- 30 claimed lumens
- 4h 30m reported battery life
- 5h 20m measured battery life
- 73 g
- flashing mode
- no pulse mode
- 2 brightness levels
- Included mounts: Seatpost, Stay
Review: Wide-angle visibility at an affordable price
Review by Nathan Hinkle, Sept. 3, 2013, midnight
With a 2W LED and USB rechargeable battery, this light is very similar to the Cygolite Hotshot – last year’s light review winner – in both form and function.
- Diffusing lens makes a broader beam of light, improving off-axis visibility. However, the lens does focus the light on a horizontal plane, so you cannot mount the light sideways and must ensure that it stays aligned for maximum effectiveness.
- Solid-on has a high and low power mode, but is not incrementally adjustable like the Cygolite Hotshot.
- Sturdy mount.
- Best battery life of the rechargeable taillights (5:22 on brightest solid mode).
- No rack mount available.
- Mount is not easily transferable between bikes.
- Light does not remember flash mode when turned on.
- No battery level indicator.
The Solas is very similar in many ways to one of our other favorite taillights, the Cygolite Hotshot. The key difference is with the lens: the Hotshot projects a very intense beam straight back, but has poor off-axis visibility. The Solas has a diffusing lens that spreads the light horizontally, making it not quite so bright directly behind (20,000 vs. only 7,000 lux measured in my tests) but much better at off-angles (1300 at 45° for the Solas compared to only 600 at 45° for the Hotshot).
Although the Hotshot looks more impressive by sheer numbers – 20,000!! – the Solas is probably the more effective light, at least when used alone, since cars don’t always approach from directly behind. One of the recommended setups for 2 taillights is a Hotshot in steady-burn mode and a Solas in flashing mode: this gives you the long-distance visibility and distance tracking advantage of a solid light, while grabbing people’s attention from off angles with the flashing light.