If you are looking to get a light for night riding on a budget, your search is over- this is the light. It’ll work for pinning it down the trail or riding home from work. Do a quick search using your favorite search engine, review the boards, and you’ll find that this light is taking over the forums. For good reason.
I first heard about this light from one of the boys in our new advocacy project during our first night ride as a club. He had been reading about it in the forums on MTBR. When we were working in Fairbanks this year, our host turned us on to a light from Dinotte. He was stoked on one of the smaller models that runs on standard AAs. I made a mental note of it, and promptly forgot all about it until fall hit and night riding season was on us. I was having a great time, as I finally made the investment in a high end LED headlamp last year: a NiteRider TriNewt. After riding with a low end 15watt light that woefully underpowered (especially when my buds all had HID lamps) I was happily pinning down the trail, able to see well enough to go full speed. (this got me later, though when I hit a wet root at speed) Unfortunately, my girlfriend Inga was unable to join us, as she doesn’t own a light.
Me being the awesome BF that I am, went straight to the computer to do some quick research to remedy that. After a quick search on the boards, and then another using Google, it was apparent from all the extremely enthusiastic testimony from pleased owners of this light, that it was indeed the light I had been waiting for. Most of the testimony also recommended an online vendor as well, so I followed the trail, and immediately went to the site recommended and ordered two. It may have seemed like a quick decision, but based on what I already knew of LED technology, I have actually been waiting for a vendor to come out with a high powered light at a lower cost. HID lights were prohibitively pricey due to the cost to produce the bulb, but LEDs have been popping up everywhere, and it seemed a bit silly that the TriNewt cost about the same as other HID models in the line. Clearly it had more to do with keeping margins, and the bottom line than the actual cost of the product.
It arrived a few days later, and I opened the package to review the boxes. Like a lot of generic product from Taiwan, the box is fairly plain. Simply labeled “Bicycle Light,” the packaging doesn’t even list the name of the light, much less the brand. Perfect. Since the light is practically straight from the factory, and unbranded, it contributes to the numerous reasons the cost of this light is so low. From my perspective, this was a plus.
Testing this bad boy out
According to the numbers, my $400 retail NiteRider TriNewt puts out 500 lumens. Taking the TriNewt and the Magicshine out back in the dark and doing the comparison test resulted in a “holy crap” moment. Yep, the cheap light was actually brighter than the high end model light I spent a considerable amount of script for. While the construction and durability are questionable, it’s not only brighter but lighter than the light I already own. Having researched the options previously available, it easily trumps them all as the best light for the money. I spent the extra $10 bucks and got a helmet mount as well, which wasn’t included. At the price paid, this was unsurprising, but Geoman was nice enough to throw a Y-Cable in as well. I’m looking forward to trying a DH run with the TriNewt on my helmet, and two of these bad boys mounted on the bar. That should give me about 1700 lumens of go fast lighting.
Claimed output: 900 Lumens (reports are more like 600-700)
LED Lifespan 50,000 hours
Burntime: 3:00 hours
Headlight weight: 110g
- Fraking bright
- $85.00? Dayyamn
- serious amount of output for what you bought; will get a lot of people into the night riding game
- $100 for a light from someone else won’t compare
- nice connector; better & easier than my high dollar tri-newt
- for the price, you can buy two
- battery is fairly small
Not so Good
- Not the highest quality build on this light (unsurprising)
- Inconsistent manufacturing (noted on numerous forums)
- Not the best mount
- Gets quite hot after its on for a while
- Questionable durability
- Weird light modes force you to toogle the light off before clicking back to bright
- Indicator light drains power when cord is attached, even when light is off (however, this isn’t that big a deal, as it apparently doesn’t drain that much power )
- Not much of a warranty (unsurprising)
- $85? Going to make it a that much harder for dudes like me to make decent scrilla in the outdoor sports industry
But don’t take my word for it. Francois at MTBR did a fairly comprehensive review and shoot out. He pretty much echos the sentiments of the riders on the forums, and what I said. If you’re still on the fence, check it out.
I bought mine from GeoMan Gear, who imports it by the busload straight from China. Tell him we sent you. Even if you already have a sweet primary light, this makes a great backup, or loaner.
GeoManGear has temporarily discontinued sales of Magicshine lightsets due to our concerns regarding the quality of Magicshine’s lithium-ion battery packs. Evidently the batteries have been recalled due to safety concerns, ie, your house could burn down or something. From Geomangear:
To Our Valued Geomangear Customers,
Geomangear temporarily has stopped selling Magicshine lightsets due to our concerns regarding the safety, quality, and performance of Magicshine’s lithium-ion battery packs sold by Geomangear between July 2009 and November 2010. We have determined that these Magicshine battery packs do not meet Geomangear’s high expectations regarding product safety, quality, and performance. We have notified both the manufacturer of Magicshine lightsets and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission that Geomangear intends to voluntarily recall all Magicshine battery packs sold by Geomangear.
We are actively working with the Safety Commission, outside engineering consultants, and a new battery pack supplier to evaluate product recall options for our customers. Geomangear will provide recall information and instructions directly to our affected customers after our final corrective action plan has been approved by the Safety Commission.
If you bought a Magicshine lightset from us between June 2009 and November 2010, please discontinue using your lightset until we are able to provide you with an upgraded replacement battery pack or another recall remedy. Despite our best efforts, this process will take some time, and we ask for your patience. You can rest assured that Geomangear has taken, and will continue to take, appropriate steps to protect the safety of our customers, and we will stand behind our products. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your continued loyalty and support during this unprecedented situation our company is facing.
1. What do I need to do to be included in the recall?
If you are a Geomangear customer you will receive a recall notice by postal mail as soon as we have a replacement battery pack available.
2. When will you have replacement batteries available?
We are currently working with a new battery manufacturer but we do not have a ETA yet.
3. What are the issues with the batteries?
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has specific guidelines that we must follow. At this time, they do not allow us to discuss the battery issues.
4. What should I do with my battery now?
We recommend that you store them outside in a safe, protected place. Your recall notice will give more information.
5. I did not purchase my Magicshine light from Geomangear. What do I do?
You should contact the dealer where you purchased your light set. Unfortunately, we can only assist our customers.
We are working with the manufacturer to quickly resolve these issues and will begin selling Magicshine products again after we have obtained a high-quality battery pack for our customers. If you wish to be notified when we have new Magicshine or comparable lightsets available, please click here to place your name on our waiting list.
We have yet to see our recall notice in the mail, but there are a number of active forum threads regarding the recall. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=666796