Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 419 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My first light review:

Advertised Specs:
Emitter Type: XML T6 LED Output 1800 lumens
Modes: High / Low / Strobe (high) with no memory
Run Time: 180 minutes on High
Battery pack: 1 x 8.4v Li-Ion 6400mAh Battery Pack
Battery Charger: 115v with LED indication for Charging (Red) / Full charge (Green)
Power Warning: Red Low Power behind tail click
Helmet Strap: O-ring mount
Head dimension: Light 43mm DIA
Weight: 118g (lamp head) 200gm battery pack : Total 318gm

My lighting needs for city commuting at night has always been adequate using a cheap handlebar mounted light. However due to a change in my route I now ride about 10km on paved trials where there is no lighting whatsoever. Ebay offered many of options ranging from cheap flashers to a high end NiteRider Pro kit. I needed robust and bright enough for commuting that wasn't going to cost me a arm and a leg. So I decided to try out one of the Chinese vendors who offered a hard-to-believe 1800 Lumen kit for under $60. I believe this light is a version of the popular Magic Shine lighting system.

I knew that an output of 1800 Lumen was impossible with the XML T6 with the advertised setup. Still, I figured if the output was half it was still worth $60. After I ordering the light I was expecting it to take at least 4 weeks to arrive from China but I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my mailbox after 7 working days. Apparently the particular vendor operated out of Hong Kong so the shipping time was cut by 1/3rd.

Kit Contents


The kit came in a small box which contained the lamp, battery/charge, 2-Orings, Helmet strap/adapter, battery holder. At first sight the body was machined well with matt black anodizing. I was actually surprised with the quality of the workmanship. No burs, machine marks nor blotchy finishing. The threads were smooth and fitting was tight. The Aluminium reflector had a smooth finish instead of the Orange peel texture that was pictured in the ad. The LED was mounted on the board with a large heat-sink which threaded into the body. There was plenty of room in the housing for heat dissipation. The crowned Bezel has 6-points with a nice satin brushed finish. Under the glass lens there is a GITD (Glow in the Dark) silicon O-ring and silicon rubber tail cap. The tailcap switch is a reverse clicky with a LED battery indicator behind it.




There were no markings on the board that indicated that the emmitter was actually the newest T6 but based on the pattern of the emitter (7-bar grid pattern) and the production date of 20110901 I'm pretty certain it's a XML. I was happy to see a nice blob of thermal paste for heat transfer. On the board all the the solder joints were clean.


The battery pack appears to be 4 x18650 linked in series and bundled in heat shrink. It's hard to tell if these are protected cells and I didn't want to take off the heat shrink. The cable and connectors pushed together snugly but they lack weather sealed caps which would have been nice. When I plugged in the light I was surprised to find the the batteries already charged. I put it on a volt meter and it measured 7.9V on the 3rd charge. Not the advertised 8.4V. Maybe it needs a break in time <?>

** Update **
Burn Time
On the 4th full charge the battery reached 8.27V in just over 6hrs. The charger was warm but the battery remained cool the entire time.

High: 185 mins.
A full 3+ hours exceeded my expectations. But the lamp got hot after running for 10mins. It was hot enough that I couldn't hold on to it for more then 30seconds. The battery was at normal indoor temperature (22 degrees). I ended up placing the lamp head in between an aluminium sliding door frame to help dissipate the heat.
The backlit switch remained green the entire time with no low battery warning light.
** There definitely is a Red Led but I must have missed it in the final 5 mins juice.

Low: testing in progress
Strobe: in progress

Beam Shots
The beam was very bright but I don't have a light meter to measure it. The beam is very bright with a hot center with wide spillage. There are some small artifacts in the spot but not very noticable. It has excellent throw qualities but this is not ideal for a bike light. Comparing the beam side-by-side with my EagleTac P20A2 (which pumps out about 220Lm) this light seemed at least twice as bright.

LEFT: Comparion to an EagleTac P20A2 with Sanyo Eneloops AAs. Spot lens on High.

Wide Angle Lens
Definitely a wider flood pattern is need for commuting. I decided to replace the stock lens with an aftermarket wide angle lens from Ebay. The Action Light lens was shipped out very quickly. Thanks Jim. It converted the 10 degree spot beam to a 10 degree high by 30 degree wide flood light. The beam pattern is rectangular in shape.



Light comparions: Wall light is a CFL 40W Equivalent. The Garage light is a CFL 100 W Equivalent Compared to car headlights it is easily on par with BMW or Lexus HIDs
I like the volume of light but would have much prefered a warmer light. I find the warmer temperatures giving an more accurate depth perception i.e. better CRI (Color rendering index)

This might be a DIY project for later (if I find the time to learn how to replace it with a Warmer T5 Emitter).


You can see the difference between the standard and wide angle pattern.
Road beam Pattern on High: Spot vs Wide angle


Trail beam Pattern on High: Spot vs Wide angle

Mount
I didn't even bother with the standard mount. A single O-ring didn't seem like very secure system and it doesn't lend itself for quick mounting and removal. So I discarded the mount and replaced it with one from my old Cateye H-24. An spacer plate was needed so I fabricated one from a piece of plexiglass. I drilled two holes for screws and made a channel for the wire. Then I modified the body by drilling/tapping 2 holes 8-32 to which the spacer is bolted on to. I add clear silicone to all holes and gaps to ensure good water resistance.



Conclusion

Good: Overall I'm happy with the light. The construction is solid with more then enough output for city communting needs. It reached a full burn time of 3hrs on High. The design and construction is simple which is attractive to tinkerers who plan to modify the light. An excellent value light.

Bad: The spot light isn't ideal for a bike light so I'd recommend a wide angle lens especially for off trail. It is falsely advertised as 1800 Lm. At best it's probably in the range of 450-550 Lm. The low battery warning is hardly a warning. The red warning goes on for maybe 5 mins and then the light dies. The O-ring friction mount seemed like an after thought. It definitely needs a better mounting system. There was no low battery warning indicator. The battery pouch is adequate but the strap is too long. It could use a second strap so to give a little more support. The option of a warmer T5 would make it almost perfect.

Time will tell how many cycles the batter pack will last. When it dies I plan to build my own pack.

At the time of this review the Ebay seller had 12614 feedback and 99.6% +ve
I'll update this thread with the Low burn time after I log more hours.
Enjoy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Thanks - great review!

I am also using the wide angle lens and like the pattern that it creates. I am using a combination of two lights on my handlebar, one with the stock lens and one with the wide angle lens - a lot of light with a great pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
2 lights for redundancy and ideal for the trails.

Thanks - great review!
I am also using the wide angle lens and like the pattern that it creates. I am using a combination of two lights on my handlebar, one with the stock lens and one with the wide angle lens - a lot of light with a great pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
Very Good Review...:thumbsup::thumbsup:

The only thing that bothered me was the 1800 lumen claim by the vendor. Sorry but you won't get even half that. Maybe 700 to 800 if you're lucky. I'm glad to see the Action wide lens working so well. One light with wide lens on the bars, one spot on the helmet and you're ready for action.

Ever once in while I still remember the days riding with my 12 watt Marwi halogen on the bars and my Niterider 10watt spot on the helmet. Back then I thought I owned the night even though the total output from both was maybe 400 lumen tops. :D...Ahh, those were the days.
Now just one cheap cloned XM-L lamp beats what I had back then...and for a lot less money! Say what you will about the Chinese cloned lamps. They still have the best bang for the buck factor and give the novice bike rider the ability to safely see at night without breaking the bank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Excellent write-up.

I picked up the same T6 XML light sytem off of eBay ($45 shipped), although that vendor (dxgame-outlet) makes a somewhat more realistic claim of 900 lumens. Actually, these are probably in the 550-600 lumen range, but they are quite impressive for the price. I run my MJ-836 on the bar of my roadie and get comments from other riders I've approached from behind that they at first thought it was a car.

I went ahead and ordered an Action wide lens for my MJ-836 on the bars and also a Titan Replacement Reflector (orange peel- also from Action) to smooth out and widen the hot spot of the new T6 XML on the helmet. It would be sweet if they arrived in tomorrow's mail in time for the Thursday night ride here (on a tight, twisty singletrack).

The nice thing about these and similarly-priced high-output LED light systems is that, for not much more than $100, you can get completely set up with nicely bright bar + helmet lights, wide angle lenses, better reflectors. Life is good.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I just bought the exact same light and lens. Loving the power of the light for what it cost, but what did you guys do to keep the lens secure? On mine when I tighten the bezel down all the way the lens is able to move around. Did you use another o-ring or what? Any help would be great. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
If the replacement lense isn't the same thickness as the original, you can either go the o-ring route and put a layer of electrical tape just around the edge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mine fits pretty snug.

Did the original lens also fit loosely?

Behind the reflector there should be a white plastic spacer with the lip side facing the emitter board. If this piece is missing or if it is orientated upside down then your lens' will fit loosely.



Check this and let us know.

I just bought the exact same light and lens. Loving the power of the light for what it cost, but what did you guys do to keep the lens secure? On mine when I tighten the bezel down all the way the lens is able to move around. Did you use another o-ring or what? Any help would be great. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
So I've found a vendor for lights that look exactly like these, but claim only 1600lm, that ships from SF which is nice seeing as I'm in San Jose. My only question is do I find an OP reflector somewhere (not sure where to start really) for the one I'm going to mount on my head? I really like the width of the beam from that Action LED lens you added so I'll definitely be ordering one of those as well.
 

·
Action LED Lights
Joined
·
639 Posts
I'll add a couple of comments.

Most of these MS knock-offs use a plain glass lens that is thicker than the tempered glass lens used by MS. The Wide angle lens is made to replace the tempered glass lens so you need to take up the extra space. Wrapping the edge of the lens with electrical tape is a good solution or you can use a thicker O-ring from the hardware store or cut a gasket from a milk jug or some other waterproof material.

Claiming 1600 or 1800 Lumens says something about the integrity of the vendors selling these. (putting it nicely)

For just a few dollars more you can get a quality Gemini P7 Titan with a Samsung 5200mAh battery pack.

Jim Harger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
As Jim at Action noted earlier, claiming 1800 lumens from a single T6 XM-L is more than marketing hype. It's deceptive advertising. It's the same MJ look-a-like light system the U.S. seller lists at 900 lumens (which I think is still stretching it a tad).

Also, why order the same light from Hong Kong for $54 when you can get it at $45 shipped from California and at your door in just a few days and much less hassle returning it if you get one that's DOA?

I ended up spending a few bucks more for the wide angle lens and orange peel reflector (both from Action LED). Both really help the illumination pattern for this light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Before purchasing this light I had not been active on these forums and reading up on the latest lighting trends so this is my first 'serious' lighting system.

I was curious about this light because no one had written a comprehensive review with actual comparisons- which I think we need to see more of here so that we have informed choices. I love the comprehensive way that this guy (selfbuilt) does his review of tactical lights over on candlepowerforums.com
Check it out. Selfbuilt's Flashlight Review Site

Claimed Lumens really don't mean much to me until I see comparisons or numbers. Hence this was the inpetus for preparing this light review.

Plus the cost of US Magic shine would have been on par with offshore if you add the shipping costs to Canada.

I will make updates about this light as I ride through the winter.
Whoo Hoo ! 5 degrees C in Toronto Today!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Before purchasing this light I had not been active on these forums and reading up on the latest lighting trends so this is my first 'serious' lighting system.
I really didn't mean to criticize your selection of that seller for this light. Sorry if it came across that way. The review you took the time to do was outstanding and appreciated.:thumbsup:

What I said was more to steer FueledByPBR towards a deal on this particular light from a U.S.-based seller (vs. Hong Kong) that was more realistic in their lumen claims.

One and only time I bought anything from a Hong Kong eBay seller was a 59cm steel roadie frame. When it arrived, it was obvious they had stored it w/o treatment in a humid environment. There was significant surface rust and even a small bit of pitting on the inside of the seat tube and BB. No way I was going to build that one up. I eventually got my money back, but it was not as simple and straightforward as it should have been.
 
1 - 20 of 419 Posts
Top