At the end of 2011 Magicshine launched an attack on so called premium lights category - not only in terms of the amount of light, but also in terms of price ;). Now we can check how they were able to fulfill their promises of 2000 lumens in a small original housing design.



Some marketing data.

  • light source: 2×CREE XM-L
  • lumen output: 2000 lumens
  • housing material: 6061-T6 alloy (die-cast)
  • protection level : IPX4 (drizzle prof :p)
  • control: 2 momentary switches
  • battery pack: 6 18650 Li-Ion cells BAK(8.4V 6600mAh)
  • battery lifetime: 500 cycles
  • burn time: 2.3 hours @ 100%

Price : ~220 USD

Initial impression.

What a cute little lamp… and 2 Cree XM-L LED’s inside :]. Potentially 20W of pure power in a housing that can easily be fitted into mans hand. Body is nicely finished in black anode, chrome finish at front and rear. In terms of appearance I have no objections - but in terms of the design, sorry not enough heatsink for 2 high power LED's. Two control buttons on the top are allowing user to control the lamp easily.

Just from the start, the answer for the question that for certain will be asked “does MJ-880 can be used as a headlamp ?”. Yes :). By the way, you can see that the manufacturer still uses rubber band on a cable which imitates the seal between the cable and a mount. New light mount is much wider than that known from previous models, lamps holds much stronger on the handlebar now.

What you can find inside ?

After removing the lens, you can quickly get to the LED’s, the manufacturer did a sloppy job with my lamp and one of the LED’s was treated with something abrasive, that's why the silicone dome is dull. The lamp itself is made from several tightly fitted castings - between the parts there is a thermal compound (not too much , but you can always add some ;-).

End of the part 1:

End of the part 2 :

Driver :

Power supply.

The appetite for energy of this small lamp is definitely not small, in maximal mode it is consuming 20,5W!!

Tryb I-in V-in P-in [W] Burn time [h]
Low 0,39A 8,28V 3,23W 15,1
Mid1 0,67A 8,23V 5,51W 8,9
Mid2 1,33A 8,11V 10,79W 4,5
Mid3 1,98A 7,99V 15,82W 3,1
High 2,61A 7,86V 20,51W 2,4

Burn times, assuming that the capacity of the battery pack is given correctly, are consistent with the manufacturer declarations. The driver itself looks interesting, but unfortunately, based on markings on the IC's I could not find anything interesting over the internet

Battery indicator ? As usual in Magicshine lamps - nice 3 colors, but works as it wants ;).

The new battery pack have a rigid casing with a rubber mounting straps. There is only one issue - the plug is incompatible with the old packs, so you can use it with the old lamp or old battery pack with a new lamp but it will be neither tight or permanent connection.

And there is a second but, the screws heads holding the straps from inside are sticking out a little and scratching a paint on the frame :-[. A bit of a protective film for a door sill’s solves the problem.

Charger, even though at first glance it looks the same except connector is slightly larger and has a 2.5 A with respect to 1.8 A in the older version.

How does it light ?

Similar to the two Magicshine MJ-808E put on handlebar ? Yes, you are close ;). The lens are so short that quite a lot of the light is going directly in front of your bike, at the same time unlike the typical flashlight beam there is no clear cut off between the central point (hot spot) and the rest of the beam (spill). The result = evenly lit path + reasonable range.

Magicshine MJ-880 vs MJ-872 (2x Cree XM-L vs 4x Cree XP-G) – HIGH

In the high mode you almost cannot see the difference between MJ-880 (20.5W) and MJ--872 (16W) – XP-G still rules ? ;). 880 have a little warmer color tint, but in Magicshine lamps it depends on series.

Magicshine MJ-880 vs MJ-872 (2x Cree XM-L vs 4x Cree XP-G) – LOW

Better focus and range for 880 - 3.23W vs 3.26W of power and almost the same amount of light.


It's a quite difficult decision - in terms of usability 880 from 872 do not differ too much in terms of lumen output, burn time and modes are also very similar. 880’y more interest to users looking for better range and a more refined design-control buttons are located on top of the light, making it easy to switch - placing the buttons on the back of the MJ-872 sometimes causes it to move when user is switching modes. Probably the most decisive factor will be the price - 127 vs. 220 $ for the same amount of light and working time means that you have to pay almost 70% extra for nicer design, better mount and a little better range... Is it worth it ? You have to check it yourself - I stay with my MJ-872 :).