Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Magicshine MJ808 LED Lights Review

Going into trail at night for Mountain Biking or Trail Running or even participating in an after-dark race can be daunting with reduced vision and perception that your headlight will be "bright" enough. I have been a big fan of torch lights and headlights having my fair share of mistakes and wrong purchases. While some lights are good as they are light weight and can be used, better one are bulkier and requires additional battery pack. Today, On review are two lights owned by me purchased over a period of one year brand new and used. I used it extensively during those days where i mountain bike in Kiara at wee hour of the morning.
Actual illumination at 5.30am in Kiara using Magicshine MJ-808. Approx distance above is 20m straightline
First in the review is the MagicShine MJ-808 HA-III SSC P7-C (SXO)3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set (USD79.99 from Dealextreme.com) This light illuminate as bright (maybe brighter) than a pair of car headlamp. Rated at 900lumens and can run for 3-hours, it provide enough juice to last one session of darkness run/biking.
Yellow LED on the switch shows approx 50% power (Orange LED)
It was so bright that taking the pic in HDR setting still blurs it out.
This light comes in a box that include the lamp unit, a rechargeable battery pack (consist of 4x18650 batteries) with LCD display, a charger (with US plug) and 2 O-rings for mounting purposes. Additional to that, i got a velcro mounting strap so i can secure it on my helmet. This is how the set up looked like on my MTB and my Helmet.
Mounted on Helmet. :)
On handlebar
This is the official product video.


This is my video of me using it. You can see how it illuminated the area. As comparison, a Black Diamond LED headlamp are used. Obviously, the BD did not stand a chance. Actually, it is silly to compare the BD with this light. That would be Kancil vs. MotherTrucker.
The above video did no justice to the light beam as the camera compensated the brightness with the metering in the camera (in Video, VGA mode). So here is some still photo on what is seen by the camera as still photo. Light was mounted on the Helmet aka at 1.75m high.
Dark Alley
Brighten up by the MJ808
Here it is, mounted on a cane to stimulate a Bicycle handle bar at waist high. Reason for this is that my brake and gear line configuration doesn't allow for maximal light spread if i mount both the lights on side by side.
Better pic on iPhone4.
Light spread on green field. Basketball court is about 50meters away.
 This are the specs of MJ808

◆Light source: P7-C-SXO from Seoul Semiconductor (SSC)
◆Luminous flux:900LM
◆LED lifespan:above 50,000 hours
◆Shell material:6061-T6 Aluminum alloy
◆Surface treatment:Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish (HAIII)
◆Switch:tail touch switch
◆Working modes:100% brightness—50% brightness—Strobe
◆Battery:4×18650 Li-ion battery ( 8.4V 4.4AH)
◆Battery life:500 times cycle
◆Charging time:3-3.5hours
◆Waterproof grade:IP64
◆Size:ΓΈ43×52MM
◆Package included: Light head, Battery pack, Charger, O-rings
◆Optional accessories: Helmet mount, Head strap, Extension cable
◆*Practical Irradiation distance:50m (Manufacturer claimed to be 200m, possible)
*Please note that i place "Practical" distance for the light to be "useful". Marketing talk usually will over-claim their products (some 100lumens light claim to have up to 70m penetration...i do not think so from my own personal experience). 
It has Aluminium Textured reflector that gives excellent throw and side spill, over-heat protection functions (and careful when you need/want to switch if off, it gets hot). It comes with a 4-color button LED indicator and a 5-modes LCD on battery pack to display battery capacity. Enjoy some of the photos taken of this unit.
The light with P7 SSO LED. Notice the reflector are not smooth. They term it "orange peel".
The charger is standard with each light. But it has US plug. Just need to buy the attachment. Working voltage is 110V-240V. Charging is 3.5hours approx.
The light with the heat sink. the Clickie switch is behind. Color will show approximate power in battery
The MJ-808 battery with swanky Battery pack that has LCD showing voltage and approximate battery level (5-level or they call it mode). Seen is Level 3. Velcro is standard for strapping to bicycle tube
Battery size compared to a standard Test-pen.
Pros:
- BRIGHT. Enough said.
- Light enough not to feel heavy on the helmet.
- Good spread of lights but less penetrative (throw) 
- Good for fast ride in dark with illumination up to 20m to be super clear.
- Resistance to water (rain). Not tried submerging it. Unlikely to try that as claimed to be IP64 only (Tight against dust and can withstand splashed water)
Cons:
- Battery pack is big and heavy
- Battery pack do not last more than 3 hours
- Hot after 30minutes. Lights will be dimmed about 75% as the overheat protection kicks in and will light up brightly again within 5minutes. Confirmation that the overheating and heat sink doing it job. CAREFUL not to touch the body. It gets HOT.
This lights can be obtained/viewed at FookSang Bicycle. They have the CREE version (i.e. brighter and possibly better battery life, less hot?) named MJ-808E.
For the record, the unit i am reviewing belongs to me and bought online. Fook Sang was mentioned as i found out that they carry both the lights i am having. Pleasant coincidence. Price wise, the stated price at Fook Sang is RRP, visit them to negotiate a discount!
Next Review: 

MagicShine SSC-P7 + 2*XP-E 16W 3-Mode 1400-Lumen LED Bike Light Set 


2 comments:

  1. Many thanks again for a great review and writeup bro!

    If i may add, the 'orange peel' reflector you mentioned is supposed to improve the 'throw' of the beam, better than a smooth reflector. I have read of people who DIY their own OP reflector with their Maglites, etc. Use clear coat spray paint, hold it upside down and spray to clear the nozzle till only drops sputter out. Use that 'sputter' on your reflector and let it dry off and you have your OP reflector... :)

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  2. OK, that is really DIY. On Maglight i think that is possible due to the little heat it generates. On this baby, it might just melt the OP off.

    Point taken on the physics or science behind it, similiar to the multi-surface reflector on car, it reduces the donut effect due to the void caused by the "forward" light. Nice tips SN!!!

    for those reading this comment, OP meant Orange Peel ;-)

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