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review

Magicshine Seemee 100

7
£25.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Powerful, solidly made light with practical run-times but its braking feature is too sensitive
Bright
Simple to use
Frugal in flashing modes
Nice mount
Braking mode eats into run-times
Weight: 
50g

On paper, the Magicshine Seemee 100 rear light is less powerful and feature laden than its 180 and 200-lumen siblings. However, in the real world I reckon it hits the sweet spot when balancing power and economy.

While less powerful than its siblings, there are common similarities. The 100 also features 'braking' technology and a sensor that can regulate light according to conditions. Sensibly, these can be overridden to maximise the lithium ion battery's run-time, and the unit will automatically kick down to the 18-lumen low when reserves dip to 5%.

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It uses transparent optical filters to spread the beam 260 degrees, and its IPX6 rating for weatherproofing is reassuring.

Modes

Three constant and four flashing modes plus the smart sensor complete the line-up. The latter allows the unit to decide what output to deliver, according to lighting conditions.

The headline 100 lumens refers to the brake light function; in real terms, output is 72, 36 and 18 lumens, which should be sufficient for most riding contexts, even the darkest of country roads.

Flashing modes consist of Breathe (a slow pulsing, almost a visual inhaling and exhaling, hence the name), Comet, Flash and Interactive – all 72 lumens apiece.

Lastly, there is the ambient light 'smart' setting which will automatically dial the power up/down to suit conditions. It's not essential but useful enough. For example, if finishing an afternoon's ride and dusk is in hot pursuit, it will automatically switch to a higher mode.

Switch

The switch is a pronounced rubberised affair with integral battery/charge life indicator. A sustained two-second press turns the light on/off. A definite double press will switch between constant and flashing modes. Subsequent single presses will scroll through them.

Switching the brake light function on/off is a question of pressing the switch and holding for five seconds.

Mount

This consists of a Garmin-type head, which the light clicks into securely. The watch-type strap is designed to tether to seatposts, tubing and helmets.

2020 Magicshine SEEMEE 100 - mount.jpg

I had no issues attaching it to aero or standard diameter posts, or even relatively slender seatstays, and was pleasantly surprised to discover the Seemee straps have sufficient elasticity to weave through helmet vents and tether very securely.

There is also saddle rail clip for those wanting a really sleek bike-mounted option.

Output/run-times

While I really like the 200 and 180 counterparts, objectively I'm inclined to say the 100 gets my vote for road-biased riding.

I started by defaulting to the smart setting and letting this decide the light's output. In the daylight setting this ranges from 5-70 lumens.

I was a little sceptical of Magicshine's claim that it's visible up to a mile and a half. Friends reckoned they could spot me from 400 metres or so, which is still impressive.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2020 front lights for cycling – compare using our beam engine

The auto sensor meant it seemed to track at 18 lumens in better lit areas (so you're not burning retinas, or reserves when in congested traffic) and switched to 70 along the dark lanes.

On very dark nights, some have suggested they clocked me at 600 metres, maybe more on a clear night, in the highest flashing mode. It was much the same story in the others, it's just the tempos and run-times that differ.

The lens's translucency means there's a good spread of peripheral light – I've not experienced any stealth moments, even turning right at concealed crossroads.

2020 Magicshine SEEMEE 100 - logo.jpg

Using the smart light, Magicshine cites 12 hours from daylight running; I returned around 8 hours. Curiously, at night run-times came within a few minutes of the 3 hours cited, the light seemingly alternating between the 18 and 72-lumen modes with greater accuracy.

Manually, I've defaulted to Flash for its mix of punch and economy: 9hrs 55mins from a full charge. Breathe and Comet are both eye-catching but run-times take a hit: official figures are 2hrs 30mins and 3hrs respectively (ours came within 3 and 4 minutes of these). Not really conducive to longer night rides.

In terms of constant options, 18 lumens is bright and will deter blatant wheel sucking, but agreeable enough and visible at 100m through town, 125-150m along semi-rural stretches. Mid (32 lumens) has the edge along really dark lanes. Anecdotally, friends reckoned they could pick it out at around 220 metres. The 72-lumen high is good for 300m but you'll be out of juice within 90 minutes.

Braking

The brake light function is a common feature within the Seemee family and not without some merits. It really ramps up the light's intensity, which is particularly useful when in slow-moving traffic or when scrubbing some speed off, like on a long descent.

My main gripe with the current design is that it is too sensitive, triggered by minor lumps and imperfections to the point it really hammers the battery life. Just 90 minutes from a full charge has been all I've managed, even in the flashing modes. Admittedly, that's with a few long climbs into the bargain, but you get the idea. Thankfully, and in common with its siblings, this function is easily disengaged by depressing the switch for five seconds.

Charging

Charging is very straightforward and takes 2 hours zero to hero (tack on another 15 minutes if you are refuelling from a laptop/similar).

Visually, the charging light will slip from red to green when fully juiced. The switch works as a battery life indicator too, if a little crude: green means between 100 and 21%; red denotes 20-6% remaining, and flashing red means only 5% of battery is left, inducing the auto kickdown.

Value

At £26, the Seemee 100 represents decent value for money. It's a few quid more than than the Xeccon Mars 30 at £21.99, but also more powerful and better thought out. The Mars also has a braking function, but that and the bracket need refining.

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Blackburn's Dayblazer R65 is £27.99 and is a very good light but doesn't have a memory or braking function.

Lezyne's KTV Pro Alert Drive also has a braking function and costs £30, with a maximum output of 75 lumens. Its brighter Zecto Alert Drive (80 lumens max) and Strip Alert Drive (150) siblings are both £40.

Summary

Having used (and generally liked) its bigger siblings, I'm inclined to say the Seemee 100 is the most practical choice for long rides along really dark roads. It also has some very appropriate settings for town and group riding. Thankfully, the braking function can be switched off, since it's too sensitive and only practical on shorter rides.

Verdict

Powerful, solidly made light with practical run-times but its braking feature is too sensitive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Magicshine SeeMee 100

Size tested: 100 lumens max

Tell us what the light 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?

Magicshine says: 'The Seemee 100 is a powerful rear safety light for road, urban and mountain bikers, with wide visibility, brake sensor and low power mode'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Magicshine lists:

100 lumens max, 72 lumens consistent, 260 degrees wide visibility, visible from more than 1.5 miles away

Brake Sensor: 100 lumen brake light that lasts 3 seconds(heavy on battery usage, press and hold power switch for 5 seconds to turn this feature on/off)

Ambient Light Sensor: Auto adjusts light mode and output depending on ambient conditions(only in smart mode)

Low power mode: Power saving flash mode triggered at 5% battery and lasts 20 min

Memory function: Saves the last mode used when the the light was turned off

3 brightness modes and 4 flash modes(double press to change modes, single press to cycle options)

1.5 – 12 hours runtime depending on mode

36 g in weight

USB rechargeable(battery non-replaceable)

Seat post mount and saddle rail mount

IPX6 Waterproof

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Feels solid throughout; conforming to IPX6 for weatherproofing adds confidence in foul weather.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Intuitive to use but get familiar with the instructions rather than 'winging it' (so you can switch the 'braking' function on/off as required) before setting out.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

Watch strap type design is versatile and very secure.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

Very well sealed from the elements. No issues to date along partially flooded lanes, let alone heavy rain.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Generally favourable, depending on settings. Charge times also relatively quick.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Very impressive for the most part and in some respects a more practical choice than its 180 and 200-lumen siblings.

Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

At present there are no obvious weak spots; charging and run-times remain consistently faithful to those cited.

Rate the light for weight:
 
5/10

It's hardly hefty at 50g, but these days there are units around the 27-30g mark.

Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Despite my reservations regarding the braking function, there is no doubting its intensity, which is particularly helpful on foggy/overcast days. Nonetheless, the other modes are more than a match for most riding contexts and generally offer a good balance between presence and run-times.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

A great balance of performance and economy, generally sensible modes and quick charging.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Braking function is too sensitive and consequently puts a major dent in run-times.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £25.99, the Seemee 100 is good value for money. It's more powerful and better thought out than the Xeccon Mars 30, which comes in at £21.99, has a braking function, but it only produces a maximum of 30 lumens and is somewhat scuppered by a silly bracket.

Blackburn's Dayblazer R65 is £27.99 and is a very good light but doesn't have a memory or braking function.

Lezyne's KTV Pro Alert Drive also has a braking function and costs £30, with a maximum output of 75 lumens. Its brighter Zecto Alert Drive (80 lumens max) and Strip Alert Drive (150) siblings are both £40.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A great light with usable modes and generally decent run-times, but the braking function is too sensitive and consumes battery reserves unnervingly quickly.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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