Welcome to our Magicshine MJ-816 Review. Here in the UK we’ve been hammered recently by the weather; for the last few weeks Scotland in particular has resembled an Arctic landscape, with blizzards, white-outs, and motorways frozen closed for days – any bike riding that’s been done has been in the garage on the rollers, or spinning down the at the gym.
The last few days however, have seen a significant rise in temperature and the resultant thaw has us getting the overshoes looked out again, and the lights back on the bike, ready for recommencing the daily commute, training, and some off-road night riding too.
Before the Ice-Age took hold, we managed to get our hands on a Chinese made Magicshine MJ-816 Front Light Set [£96.46 from Magicshineuk.co.uk], and I’ve have been using them during my night-time rides to and from work, and in the local forest trails with pals – here’s how it’s gone.
In the box
The packaging the lights come in is well-made, solid.
If I’m honest, for a cost of less than £100 I was expecting a product built to the price point, but this is a surprise – the lid closure is magnetised, and the box itself is robust.
Inside, the various components are slotted into the deep protective foam padding; the Li-ion battery pack, charger, mounting rings, and the light head, with it’s separate control button.
The battery pack is unusual – weighing around 330 grams, it’s basically a weatherproof sealed metal canister which provides protection to the battery (and aids safety) as the battery is fully enclosed inside. The battery is rated IP64, but exceeds this rating due to being enclosed in the cannister.
As well as offering further waterproofing, the neoprene bag doubles as the battery carrier on the bike, as it has a long, flexible Velcro strap which allows it to fix very securely to the bike in a number of different ways.
The 8.4v battery charger is a straightforward device as you’d expect, but it still manages a small surprise of it’s own: it’s capable of charging an exhausted battery in a little over three hours.
The small light on the lower front displays red during battery charging and changes to green when the battery is fully charged. The unit has an overcharge protection circuit, but nevertheless the advice from Magicshine UK is to not leave the light charging for over 24 hours continuously.
The light head itself is an odd looking thing. Much smaller than you think it ought to be for the claimed power – the larger main emitter lens is barely bigger than a 50 pence piece.
No wonder the lights have acquired the nickname of “the Mickey Mouse lights”, the twin CREE XP-E side bulbs are mounted either side of the main SSC-P7 bulb, giving a unique appearance.