In 2024, as we welcome the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, we're reminded of the enduring symbolism of dragons—creatures revered for their power, wisdom, and protective qualities.
These ancient guardians, believed to light up the darkest of skies with their fiery breath, came to mind as I blazed my first nighttime lap with the Monteer 12000 and Ray 2600B bike lights by Magicshine.
Enter the dominion of the Monteer 12000, a light that embodies the dragon’s fiery intensity. Emitting a staggering 12,000 lumens, it banishes the darkness with an awe-inspiring and reassuring force. The arrangement of its five LEDs provides a vast, enveloping beam, ensuring no hidden danger remains unseen.
This light’s strikingly angular design, featuring a robust aluminum body, exudes strength and durability. Weighing 296 grams, the Monteer light unit and mount alone are not necessarily heavy but do feel substantial—a necessary attribute for a light that promises to endure the rigors of trail riding.
The power supply is a separate 14.4V/10,000mAh battery pack. While this part of the light setup at 896 grams is relatively heavy, I’ve found the weight to be a worthy trade-off for the amount of light produced. With this battery, the Monteer 12000 boasts up to 121 hours on the lowest power setting, 300 lumens, and at full power, 12000 lumens, it lasts 2.5 hours—which is plenty, considering that the brightest mode is overkill for anything but the absolute fastest downhill sections of a ride. As a bonus, the battery can be used as a power supply for charging other electronic items, even my 16-inch laptop—a non-trivial feature that I’ve found to add a lot of value.
The beam qualities of this light can be broken into two main modes: floodlight and spotlight. One uses all five LEDs and provides an expansive beam that reaches all the way out to the peripheries, which I prefer for trail riding. The other mode uses only the central LED with an aspherical lens to provide a focused contained beam.
The MT12000 incorporates a precise cutoff line on the floodlight to ensure you don’t blind oncoming traffic. The combined spot and flood patterns provide light without creating the dreaded “tunnel effect,” claims Magicshine.
To switch between settings, Magicshine has included a small, wireless remote to be connected to the handlebar. This feature proved to be an unexpected favorite. Even though you can still control the various light settings directly on the head unit, I found having access to change the settings right at thumb’s reach on the handlebar was a game-changer. The ease of cycling through brightness settings while riding or quickly toggling between floodlight or spotlight mode allowed me to conserve battery, tailor the level of light to the trail situation and save my friends from being fried to a crisp by the Monteer 12000’s eviscerating glow.
What’s more, the settings for these lights can be completely customized in the Magicshine app. Both the Monteer 12000 and Ray 2600B can connect to your phone via Bluetooth and set up to your liking. You can create multiple profiles, add as many different modes as you’d like, arrange them in whatever order, and even choose brightness levels by individual percentages. Just as a test, I set up 20 different settings on one light. While it may be unpractical to cycle through that many options on the trail, the ability to choose is an extremely compelling part of what makes these Magicshine lights superior.
Combining the Monteer 12000 with the Ray 2600B creates an unparalleled night riding experience. The Monteer, mounted on the handlebars, floods the trail ahead with light, while the Ray, positioned on the helmet, provides a directional beam that follows my head as I scout the next corner ahead. This setup guarantees a well-lit ride, with the trail’s challenges illuminated from multiple angles.
The Ray 2600B shares many of the same qualities as its larger counterpart. It is wrapped in a sturdy aluminum casing, sports its own wireless remote, and can also be used as a battery pack for quick charging a phone or other small electronics. The main differences are that it is much smaller, at 190 grams, and has a self-contained battery. This means it is less powerful but fits more comfortably as a helmet-mounted light.
On its highest setting, the Ray 2600B’s 2600 lumens are bright enough to use independently. Riding at night with just this light is still a great experience. It boasts enough battery and a large enough beam pattern to see you through a night in the woods. It also has some smart features that make it an exceptional light in general: a built-in smart sensor adapts the brightness of the light to the conditions and puts the light into sleep mode when the ride stops, only to light back up again when the ride gets moving along.
Whether traversing technical descents or cruising along serene forest paths, the Monteer 12000 and Ray 2600 lights are invaluable companions, illuminating the way with strength akin to a dragon. They ensure that each ride is not just a journey through the dark but an adventure brightened by the best equipment available. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay active in the dark, I can’t recommend these lights enough.
Magicshine Monteer 12000 & Ray 2600B
Monteer 12000 MSRP: $499.99
Ray 2600B: $159.99
Learn More: www.magicshine.com