cut through the detritus like a knife through butter and had the added advantage of not blinding Alun with the sort of stray light associated with wide-angle lamps.
By today’s standards, with light models producing tens of thousands of lumens,
the output may seem a little under-gunned, but in reality the crisp 700-lumen beam was more than I needed.
This applied even to illuminating subjects already bathed in the bright Egyptian sun, revealing them in their natural colours at depth.
Charging took a little over three hours from a completely depleted battery. Back at the DIVER test centre I was able to get just under the stated burntimes, with the lamp petering out after 135 minutes of immersion in my yellow bucket.
Switching the light on or off was a simple matter of twisting the head; this operation was made easier with the inclusion of a knurled section on the body and the rubber cover on the lamp-head.
There’s no lock to stop the torch from switching itself on when stowed away for travelling, so I had to remove the battery and pack it separately.


Conclusion
Sometimes “less is more” when it comes to dive-kit, and the Nova 700R definitely falls into this category. It’s simple to use, has a single function, is bright enough and has long-enough burntimes to be used as a recreational primary light or as a technical back-up.
The robust all-metal construction gives it a bulletproof feel when in use, and the clever inclusion of a hexagonal section stopped it rolling around on the boat.
Lamp-makers nowadays are using the latest LED technology to provide multiple functions from their products when in reality all some of us need from a dive-lamp is to be able to see our way in the dark without any fuss.
Scubapro’s Nova 700R does just that, and it does it very well.

SPECS
PRICE £89
MAX OUTPUT 700 lumens
POWER LEVELS One
BEAM ANGLE Not specified
COLOUR TEMP 6000°K
BATTERY Rechargeable lithium-ion polymer (liPo).
STATED BURNTIMES 2.5hr
SWITCHING Screw-down head
TRAVEL LOCK No
MATERIAL Anodised aluminium
SIZE AND WEIGHT 133 x 42mm dia, 200g without battery.
DEPTH RATING 300m
CONTACT: www.scubapro.com
DIVER GUIDE 9/10

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