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  1. #1
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    Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U

    I have been searching and have not found many comparisons of these lights, maybe since a few of them are fairly new, or my search skills just suck.

    I ride east cost technical single track. I'm looking for a good lightweight helmet light and found these 3. I know none of these have huge throw, but think they should work pretty well for most of my needs. Which one gives the most throw and most usable light? I may run one on the bars and one on the helmet. All of them use dual XM-L U2 LEDs and optics of various degrees.

    How does the X2 compare to the Duo for usable light? Does the 1400 lumens on the Duo vs the 1200 on the X2 have much of a real world difference? Please advise...

    I'm looking for the best bar and helmet light combo for around $400 or so. I'm leaning toward the X2 for the helmet since it's light and has a remote switch, there are many shorter climbs where I ride and this would come in handy to increase battery life. I'm thinking the MJ-880U with flood optics for the bar. Any other suggestions are appreciated.


    Gloworm X2 2.0 (lightweight for helmet)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Offers both spot and flood optics (would probably run 2 spots for the most throw)
    Remote switch a big plus
    Low profile helmet mount, no o-rings required.
    headlight weight 2.8 oz
    4 light modes
    lumens 1200
    max amps 1.8


    Gemini Duo (lightweight for helmet)
    ----------------------------------------------
    Only offer one optic type (16 degree currently)
    No remote switch
    High profile helmet mount with o-ring
    headlight weight 2.2 oz
    4 light modes (programable)
    lumens 1400
    max amps 1.61


    Magicshine MJ-880U (maybe for bar with flood optics)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Only offer one optic (aftermarket flood now available)
    No remote switch (okay for bar since it's easy to see)
    High profile helmet mount with o-ring (okay for bar mount)
    headlight weight 4.3 oz (maybe heavy for helmet)
    5 light modes (too many ?)
    lumens maybe 1600+ (claimed 2200)
    max amps 2.8

  2. #2
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    I've read the threads on all 3 models. Unfortunately I don't have answers to your questions. There are individual beamshots, but there don't seem to be direct comparisons.
    The X2 is qua specs my favorite: remote control, light, waterproof, smart light programs, and more. With close second the Duo. Magicshine didn't do it for me (lacking some options). That is why I've ordered a X2.

    You're thinking of running one on the bars and one on the helmet. As a helmet light I think you should check out the X1. That will be more of a thrower Šnd fairly lighter. I think the release will be in december. X2 on the bars will do fine.

  3. #3
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    I am in the same boat as you right now glader. Hopefully someone can help.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbutcherer View Post
    I am in the same boat as you right now glader. Hopefully someone can help.
    I believe Jim from Action is the only seller in the world who carry all 3 models. It will surely help if he took shots of all 3 lights with similar settings.

    My bet for best throw and overall brightness is still MJ-880U but best for bars. The drive current and larger optics will back up this statement. The toss up for helmet will be between the X2 and Duo. My advice is to wait a little for the X1 beamshots before making a decision. Have no doubt Bruce and Vag have spent overtime developing the best throw result for that new light.

    Leonard
    Last edited by mtbRevolution; 11-05-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I have an MJ-880U. It is brighter than my riding buddy's Light and Motion Seca 1700, which supposedly is a legit 1700 lumens. This was a unanimous agreement among riders I ride with.

    A riding buddy I know also has an X2. The MJ-880U is brighter than that as well, with much more throw. The X2 has a wider beam, and is ridiculously small and light though. Very nice build quality on both.

    I have been riding with the 880U on my helmet, and honestly it is not a big deal to me. Maybe I'm just not as sensitive as some others though, as I used to ride with a Lupine Betty on the helmet and didn't have any problems with it either. I also have an MJ-808, and theres really no noticeable difference in the two lights weight wise when on the helmet. I weighed them both (just the light heads), and they are within <10 grams of each other. I just recently put one wide optic in the MJ-880U and have the standard optic in the other side, so will compare with the X2 next chance I get, hopefully tomorrow night.

    Either way you go, you are choosing from what myself and many others consider the best quality of light, form factor, construction, and price of any light out there.

    Oh yeah, as far as the light modes go, I actually really like having two switches on the lighthead, much more than I ever thought I would, as I thought it was redundant before I started using it. The left side switch will turn the light on in its lowest mode, which is great when in the parking lot or any situation where you don't want to turn the light on and have it at 100% and blind yourself or others while you try and turn it down to low. The right side switch turns the light on high, which is nice in other situations. The 5 modes may be a bit much, but honestly in actual use it doesn't get in the way since there are two switches to start from either end of its brightness. I find myself using the 100, 75, and 50% settings most while riding, and using the lowest setting only in the parking lot. I never use 25%.

  6. #6
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    Gregg/Moderator: Please delete this post. Accidently reposted when I hit the back button on my tablet. Thanks.

    Leonard
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  7. #7
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    Well, thanks xeccon and russ. I just ordered the 880u with helmet mount and wide angle lens from action led. I'll report back when it comes. I'm not sure if it will help or not, but I'll try.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbutcherer View Post
    Well, thanks xeccon and russ. I just ordered the 880u with helmet mount and wide angle lens from action led. I'll report back when it comes. I'm not sure if it will help or not, but I'll try.
    Hey woodbutcherer, don't forget the extension cable if you're going to use it for the helmet. The cable number is MJ-6066. The cable between the battery and light head is not long enough for helmet use. Get Jim to throw in a couple of standard o-rings while you're at it. You can use those should the Y band break on you. Keep one under the seat post clamp as a spare.

    Not sure about using the wide angle lens for helmet but you'll work out what's best for you. Take care and ride safe.

    Leonard
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  9. #9
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    Oh, xeccon, you had me nervous for a minute. I put all of the stuff in the cart last night, so I had to make sure I had the right one ordered. Thankfully I did!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by russ3706 View Post
    I have an MJ-880U. It is brighter than my riding buddy's Light and Motion Seca 1700, which supposedly is a legit 1700 lumens. This was a unanimous agreement among riders I ride with.

    A riding buddy I know also has an X2. The MJ-880U is brighter than that as well, with much more throw. The X2 has a wider beam, and is ridiculously small and light though. Very nice build quality on both.

    .
    All of this surprises me somewhat. Earlier beam shots of the 880 were not that impressive.
    I take it you have the newer version of the 880 with U-bin XML's. (?) You didn't mention what X2 was being used, if it was the original T6 model or the new one with U2's. Real important because the newer model X2 has much better optics/brighter emitter, hence better throw ( when used with the spot/spot optic set-up ).

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the 880U is a dud it's just that this is the first time I've heard or seen anyone post saying it was better than one of the newer Gloworm X2's.

  11. #11
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    Yes, the Magicshine is the new U2 version, hence why I have been referring to it as the MJ-880U. I guess that's what they are official calling it, as that is what is printed on all the packaging, and it does state it has the new U2 LEDs. I emailed magicshine and they confirmed they were shipping the U model with U2s.

    I am not absolutely sure about the X2 that I compared it to, but it's owner purchased It from action-led within the last couple weeks or so. it would make sense if it were the non-U2, cause I would expect them to be very similar if they were both U2s. They are both fantastic lights, and for me it would be a coin flip as to which to buy.

    What surprised me most was that it was brighter than the Seca 1700.

    This is not me hallucinating with new buyer syndrome. This is me as well as several other people in the parking lot, as well as the other light owners agreeing to its brightness.

    Wno knows, maybe mine is being WAY over-driven and will fail within a year, but for now I have been constantly amazed, as I honestly never expected it to be this bright, and with a quality beam. I'll be the first to say I told you so if it does fail, as it seems too good to be true. Especially because I am coming from a Lupine Betty (2 year old model), which honestly to me does not offer anything this light doesn't in actual use.

  12. #12
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    Russ: If your friend just got his x2 then it is using the U2.
    FWIW own two of the new X2's and one is a little
    brighter then the other.

    Sounds like MS might have improved the optics on the 880
    along with the emitters.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Sounds like MS might have improved the optics on the 880
    along with the emitters.
    Hey Cat, I don't think the optics has been changed one iota since the launch of the T6 version in 2nd week of Jan this year. We had the U2 version since mid-April and while it's brighter, the wall beam pattern was still the same.

    The MJ-880U (I have to tow the line now and not call it MJ-880 U2 anymore since they have boxes and manuals clearly stating MJ-880U) is more neutral tint in the past 3 months certainly giving me the perception that it's brighter than before. It's also bright because it's driven it so high. The by-product is of course heat but it's fine if you're moving.

    I've asked them to go U3 but bring down the amp draw. It won't be brighter than now but at least it's going to be more efficient. See if anything becomes of this suggestion.

    Leonard
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeccon View Post
    Hey woodbutcherer, don't forget the extension cable if you're going to use it for the helmet. The cable number is MJ-6066. The cable between the battery and light head is not long enough for helmet use. Get Jim to throw in a couple of standard o-rings while you're at it. You can use those should the Y band break on you. Keep one under the seat post clamp as a spare.

    Not sure about using the wide angle lens for helmet but you'll work out what's best for you. Take care and ride safe.

    Leonard

    I just wanted to put it out there so others may choose to save by not purchasing the extension cable, or the specialized MJ-880U helmet mount. The extension cable is really not needed if running it as a helmet light and putting the battery in a backpack.

    The cord coming out of the light head is about 30 inches long, and the battery has about 13" worth of cable on it. So 43 inches (109 cm) total length, which is more than enough to put it in the very bottom of my pack, and have plenty of cord left.

    This compared to the MJ-808 cord which has a total length of 17 inches.

    If you're still unsure about the cord, measure out a piece of string 43" long, and hang it in the bottom of your pack to see if it reaches your helmet mount. I'm sure that it will.

    I mounted it on the helmet mount for the MJ-808, and it works flawlessly. The 880's mounting base is a bit wider than the mount towards the front, but it is no problem at all. I can shake the hell out of it, violently, and it will not budge. Needless to say riding with it, it never moves.

    I purchased the 880 helmet mount and extension cord, and it was a complete waste of money. So just thought I would let others know who are thinking of picking up an MJ-880U.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U-img_0483.jpg  

    Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U-img_0485.jpg  

    Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U-img_0475.jpg  

    Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U-img_0477.jpg  

    Gloworm X2 vs Gemini Duo vs Magicshine MJ-880U-img_0480.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by russ3706 View Post
    The extension cable is really not needed if running it as a helmet light and putting the battery in a backpack.
    Stand corrected on this. Russ is correct. My 10 month old MJ-880 which I since sold used to be on my helmet for many months. I remembered the cable wasn't long enough and I had to use an extension cable when I just needed about 20cm more because it was pulling when I looked down. I am guessing MS has given more cable since then. I should have re-measured the new cable length before posting. Apologies.

    Leonard
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbutcherer View Post
    Well, thanks xeccon and russ. I just ordered the 880u with helmet mount and wide angle lens from action led. I'll report back when it comes. I'm not sure if it will help or not, but I'll try.
    Hey woodbutcher!

    I was interested to know how how the beamshot of that combination turned out to be. I'm a fan of the wide angle lenses as I now ride more in the road and use my MTB for commuting.
    Any beamshot would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.

  17. #17
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    Hi Russ,
    Late to this thread by about a year and hoping your still around. I just purchased the 880U and have had 3 night rides so far. What is your experience with the battery charge?
    I have been using 75% power trying to conserve and in 20 mins im at blue level, and red within 35-60 mins. all three rides i cut short due to blinking red at 1:30 mins. The claimed usage is 2.5 hrs at 100%.

    I need a solid 2+ worry free hours and would love to have 75-100% most of the time.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  18. #18
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    I don't own this light but on my other magic shine lights you need to run it till it dies to get a true idea of how far you can go. The color changing indicator is finicky at best so I don't really rely on them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian789 View Post
    Hi Russ,
    Late to this thread by about a year and hoping your still around. I just purchased the 880U and have had 3 night rides so far. What is your experience with the battery charge?
    I have been using 75% power trying to conserve and in 20 mins im at blue level, and red within 35-60 mins. all three rides i cut short due to blinking red at 1:30 mins. The claimed usage is 2.5 hrs at 100%.

    I need a solid 2+ worry free hours and would love to have 75-100% most of the time.

    Thanks for your feedback.
    Those indicators are useless. I have mine change from blue to green or from orange back to blue all the time. I tested my openlightsystems battery on it (got 4 hours on high from the MJ-856b) and it was on red for the last 1.5 hours! Best is to put the light in front of an a/c or fan and let it run on high until it dies and measure the duration.

    Batteries are the weakness of the MS lights. That battery pack of the MJ-880(U) is way to heavy for the run time you get out of it. The lights are fine, but I think a lot of new players have caught up to the Chinese lights and offer an advantage in the overall package (battery size and energy density, battery longevity, lumens and beam pattern, overall system weight) IMO.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbean View Post
    Those indicators are useless. I have mine change from blue to green or from orange back to blue all the time. I tested my openlightsystems battery on it (got 4 hours on high from the MJ-856b) and it was on red for the last 1.5 hours! Best is to put the light in front of an a/c or fan and let it run on high until it dies and measure the duration.

    Batteries are the weakness of the MS lights. That battery pack of the MJ-880(U) is way to heavy for the run time you get out of it. The lights are fine, but I think a lot of new players have caught up to the Chinese lights and offer an advantage in the overall package (battery size and energy density, battery longevity, lumens and beam pattern, overall system weight) IMO.
    This phenomenon has been experienced by others as well and is hard to explain. Obviously this is not how voltage indicators are suppose to work. On one lamp I owned when the indicator went to red it turned off about a minute later. To get the true skinny on your battery run time you're going to have to do a run time test like BBean mentioned. Then make note of the voltage indicators and when they change.

    ( **Note, something just as simple as a poor connection with the lamp/battery connection plugs can change which leds are lit on the voltage indicators. ) This is one of the reasons why I don't like loosely fitted connector plugs. Standard MS type plugs generally don't have this problem but the cheaper Chinese versions have issues.

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