I haven’t used the SoLite from LumiQuest myself but it looks really intriguing if you’re like us and like to retract the bimini after dark and thus can’t use lights that hang from the bimini stainless. We had tons of places where this could have hung during the day, and it would have been so easy to clip it onto the boom (over the cockpit) at sunset.
Whether it’s dinner after dark or just a drink, I like a bit of light. I want to see what I’m eating . . . and the soft light from this would have been perfect. Not blinding, but just a nice soft light.
The SoLite has 4 LEDs — not necessarily bright enough to read by, but plenty of light for social situations or to see where you’re walking. There is 1 rechargeable AA battery that can be replaced when needed (our experience is that rechargeable batteries slowly lose their ability to hold a charge and have to be replaced after about a year).
Fully charged, the light will last over 6 hours on the low setting — sufficient for an evening but not going to last all night. There are three settings — high, low and off.
And just like the solar yard lights, it’s waterproof. The only “maintenance” it needs is to have the solar cell wiped off periodically so that dirt and salt don’t prevent the batteries from getting a full charge. Just hang it in a place where it gets as much sun as possible.
Cruising World featured the SoLite in their November “New Products” section and editor Jen Brett (who’s also a TBG fan) has been using one and recommends it.
As I was investigating the light, I learned a couple of things — first, LumiQuest specializes in photo flash accessories and seems to have developed the SoLite originally for nightime photographers to have an alternative to a headlamp or flashlight. Second, while there are other companies that make somewhat similar-looking lights, they don’t get nearly as high marks for reliability or longevity even though the price is about the same.
List price is $20 but the SoLite is available on Amazon for less. It’s also available on Amazon Canada, but at such a ridiculously high price (click here to see if it’s come down), I just can’t recommend it — you’re better off buying from Amazon US and paying the extra shipping.