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Sola Lights - Tips and Troubleshooting

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Sola Lights - Tips and Troubleshooting

The Light & Motion Sola line is one of the best and simplest underwater imaging lights ever created. It is one of our best sellers and performs consistently well under challenging conditions to help produce outstanding images. There are a few features and issues you may encounter. Here is a handy field guide for resolving some issues quickly.


This is a safety feature that Light & Motion has implemented across the Sola line and other lights they manufacture. It is a simple method to prevent your light from accidentally turning on, especially during travel. This is designed in addition to the ability to lock the switch by rotating it 90 degrees.

If your light is accidentally turned on it can drain your battery before a dive, or worse, can overheat and cause permanent damage. It is important to remember that all Sola lights must be water-cooled (i.e. fully submerged) during regular use.

Travel Lock Out Mode is programmed into all Solas, except the Dive & Photo 500 & 800. Travel Lock Out Mode is initiated by holding the toggle switch forward for 5-7 seconds while the light is off. The indicator LEDs should flash red 3-4 times. The Sola is now locked and will not turn on or accept a charge.

Hold the switch forward for 5-7 seconds while the light is off. The indicator LEDs should flash red 3-4 times.

To deactivate, simply repeat holding the toggle switch forward for another 5-7 seconds. The LEDs will flash green 3-4 times and normal operation will be resumed.

Watch this video to Activate and Deactivate the Sola Light's Travel Lockout Mode.


Several models of Sola lights are programmed to go into a state of hibernation when not charged or used for an extended period of time. It goes in to hibernation to prevent full discharge of the battery, which can cause permanent damage and will eventually require replacement.

You can wake a Sola from hibernation easily. First, plug your charger into an appropriate power outlet. Next, tap the charging contacts against the charging ports on the light rapidly for approximately 5 seconds. After about 5 seconds of tapping, plug the charger all the way in to the Sola. The resulting power surge can activate the internal circuit and will allow the Sola to power up again and accept the charge.

The Sola can take up to 6 seconds to begin charging, so be patient while tapping and after plugging it in fully. Give it a solid 6 seconds of being plugged in before a second attempt is made.

Hibernation mode can be avoided by regularly charging your Sola about every 30-60 days.

Watch this video to wake a Sola from Hibernation Mode.

S.O.S. Mode

All Sola models have an S.O.S. Mode built it. Simply hold the toggle switch back for about 4 seconds when light is off. This will start a pre-programmed S.O.S. Morse Code flash pattern. Hopefully you never have to use it, but it's there just in case!

Watch this video to toggle the SOS Safety Alert Mode of the Sola.


One downside to the external battery charging contacts on the Sola is that they are prone to corrosion over time. As with all gear, proper post-dive care and plenty of fresh water rinsing will help prevent this. When the contacts on your Sola start to lose their shine or begin to show corrosion don't despair, they are easy to clean.

You can treat the corrosion with a bit of denatured alcohol (isopropyl 70% or higher also works). Just apply just a bit of alcohol to a cotton swab and clean the contacts with it. Then use
a dense wire brush or some fine sandpaper to scour the charging contact surface. Apply more alcohol and continue to scour as needed until the contacts begin to regain some of their shine. Be sure to rinse well with fresh water after cleaning.

This same method works well for cleaning the charging contacts on the charger itself, should it begin to develop corrosion if plugged in while the Sola still has saltwater on it.

Watch this video to learn how to best Clean the Sola Charging Contacts.


All Sola chargers should display a green LED when connected to a power source. The LED will change to red upon making contact with the Sola. If your charger remains green when plugged in and the Sola LEDs do not activate, then reference the steps to wake up your Sola from
hibernation and check that travel lock out mode is not activated.

If your charger LEDs turn red when connected to the Sola but the Sola LEDs do not activate, then something may be wrong with the Sola battery or board, and it should be sent in for service.

If the charger LED remains green even when connected to your Sola and the Sola LEDs do not activate, then your charger may be bad. It should be sent in for service.

Charger Type Unplugged
No Power
No Sola Attached
Sola Charging Sola Charging
Sola Lights
Sola 1 Amp Charger
Sola 2 Amp Charger
Sola 2 Amp
PSE Charger
Sola Fast Charge
Power Supply

Note: Solas charge pattern differs between models. It may be left to right or right to left. Either way, your Sola is charging normally. Older generation Solas may not change the LED color when charging. This is normal, but may require a full discharge in water then full charge to ensure the light is fully functional.


Give us a call or drop us an email. We are here to help you with your underwater imaging needs. Backscatter also offers a full service center to get your gear back to working order.

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