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  1. #1
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    New question here. Are they worth the $$$?

    I saw the post about about lights for riding and looking through the Light Shoot Out. There are some pricey units there. Looking at the MJ-808 that was suggested and for the price it looks pretty good. Being new at this I was just wondering what is it that drives the price of the lights up? Can't be power; the 808 puts out 800 lumens. Battery life looks good. Just wondering. Slim

  2. #2
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    I now have 4 of the 808's. 2 of the older generation and 2 with the newer emitters. my first set are now going on 3 years old and still going strong. They are now on my commuter and I use them as a loaner set for friends who want to experience night riding. Buy from a reputable seller like action-led lights to assure that the batteries are high quality and you great customer service. I have a friend who bought a cheap Chinese clone and the battery was junk. Great starter light.

  3. #3
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    I have read that Action is the go to vendor in a couple of other place too. I work swing shift so chances are that I won't use it much for trail riding. But the company where I work is requiring lights front and back to ride on to the property now. Day or Night. Slim

  4. #4
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    what drives price up is ease of use and reliability
    ---
    you never want to screw with your light or battery and want it to work in all conditions, have a stand-up warranty, and over-tested six-ways-to-sunday so it won't burn your house down, you get $400 and up units

    you want super bright and decent runtime, and you will take care of the wires, waterproofness, battery reliability and safety, and suspect warranty, get a cheap 60 buck light

    MJ's used to be fire hazards, and they have improved a great deal but still remain affordable...they are probably the highest end, low-end light.


    all do exactly the same thing, but one will have zero headaches (and often race support too) and the lower the price...may turn into a part-time hobby keeping it running

    ----------
    I used to pay high dollar for lights, now... I quit that.

    I now go 'cheap with decent reviews'...but I added this to my quiver:

    voltmeters and testers before and after charging
    fire-safe storage and charging area
    spare plasti-dip and silicone tape
    extra lights
    extra battery systems
    soldering gear

    there is only one worry common to all light systems using Li batteries
    ...do not attempt to charge a cold [below or near 32F] lithium battery or pack
    this kills the battery pretty quickly

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimL View Post
    But the company where I work is requiring lights front and back to ride on to the property now. Day or Night. Slim
    Here are my 2 old MS 808 lights on my commuter bike. The tail light is just a $5 red lens from Action-Led replacing the stock clear. The strobe is one of the built-in functions of the 808's

  6. #6
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    127 has it pretty much right on. Having repaired a couple MS lights for friends, I would never trust my night riding to one without tearing it apart and checking for poor soldering, missing thermal paste, poorly attached driver components, poor strain relief on the cables, etc. Variability of quality is a major flaw with the cheap lights. Some will go 3 years with no problem, others only 3 rides before problems. There are often no warning signs before a light dies.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimL View Post
    I saw the post about about lights for riding and looking through the Light Shoot Out. There are some pricey units there. Looking at the MJ-808 that was suggested and for the price it looks pretty good. Being new at this I was just wondering what is it that drives the price of the lights up? Can't be power; the 808 puts out 800 lumens. Battery life looks good. Just wondering. Slim
    Higher end lights have better beam patterns and better battery management. It's been my experience that the MJ808 (I have two) batteries die pretty quickly.... like, around a year in my experience. Not that it's a big deal. You can get a new one for $20-30 depending on quality. Also, the beam pattern is a pretty tight spotlight, and isn't very useful on the trail, IMO. I picked up one of those lenses that makes the beam wider, but honestly haven't tried it out on the trail yet. In my driveway, it looks better than stock.

    I already have a NiteRider MinewtDual700 from like 5 or 6 years ago. The dual head beam pattern is very nice, IMO. It might not be as bright as some of the newer stuff, but I like the fact that I can easily adjust it on the fly. I can make two spots next to each other fora wide angle, or one long bright spot by putting the spots one ahead of the other by just reaching down and moving the heads. Brightness and runtime are good enough for me. I feel that I can't outride it on any of the stuff I ride at night, even one techy downhill section I do. I also use a NiteRider Lumina 650 on my helmet for a spot.

    That said, the MJ808 is an amazing light for the money. I say if you're just getting your feet wet in night riding, get one for the bar and one for the helmet and see how it goes. Geez... you can get them for like $40-50 a set these days. I think I paid $120 back in like 2008 or so for a head, two batteries, a charger and some other do-dads, like a helmet mount. That replaced a NiteRider DigitalPro12e dual halogen beam light, and was brighter, longer runtime, and 1/3 the weight.... plus it didn't take one one of my two bottle cages on the bike. I ended up paying like another $50 for a second light head a year or two later, and a few replacement batteries along the way. Dang, I can't tell you how many miles I put on that NR 12e light, but I felt like I was dragging that heavy ass dead body around those 24 hour race laps. That bastid was an anchor.

    I love progress.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimL View Post
    I saw the post about about lights for riding and looking through the Light Shoot Out. There are some pricey units there. Looking at the MJ-808 that was suggested and for the price it looks pretty good. Being new at this I was just wondering what is it that drives the price of the lights up? Can't be power; the 808 puts out 800 lumens. Battery life looks good. Just wondering. Slim
    A number of things; Cost of production, availability of newer or quality parts, introduction of new features. It also depends on how much the manufacturer decides is a reasonable profit. Bottom line though is competition. If you make a duel emitter lamp and want to sell it for $300, you're going to have a hard time doing that if someone else is pumping out duel emitter lamps and selling them for $40. On the other hand if your product is brighter and over all better than the competition the seller can ask for a "premium" price. As long as they don't over-price ( and stand behind the product ) they should be able to sell those "premium lamps" and make a reasonable profit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Also, the beam pattern is a pretty tight spotlight, and isn't very useful on the trail, IMO. I picked up one of those lenses that makes the beam wider, but honestly haven't tried it out on the trail yet. In my driveway, it looks better than stock.
    ...Thats a wide angle lens on the front in my video, way better for a bar light than the stock lens for sure. (The tail light is actually a red version of the wide angle) Also, I must be lucky, my almost 3 year old batteries still will give me almost 2 hours on high.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate the help that you guys have given. Thank you so much for the honesty; I really appreciate it. It is really going to be hard for me to spend any real cash on a light just to ride in to the plant with. I may just go with the cheaper light for now for the plant and a little later get a better light for the trail. Thanks again for all the help. Slim

  11. #11
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    If you're riding to the plant, get an inexpensive CatEye (or some similar) commuter light, and a blinky for the rear. You don't need the brightness you'd need for trail riding.

  12. #12
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    My wife Ginie got me rear lights for both my bikes from Planet Bike which work great; super bright LEDs so that is covered. Maybe a CatEye for the front. slim

  13. #13
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    what drives price ?

    * reputation for reliability and performance ( Lupine etc )
    * build quality / machining ( Lupine etc )
    * low weight / strong mount ( Lupine etc )
    * efficient electronics / LEDs ( Lupine etc )
    * good beam pattern ( Light & Motion etc )
    * good charger / battery ( Lupine / Light & Motion etc )
    * good waterproofing / strong connectors ( Light & Motion etc )
    * features ( remote control, programming options ) ( Lupine / Niterider etc )
    * country of origin ( Lupine / Light & Motion / NiteRider / Dinotte etc )

    MagicShine doesn't really register in any of these categories except "features" which in case of MS are more like gimmicks. hence it is cheap. of course there are lights cheaper than MS as well.

    just use the MTBR shootout and ratings - it is a good guide.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    what drives price ?

    * reputation for reliability and performance ( Lupine etc )
    * build quality / machining ( Lupine etc )
    * low weight / strong mount ( Lupine etc )
    * efficient electronics / LEDs ( Lupine etc )
    * good beam pattern ( Light & Motion etc )
    * good charger / battery ( Lupine / Light & Motion etc )
    * good waterproofing / strong connectors ( Light & Motion etc )
    * features ( remote control, programming options ) ( Lupine / Niterider etc )
    * country of origin ( Lupine / Light & Motion / NiteRider / Dinotte etc )

    MagicShine doesn't really register in any of these categories except "features" which in case of MS are more like gimmicks. hence it is cheap. of course there are lights cheaper than MS as well.

    just use the MTBR shootout and ratings - it is a good guide.
    What "gimmicks": are you specifically talking about? Not too many with an 808..for $75 you get a light that turns on/off, a battery that lasts a few hours, and enough output to ride/race fast offroad...seems pretty straight forward to me.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    What "gimmicks": are you specifically talking about?
    like this MagicShine battery:

    http://www.bikelights.co.nz/media/ca..._battery_8.jpg

    compare to Lupine battery:

    http://interbike.mtbr.com/wp-content...re-Battery.jpg

    we know MS loves to copy Lupine, but while the Lupine design is functional, the MS "design" is gimmicky ...

    it looks to me that they were more concerned about impressing the customer with "fancy" features than actually making something people would enjoy using.

  16. #16
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    It is amazing how people look at things differently. In optics, you get what you pay for. A Nightforce is actually much better then a Vortex. But a lot of other things you are buying the name. For instance, you can buy a **** brand downhill jersey for $90. Or you can go to Cycle Gear and buy it for $24. The Bilt stuff is great. That is what I am wondering. Some times just cause I payed $300 for it doesn't make it better.

    Having said that I definitely understand the battery and charger concerns. You can go to YouTube and see what happens when you over charge a battery. POOOF! Slim

  17. #17
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    I'm thinking if you buy a Mountain biking light to ride around your job site two things will probably happen:

    1. Your co-workers will make fun of you. "Here come's ol' Blindey McBrightlights!. Can you see OK, Blindy?"
    2. They will ask you to use a dimmer light because it's too bright. Unless you point it right at the ground it's actually a safety hazard. You don't want to shine a 1k lumen light into someone's eyes regardless of what they are doing.

  18. #18
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    You know I really don't care if people make fun of me. I am too old to give rip about the opinions of me of others. It is really none of my business what they think of me. My favorite riding buddy makes fun of me all the time; just an old fool set in my ways (think Marshall Tucker) But I agree about the safety hazards. Be that as it may though, it is a requirement to ride a bike onto the plant that you have a front and rear light.

    I hear that a high intensity light can be a great self defense tool. Slim

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    like this MagicShine battery:

    http://www.bikelights.co.nz/media/ca..._battery_8.jpg

    compare to Lupine battery:

    http://interbike.mtbr.com/wp-content...re-Battery.jpg

    we know MS loves to copy Lupine, but while the Lupine design is functional, the MS "design" is gimmicky ...

    it looks to me that they were more concerned about impressing the customer with "fancy" features than actually making something people would enjoy using.
    gimmick ? the magicshine tells you exactly what you need to know about battery health, the volts. you can watch this as the days and weeks go by and clearly know how that pack is doing.... and especially how it is topping up and holding the charge,,,the lupine has a non-volt comparison 100 to 20% which really doesn't tell you a thing other than 'generally' we 'think' it has this much left, which at the end of it all, is volt-based. they could just show the volts. who knows what volts constitute the 100% led cutoff anyhow..

    gimmick = lupine on this one

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    I'm thinking if you buy a Mountain biking light to ride around your job site two things will probably happen:

    1. Your co-workers will make fun of you. "Here come's ol' Blindey McBrightlights!. Can you see OK, Blindy?"
    If you work with kindergarteners

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    2. They will ask you to use a dimmer light because it's too bright.
    Then you can use one of those fancy "gimmicks" like the lower output setting they copied from another manufacturer to dupe the consumer

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    two things will probably happen:
    Make that three... you will have a nice set to use on the trails as well.

  21. #21
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    Riding a mountain bike light to ride around the job site is a bad idea not because your co-workers would mock you, but because it's dangerous. Trees and rocks cannot be blinded by having a bright light shone in their eyes, but people driving trucks can. Trees and rocks will not move unpredictably at your approach because they can't see, but people driving cars will. Take your proposed lighting system and have someone else wear it. Then see how you like being blinded at their approach.

    For traffic, you want a light that allows people to see you, not a light that prevents them from seeing you or anything else.

  22. #22
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    The co-worker insult was a joke making a reference to kids making fun of each other. Even though in this circumstance I'm pretty sure the OP would be made fun of, just not using my Conan O'brian inspired quote. There are still work environments where adults make fun of each other believe it or not.

    Even at it's lowest setting, a MJ 808 is too bright for a job site at night.

    The OP said he works swing shift and he doesn't expect to ride(trails) at night. He need's a cheap cateye style commuter light.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by the other Anne View Post
    Riding a mountain bike light to ride around the job site...
    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by the other Anne View Post
    Trees and rocks cannot be blinded by having a bright light shone in their eyes, but people driving trucks can.
    If you are blinding someone in a truck with a light that is mounted on a handlebar, then it is incorrectly aimed. The light in my video is clearly aimed too high for a work environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    my Conan O'brian inspired quote.
    Ahh...Conan, That makes sense now...

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    Even at it's lowest setting, a MJ 808 is too bright for a job site at night.
    I disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    The OP said he works swing shift and he doesn't expect to ride(trails) at night.
    Options are nice to have however...

    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    a cheap cateye style commuter light.
    Would work nicely.

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