I have been using a Dinotte 600L for the past two years, and I love this light. I have used it for both Mountain Biking, and my almost-daily wintertime commute to/from work. This light has served me well and has been rock solid.
I've been wanting a second light so that my son could ocassionally night ride with me, so when I saw the Magic Shine for $85, I bought one. I've used it for a couple of work commutes now and thought I would share some impressions and hope that you find this useful.
Packaging, Presentation and Documentation - Winner: Dinotte
Both lights came in a nice box and both were well packaged. The Dinotte came with documentation outlining usage, runtime, battery care, etc. The Magic Shine came with nothing. Not a big deal, but I give the nod to Dinotte here.
Construction and Durability - Winner: Dinnotte
Comparing the two lights side by side, the Dinotte is most definitely the more well constructed light. It's body is beefier, the cables and connectors are heavier construction and the battery pack is mounted inside a waterproof plastic case. It's not that the Magic Shine is poorly constructed, it's just that taken next to the Dinotte light, it looks and feels less well-built. The Dinotte has proven itself to me in two years of heavy usage whereas the Magic Shine does not have enough "time over target" yet to make a call.
Weight - Winner: Magic Shine
I don't have a scale to weight them, but comparing the two by hand, the Magic Shine battery and light combination is lighter than the Dinotte combination.
Mounting - Winner: Dinotte
Both lights have helmet and handlebar mounting options. They both appear to work well. I would give a slight advantage to the Dinotte light in that it has a breakaway feature for Mountain Biking, whereas the Magic Shine light does not. I've hit branches a couple of times when Mountain Biking and each time was happy that my Dinotte light popped off my helmet and did not take the entire blow from the branch I hit. I am a litttle worried about how well the Magic Shine will hold up if I hit something.
Runtime - Winner: Dinotte
On high output, the Dinotte is rated at 3.5 hours (and I have verified that you can get about 3.5 hours runtime). The Magic Shine is rated at 3 hours and I have not yet been able to verify how much I can actually get out of it. So, on paper, I give the nod to Dinotte. Of course the Dinotte battery pack is slightly bigger than the Magic Shine pack, so there is a price to pay for the longer runtime
Ease of Use - Winner: Neither
I find both lights very easy to use. I can operate both lights even when I am wearing snoboard mittens over my riding gloves. I like the fact that with the Dinotte light I can cycle through the settings without having to turn the light off.
Light Output - Winner: Pretty even
Both lights put out a tremendous amount of light. Comparing the two (see photos below), I would say that the Dinotte, rated at 600 lumens is a little brighter than the Magic Shine, rated at 900 lumens. Take a look at the side-by-side photo below - the Magic Shine light output is much more yellow than the Dinotte output. Some may like this, but personally I prefer the whiter output of the Dinotte light. Also, the Magic Shine seems to have more of a central "spot" with a lot of light spillover around the sides as compared to the Dinotte light which seems to have more uniform light output across it's beam. I have not gone Mountain Biking with the Magic Shine light yet, but as a commuter light, they both work great.
Value for the money - Winner: It depends
If you are looking for a inexpensive light that puts out a tremendous amount of light, then the Magic Shine is the clear winner. If you want a high-quality light that will last for years and take a lot a abuse, then for me, and for now, the Dinotte light is the winner.
If the Magic Shine is able to take the abuse of my daily commute and Mountain Bike night riding without failing, then I would not hesitate to call it the overall winner. It's just too soon to tell. Another thing I should mention in the value equation is that the Dinotte light came with a helmet mount and with a second battery whereas these are extra with the Magic Shine. Of course I could buy four Magic Shines for the price of one Dinotte light and have four batteries and three spare lights! But the value equation has to take into account durability and reliability as well as price and the Magic Shine is not proven yet, whereas the Dinotte light is proven rock solid. If your light craps out in middle of the woods at night, your not going to be thinking about how much money you saved! Ask me in a year and I will call a clear winner...
A couple of photos. I'm not as adept as others with taking good night shots, but I think these are pretty representative of what I was seeing with my own eyeballs.
Both lights shining on a wall. Dinotte on the left, Magic Shine on the right:
Magic Shine - my bike is about 100 feet away:
Dinotte 600L - my bike is about 100 feet away:
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Thread: Magic Shine vs. Dinotte 600L
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