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  1. #1
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    Idea! Magicshine MJ-870 & MJ-872 review :).

    It is a short version of my review - for some people it will be just enough (who the heal reads playboy ?? )
    for others here is the full version (all beam-shots and measurements) => Magicshine MJ-870 and MJ-872 - magic 1000+ lumens from 3 and 4 Cree XP-G leds.

    Some marketing data.


    Close up :


    A bit closer


    Very close...


    Total show off :


    How does it light ?

    Assuming that I did not get jumbled up during the measurements and that the Chinese did not insert there the possible worst Cree XP-G leds, but only the most popular R4, in theory, on the leds, you should get 1400 and 1050 lumens so that, in both cases, the lights exceed the magic limit of 1000 lumens. However, frankly, if you add circa 10% loss across the optics, you will have 1250 and 950 only but this is still a lot of light . Well, of course, the weakest mode has 20% instead of 30, but the Chinese light users have got used to such trifles already .

    Magicshine MJ-808 - SSC P7 (high ca. 600 lumens)


    Magicshine MJ-808E Cree XM-L (high, ca. 750 lumens)


    Magicshine MJ-870 - high (100%, ca. 950 lumens)


    Magicshine MJ-872 - high (100%, ca. 1250 lumens)


    Resume.

    The new lights, the new quality, a lot of light. I tested MJ-872 in a fight, arranging and winding up the route of the night competition for orientation; the 300+ lumens on the low mode were completely enough for me to move on broken-stone roads; I switched on the maximum mode once, perhaps most probably in order to see how it would be . What does it give in practice ? On the single battery pack, you may ride for 10 hours !. The optics of the distribution angle circa 20* illuminates ideally the road before the bike. To put into words simply, after the tests, the 4-unit stays with me (after replacement of the cables, thermo paste, lubricating of all gaskets and threads with silicone grease and accurate tightening; at last, its Chinese stuff ).
    Last edited by Dominik.M; 07-03-2011 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    Nice! That looks pretty sweet. Just so it's posted here, looks like street price is around $200 for the 4 emitter version. While that is getting out of the cheapo semi-disposable price range, it's still pretty amazing for the amount and quality of light, and running weight.

    The three emitter one is going for $126 at Dealextreme (but DX sucks serious rocks through a rope for customer service).

    *edit*

    Oh, the 4 element version is $146 at DX.

    Not sure I would run out to upgrade to it form my MJ808, since I don't seem to night ride enough to justify it.

  3. #3
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    About the beam shots....What are the distances to the various markers? What camera settings were used? Only reason I'm asking is because Geoman didn't like the beam pattern of the 872 but from what I'm seeing here it looks pretty good ( depending on the marker distances of course )

  4. #4
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    Very nice write up.

  5. #5
    www.airbornemtb.org
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    not that i expect any of these type of lights to be waterproof, but i wonder how this would stand up to the type of testing catman did with the ray4?
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    About the beam shots....What are the distances to the various markers? What camera settings were used?
    Those are my standard settings, for the last few years...

    In the room :
    ISO 200, time 1/8s, aperture 3.5, manual white balance (daylight).
    Distance from the wall 3.0 m - the distance of the camera from the wall 3.0 m (the wall - white matt emulsion)

    The gravel path:
    ISO 200, time 2s, aperture 3.5, manual white balance (daylight).
    Markers spaced every 5 meters, lamps aimed at the 10 meter.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick d View Post
    not that i expect any of these type of lights to be waterproof, but i wonder how this would stand up to the type of testing catman did with the ray4?
    Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Dominik, any chance you can throw the light body under a shower head ( 15-20 min. ) at close distance ( 6" or less )? Since you already have it dismantled you don't have to include the Leds or electronics ( a big advantage ).

    Nick, Don't be surprised if these fair better than the Ray IV. The back plate and button looks much different. Dominik, does the rear of the light include an O-ring? How was it sealed?

    About the the beam photo's: Okay I did the conversion, 65.5 ft. at the last marker. For some reason I thought it was longer. Still a nice wide beam pattern that does look to carry a bit further beyond the markers. Real important to point out though that both the 808 and 808E will easily out throw the markers ( x 2 ) if aimed higher ( as they are both spot beam oriented lamps ).

    Oh, almost forgot...I was going to comment about the 10 hr run time you quoted but I now see you are posting a chart that shows 2.2hrs on high. Since this light offers 4 distinct modes, any way you can show some photos of the 70% and 50%.beam patterns...... For us folks that like lower modes that would be a big plus.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Dominik, does the rear of the light include an O-ring? How was it sealed?
    There is the same seal as in the front - but the most problematic is the switch cover - it's not tight enough to be waterproof (and it can't be because it's too big and too soft) so I sealed it using silicon grease for torches. There is also no seal around cable where it enters into the case - here I use silicone sealant. So now I can put it even under water for 1/2 hour to check if it meats IPX7 requirements



    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Since this light offers 4 distinct modes, any way you can show some photos of the 70% and 50%.beam patterns...... For us folks that like lower modes that would be a big plus.
    All other beam-shots are available at my site - but nobody reads

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik.M View Post
    the most problematic is the switch cover - it's not tight enough to be waterproof (and it can't be because it's too big and too soft) so I sealed it using silicon grease for torches. There is also no seal around cable where it enters into the case - here I use silicone sealant. So now I can put it even under water for 1/2 hour to check if it meats IPX7 requirements
    It just totally boggles my mind why you guys think it's acceptable to spend $150 on a light and then have to perform some DIY handiwork to make it waterproof?

    And why are you posting this review in this forum? Shouldn't it be in the DIY forum? This light, as it leaves the factory, is not suited for anybody that takes their riding seriously.

    On another note, is it me or does it look like both the Magicshine and the BikeRay are built in the same factory using pretty much the same design?
    Last edited by Azra; 07-02-2011 at 07:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    On another note, is it me or does it look like both the Magicshine and the BikeRay are built in the same factory?
    Light and Go Foride = Magicshine MJ-856 = Magicshine MJ-872 in more fancy looking case.



    Light and Go Firefly = Magicshine MJ-858

  11. #11
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    So, Dominik, are you saying, "Look at the shiny case and ignore the waterproofing?" Is that it?

  12. #12
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    No, but basically if you want IPX7-8 Bike lamp you have to pay for it much more than 140 $, and not always you will get it, because producers these days are calculating "how many users are riding for 5-6 hours in the rain" -> 2-5% ? Ok, Then how much it will cost us to make our lamp waterproof ? 30% ?? No, thank you...

    That why most producers of the outdoor equipment are currently producing water resistant IPX4 lamps / headlamps. They may even meet the requirement's of the higher protection levels but nobody will declare that

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    It just totally boggles my mind why you guys think it's acceptable to spend $150 on a light and then have to perform some DIY handiwork to make it waterproof?

    And why are you posting this review in this forum? Shouldn't it be in the DIY forum? This light, as it leaves the factory, is not suited for anybody that takes their riding seriously.

    On another note, is it me or does it look like both the Magicshine and the BikeRay are built in the same factory using pretty much the same design?
    Azra, I can only speak for myself as an owner of magicshines and a ray2, but i dont expect any cheap Chinese light to be waterproof. even if they blatantly advertised it as waterproof to a certain depth like some other manufacturers id be very skeptical. And even though the ray 3/4 and these magishines are more than the original magicshines, they are still 'cheap lights' compared to a light with simillar output from a 'better' manufacturer.

    I dont understand the ip ratings, but if they are not living up to that there is no excuse for false advertising, but it would not suprise me since it seems most all the Chinese manufacturers and vendors of those lights seem to have adopted the practice of overstating the output in lumens...

    I guess you could say you have to compare Output vs Ruggedness vs Price and pick the light that has the two you need, cause at this price it seems you cant have all three.

    The reason i can accept that these lights are not waterproof is that as a recreational rider i can generally avoid serious rain storms by just staying in and riding another night, which is an option that if i remember right you dont have since you use it for commuting also?

    It defiantly sounds like you will be better off with something like the stryker from baja designs even if it means you have to sacrifice some output in exchange for durability. In fact a while back he had a trade in deal, it might be worth checking to see if they still do.

    Im glad you have been so vocal about your experience because it will no doubt help people choose the light that is best for them.
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick d View Post
    i dont expect any cheap Chinese light to be waterproof.
    I could perhaps accept that a $79 Magicshine is cheap. But when you get in the $150-200 price range, that's not cheap. Cheaper than more established brands, yes, but not cheap.

    People that find $200 cheap would probably be buying a Lupine anyway.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I could perhaps accept that a $79 Magicshine is cheap. But when you get in the $150-200 price range, that's not cheap. Cheaper than more established brands, yes, but not cheap.

    People that find $200 cheap would probably be buying a Lupine anyway.
    $150 to $200 is certainly nothing you want to throw away, and its much more painful to throw away a $200 light than an $80 light, but the Lupine equivelant is what a Wilma5 for $595? IM sure its a much better light, and its probably not a truly fair comparision, but the cheapest Lupine i saw on geomans website was the Piko for $310 and im sure it doesnt put out the same amount of light as a ray3/4 or these new magicshines.

    Anyway, im not trying to argue, just saying there's a reason some vendors sell both lines
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I could perhaps accept that a $79 Magicshine is cheap. But when you get in the $150-200 price range, that's not cheap. Cheaper than more established brands, yes, but not cheap.

    People that find $200 cheap would probably be buying a Lupine anyway.
    For such lights as MS, Floride, BR etc, the increase in price from say US$79 (single P7) to $150++ (quad XPG) has got little to do with manufacturing quality but simply the optics, emitters and circuit boards they are using in the light head itself. Everything else remains as is unfortunately. I do agree that having to open up light heads and perform ER as in the BikeRay IV thread is more than I'd want to do but waterproofing seals and threads with grease etc is acceptable in my books.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik.M View Post
    There is the same seal as in the front - but the most problematic is the switch cover - it's not tight enough to be waterproof (and it can't be because it's too big and too soft) so I sealed it using silicon grease for torches. There is also no seal around cable where it enters into the case - here I use silicone sealant. So now I can put it even under water for 1/2 hour to check if it meats IPX7 requirements
    Dominik, Thanks again for the pictures of the back plate. This looks like the inside of the back plate ( if I'm not mistaken ). At least it has an O-ring. There also looks like a secondary O-ring (?). I don't know about anyone else but after my experience with the Ray IV seeing some O-rings inspires confidence. It remains to be seen though just how well these rubber buttons can hold out water. At least with the MS 872 it is larger and might have more wiggle room. If true it might work better ( or in this case be a much easier fix ). Was it hard to get the back off? What tool was required and how was it done?

    What you said about the water-resistance of these kinds of lights is likely true. I think once you market something as "water-proof" you almost have to charge more money because the product will be held to a much higher standard and will cost more to produce. Not to mention it makes a great selling point for the vendors.

    In keeping with that thought, in the case of the Baja Stryker, since the design was so well thought out you are going to get much better water-resistance ( if not an out right water-proof quality level ). Need I say, the Stryker is much more money than other P-7 bike lights. Still with all that said I think I might be willing to pay another 20% for a typical Chinese light that was designed to be completely water-proof. Whither that will happen anytime soon is anyone's guess.

  18. #18
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    I don't get it. If all it takes is a smidge of grease to make those lights waterproof, why isn't that done at the factory?

    Surely $0.01 of grease would not increase the manufacturing cost by 30%.

  19. #19
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I don't get it. If all it takes is a smidge of grease to make those lights waterproof, why isn't that done at the factory?

    Surely $0.01 of grease would not increase the manufacturing cost by 30%.
    At some point I think your getting obsessive about the MS stuff. I think the whole point of 'Azra doesnt like them' was made pretty well....

    I bet soon enough though, the aforementioned problems will be addressed overseas.
    CDT

  20. #20
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    Quite to the contrary, I'd like nothing better than to see Magicshine and BikeRay produce lights that are well designed, powerful, cheap, and waterproof. I'd love it. And I'd gladly buy one.

    I'm not a fool that craves status symbols to show off at the next group ride. Nor am I loaded with money. I'd much rather buy a $200 light from MS or BR than a $700 light from Light and Motion. Or even a $400 light from DiNotte.

    But if MS and BR produce lights that are crap and will die on me the first time it rains (as the BR IV has done so ignominiously), then... well, the lights are crap. I like to call things what they are. And if it offends fans of MS and BR, then so be it.

    If we were to all tell MS and BR "your lights are crap" maybe they'd get the message and actually start using some grease and silicone sealant in the final assembly. But as long as we have apologists saying "it's really no big deal", "you can seal it yourself with a little grease if you like", "who rides in the rain anyway?", etc, then MS and BR will continue to sell crap. And established manufacturers will continue to sell us grossly overpriced products. I don't like that.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik.M View Post
    Light and Go Foride = Magicshine MJ-856 = Magicshine MJ-872 in more fancy looking case.

    Perhaps with a tighter optic?
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Was it hard to get the back off? What tool was required and how was it done?.
    It was easy to unscrew - it only take me some time to understood how do they put it all together, because I get used to typical torch design...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    For such lights as MS, Floride, BR etc, the increase in price from say US$79 (single P7) to $150++ (quad XPG) has got little to do with manufacturing quality but simply the optics, emitters and circuit boards they are using in the light head itself. Everything else remains as is unfortunately. I do agree that having to open up light heads and perform ER as in the BikeRay IV thread is more than I'd want to do but waterproofing seals and threads with grease etc is acceptable in my books.
    About the last part, I agree. If I had known going in what the real problem with the Ray IV was ( the rear plate threads/ lack of O-ring ) I could of simply found a suitable O-ring, slipped in over the top and slapped on some sealant without even having to completely remove the plate. Unfortunately I thought the biggest problem was the button cover. While it could still be a problem it was not the problem I originally thought it was. As such it would have been better if I had not taken the back of the light off. Anyway, don't want to venture too much off topic...

    In the case of the MS 872 the design of the rear plate is much different. As such my bet is that it will be much better at shedding water than the Ray IV. Since it has already been modded by the OP no real way to know for sure unless he has another one to fiddle with.

    As for the optics, I could wish for more throw but than again I always do.
    At 2hrs on high the run time lacks and if you power down to lower levels the throw will suffer even more. I think for this light a bigger battery is in order ( 5200mAh or more ) Two and half hours run time on high would be an improvement but 3hrs would be preferable.

    Znomit, any links to beam shots of the MS 856?

  24. #24
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    Dominik - was there any thermal paste between that ribbed outer heatsink and the main casing? Did you run the light before dismantling to see how well the light heated up? If there wasn't any thermal paste, it would be a good idea to put some in, even if the light head has some kind of thermal management.

    Oh, and were you able to measure the current the LEDs were being driven at? The power figures quoted imply they're being driven above 1A, so there may be some grounds for their output claims

  25. #25
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    anybody know if these optics would work with the 4 led version: http://www.cutter.com.au/cart.php?rp...prod%3Dcut1000

    somebody posted the link on dx, but i guess someone with the light would have to take some measurements to make sure?

    edit: actually i found some measurements above, looks like its too small?
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

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