MAGICSHINE’S SMARTEST BIKE HEADLIGHT
While most new bike lights tend to only be minor updates to legacy products such as color or battery capacity changes, Magicshine is one of the few companies that does major overhauls with each new series. The new Magicshine Ray 2600 is the perfect example of this and is one of Magicshine’s smartest all-in-one front lights they’ve offered to date. Despite the relatively affordable $144.99 retail price, the Ray 2600 has an impressive 2600 lumen output and USB Type-C charging port for fast charging or discharging to power other devices. Unique to the Magicshine Ray 2600 is the integrated ambient light sensor that allows the switch between day and night modes automatically when smart mode is activated. The Ray 2600 also features an optional wired remote that allows you to easily operate the light from a more convenient location.
The Magicshine Ray 2600 is one of the smartest lights Magicshine has offered to date with a built-in ambient light sensor and two button interface.
|Measured Weight (in g)||192 (headlamp), 16 (mount), 14 (optional remote)|
|Likes||+ USB Type-C|
+ Easy to use three-level battery status indicator
+ Two button interface makes it easy to change light intensity on the fly
|Dislikes||– No DRLS|
– Directional beam means it should not be mounted upside down
– Difficult to remember how to use all the features
The Magicshine Ray 2600 comes in a sleek black cardboard box with Magicshine’s distinctive black and orange graphics on it. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Ray 2600 front light
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Handlebar mount w/ different length straps
- Allen key for mount
- Instruction manual
Like most people, we typically disregard the instruction manual, however we’d recommend looking it over as the Ray 2600 has quite a few features.
As with most of Magicshine’s recent front lights, the Ray 2600 utilizes a universal Garmin quarter turn style mount. The simple design utilizes a circular base with two tabs to securely mount on a variety of available accessories on the market. It’s a secure mount style that works on or off-road and is a big improvement over proprietary mounts other companies use. The Ray 2600 also includes a simple handlebar mount (the same one that comes with the Monteer and MJ-90X series of lights) with multiple strap lengths to accommodate aero bars and different diameter round bars and requires an allen wrench to install. We highly recommend using an out-front mount such as the Magicshine TTA or other Garmin compatible mounts on the market instead of the included mount to place the light directly in front of your handlebars.
FIT & FINISH
Visually the Ray 2600 looks similar to other Magicshine all-in-one lights such as the Allty or RN 1200 with a rectangular profile and rounded corners. The lens housing is constructed from CNC aluminium with a matte black finish and subtle grooves along the side. Graphics are limited to a Magicshine logo on the top and the Ray 2600 graphics on the sides. The USB Type-C port is located on the rear of the headlight under a large rubber grommet making it easy to charge other devices on the run or use the optional wired remote. The Ray 2600 also utilizes a dual LED design with a flat lens up front and small cutouts on the side to improve the side visibility.
Not only is the Magicshine Ray 2600 one of the smartest headlights Magicshine has offered, it’s also one of the few to offer a two button interface. Directly on top of the headlight are the up and down rubber buttons that are also back illuminated to indicate battery status and current state. The two-button interface as the Ray 2600 has quite a few options and menu levels to navigate. Before we dive into the details the Ray 2600 features:
- Lockout Mode: One of the newest features is a lock out mode and although it’s common on other lights it’s the first Magicshine light we’ve seen with it. This is also known as a “transport” mode and prevents the light from turning on accidently while being transported or stored. When the mode is on, the buttons will flash red when touched. To enable or disable the mode you simply hold down both buttons for a few seconds until the backlight flashes red (lockout mode is on) or green (lock mode is off). It’s a nice feature to have especially if you’re storing the light in a bag to avoid having the light accidentally turn on and drain the battery.
- Smart Mode: By utilizing the integrated ambient light sensor, the light will switch between a 50 lumen day mode or the selected output mode in low-light conditions. This is a feature Magicshine also has incorporated into many of their Seemee taillights and is one of our favorite modes to use. The top mounted ambient light sensor allows the Ray 2600 to seamlessly be ridden during day or night without having to touch the controls.
In summary the two button interface works as follows:
- Hold up / down: Power the light on or off. If held for longer this also enables and disables the lockout mode
- Hold up & down: Enter the smart mode on/off configuration mode.
- Press up/down: Cycle through light output intensities or switch between smart/non-smart mode
- Double press up/down: Switch between output modes
It’s relatively straight forward, but because of the additional smart mode and lockout modes the buttons can do different things depending on how long you hold the buttons.
The Magicshine Ray 2600 utilizes a dual LED design that can be operated independently or together. This is a similar design as the MJ-902S / MJ-906S lights but is much more useful here as Magicshine has incorporated distinct lens designs for each LED. The left LED acts like a spot light with a standard cone beam and is ideal for trail riding or dark roads. By utilizing horizontal and vertical deflectors on the right LED, the beam is focused on the ground and provides an anti-glare design. We found the right LED ideal for urban riding as the soft-beam cutoff focuses the light in front of the bike. It isn’t a true beam cutoff as you’ll find in StZVO certified lights like the Lupine SL AF 4 or Kryptonite Incite X6 but works well. With the distinct beam shapes of the two LEDs, the different modes are also much more useful and easy to tell apart on the road.
In terms of modes, there are plenty to choose from with 14 preset options. Each of the LED modes (left, right and hybrid) have four intensity options: eco, low, medium and high. There are an additional two flash modes that utilize both LEDs. For the single LED modes, output ranges from 170 to 1300 lumens with run-times of 23 hours to 2.2 hours respectively. We found medium modes most useful for night time riding and eco best for daytime. The combined hybrid mode offers 330 to 2600 lumens and run-times of 11.5 to 1.5 hours respectively. As with other Magicshine lights, the jumps in lumen per mode are large so it’s easy to tell the different intensities apart. The full 2600 lumen mode is impressive at night and can be used on longer rides with 1.5 hours of runtime.
Lastly, there are two separate flash modes with 330 lumen output. Unlike many other Magicshine lights, the flash modes don’t ramp up to the maximum lumen which few people would need. While the first flash mode is a very fast on/off and the second one is a slower flash, both are great for urban or daytime riding. With the light sensor of the Ray 2600, there isn’t much need for flash or lower daytime settings as the light automatically switches to a 50 lumen steady mode. The sensor has a fast reaction time which means day/night mode can be activated when riding through tunnels or areas with a lot of tree coverage.
Overall, we found the Magicshine Ray 2600 to be a well designed smart headlight. We’re happy to see Magicshine incorporate a light sensor as the Ray 2600 can automatically switch between a day and night mode. The other exciting change is the two button interface which makes it easier to make adjustments to brightness or navigate the menu. Although we think the 14 output modes is still one too many, the distinct lens designs of the left and right LEDs make the different output modes useful. For road roading the focused flood style beam of the right LED is very useful, while the spot style beam of the left LED is ideal for trail riding. While most bike companies do minor updates, the Ray 2600 introduces bright output and useful smart features to Magicshine’s headlight lineup.