Urban Velo

NiteRider Solas 2 Watt USB Tail Light Review

NiteRider Solas 2 Watt USB Tail LightI don’t know why I always seem to do this when I get a new tail light… I clip it on something and press the power button while looking straight at it. Without fail my reaction involves an expletive followed by, “That thing is bright!” And with the NiteRider Solas, I really, really meant it when I said it.

At 2 watts, this tail light is way brighter than the lights I used as a commuter headlight for years. So I definitely feel safe in the knowledge that any car behind me is going to see me. In fact, they’ll probably see me from blocks away when I’ve got this thing on high.

What’s nice, though, is that NiteRider also equipped it with what they call “group ride mode” which is to say that it can be run on low power in steady mode as to neither blind nor annoy the person riding directly behind you. The other modes include medium power flashing and high power steady for a total of four distinct and useful modes.

The Solas has claimed run times of 36 hours on low steady, 4:30 on high steady, 18:00 on medium power flashing and 7:00 on high power flashing. It retails for $45 and includes a seatpost mount, seat stay mount and the built in clip for mounting on your belt or bag. Check out www.niterider.com

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  1. scottAugust 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    At 2 watts, the driver will be seeing spots if they look directly at it. Very smart to add a low setting.

  2. VannevarAugust 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    SOLAS is an acronym for Safety of Life At Sea, it’s a standard sort of like a MILSPEC for lights etc, I wonder if this is a SOLAS-standard light? If it is, it’s waterproof as hell. If it’s not, it’s cheezy to trade on the name.

  3. Carl FarnsworthSeptember 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    However, drivers most likely won’t see you if they’re even a little off-axis from the lights beam (judging from the picture, I am assuming there’s a lens focusing the light).

    I think a bigger, more diffused beam of light is a better option than very narrow, focused beams (Niteflux Red Zone 4 for example). I’d use one of these (the Solas) as something for the back of my helmet.

  4. Matt SaintOctober 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    @Carl Farnsworth – I purchased this light and the beam is diffused way more than the pictures represent. I highly recommend this as I ride in the pitch dark every night.

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