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The Magicshine Monteer 8000S turns the night into day with an impressive 8000 lumen output.
Advancements in LED designs and battery capacity mean that modern bike lights are capable of high lumen output while still retaining small form factors.The new Magicshine Monteer 8000S bike light is an excellent example of this trend as it incorporates an updated battery and LED setup into the previous generation Monteer 6500 bike light to achieve an impressive 8000 lumen output. Now a 8000 lumen Magicshine sounds familiar, that’s because the Magicshine MJ-908 also carried that claim. However, while the MJ-908 had a theoretical 8000 lumen output (each of the 8 LEDs is capable of 1000 lumen output) the Monteer 8000S has a claimed FL-1 measured 8000 lumen output which is achieved with the updated Cree LEDs and a higher capacity battery pack design.
The Magicshine Monteer 8000S turns the night into day with an impressive 8000 lumen output.
With a retail price of $399.00 the Monteer 8000S may be one of the most expensive lights Magicshine offers, but at $20 per lumen it is still a bargain. To be able to provide enough energy to power the LEDs, the light uses Magicshine‘s updated MJ-6118 battery pack which consists of four 21700 Lithium ion batteries for an improved 7.2V / 10,000 mAh capacity. Not only is the Monteer 8000S the most powerful variation of the expanded Monteer product line (which has been expanded to include the Monteer 3500 and 5000), it is also one of the brightest lights Magicshine has offered to date. Is it practical to ride with an 8000 lumen bike light? The answer is probably not, but as light enthusiasts we are excited to see what the Monteer 8000S has to offer.
Magicshine packs the Monteer 8000S in a sleek black cardboard box with crisp graphics. In the box there is a foam cutout with:
- Monteer 8000S headlamp
- MJ-6118 7.2V 10.0Ah battery pack w/ Velcro straps
- Out front mount w/ handlebar rubber pads
- USB-C to USB charging cable
Although the box is well designed and can be used to travel with the light, we would have preferred the zippered travel bag Magicshine that came with the MJ-908 and previous high powered models.
Consistent with Magicshine’s other lights, the Monteer 8000S uses the Garmin style quarter turn mount directly molded into the bottom of the headlamp. This is one of our favorite features of Magicshine lights, as the Garmin style mount is very common and allows you to use the light on your existing mounts instead of having to purchase proprietary mounts. The included out front mount is similar to the Magicshine TTA mount but stubbier, and has a satisfying click when attaching the Monteer 8000S. It’s a single sided mount, but appears to have the screw holes on the bottom side which means you could likely turn it into a dual sided mount with a compatible puck. The Monteer 8000S can be mounted upside down, as there is no beam cutoff with the lens design but without a remote power switch, watching the battery level or changing modes is more cumbersome. At 144g, the lighthead can also be mounted on a helmet but again without a remote power button it would be tricky changing modes.
FIT & FINISH
At first glance, the new Monteer 8000s looks a lot like the existing Monteer 6500. The compact aluminium headlamp design has in fact been carried over from the existing Monteer light. That isn’t a bad thing, as it’s a compact and sleek design with built-in fins for heat dissipation. Thanks to the wired battery pack design, the head lamp is surprisingly small but on the taller side to accommodate the five LED design. To achieve the higher 8000 lumen output, the Cree LEDs have been upgraded to three Cree XHP 50.2 and two XM-L2. Also carried over from the previous model is the single illuminated power button mounted on top of the housing. The wires exit the housing at a sharp right angle which makes it easy to route under your handlebars.
One thing that isn’t compact is the updated MJ-6118 battery pack. It’s a large battery pack even though the battery pack uses four 21700 Li-ion batteries that offer high-capacity and slightly more compact design than the traditional 18650 batteries. However, with the wired design it’s easy to hide the battery pack on a top tube or downtube and out of the way. The battery pack also features USB Type-C charging and discharging, allowing it to double as a powerbank for other devices when you aren’t riding. In our experience, the weak point of wired bike lights has typically been the wire connection points between the battery and headlamp.
With the updated MJ-6118, the wire connectors feel more durable and even offer a latching design that allows it to fully disconnect from the battery pack. Note, the battery pack alone retails for $139.99 which is a fraction of the Monteer 8000S price. Compared to the battery packs included with the Magicshine MJ-906 and MJ-908 lights, the updated battery pack is sleeker and offers easier mounting. We found the included velcro straps and thick rubber pad kept the battery pack in place even over rough terrain.
With the Monteer 8000S, as well as the other Monteer lights in the series, Magicshine has opted for the same simple one-button interface on top of the headlamp. The button is rubberized and is illuminated to show three levels of battery status: green (21-100%), red (6-20%) and flashing red (0-5%). Turning the light on is a short press while a long press shuts the light off. With the light on, a single press cycles through the options within the mode and a double press switches between the modes. There are three primary output modes that a double press cycles through: flood mode (top 3 LEDs), spot mode (bottom two LEDs) and a hybrid mode (all 5). Within each mode, a single press cycles through four intensities (10 / 25 / 50 / 100%) and a flashing mode.
That unfortunately means you do always have to cycle through flash mode, something that can be quite annoying on dark roads. WIth a total of 15 different modes, it’s also easy to get lost as it’s difficult to visually tell the modes apart. We often found ourselves peeking over the handlebars to confirm which LEDs were active. Also we would have preferred an OLED screen or secondary button/indicator to show what mode was active, particularly with the premium price. The light also doesn’t have a remote control, which means that helmet mounting the Monteer would require fumbling with the top button to switch between modes. While we prefer the two button interface of the previous Magicshine Eagle F3 or the OLED design of the MJ-908, the Monteer 8000S is easy to use.
Obviously with the ridiculous 8000 lumen output of the Monteer 8000S, we were excited to get the light out on the road. The five Cree LED design means you don’t need to run it at the full 8000 lumen output all the time. There are three main output modes that either utilize the top three LEDs, bottom 2, or a hybrid mode with all LEDs active. The top three act as a flood light and have a 32° beam spread which disperse the light. Conversely, the bottom two LEDs are spot lights as they have a more narrow 21° beam spread. Comparing the beam shots, the spot and flood modes aren’t as distinct as we had expected. We had to often peek over the headlamp to verify which LEDs were active.
Regardless of which mode you choose, the beam spread is quite impressive. There are no hot spots in the output and the beam spread and reach is more than enough for any type of riding. Within spot mode you can select 400-3200 lumen constant modes (32hr to 4hr run-times) as well as a 0-900 flash mode (16hr run-time). In flood mode, the light offers 600-4800 lumen constant modes (22hr to 2.2 hr run-time) and a 0-1400 lumen flash mode (11.5hr run-time). Full hybrid mode with all the LEDs active offers 1000-8000 lumen constants modes (12-1:30 hrs) and a 0-2400lm flash mode (7hr). Even in the low powered eco modes, the Monteer 8000S provides long run-times and daytime visibility if needed. We found that the low/medium modes were more than sufficient enough for most riding situations, while the high modes were simply overkill. Even though the light is tailored for mountain biking it’s also great on the road. We found it worked great to light up low traffic canyon roads on our early morning rides. You’ll want to limit the use to lower traffic areas though, as there is a lot of glare even in lower power settings.
Although the full 8000 lumen mode has a claimed 1.5 hour run-time, we found that due to the heat generated by the LEDs the lumen output will drop overtime. Speaking of heat, the Monteer 8000S puts out a lot of it at the higher lumen modes. On cold days, you can actually warm your fingers by simply placing them in front of the lens thanks to the heat radiated from it. The headlamp does get warm but we found that as long as we were moving the thermal cooling design worked well. It’s only when standing still did we find the headlamp to become excessively hot.
Overall, we found the Magicshine Monteer 8000S to be a ridiculously bright and capable bike light. The simple wired design and large battery pack give the Monteer 8000S generous run-times that range from 1.5hr in the full 8000 lumen mode up to 32hr in eco mode. Although the single button interface can be confusing to use, the multiple output modes and intensities allows the Monteer 8000S to be used on or off the road. We were also impressed with the build quality of the Monteer and wiring connector design which looks and feels durable. Even though the Monteer 8000S lacks bluetooth or connectivity features, the Garmin compatible mount and USB Type-C charging/discharging of the battery pack set it apart from other lights on the market. While the more pragmatic side of us would argue that the Monteer 8000S is overkill and that a dual light setup would be better, the absurd output of the light and long run-times make it a great light to ride with.