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on 18 February 2014
I'd lost my bright 'Smart Lunar R1' 1-watt LED rear light, after it jumped-off from my seatpack whilst I was on a winter ride. As I didn't fancy a 60-Ton Volvo truck 'up-my-jacksie', I did replacement research pronto..

This light unit arrived from 'High-on-Bikes'; a reliable, best-price, UK supplier. It's now sat here on my PC, charging, whilst I pen this review to enlighten you folks, (2-3 hours max. on a red light - tho' it's just turned blue, to tell me the unit is now fully-charged. Clever eh?!)

'Nite Rider' are based in San Diego, CA, USA, but the 'Solas 2' is made in China (aren't most lights?) This unit is certainly powerful and compact. Methinks the plastic, rear saddle clip could do with being beefed-up a little more, but in its favour is one VERY BRIGHT LED: even the dead would sit-up and take notice of you passing by on your bicycle! Furthermore, this unit doesn't "try to be clever" with a bewildering array of silly, dancing, lighting modes. You get 4 - 'Fast & slow, steady' and 'Fast & slow, flashing.' That's it. They'll last between 7 to 36 hours from charge.

Now, I might be a bit thick - but take caution when first inspecting this unit:

There are two rubber plugs on it: The larger one (at the base) accepts the supplied USB charging lead - but "Dumbo" here pulled-out the smaller rubber plug, on the top! D-O-N-T!! This top plug is the mode switch, (when pressed, it exercises pressure on a metal contact beneath, which changes the mode.) If you do what I did, it's nigh impossible to re-insert from the outside. You'll have to take apart the whole tail-light (via 4 x mini cross-screws) to re-insert the rubber plug from the inside. Fortunately, this is easy.

Okay, that's me finished.. Now excuse me, whilst I go stand in the corner and write out 100 times, "I must not..."

"Perkins 4C"
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BRIGHT!!! If you take only one thing away from this review, make it that. The Solas is bright, perhaps not as bright as some of the "hyper" lights out there, but at 30 lumens it's arguably brighter than the vast majority of riders will need. Comparing it to my excellent multi-LED CatEye LD1100, the Solas is physically smaller but the single LED spits out as much light as the six rear-facing LEDs in the CatEye. Until recently, I had thought that a dimmer but larger light was the better option, but getting the Solas and another (dimmer but larger) light recently showed me that size isn't everything. I still believe in the benefits of having a large rear light, but the Solas really does prove that sometimes more lumens does compensate for a smaller size.

It's also a relatively compact light, taking up only a small amount of room when mounted to a seat post using the included bracket, and it feels very solid and well-constructed; I doubt that a fall onto tarmac would do anything more than cosmetic damage to it. The weak points are probably the rubberised push-button on the top and the rubber grommet covering the charging port on the bottom, although only the grommet gives me any cause for concern. It's physically attached to the Solas, so it shouldn't come off without some force, but if it does come off then the charging port will be horribly exposed to water flying off the back wheel.

I bought the Solas over other lights because the look of the seat post bracket - traditionally where light makers scrimp - looked secure. The bracket does indeed feel secure, fastening around the post using a single thumb-screw, with the clothes clip integrated into the back of the Solas locking into it; you get two rubber shims for affixing the bracket to thinner posts, although I can't imagine when you'd need these as even without them the bracket only just fits around the post on my MTB. All in all, I think it's a good mounting system, and one that allows for quick removal of the light if necessary.

Once mounted to your bike, you need to find the best mounting angle for it, to ensure that you're visible to traffic while not blinding them. It looks like the LED is actually angled slightly downwards so pointing the Solas straight back actually aims the LED towards the ground; this not only directs light away from the faces of car drivers it also bathes the rear wheel and the road behind in very apparent red.

The Solas comes with little in the way of instructions, all of which are printed on the box itself, but anyone of average intelligence will be able to work it out quickly. Pressing the top button cycles through the light's modes - fast triple-flash, flash-and-pulse, continuous high and continuous low. Triple-flash is very noticeable but would undoubtedly annoy some car drivers following you; flash-and-pulse is a better option if you like to have a flashing light on your bike, but it's still a bit on the "boy racer" obnoxious side. Continuous high is the one I generally choose when out and about, but the choice of a slow flash or (even better) continuous pulse would have been nice.

When you turn the Solas off it lets you know if there's at least 25% charge remaining in the integrated lithium ion battery by flashing a secondary blue LED inside the lens. If a red LED flashes, you know it's got less than 25% charge so it's time to refill it, which you do by plugging the light into a PC or similar using the included (very short) Micro USB cable. Runtimes are quoted at 18 hours (triple flash), 7 hours (flash-and-pulse), 4.5 hours (continuous high) and 36 hours (continuous low.) I can't corroborate any of these, I've used the light a fair bit on continuous high since getting it and I'm yet to have it drop to a point where the red charge LED shows.

I like the Solas because it's small and unobtrusive, yet really bright and noticeable to following vehicles. I had thought that size mattered more than brightness but recent light purchases have shown me that brightness really is (to a point) quite important. I don't have the Solas as the only light on my bike because it's always sensible to have more in case the battery dies, but it is the one I use most often. I had considered another light, rated at 60 lumens, but I think this really would have been overkill.
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on 22 November 2013
I ordered 2 of these, one for me and my dad. They are brilliantly bright, the first thing most people probably do is to point it at themselves and turn the light on to see just how bright it is. So if you do do this, be aware you might have blotchy vision for a short period of time!

We've had ours for around 5 months now, the clip on the back of my light is starting to become a little wobbly, so I've contacted NiteRider and they're kindly sending me out a couple of spares. (Awaiting for them to arrive).

My dads however seems to have possibly got some water damage, and as a result no longer charges/works. (Which we're currently trying to get fixed/replaced/refunded). He has his light on his seat post, so his back wheel kicks up water onto it. (It doesn't fit on his seat stay as his frame is too large for the holder)

I personally have mine on the seat stay, so it only gets wet from the rain that falls on it, and have yet to have any troubles with water getting into it. The only small issue I have with it being on my seat stay, is if I hit some large bumps the light drops a little, so it's pointing diagonally towards the floor rather than backwards. (My dad has never had this issue on his seat post though). I think it could be because my seat stay is a tiny bit too small for the holder, so when it's tightened/pinched together the teeth that connect together aren't quite square with each other, which allows the teeth to slip.

Despite the issues I would still recommend this great light.
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on 26 June 2013
i love this little light
its so bright and stands out from really far away
so far i dont have any bad points about this light
if youre thinking of buying one
there is a guy on youtube showing a demo of the lights
be sure to check it out
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on 5 August 2013
Very small, light and also waterproof it has 4 flash modes I personally like the pulse mode and if you do a lot of night riding I would recommend the Cygolite Hotshot at 2.3 watt its more brighter then the NiteRider Solas but you'll have get it from the US.
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on 13 December 2013
I bought this after reading several good reviews & reports. Initially impressed with the unit's solid feel & brightness. However, the mounting bracket looks & feels flimsy and is not designed to fit on a 31.8mm diameter seat post although it will at a push. Still doesn't feel or look right though. My commute is over an unlit B road, I don't cycle in the rain, but the road may be damp at times. After approx. 12 hrs use (2 x charges) the light did not come on one morning. I charged it during the day and it appeared to function again. The next morning it again failed. I'm going to send it back directly to Niterider for (hopefully) testing & diagnosis, but meantime I won't be asking for a replacement....I can't afford a failure while riding.
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on 10 December 2013
I can't fault the light this gives out - clear, reliable and the USB charging means I know it's ready after a day plugged into the work computer for my commute home.

Alas, I no longer own the light as it jumped out of the attachment this morning at some point along that commute. I can't recommend anyone buying this light until that attachment is improved.

*** Update
After writing to the manufacturers to complain about it falling off, they sent me a replacement out free of charge. Now I'm not 100% convinced I wasn't partially to blame. So, based on the light's performance being excellent, and it staying on the bike so far, I've amended my review.
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on 18 December 2016
Best safety investment for your bike. Very visible and luminous.

4 modes (of which I uses 2), lasts a long time on a charge. I use it about 30mins pr. day, and I probably charge it once a month.

1 thing worth mentioning. When you mount it, because it's so luminous, I urge you to mount it so that it points more downwards than horizontal. Driving behind someone with a very high lumen rear light pointed either horizontal or slightly upwards is very disturbing for riders/drivers behind you. It's a bit like riding behind someone with their fog-lights on.
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on 27 May 2014
The best rear light I have ever bought battery last so long before it needs recharging , very well made and great price A++++++
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on 4 December 2014
After reading some reviews on the internet, I've chosen this rear light. It's very bright, so it makes night rides safer. It has a battery status indicator which is very useful and you know when it's time for a recharge.
The only drawback I've noticed so far is that the top button somehow became tricky to operate - you have to press it really hard or it takes a couple of times to press to change the light pattern or switch it off completely.
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