Monday, June 25, 2012

MagicShine MJ808 and MJ816 : LED to LED Battle

Before you read on, know about the specification of both MJ808 and MJ816 to understand the differences. With MJ816 having 3 LED bulbs with potential (or claimed) 1400Lumens of lights versus the MJ808 with "only" (again, claimed) 900Lumens of lights, It will be interesting to see how they both match up side-by-side.
The Mechanism of Test
1. Both lights are powered by the same battery setup which consist of 4units of 18650 battery in array. Both has been fully charged for at least 24hours (trickle charged). I am, however, unable to substantiate that both share the same voltage and amperage - since this will not be a fully technical evaluation, we shall just stick to what is practical.
2. Both lights will be mounted on my Mountain Bike aka Spanish Girlfriend. So, we are talking about LEVEL lighting.
3. Both lights will then be mounted on a cane, as the handlebar might be too cluttered to fit in two lights and give an approximate result.
First Thing First
Bike Mount
The lights should be as close as possible to the middle, but then, it will be blocked by the cables. MJ808 in foreground
MJ816 at approximate location from the brake lever, same as MJ808
Battery packs on downtube. Not the most ideal location. Just for the test.
 Cane Mount
While this is just additional, it worked pretty well too as i have the lights nearer to the centre.
MJ808 protrude out more than the MJ816. MJ816 looked more at neutral over the bar location
MJ816 also sticks out more than MJ808
Next : The Beam Color
Both lights, thought classified as WHITE, shows different "white" or temperature color.
MJ808 looked 5000K 
While MJ816 looked 4300K
Not very much different until you switch both together
5000K vs 4300K, or approximate. Male are known not to be able to differentiate color hue
Distinctively, the MJ808 appears to have much stronger-intense beam. Could be a matter of perception. Funnily, the 2xCREE on the MJ816 doesn't give a balance spread.
Or could it be because it is too intense. The CREE looked 5000K.
The Test
How it both looked like on the bike. Notice beyond the bike, nothing is seen.

First off was lighting of the light from the edge of the field to see how far it will illuminate. A check on GoogleEarth returns a close to 50m distance between there and the Basketball board.
48.26m approximate
First off, the MJ808 lighted up everything from +1m to +50m. With the beam strongest at between +30m and +40m.
MJ808 Full blast 
Then the MJ816 lighted up from +1m to +40+ and exhibit strong lights much closer approximately between +20m to +30m. Notice that the MJ816 did not have the same penetrative power as the MJ808 where the barrels under the basketball board could be seen.
Less penetrative.
Next up is the 2xCREE sidelight on the MJ816. It lighted up between <+1m to about +15m. Notice a gentler spread of light that ain't too intense, but just sufficient for close proximity.
 Now, if i were to switch ON all three lights on the MJ816, you get the best of everything. Penetration AND Spread. Noticed the area right below the brightest blob of light in the centre are well illuminated compared to just the main beam in two photos above.
MJ816 all switched ON.
Here is the video of the test. The quality is not too good as i took it in VGA when i should had HD everything. Silly me trying to save some memory space on the 8GB card.
I then combined both of the lights - with the MJ816 on the handlebar (for spread) and the MJ808 on the helmet to combine both of them. I then rode about 50meters to the Basketball court with very bad video quality only to find out that i should had used the Basketball court to compare.
With very bad videos above, i decided to re-do the review again, and this time, with the setup being on the cane and using the waist-high barrel to simulate the handlebar height.
Basketball court is about 94feet or about 30meters (NBA standard)
Knowing that the lights can, and will go beyond 30m, i decided to aim to see how far the light can go and the next target would be the Tennis court behind. That will give about another 5m setback, proving a nice 35m distance.
35m or thereabout
Here is a much much better video...taken on iPhone4. I am impressed (with the phone!)
The MJ808 seems to be more superior in terms of penetration of the lights. With the MJ816, the main beam does not seem to be too convincing but what it loses out with the penetrative power are compensated with spread of lights.
With that, i conclude the full review. If you can afford both the lights, i suggest you take both with one being the light set up on your helmet and the other setup on your bike handle. It is important to "see" where you are going, so, being on the head allows you to illuminate where your eyes are looking (which makes the MJ808 great for trail running if you can live with the weight); this together with the light on the handlebar, provides for a very clear illumination of the trail you are riding on (combo for Mountain Biking in the dark). Of course, bear in mind that you will have to carry TWICE the battery - unless you get a Y-joint and hooked them both up on one battery, but be caution of the battery juice/life. Hope this post is informative enough to help you with the next purchase!


  1. your reviews are getting very detailed these days. good write up.

  2. Barath - thanks bro. Meant alot coming from a technical and practical guy like you.