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review

Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo

8
£24.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Great features, good burn times and excellent visibility for the price
Good side visibility
Sleek design
Memory function
Ambient light sensor works well
Shortish run times in solid modes
First rear failed...
Weight: 
48g

The Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo is a set of 30 lumen LED lights aiming to get you seen. The slim profile means they easily attach to seat posts, seat stays, forks or handlebars, and features such as infrared ambient light sensors are rarely found at this price. They're easy to use, stuffed with useful features and very visible around town.

Unboxing these lights you find two identical units, a rubber strap for each and a micro-USB cable. On the back of each light is a detachable rubber pad which not only reduces slippage, but also minimizes scratching to a bike.

I've mounted these in various places on multiple bikes without any issues – they're slim enough to mount to a fork leg or seat stay if space is at a premium – and the straps are long enough to run over handlebar brake/gear cables.

> Buy these online here

The rear sits securely on both 27.2mm and 30.9mm posts, but the scooped back of the rubber mount is unlikely to sit well with aero posts. (Note the 2-4mm thick mount, which runs the length of the back and doubles as the USB port cover, was left off for these pictures. The photographer has since been fired. Into the freezing void of space. In flip-flops.)

2020 Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo - rear.jpg

Maximum output is 30 lumens, which is a fair bit more than many of this ilk. This means that in their brightest settings the lights can be seen from about half a mile away but more importantly can cut through the noise in a busy urban environment.

The Lezyne Femto USB Drive set, as a contrasting example, puts out 15 lumens (front) and just five lumens (rear).

Side visibility for the Seemee 30 is also good (230 degrees), which helps to get you seen at junctions and roundabouts, and the chip-on-board LED design gives great lumen density and uniform lighting.

2020 Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo - front light 2.jpg

Front and rear lights feature the same modes, although the run times do vary slightly as producing red light requires slightly more energy. For the record, the claims are:

  • Constant: High (30 lumens – 2 hrs), Medium (14 lumens – 4 hrs), Low (7 lumens - 9.5 hrs)
  • Flash: Flash (7 lumens – 40 hrs), Breathe (0-30 lumens – 4.5 hrs), Comet (0-30 lumens – 5.5 hrs)
  • Smart: Day (30 lumens – 15.5 hrs), Night (3-30 lumens – 10.5 hrs)

Out in the real world, the run times prove accurate to within around five percent.

Both Breathe and Comet flash modes still kick out 30 lumens, which is very eye catching, but the pause between each pulse is a little long for my liking and could be missed by a quick glance.

Consequently I was drawn towards the Smart modes, where the ambient light sensor detects darkness and keeps a three-lumen light burning between flashes.

2020 Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo - front light USB port.jpg

To check the charge level, a single press gives either a solid light (20-100% left) or a flashing one (under 20%). Below 5% an emergency flash mode activates, halting usual operation but offering 20 minutes before cutting out completely.

2020 Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo - front light logo.jpg

Operation is simple, and I've been chucking these in a backpack all month and not once had them turn on accidentally (that takes a two-second press). Once on, a single press scrolls through the intensities, while a double press selects solid, flash or smart functions.

2020 Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo - front light switch.jpg

This simplicity means they're easily operated on the move, and the memory function is a welcome feature not often found at this price point.

Light damage

All good, then? Mostly. On returning from a wet commute about three weeks in I found the rear light wouldn't turn off. Odd, I thought – the IPX6 rating should be more than enough to keep out the road spray. It soon became apparent the issue was terminal, though, with the light turning on and off as it pleased. The culprit, I can only assume, was water ingress.

Magicshine sent out a new set the problem is covered under the warranty, and it's worth noting that my original set was stamped 'sample' and consequently could come from a different production run to the retail versions that replaced them.

> The best 2021 front lights for cycling: Our big beam comparison engine plus how-to-choose guide

The second set, which I've been using for over four weeks now, have since seen some truly biblical downpours and multiple trips to the sink/shower for punishment, and have performed flawlessly. Given the front and rear units are the same design, and three of the four tested were fine, it seems the problem was a manufacturing error rather than a design flaw.

Value

Your £24.99 gets a lot of light for the money. There are cheaper options available, such as the Oxford Bright Spot USB light set at £19.99, but that isn't as bright despite the claimed output being higher.

Alternatives with similar features and burn times to the Magicshine all seem to cost more: the very lightweight Knog Plus Twinpack also lasts between two and 40 hours, but lacks smart modes and costs £31.99, while the Fabric Lumacell light set similarly lacks smart modes and is £36.99.

The Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo is an excellent choice for commuting and town use, offering great visibility, easy operation and strong value. Even the failure of one test unit doesn't put us off, as the replacement – like the warranty service – works perfectly.

Verdict

Great features, good burn times and excellent visibility for the price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo

Size tested: 30 lumens max

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?

Magicshine says these: "...offer ample visibility for surrounding pedestrian and motorists," and with 30 lumens, plenty of flash and even smart modes I agree.

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

From Magicshine:

30 lumens max, 230 degrees visibility

Ambient Light Sensor: Auto adjusts light mode and output depending on ambient conditions

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

1 constant and 4 flash modes, 3 brightness modes

2 hours runtime on highest brightness constant mode

24 g in weight

USB rechargeable

O-ring mount

Rate the front light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
 
8/10

A single button and easy to learn.

Rate the front light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

The first rear light failed due to what I can only assume was water ingress after returning from a wet ride. The second set (warranty replacement) has been fine.

Rate the front light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10
Rate the front light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the front light for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for durability:
 
7/10

The replacement set has no issues (and neither did the original front), so I think the failure was probably a one-off manufacturing defect.

Rate the front light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the light set for value:
 
7/10

With features – such as memory mode and smart functions – usually only found on more expensive units, value feels high.

Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose

The modes are versatile and 30 lumens is enough to get you seen even in busy cities.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights

Sleek design.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights

The first rear passing quality control...

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

Very well – alternatives with the same power and burn times are generally more expensive, and even then rarely have all the features.

Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes

Would you consider buying the lights? Yes

Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are very good lights, and while the first rear died, there are a couple of things to note. Firstly, the warranty replacements survived far worse punishment and conditions, which makes me think it was a manufacturing defect rather than a design issue. And secondly, the original set was stamped 'sample' on the side and could, potentially, have come from a different run to the retail versions. So they still score highly.

The lights have a ton of features that are actually beneficial rather than just gimmicks, they're easy to use and the price is strong. Above all else they're great at getting you seen, which is just what you want from a set of commuter lights.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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