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There's a lot of good kit around but usually quality comes at a price. So, before I buy a shiny gadget, I look around, ask my fellow divers and read all reviews in magazines or online. On the other hand, I don't like to buy something, because everybody has it, e.g. my drysuit is not black but red (because it is easier to see me:embarassed:).
So, I was looking for a new primary backup torch. This torch must be able to be used on night dives (most can), but it must also be strong enough to look into cracks and holes during the day. Maybe in a year or so, when I get one of these shiny umbilical ones, I would use it as a backup. I looked at the Tektite, UK, Salvo,..... far too many.

Finally, I decided on the Salvo 3w LED. This black torch has a single 3 watts LED bulb with 47 lumens. It operates on 8 AA (or 4 AA batteries) with a burn time of about 30 hours. It has double o-rings on the bezel and a switch. The body is 165mm long and has a diameter of 44mm, while the reflector has a diameter of 51mm. In air the torch weighs about 300 grams. Sorry, I am from the continent so can't convert it to imperial....
The depth rating is 100 meters, but (surprise, surprise) I resisted testing it under that pressure.

The Shape
First of all, I don't like pistol grips. So, I was happy to get a torch, which looks like one. And it fits well in my hand with or without gloves and has a good grip. Then, I don't like to turn the bezel to switch a light on. Oh lucky me, this torch has a nice switch, too. Exactly where it needs to be and it is easy to operate. However, the little safety switch to prevent accidental switching is a bit fiddly to operate with gloves. But who cares? With this long burn time, I switch it on before the dive and jump into the water. It can be pretty dark after passing the halocline in a Scottish sea loch and this way I not only find my torch easier, it is already switched on. I also like the possibility to attach a lanyard or a clip to the end of the torch.

The Beam
To talk straight to you, I wasn't looking for a light sabre and I didn't find one. This is a torch for less then 50 quid. However, I was surprised! I used it now on a couple of dives. It was exactly what I was looking for:). I put a picture somewhere in this post. You see two beams. There is a bigger one, which has a beam of about 40 degrees. This one is very useful when it is dark. It gives me a good field of view during a night dive. And it is strong enough to navigate around. The second beam is very bright, but smaller. The beam is about 7 degrees and perfect to look into cracks and holes. This small beam is also bright enough to be useful during the day. Both beams are sharply focused. But how bright is it? Everybody expect, that I compare it to other torches! Ok then, it is definitely less bright than a Fa&Mi Powerled. But it is better than the UK SL4 and the Lidl one. These were the torches my buddies had.... I think, it is hard to estimate.

Summary
Every piece of kit is something personal and I have to be happy with it. Although, I found this torch always as a backup torch in the shops, I am happy to use it as my primary torch. I have to mention, that I dive on air (are there still some people around doing this??), so it is not very deep. But for an Ocean Diver or Sports Diver it could be a valuable piece of kit. And it is small enough and has the power consumption to be used as a backup torch later on. The Salvo 3w LED gets 9 out of 10 points because it is exactly what I was looking for in this price range. Why not 10 points? Firstly, it is black. I like to drop things, so a bright colour makes my life easier (remember my drysuit?). Then the little safety switch is IMHO not necessary, because this torch is not getting hot and has a long burn time.
Another drawback? There is only one place in the UK to get this torch: Divingniknaks !

I hope this review helps you, when looking for a new primary backup torch or buy it as your first torch!

Lars
 

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Thanks Lars, nice honest review, seems the light came out pretty well (Phew) :)

You can actually get Salvo backup lights at Capernwray and Lakeside Diving in Thurrock.

We will happily supply them to any other Dive Shops who would like to stock them, just that no-ones ever asked really. Strange that.

Otherwise knock yourselves out here, Salvo LED backup torch plenty of stock. :D

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I have just bought one of these for my wife, I melted the lens on her sartek 10w Hid, so in the end went to see Phil to get a replacement torch after seeing if she would be happy with this she decided she wanted the 35w Hid as well, so the trip turned out to be a bit more expensive than I thought . Cracking service as per usual from Phil, never any different and always good. As for the torch it has not been used in anger yet although it may /will play second fiddle to the HID, but will be diving in a weeks time and will report how she gets on with it/them. For now she just walks round the house making light sabre noises:teeth:
 
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