Magicshine MJ-872 – 2013 Mtbr Lights Shootout

Lights Lights Shootout

Initially, we had this light rated at 1200 lumens since that’s about how bright it is after you turn it on. But after looking at the graphs and measurements, we realized this light plummets to about 900 lumens after one minute. We put a powerful fan blowing on the light head but it still got very hot and it never increased in brightness again.

We are rating this light at 920 lumens since the overboosting of this light during turn on is not sustainable for more than a minute. Rated at 1600 lumens, this light falls well short of claims and is overstating it’s brightness by about 90%.


  • Price: $130
  • Claimed Lumens: 1600 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 920 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 92 Lux
  • Light Head Weight:102 grams
  • Installed Weight: 370 grams
  • Run Time: 2.2 Hours
  • Category: High End


  • Very affordable
  • Beam pattern is very wide


  • 920 measured lumens is much lower than 1600 lumen claims
  • Light is artificially boosted during first 30 seconds of run time
  • Beam does not have a long throw
  • Quality and consistency is low


Mounting is done with a rubber hoop. A remote switch is mounted separately with a band as well.

MTBR Light Meter Measurements: Compare all lights here.

This light measured 92 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility.

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens: Compare all lights here.

1226 measured Lumens. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1600 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

Backyard Beam Pattern Photo: Compare all lights here.

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern.

Tunnel Beam Pattern Photo: Compare all lights here.

The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern. The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards.

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2013 Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Mtbr Lux measurements »
2013 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Expert says:

    This shitty chinese light suxs.

    • Jared says:

      ^ really? I’ve had one with a Geomangear battery for over a year now and it’s been fantastic- for the money. I don’t care if it’s not putting out advertised lumens, for the price it is a bright, bright light with an awesome flood pattern, pairs well on the bars with my Piko 3 on my helmet. I bought one chinese light, one german light, to see which is the better buy in the long run, and so far, it’s a close race.

  • Jay says:

    So it was over boosted to 1200 lumens at 100%. That dropped off to 900 lumens in short order, presumably because the heat sink is not great. My question is since it has a 75% setting, which should be 900 lumens based on initial output, what would happen if you just ran it at 75%? The same 900 hundred lumens with better battery life?

  • uiflorin says:

    I’m not an expert, just an electrical engineer that designs switched mode power supplies. Maybe this light has an underrated heatsink and the LEDs are running hot, at a temperature where the efficiency drops seriously, as specified in the datasheet. You know the diode characteristic, voltage drops by 2.2mV for each degree Celsius. From 25 deg Celsius to 100 deg Celsius the drop in voltage is 75*2.2mV= 165mV, that represents 0.165/3.3=0.05 or 5% drop in power. So, keeping the current constant will yield a drop in power (V*I) by 5%, on top of the drop of efficiency due to temperature. It’s simply physics, my dear Watson! The maximum light output is given by the heatsink, the is a tradeoff somewhere. Too much power will over heat the diodes and lower the lifetime, less power will yield the same output, but with longer lifetime. Unfortunately the chinese engineers need some more time to understand physics.

  • @dam says:

    I’d like to see a test of the MagicShine 856 instead. It uses the same internals, but has absolutely enormous cooling fins- thousands of % more surface area the little fins on the 872. I can leave mine on high as long as I want (although I keep moving and typically night ride in the fall and spring when it’s cooler)

    I’d also like to see a test of the generic 3 XMMl T6 lights that are selling for $40 on ebay and amazon. They look like this, but with 3 LEDs

  • Rider Joe says:

    I have two MJ-872 heads, and not only I didn’t experience that drop in power, but they are much cooler (and way brighter) than the MJ-808. Actually, I’ve used the lights on a couple of hot summer nights with temperatures around 80-85 Farenheit w/o any problems.
    Perhaps MTBR has got a defective sample?

  • Brooks says:

    I gotta say for the money, the Magicshine 872 is an amazing deal!!!! My original plan was to save up my $$$ for a Light & Motion Seca 1500 which run about $400. But then I thought, for less than $100, I can be riding. This is no Light & Motion system (I have owned L&M before) but I was amazed how bright it was. I used the 872 on my bars because of it’s wide beam and on High, there battery lasted as advertised. Now I cannot measure the Lumen output but I have not been able to notice any drop in brightness after running the light. I will say that it does get pretty warm. But I couldn’t be more happy. Again, for the $$$, you can’t beat it. I also ordered an 808 to mount on my helmet for mtb rides. Even if the above measurement is correct, I have roughly 1500-1700+ lumens for less that $200 including multiple mounts. Now who knows how long they will last. You may see me on the trail with fire coming out of my head!!!!!

  • Joe says:

    After a garden flood light that will cover 12mtrs x 10 approx.
    Can you please advise

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