The Magicshine MJ-906 boasts an output of 5,000 lumens which is pretty impressive for its £119.94 price and with pretty decent burn times it's one to be considered if you want a full light set on a budget.
Magicshine intends the MJ-906 for off-road use so to be fair this is how we'll be reviewing it. Think of it as an accessory to all of those gravel and adventure bikes we've been testing lately. I did use it on the road in its lower output settings but the majority of the testing took place off-road on gravel tracks and on the trails in the woods.
The MJ-906 is a full light set, you get a front, a rear and a wireless remote control which is actually pretty cool.
Let's start with the front.
Five thousand lumen! That's what Magicshine are claiming for the five LED's output. I'm guessing each is supposed to put out a thousand and they've just multiplied things.
Looking at our light beam comparison engine though you'll see that when measured the actual output is slightly less than the Niterider Pro 2800 with, yep you've guessed it, a claimed output of 2800 lumen.
Okay, so we've already halved the brightness but that is still one hell of a lot of light firing around. Unfortunately the MJ-906 doesn't put all those photons to very good use.
Brightness isn't the be all and end all and we've tested many lights with much lower output than this that use reflectors and lenses to really do something with the light that is being generated by the LEDs. The MJ-906 lacks that, it just puts out a blob of light with no focus which really becomes irritating especially when things become technical. There doesn't seem to be any light where you really need it.
Changing modes doesn't help as you are just throwing more random light out there.
The rear has some issues too. The main problem is that the clamp doesn't take into account the angle of the seatpost. LED's can be very bright but unlike incandescent bulbs they're only really effective when they are pointing directly at those that need to see them. Many others like Exposure, Hope or SeeSense have angled brackets that aim the light horizontally.
Both of the lights have plenty of modes. The front has five: 5,000 lumen (2 hours run time), 3,750 lumen (3hours), 2,500 lumen (5hours), 1,000 lumen (10hours) and a flashing mode that lasts for 7 hours.
My pet hate with any front light is having to pass through flashing while scrolling through the modes, but this is exactly what you have to do here. If you are in the lowest output and need to go to the highest for a steep technical downhill, for a fraction of a second everything you can see is like a '90s rave.
The rear has various options from solid through various flashing modes, and they can all be controlled by the included wireless remote control.
I strapped the remote around the hood of the gear shifter so I never needed to move my hands to change the light setting. You get two buttons, the larger for the front light with smaller for the rear and it's brilliant. More lights should come with these remotes as it makes changing the setup so easy.
Battery life was a bit sporadic and I never achieved the full burn times quoted. I got close, say 10% less but sometimes it was further away than that. It didn't do confidence a whole lot of good if you couldn't trust the light for its exact time of departure so I really stayed on the side of caution.
There are some things to praise though on the MJ-906. Its resistance to the elements is impressive. Plenty of my test rides took place on cold, wet and muddy gravel tracks without issue.
And value is really on its side. For all of its faults the MJ-906 is quite cheap for its output and battery life compared to its opposition. Things like the rear light and remote switch are added extras too. The quality of the beam pattern leaves quite a bit to be desired but if your budget is tight there is still a lot to like here.
Okay budget off road light but lacks performance of more expensive competitors
road.cc test report
Make and model: Magicshine MJ-906 5000 lumens bike light 2016 model
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the light set is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"With a maximum output of 5000 lumens from the 5 ultra bright cree XM-L2 LEDs the MJ-906 bike light produces a 20 degree wide angle beam designed specifically for off road, mtb and trail riding. There are 5 power modes so you don't have to blind your friends if you don't want to! But of course you have the power there for when you do! Includes remote button and rear light too."
The Magicshine is a pretty decent light for the money although it doesn't live up to its output promise.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light set?
5 x CREE XM-L2 LED's
luminous flux: 5000 lumens
LED lifespan: 50,000 hours
shell material: Aluminum alloy and plastic
Switch: two top click switch and wireless remote control
working modes: 100%, 75%, 50%, 20% flashing
6 x 18650 li-ion battery (7.4V 7.8Ah)
run time 2.2 hours @ 100% output
charging time 5 hours
battery life span 500 cycles
Waterproof grade IPX4
The rear needs an angled clamp, like a wedge or something to offset the seatpost angle so that it shines directly back.
Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose
It may be bright but it doesn't use that output to its advantage.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights
The wireless remote
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights
Poor light definition
Did you enjoy using the lights? No
Would you consider buying the lights? No
Would you recommend the lights to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
The Magicshine to me pretty much justifies everything that is wrong with the bike lighting world, just chucking more and more power and lumens out doesn't make a good usable light in the real world. I'd rather go for less output and more impact, you do pay for that though so the Magicshine does have price on its side.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.