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Be seen from all directions with Magicshine’s newest Seemee 200
The Magicshine Seemee 200 is an impressive taillight that ensures you remain visible from all directions. The integrated brake and motion sensors provide smart features that are useful in real world riding while the downward facing LED provides a halo at night for 360° visibility.
|Category||Bicycle Tail Light|
|Measured Weight (in g)||40 (taillight): 12 (seatpost mount) + 4 (saddle mount)|
|Likes||+ Dual LED design
+ Integrated motion and brake sensors
+ High output with multiple modes
|Dislikes||– Integrated battery
– Brake sensor is very sensitive
– Second LED reduces night run-times
|Where to Buy (US)||Magicshine USA|
The Seemee 200 comes in a simple box with the characteristic black and orange graphics. Another nice feature is the large opening in the center of the packaging that allows you to interact with the tail light.
In the box you’ll find:
- Seemee 200 tail light
- Seatpost mount
- Saddle mount
- 2x Zip ties
- Micro USB charging cable
- User manual
- Warranty card
The Seemee 200 comes with two mounts out of the box: a seat post mount and a saddle rail mount. While the seatpost mount has the same design as most mounts, a plastic mount with flexible rubber strap, Magicshine has added a clever design detail. The portion of the seat post that sits against the seat post has a rounded profile for standard seat tubes as well as a second rounded cutout. This second cutout allows the seatpost mount to also work on aero seat posts that have sharper trailing edges which would cause typical seat posts mounts to not sit flush. With a simple second cutout, Magicshine has created an easy to use seatpost mount that should work with nearly any seatpost.
In addition to the seatpost mount, a simple plastic seat rail mount is included right out of the box. It is a single sided piece of plastic that has two rounded hooks that snap onto your saddle rails (note elliptical saddle rails will not work). On our saddles, the saddle rail mount had a satisfying click when installed and felt secure. We prefer the higher mounting of the tail light as it has a cleaner look on the bike and better visibility. However, if you are using a saddlebag or high-mounted fe’nder you may not be able to utilize this mount. We do wish Magicshine had included a body clip though, since it is convenient to mount a tail light to a saddle bag or backpack..
FIT & FINISH
The Magicshine Seemee 200 has a unique square profile that differentiates it from the other Seemee tail lights. On the face of the tail light you’ll find the primary LED with a dimpled lens cover that is surrounded by a transparent optical fiber ring and multiple smaller LEDs. The primary LED provides a majority of the output, while the ring provides a uniform glow. You’ll find the Magicshine logo below these two lighting elements on the slightly beveled lower portion. The sides are simply smooth, and parallel with the lens which initially had us worried about side visibility. However, a portion of the housing of the Seemee 200 is transparent and becomes illuminated when the light is on allowing the tail light to be seen from side angles.
On top of the light, you’ll find a rubberized and backlit power button that is easy to use even with gloves on. The Seemee 200 looks quite similar to the Bontrager Flare RT and has nearly the same dimensions, but is slightly taller due to the secondary downward facing LED and additional brake sensor. With a matte finish, the Seemee 200 also looks great whether you mount it on the seatpost or saddle rails.
What really sets the Seemee 200 apart from other taillights on the market is the secondary downward facing LED. This is housed in a protruding elliptical lens that distributes the light along the length of the bike. The downward light is activated when the ambient light sensor detects low light and illuminates the ground around you for an impressive 360° visibility. On the back of the tail light, there is a simple quarter turn style mount (a feature shared with the other Seemee tail lights), and a micro USB port under a rubber cover. The light is rated for IPX6 which means wet weather riding should not be a problem.
The user interface on the Seemee 200 is well designed, as it utilizes a single click to change the setting within a mode or a double click to switch between output types (steady – flash – smart). A long press turns the light on or off in any mode with the built-in mode memory ensuring the tail light is always restored back to the last selected mode. Magicshine has also incorporated a battery status checker into the one-button interface that allows you to short press on the power button to illuminate the backlight for 3 seconds to indicate the battery status. It is a three-level indicator that turns either a green (21-100%), steady red (6-20) or flashing red (>5%). This is a feature we’re excited to see, as it lets you check the battery before you start riding.
The Magicshine Seemee 200 has an integrated motion sensor that can automatically detect braking to activate the boosted 200 lumen mode. Regardless of the current output mode selected, the light will switch to steady 200 lumen for a few seconds to attract attention. This is a feature that’s becoming increasingly popular and can provide extra safety on the road. How effective is it? That isn’t clear, especially as there is no standardized implementation but the light output change should draw attention. One downside with the brake sensor feature though is that run-time becomes reduced depending on how often the mode is triggered.
The calibration of the brake sensor is an additional aspect that determines how useful the feature is. With the Seemee 200, we found that it was overly sensitive and would trigger even on bumps. This is consistent with the Magicshine Seemee 60 which also had a sensitive brake sensor and would often trigger when riding.
AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR
Not only did Magicshine integrate a brake sensor into the Seemee 200, they also added an ambient light sensor. Unlike the Magicshine Seemee 100 or 180 which only use the sensor in the ‘smart’ output mode, the Seemee 200 also uses it to determine if the downward facing LED should be activated. The downward LED is only activated at night, where it is most effective at improving the side visibility. One drawback to the downward LED is that the run-times are significantly reduced leading us to believe the LED may possibly be too bright.
Circling back to the smart mode, if the sensor detects higher ambient light, the smart mode has a slower on-off flash output (better suited for daytime riding). In low-light situations, the output mode switches to a low power – high power flash setting to improve nighttime visibility. We preferred to ride with the smart mode as it allows the Seemee 200 to automatically choose the best mode for the conditions.
COMPARISON (Seemee 200 vs. other Seemee tail lights)
If you’ve read this far into the review, you may be wondering how the Magicshine Seemee 200 compares to the other Seemee tail lights. Across all the current Seemee tail lights (200/180/100/30) you’ll find the same light output modes, user interface, battery status checker and ambient light sensor. The Seemee 200 is unique as it has the highest output with the 200 lumen boosted braking mode and the downward facing LED that lights up the road. We prefer this dual LED design over the other taillights, although the Seemee 180 has a larger rearward facing lens and slightly sleeker profile. For us it’s a bit of a toss up between the Seemee 180 and 200 as they are nearly the same price and have slight advantages over each other.
More is better. At least that’s the strategy Magicshine uses when they develop the output modes for their lights. Across the Seemee tail lights (200/180/100/30), Magicshine has programmed three constant modes, four flash modes and the slick ‘smart’ mode for a total of 8 settings. A single click cycles through the different levels and a double click to alternate between the main steady – flash – smart setting groups. With the Seemee 200, the ambient light sensor also controls whether the downward LED is activated in all the modes, which means the run-times per mode also vary depending on day or night.
The three steady modes are: low (30 lm), medium (70 lm) and high (140 lm) with run-times that vary from 2.5 hrs to 12 hrs. Instead of only having the typical on/off flash, Magicshine has added four different flash patterns: breathe (ramps up from 0 lm to 140 lm and back to 0 lm), comet (ramps down from 140-0 lm), flash (standard on/off at 140 lm) and finally interactive (alternatively flashes the inner and outer rings at 140 lm). The run-times for flash modes vary from 3 to 25 hours, and we particularly like the breath and interactive modes for their uniqueness. The last mode is called ‘smart’ and as we discussed in the previous section utilizes the ambient light sensor to switch between 140 lumen flash or a 10-140 lm night mode flash.
Although the flash modes are distinct from each other, the smart mode is quite similar to the flash and interactive mode which makes it easy to get lost while cycling through the different modes. We would prefer if Magicshine simplified the number of output modes to ‘smart’ and perhaps a steady or flash mode though. In real-world riding, there is little use to having so many modes, particularly when a light sensor can be programmed to automatically optimize the output for the conditions.
Overall, we found that the Magicshine Seemee 200 is an impressive taillight that ensures you remain visible from all directions. The integrated brake and motion sensors provide smart features that are useful in real world riding while the downward facing LED provides a halo at night for 360° visibility. Even though we wish the brake sensor calibration was better tuned, Magicshine has provided an easy interface to disable the brake sensor if desired. We are also very happy to see the three level battery status indicator that lets you easily check the battery status instead of only relying on a low battery warning. The Seemee 200 is an excellent evolution of the Seemee taillight that packs the latest technology at an attractive price.