The RN 1200 is Magicshine’s latest commuter bike headlight that provides an affordable option for a high-lumen and compact bike light. Designed around an integrated 21700 Lithium battery, the RN 1200 has a familiar and sleek rounded rectangular design. With a retail price of $74.99 the RN 1200 is more affordable than the Ally 1000 light while offering a brighter 1200 lumen output. Magicshine has also carried forward many of the popular features of the Allty series of lights into these RN lights which include the standardized Garmin quarter-turn mount and intuitive user interface with three level battery indicator.
The Magicshine RN 1200 is an affordable compact headlight that packs features not typically seen in commuter style headlights. It combines a standardized mount, high lumen output and other features with a long awaited USB Type-C integration.
Magicshine has also incorporated two new and exciting features into the RN 1200. The first is the integrated anti-glare lens that deflects a portion of the output that would otherwise blind oncoming traffic. Although this isn’t a sharp beam cutoff, with the 1200 lumen output of the light it’s a great feature to see at this price point. The second feature is the USB Type-C charging port, a feature the bike industry has been slow to adopt. With the RN 1200, not only can you charge at USB Type-C speeds but you can also discharge allowing you to use the light as a power bank to charge other devices. So how does the RN 1200 compare to other headlights on the market or Magicshine’s own Alllty headlights?
|Category||Bicycle Head Light|
|Measured Weight (in g)||160 (headlight)/16 (handlebar mount)|
|Likes||+ 21700 Lithium Ion battery|
+ USB Type-C charging and discharging
+ Garmin quarter turn style mount
|Dislikes||– Integrated battery|
– Lack of DRL
– Anti-glare design means light shouldn’t be mounted upside down
|Where to Buy (US)||Magicshine|
15% OFF coupon code: “TheSweetCyclists”
The RN 1200 comes in a simple box with the characteristic black and orange graphics. There is minimal use of plastic with the headlight itself prominently displayed at the center.
In the box you’ll find:
- RN 1200 headlight
- Handlebar mount
- 2x Alternate length straps
- Gopro mount adapter
- USB Type-C to USB Type A charging cable
- User manual
- Allen key
While most headlights use proprietary mount designs, Magicshine has used a more generic quarter-turn Garmin style mount. This twist style mount allows the RN 1200 to be used with most out-in-front mounts on the market. Magicshine also includes a GoPro-to-Garmin mount adapter which makes it all the more easier to mount the light. As with the Allty series of headlights, the mount is integrated on the bottom of the RN 1200 and feels secure even over rough roads. For those without an out-in-front mount, Magicshine also includes a simple handlebar mount. There are multiple length straps included in the box which allow you to use the mount on different diameter handlebars.
The handlebar mount (the same that comes with the Allty lights) are cumbersome to install. Installation requires carefully positioning the strap to allow a bolt to slide through and then adjust it using the provided hex key. We prefer the tool-free clever tool-free mounts from Planet Bike and Fenix headlights which are more convenient to use. One thing to note with this light, is that with the anti-glare design you should avoid mounting the RN 1200 upside down as it would re-direct more light towards oncoming traffic.
FIT & FINISH
The Magicshine RN 1200 has a rectangular and modern design with a black metal housing. With the use of the integrated 21700 Lithium Ion battery, the RN 1200 has a compact all-in-one design that’s easy to handle and carry. While the metal exterior gives the RN 1200 a sleek appearance and improved durability, it also results in a 160g weight which is heavier than typical plastic commuter lights. Branding on the light is minimal, with a Magicshine logo on the upper surface and “RN 1200” printed on the side. Those familiar with Magicshine’s Allty series of commuter lights will notice that the RN 1200 shares many visual similarities.
On the front of the RN 1200 is a single Cree LED and a dimpled inner lens for uniform beam output. What’s unique about the RN 1200 is the anti-glare lens which consists of horizontal grooves to deflect a portion of the upper beam downward to the ground. This is similar to the Fenix BC21R v2’s ‘dual-beam’ design and results in a bright and more focused beam. We refer to this as a soft beam cutoff (especially compared to significantly more expensive the Lupine SL’s impressive lens design) and it’s a low-tech feature that we’d like to see in more headlights. To improve the side visibility, the RN 1200’s lens also wraps slightly around the bottom portion of the housing. With the light on, this results in a headlight that can be seen even at higher side angles.
On top of the light you’ll find a large raised power button that is easy to operate even with gloves on. While the RN 1200 lacks an OLED screen with run-time display, the power button serves as a three-level battery status indicator by alternating between green, red, and flashing red. This stays illuminated when riding so you can’t tell when the battery goes low. The USB Type-C port can be found under an oversized rubber cover that results in the IPX7 water rating. By locating the port on the rear, Magicshine has made it easy to access when mounted on the bike if you want to use an external battery pack or charge other devices.
FULLY IMPLEMENTED USB TYPE-C
While there has been an increasing number of USB Type-C bike headlights on the market, they are typically only partially implemented which means they only work with USB Type-A to USB Type-C charging cables. The Magicshine RN 1200 has a claimed “world’s first USB Type-C charging and discharging” feature for a bicycle light. Though we can’t confirm Magicshine’s claim, the RN 1200 is the first bike light that we’ve come across that can actually be charged using a USB Type-C to USB Type-C charging cable (note, that Magicshine still ships the light with a USB Type-C to Type-A charging cable though).
Additionally the headlight can be charged on-the-go from the USB Type-C port and still operated at full power settings. This means you can easily extend the run-time of the headlight by attaching a power bank to the light. The discharging feature also means you can use the RN 1200 as a power bank to charge other devices such as your cell phones. These are impressive features and considering the fact that the bike industry has been slow to adopt USB Type-C, the RN 1200 is a welcome change. With this light, you won’t need additional dongles or cable and can use simple USB Type-C cables across devices.
The RN 1200 comes programmed with three different steady mode options and two flash variations. The steady mode outputs and claims run-time range from 300lm/6.5hr, 600lm/3hr and 1200lm/1.5hr for the low, medium, and high modes respectively. On the road, we found the RN 1200 worked well on the medium setting for darker trails and low setting for more urban settings. As with most head lights, the brightest settings result in lower run-times which means they are best reserved for shorter bursts. With the anti-glare design, the RN 1200 looks brighter than the Allty 1000 for all the steady modes. Despite only using a single LED, the beam pattern of the RN 1200 has a well distributed side beam with good throw to illuminate around you and down the road. Comparing the beam output to the Allty 1000, it’s easy to see that the anti-glare design results in more output on the ground around the bike instead of being wasted.
There is an additional standard flash mode (400lm, 9hr) and a high frequency flash mode (700lm, 5hr). As the RN 1200 lacks an integrated DRL, the flash modes can be used for improved daytime visibility. Switching between the modes is also easy, despite having only a single button interface. A single short press cycles through the settings, while a fast double press switches between the steady and flash modes. This design means that you don’t need to cycle through flash mode when changing the steady mode output, something that can be very distracting at night.
Overall, we found that the Magicshine RN 1200 is an affordable headlight that combines many of the strengths of other Magicshine headlights with full USB Type-C capabilities (i.e. charge on the go, USB C2C charging, charging other devices). Not only does the RN 1200 have a universal Garmin style mount that allows the headlight to be used with most standard mounts, it also has an easy to use three level battery status indicator which allows you to quickly check the battery state. For the first time, Magicshine has also added a simple anti-glare lens design that adds horizontal deflectors to redirect a portion of the beam that would blind oncoming traffic toward the ground. While this only acts as a soft beam cutoff, it improves the illumination by focusing more lumens on the ground. With the USB Type-C integration, high output, and slew of features, the RN 1200 is a budget friendly commuter light option from Magicshine that is rare to find at this price point.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Magicshine. 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 monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.
6 Replies to “Magicshine RN 1200, a Full-featured USB Type-C Headlight”
Well done for bigging-up the USB-C specs. Until more reviews make an issue of this feature I think manufacturers will continue to drag their heels, safe in the knowledge that the fact won’t become an issue until the customer has paid.
USB C just isn’t that important. There’s nothing stopping anyone charging any legacy USB Micro-B device from a more modern USB-C charger – you can simply use a USB-C to Micro-B cable. Bicycle lights don’t transfer data so there are no data transfer speed benefits. On a bike light it’s just the physical plug shape. Technically USB C has the ability to carry more power but that will depend heavily on your charger AND cable and I doubt it’s helpful for bicycle lights, you can already heat up a battery quite well while charging it with regular old USB A phone charger. Honestly USB-C charging difference for bike lights will be negligible, for this it’s JUST a plug shape. And there are gazillions of Micro-USB cables around, with those you can charge your lights from a USB port on an internet router or the back of your TV in a pinch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying USB-C is useless, and I’m not saying lights shouldn’t use it – but the truth is it just doesn’t provide any benefit over legacy USB for the purposes of charging a bicycle light. So readers shouldn’t be be fooled that there are massive benefits of any kind. Anyone crowing about it in this way is just being a fanboi and doesn’t really understand the technology of it.
Great point. Especially for commuter or smaller lights the advantages of USB Type-C are less important. For larger battery packs, the USB Type-C does allow the battery packs / lights to be used as powerbanks for other devices which is a nice perk.
You completely miss the point, deliberately I presume.
Of course you can scratch around to find that old micro-usb cable you used to use to charge your old Android 6 phone all those years ago. And of course you can buy another one from the pound shop when you lose it. And sure, we appreciate your technical words of wisdom about how it will still interface with and provide charge from a newer USB charger (did you seriously think people were confused on that point?)
But it is just one more unnecessary annoyance, to have to keep a dedicated wire that only gets used for one thing, that gets easily forgotten when you pack for holiday, that you have to remember to bring with you because nobody else still uses one anymore.
But yeah, they still work, genius.