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For all out brightness, the Magicshine Monteer 8000S is a great light. But does that mean it’s for you? It might depend on who you ride with.
- Brand: Magicshine
- Product: Monteer 8000S Galaxy V2
- From: magicshineuk.com
- Price: £369.99
- Tested: by Hannah for Winter
I’m going to have to disagree with Andi’s 2021 review here. I’ve got the Magicshine Monteer 8000S Galaxy V2, which is the same as the light Andi tested, but with a remote switch. Before I get on to what difference that makes, let’s start with the similarities and why I have a different take on this light to Andi.
Firstly, I don’t dispute what Andi says about the technical side of the Magicshine Monteer 8000S. He’s got the functions right, and it is indeed very very bright. It gives out a lot of light. A LOT of light. 8000 lumens of light. It has a great big 10,000mAh cell battery. It lasts a reasonable amount of time. You can definitely see the trail… and yet… it’s not the light for me.
I think it is actually too bright. The light has a pair of CREE LEDs, and then a row of three. You can switch between two lights, three lights and five lights, and in each you can switch between different levels of brightness. I find it incredibly hard to tell which setting I’m on beyond the dimmer ones. Am I on three lights at bright setting, or five at a mid setting? I found myself pointing the light at cars and shop windows, trying to figure out in my reflection which setting it was on, without blinding myself. Even then I’d find myself with bright spots floating in my eyes. Whatever you do, do not look at the light. Ouch. Neither the light nor the remote switch offers any clue as to what mode you’re in. It’s just green for on, and red for the battery warning. I really wish there was some sort of colour coding, or indicator light, to show which mode and brightness you’re in.
Another reason I consider it too bright is that I generally ride in a group at night. With this light being so much brighter than others, it means I cast a shadow that their lights can’t overcome if I ride behind them – and if they look back at me they get blinded. Again, the lack of easy to figure brightness control makes it difficult to dip your lights when you gather at a hilltop or trail junction. A quick ‘dip’ option would be very useful with a light this bright.
While in some sense the light does light up everything in front of it, it does provide it all from one position. Great if you’re flying flat out on a trail you know well, less great if you’re trying to pick your way through twists and turns or drop offs. I’d rather have fewer lumens and have it paired with a helmet mounted lamp to give greater sense of depth perception, and to help with twist and turns. Since I don’t have a helmet light that’s nearly as bright as this one, anything I pair on my head gets outcompeted by the Monteer 8000S and isn’t terribly effective.
All in all, while I can see that it might be fun for fast solo rides, for me I think the brightness offers more downsides than upsides. Unfortunately I don’t think the remote button adds to the equation. It doesn’t add any clarity of mode to things since there’s no colour coding, and the square and circle symbol on the control don’t intuitively match up to a meaning. One cycles through the modes (the 2, 3 and 5 light options) while the other does the brightness – but as I’ve said I find it hard to tell which is which, and so I’d find myself cycling through the brightness setting wondering if I’ve yet made it to max power, or cycling through the modes trying to work out if I’m on five lights at dim or three lights on bright. The temptation to settle the matter by looking into the light is great. Don’t do it!
The light does pair quite easily to the switch, just disconnect the battery, press both buttons on the switch, and then reconnect the battery, and it should all pair up. Be careful if you’re testing this out off the bike – I singed my sofa during just a very brief period of connecting the light and cycling through the modes. In the high power modes the light gets very hot very quickly (hot enough that you should avoid using your hand as a manual dimmer on a group ride too). I found it hard to get the switch to stay put, often finding it had spun around on my handlebars – more permanent affixation than the double sided Velcro provided is preferable, but not so useful if you want to swap between bikes. Another reason to avoid the Velcro fastening is the way it sticks to gloves – and added faff factor in the event that it does spin round.
I suppose you could put the Magicshine Monteer 8000S on your helmet and then the remote would be more useful, but personally I think it’s too heavy for that, and you’d have to find somewhere to carry the huge battery. On which note, the battery is huge, but the USB C charging point (either for charging the battery or charging accessories off it, like you phone) is very welcome. It’s well sealed behind a rubber bung, too. I’d recommend adding some frame protection, as when I removed my light I discovered it had rubbed my frame a bit. There’s a very long pair of cables with the light and battery – probably too long – but it does give you plenty of scope for trying to find a space to fit it on your frame. Depending on your frame shape and shock layout, it might take a bit of experimenting to find the best position.
Since the remote button doesn’t add a whole lot of simplicity to the functionality compared to the button on the back of the light, I’m not sure it’s really a development worth seeking out. The main button on the light shows green in use, which changes to red once you hit 20% battery, then flashes a warning when only 5% battery remains. If the remote gave a clear indication of the mode and brightness you were in I think it would be a genuinely useful addition. But it doesn’t, and for my purposes I find the brightness to be too much. If you ride mostly alone, or everyone in your group has something as bright, then your experience may differ. Personally, I’d rather have something smaller, less bright, and without the giant separate battery.
All that said, it is a well made set up with good quality attachments. I especially appreciate that Magicshine lights use the same mounting system as a Garmin. If you’re like me and do a lot of bike swapping, it’s great to have easy access to loads of mounts. I’ve also been using some Magicshine Allty 1500 lumen lights for commutes and some off road rides, and the ability to quickly swap different lights between bikes has been a real bonus.
If all out brightness is what you want, then the Magicshine Monteer 8000S delivers. I remain unconvinced that the remote button brings anything significant to the party, so whether you pick up the earlier (and cheaper) 8000 model that Andi reviewed, or this one, the way ahead of you will be bright. Ride into the light, don’t look into it.
|Product:||Monteer 8000S Galaxy V2|
|Tested:||by Hannah for Winter|