The Magicshine SeeMee 200 is a very potent and eye-catching rear light with a neat cube design. The 200 lumen claim is a bit sneaky – that's with the brake light activated – but even so, it's a winner with some very practical settings and good run times. Unfortunately, to get those run times you have to switch the brake light function off...
There's a fair bit of technology packed into this little composite cube, and it's all well sealed from the elements with an impressive IPX6 rating, meaning it can resist heavy rain and pressurised water (but not submersion so avoid, you know, harbours and river beds and stuff).
Look closely and you notice not one but two lenses: a main light and another beneath, which Magicshine calls the 'tracing light'. This projects a 360-degree arc of red light down to the road. It's not a not a new concept, but probably the most effective version I've come across.
The main lens casts a 260-degree arc, which should avoid stealth moments when turning. The large main Cree LED is flanked by an outer wall of tiny diodes.
Though not quite bewildering, there are eight settings and it's a good idea to sit and digest them before heading off for the first time. Broadly, though, the modes are divided into steady, flashing, and smart.
There are three steady: high (140 lumens), mid (70 lumens) and low (30 lumens). Next you get four flashing modes: Breathe, Comet, Flash and Interactive. All are 140 lumens, and run different sequences and tempos.
Last but not least is the smart setting, where an ambient light sensor adjusts intensity between 140 and just 10 lumens for maximum efficiency. It also switches off the trace light during daylight.
There's a useful, automatic power kick down when the battery reaches five percent (which it will surprisingly quickly if you're running the brake light function). From there you've got around 20 minutes before the system shuts down.
The battery indicator is functional, if crude. Green denotes anywhere between 100 and 20 percent, whereupon it turns red – there's no amber. Get really low and the red starts flashing.
The lithium polymer cell refuels from the ubiquitous micro USB cable, and a full charge (on mains power) takes two hours. Bargain on another 20 minutes or so from a laptop. Much like everyone else's, the indicator switches from red to solid green when fully juiced. The charge port cover is a reassuringly snug fit, and I haven't felt the need to add silicone grease.
The SeeMee 200 uses a sturdy rubberised 'watch strap' which has entertained the full zodiac of post diameters and, crucially, much thinner things like seat stays too (I've even successfully mounted ours to helmets). There's also a saddle rail mount for a really sleek fit.
This is a simple, top mounted rubberised affair. It's fairly positive, and requires a two second press to power up and a double click to switch modes – the likelihood of unwanted changes is pretty remote. It's easy in gloves, and the unit remembers your last mode and restarts there, which is good.
Magicshine claims it's visible to 3,000m. I can't honestly attest to that – that's nearly two miles – but it is genuinely very bright, even on the brightest days. Friends reckon they can pick me out from half a mile or so, and even chainstay mounted, that tracing light puts you in the spotlight.
I haven't honestly dared push the SeeMee 200 to its theoretical 50hr maximum burn, but I've crept past thirty with no issues and – given how accurate the run times are in the heavier modes (within a few minutes over 3-4 hours), it seems likely to be trustworthy.
Add the 200 lumen braking function to its 140L steady mode, though, and the run time drops hugely. First time round, I was surprised to see the fuel light turn red after 90 minutes, though it managed another 70 minutes before kicking down to the 30 lumen flash and switching off the tracer lamp.
True to the claims, I got another 20 minutes before it completely shut down.
That incredibly bright (and power-sapping) brake light seems a little too sensitive, and it's easily triggered by small lumps or even swerves to avoid debris, as well as by actual braking.
It feels effective, though. On deserted lanes, cars and vans generally seemed to chart more cautious overtakes.
The 70 lumen steady setting is arguably the best at night, while the low 30 lumens seems good, as opposed to painfully harsh, for group rides or stop-go traffic. Interactive offers the best nocturnal burn time at around 4hrs 30m.
There are a lot of lights at around £34, but few with this spec, which makes direct comparisons tricky. The Tern Vizzy rear light is another quirky design with a tracer lamp, but despite some nice touches it can't hold a proverbial candle to the SeeMee 200. It's a fair bit pricier at £44 too.
For less power but arguably better performance on long-distance commutes or winter training rides, Magicshine's own SeeMee 100 (review to come) is only £25.99 and also features a brake light.
The Magicshine SeeMee 200 is well made and has some neat, intelligent features for the money. While the brake light is oversensitive and drains the battery pretty hard, this is still a very usable, effective, and bright light for all kinds of riding.
Innovative and generally likeable light, but brake function needs revision
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Magicshine SeeMee 200
Size tested: 200 Lumens
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: "Most powerful model in the Seemee bike tail light series, the Seemee 200 has a super bright main light and a secondary area light, providing optimal visibility for urban and road cyclists."
It's a clever and bright light with sensible modes, but the braking function is too sensitive and hurts run times.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
* 200 lumens max main light, 140 lumens consistent, 260 degrees wide visibility from behind the rider, visible from more than 2 miles away
* 360 degrees visibility secondary area light, forming a circle of light under the rider
* Brake Sensor: 200 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 light conditions(only in smart mode)
* Low power mode: Power saving flash mode triggered automatically 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)
* 2.5 – 50 hours runtime depending on mode
* 40 g in weight
* USB rechargeable(battery non-replaceable)
* Seat post mount and saddle rail mount
* IPX6 Waterproof
Solidly made and well sealed from the elements.
Very user-friendly, but read the instructions carefully.
Simple but versatile and reliable.
Very well sealed. Resists heavy rain and waterlogged roads without missing a beat.
Good, provided you disengage the brake function, which is a recurrent theme across this family of lights.
Phenomenal output and presence, but mode choice and braking function can put a big dent in run times.
Solidly made, so no reason to believe it shouldn't live a long and productive life.
53g doesn't present an issue for me, and it's very solidly made.
Impressive given the performance and specification.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's very impressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Solidly made, nice spread of modes and the trailer light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Overly sensitive braking function.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Very favourably. There are a lot of lights at this price point, but few with this spec – which makes direct comparisons quite tricky. The Tern Vizzy is another quirky design with a tracer-type light, but despite some nice touches, it can't hold the proverbial candle to the SeeMee 200 and is a fair bit pricier too.
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
This is an innovative, well made light with sensible modes that cover most bases well. If the braking function wasn't so oversensitive it could be an eight – a reliable brake light and decent run times would be great – but as it is it's good and a seven.
About the tester
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)