The engineers at Magicshine have clearly been having too much time on their hands with the MJ 9 series of lights. This series of headlights starts with the affordable MJ-900 designed around a single Cree XM-L2 LED and a claimed 1200 lumen output. With each model above the MJ-900 the lumen output increases as more and more Cree LEDs are packed into the light head. How many LEDs is too many? With two LEDs, Magicshine claims 1600 lumens which should be sufficient for a majority of people. Not for Magicshine, as they also released a MJ-906 (5 LEDs) and the MJ-908 (8 LEDs!). Today we’ll be looking at the MJ-906 which has an impressive advertised 5000 theoretical lumen output.
The 5000 lumen is a theoretical number that comes from the fact that the MJ-906 packs 5 Cree XM-L2 LEDs, each capable of a little over 1000 lumens each. Note the identical bluetooth version, MJ-906B, has a published actual lumen output of 3200 which is a good indication of what this light actually puts out. Although that isn’t as impressive as the 8000 theoretical lumen output of the MJ-908, the MJ-906 treads the line between overkill and practicality.
|Category||Bicycle Head Light|
|Likes||+ Compact Light Head|
+ High lumens for size
+ Excellent beam pattern
|Dislikes||– Single button interface |
– Blinding for oncoming traffic
– Actual output not published
|Where to Buy (US)||Magicshine|
A compact yet powerful bicycle headlight perfect for those who want high-output at a reasonable cost.
The MJ-906 is one of the mid-level Magicshine offerings, and as such comes with an excellent high-end carrying case. Under the carrying case cover, you’ll find:
- MJ-906 light head
- Standard 7800 mAh battery pack – six cell Li-ion battery
- 15 lumen wired rear brake light
- Wall charger with status indicator light
- Multiple rubber mounting straps
- Wireless remote
- Y-Splitter cable
Overall the light is compact with a majority of the light head taken up with aluminium fins for cooling. Note the included wired tail light is the same one offered in other combination packages offered by Magicshine.
As is common with Magicshine, the MJ-906 uses the standard rubber straps to attach the light head to the handlebars. These rubber straps may look insufficient, but hold the light to the handlebar securely and have survived years of use in my experience. The large battery pack uses the standard velcro straps and rubberized pads to attach to the bicycle frame. Mounting the battery pack on the down tube works well if you aren’t using a water bottle cage at the location, otherwise the top tube works well.
FIT AND FINISH
The overall light design feels professional and well built. Most of the light head is taken up with the aluminium cooling fins and a large button on the top of the light head. One big drawback of the MJ-906 is the lack of an LCD screen or run-time display like that included in the MJ-908. This means using the light requires cycling through the single button and deciphering the battery level indicator through the backlit button. Once the battery capacity is less than 20 percent, the button will be illuminated red.
A long press will turn the light on or off, while a quick click will run through the different modes. Speaking of modes, there are only 5 modes (compare that to the 15 settings the Magicshine Eagle F3 has): low, medium, medium high, high and a flash mode. Unfortunately, with this design you will need to cycle through the flash mode to change the brightness levels. With the brightness of the light, this can be potentially dangerous if done while riding at high speeds.
With 5 Cree LEDS, the MJ-906 has some impressive light output. The square light head design results in a very bright and even light distribution. The beam pattern is an excellent mix between the flood and spot, allowing you to see both around you and further down the road when riding. The five modes have a published battery life of: 2 hours (high, 100%), 3.2 hours (medium high, 75%), 5.2 hours (medium, 50%), 10.2 hours (low, 20%) and 7 hours (flash, 50%).
Comparing the light output side-by-side, there is a distinct difference between the lower power setting and higher power settings. The beam pattern is uniform with no hot spots and a nice square shape. Looking at the side view, you can also see the beam angle is well distributed both horizontally and vertically without any cutoffs. In the real world, I find the lowest setting sufficient for urban riding and medium more than enough for early morning dark roads. Battery life is consistent with what Magicshine predicts, and with only 4 hours a week of use allows us to charge the light only every few weeks.
Overall, the MJ-906 is an excellent high-output and compact bicycle light with more than enough run-time for short or long rides. The light lacks the run-time display screen though, which makes judging the current mode and remaining battery life difficult. Additionally, you do have to cycle through flash mode to access the other modes. Otherwise, the 5 Cree LED combination and small size make this a light that we’d recommend for both mountain bikers and road cyclists.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.