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Magicshine Ray 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light

9
£113.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Capable and very tuneable light at a great price
Good range of modes for most situations
Light sensor system very responsive and genuinely useful
Well made
USB C charger
Wired remote
Can double as a power bank
Mount doesn't feel the most robust
Weight: 
208g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Magicshine Ray 2600 is a very capable light, pumping out – as its name suggests – a maximum of 2,600 lumens. It also has some innovative and genuinely clever features, though I'm not overly sold on the mount which doesn't feel the most robust, but thankfully any Garmin type will host.

It's a dual lens design – one flood, one spot, with collimators to project those beams precisely – and that headline output is achieved with both lenses on and firing out 1,300 lumens apiece.

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Build quality is impressive, too: its neatly executed aluminium body serves as a heat sink and is designed to withstand drops of up to a metre. It also meets IPX6 for waterproofing; it wouldn't survive being pitched into a canal, or bog snorkelling, but covers most bases and has passed my garden hose test with flying colours.

Modes and output

Essentially, you get four steady modes – Eco, Low, Mid and High – when using either lens in isolation or together (so 12 in total), plus (dual lens) flashing and pulsing.

The output for each mode using either lens singly goes: Eco (170lm), Low (330lm), Mid (650lm) and High (1,300lm). Use both lenses in combination and the output roughly doubles (330, 650, 1,300 and 2,600lm) while the run-times are near enough halved.

You also get 'smart' or ambient mode, where the output is automatically adjusted (from its default 50 lumens in dual mode when first selected) to suit the conditions. Even at 50 lumens it has some presence when starting off, and once I'd gained confidence in its ability to increase power, it brought a smile to my face. It isn't quite seamless, and is possibly best used when light slowly fades, say at dusk, but did okay when I suddenly whizzed through an underpass or a shady overgrown section of trail.

As for the set modes, my benchmark for back-of-beyond road blasting is 1,300 lumens and I wasn't disappointed. I could cruise along at 20mph in the flood-and-spot combination Mid mode with ample warning of mud, holes, sharps and a variety of wildlife.

A switch to the full 2,600lm High and I could hit 35mph on some descents with an excellent view of conditions ahead, flicking down to the 1,300-lumen spot at the first sign of oncoming traffic – situations where the wired remote comes into its own.

2021 Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light - front.jpg

Lower down the orders, the 650lm (Mid) flood mode was more useful than I was expecting; used atop a helmet, it cast a useful arc of light, giving a good snapshot of conditions ahead for speeds of 17-18mph (though the lack of a wireless remote does make mode changes tricky).

The Mid spot is just about enough for unlit roads – 14-17mph – and useful if reserves are running low or you need to conserve some power on a longer ride. A better bet for semi-rural stuff, I'd say.

The 330-lumen dual-beam Eco is more than adequate for the suburbs without being aggressive, giving a good sweep of conditions ahead, while dropping down to just a single lens (170lm) is a good bet for shared paths and well-lit streets in town, especially if you were wanting to conserve battery life.

As for the 330-lumen flashing/pulsing modes, these are a nice tempo and very extrovert – certainly good enough for daylight running duties.

Operation

The main switch is a rubbery, top-mounted affair. It's quite squishy and requires a definite prod, so accidental engagements are unlikely. It also has a locking mode, denoted by a red outline. Selecting this and the blue (smart) mode is a question of sustained one-second presses of both buttons.

2021 Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light - top.jpg

Releasing the light from locked requires a five-second press, then it's just a question of pressing the up/down arrow depending on whether you want more or fewer lumens – no having to course through them all and, crucially, hit the flashing modes, which can be very disorientating.

There's also a memory function, so you can just switch on and go.

The kit also includes that wired remote I mentioned earlier, similar to that employed in the Ravemen PR range. It plugs into the USB C port and attaches via a sturdy rubber o-ring, though the cable is on the short side.

2021 Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light - remote USB port.jpg

It's user-friendly, even at 20-odd mph, if slightly remote in full-finger, winter weight gloves.

2021 Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light - remote 1.jpg

That blue smart mode also denotes an auto stop-start function, which is essentially a motion/vibration sensor that switches the light off after three minutes of inactivity and re-engages when you move again.

In common with many, the switch also acts as a traffic-light-style battery life indicator, so you can check in a glance.

Battery life and charging

Given the light's compact dimensions, I was impressed Magicshine was able to shoehorn a 3.6V 6700mAh lithium-ion cell inside.

Run-times have proved very faithful – within 5 minutes – of those cited (from 1.5 to 22.5 hours), and the charge light indicator also seems reliable, so all things being equal you'd be going some to get plunged into darkness.

As for charging, ours has gone from zero to hero in 2hrs 40mins from the mains, 3hrs from a laptop or similar third-party device.

Mount

The light attaches via a Garmin type platform, so fitting and removal is just a matter of turning the lamp 180 degrees, and you get several straps to suit a variety of bar diameters and shapes, held taut with a hex screw.

2021 Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light - handlebar mount.jpg

It's undeniably versatile, but doesn't feel the most robust.

Value

The Ray 2600 is hard to beat on value, given the asking price and specification.

Probably its closest comparator, specification-wise, is the Ravemen PR2400 which, in my view, has a much nicer main switch and an OLED display for pinpoint accuracy. However, it's getting on for twice the Magicshine's price.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2021/22 front lights for cycling

It also looks better value than the excellent Giant Recon HL 1800, which is a few quid more at £119.99. The Recon also has an ambient light sensor, but 'only' puts out 1,800 lumens.

There are cheaper options if you're happy with a lower max output: Oxford's Ultratorch Headlight CL1600 is £69.99, and as well as offering 1,600 lumens in its highest mode has an LCD run-time and mode indicator, and acts as a power bank facility.

Conclusion

Ultimately, I've been seriously impressed by the Magicshine Ray 2600. It offers modes for pretty much every occasion and some impressive features. I found the rubbery switch an acquired taste, and though serviceable enough, the mount felt a little insubstantial. However, there are a wealth of other options, and these are very minor points.

Verdict

Capable and very tuneable light at a great price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Magicshine RAY 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light

Size tested: 2600 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 simply describes it as 'a smart bike light with lighting and motion sensor'.

I'd describe it as a very solid, capable light with neat features and a very tempting price tag.

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

Magicshine lists these details:

Lumen : 2600

Beam Distance : 183 M

Battery: 3.6V 6700mAh

Charging: USB-C fast charging and discharging

Charging Time: 2.5-3 hours

Waterproof: IPX 6

Runtime: 1.5-22.5 H

Locked /Memory Function

Application: Urban, Road, Off-Road

Newly introduced is the smart mode, press and hold both buttons briefly when the light is off to toggle between normal (flash blue) and smart (constant blue). Under smart mode, the bike light monitors the level of ambient light and adjusts the output automatically. 50 lumens dual-beam mode is maintained when the environment is well lit, while full brightness mode is activated under low light conditions, such as night time or when entering a tunnel. Smart mode also enables the vibration sensor which triggers sleep mode after 3 minutes of inaction when the rider is ready to set out again, whereupon any vibration will turn on the light.

RAY 2600 is powered by two customized 18650 power batteries, with a total capacity of 6,700mAh, aside from sustaining super long runtime,the battery could also act as an emergency power bank via its USB-C fast charging port for your Type-C compatible devices.

Built-in thermal management and the one piece aluminum alloy housing provideefficient and consistent cooling for the extremely high powered LEDs, protecting internal components when the light is operating athigh gear. Another perk of the one piece seamless design is that the unit is mostly waterproof, coupled with the quality ofconstruction, RAY 2600 is easily IPX6 waterproof. For ease of use we are also adopting the quarter-turn style mounting mechanism similar to Garmin computers, literally one second to put on/take off of your mainstream Garmin bar or helmet mount. As an optional accessory, we are offering a sleek little remote, connecting via the Type-C port, the wired remote straps close to your thumb, and use a single button to access the most commonly used light modes.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Feels really solid throughout save for the mount, although in fairness it is serviceable.

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

Generally well designed and user-friendly, though I found the main switch took a little getting used to.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

The mount is serviceable, and being of the Garmin type there are plenty of readily available alternatives.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Decent run-times and the time to charge isn't unreasonable, given the output.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10

A really well-balanced package with good output and nice features.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Feels solid, no reason to think it shouldn't last.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

208g is good compared with other high power systems, including the Ravemen PR 2400 which I am rather fond of.

Rate the light for value:
 
10/10

Hard to fault, given the specification and overall performance.

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

Having become familiar with the main switch, I've been thoroughly impressed by the spread of modes and ambient light technology, which tailors the light to conditions. The ability to run flood and spot together or singly means it caters well for most riding contexts, on or offroad, open roads, or through town. Run-times, even in the highest settings, are very reasonable and faithful to those cited.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Ambient light function, sensible modes, build quality, and all at a really tempting price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Mount, though serviceable, is the only minor detraction.

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

Probably its closest comparator, specification-wise, is the Ravemen PR2400 which, in my view, has a much nicer main switch and an OLED display for pinpoint accuracy. However, it's getting on for twice the Magicshine's price.

It also looks better value than the excellent Giant Recon HL 1800, which is a few quid more at £119.99. The Recon also has an ambient light sensor, but 'only' puts out 1,800 lumens.

There are cheaper options if you're happy with a lower max output: Oxford's Ultratorch Headlight CL1600 is £69.99, and as well as offering 1,600 lumens in its highest mode has an LCD run-time and mode indicator, and acts as a power bank facility.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Definitely

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's excellent: an impressive, competitively priced light for most riding contexts, though the mount could be better.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 48  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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