PBO Tests the ACR Firefly 3 SOLAS Strobe light and Firefly 3 Waterbug at sea on a dark night

Product Overview

ACR Firefly 3 SOLAS Strobe light


  • Bright strobe
  • Can be used independently of a lifejacket
  • User-replaceable batteries
  • Waterbug model is water-activated


  • If mounted strapped to lifejacket bladder, visibility is restricted to 270 degrees
  • Short, intense flash is less visible than modern LEDs


ACR Firefly 3 SOLAS Strobe light


Price as reviewed:


These two models from ACR, the ACR Firefly 3 SOLAS and the ACR Firefly 3 Waterbug are identical except that the Waterbug is also water-activated. Both take 2xAA batteries, and you can operate them manually via a sliding switch on the front.
They attach to the jacket via a Velcro strap around a bladder. Visibility was close to 360° if mounted high enough up – but when strapped to a lifejacket bladder the lens couldn’t be viewed directly from all angles, and we found it was closer to 270° with the casualty’s head getting in the way. As with the other strobes tested, the characteristic short, intense flash was harder to pick up than a longer LED flash.

We tested this light alongside 8 other incandescent, strobe and LED models. Read the reviews of other lifejacket lights on test.



If you can remove it and hold it high above your head, it would give a good range – but strapped to a lifejacket the range was reduced.