News

Gemini Olympia & Xera lights now available in SA, distributed by Magiclight

posted 5 Apr 2012, 03:29 by Brad Jackson

Magiclight is proud to announce that we are now the authorised distributor of Gemini bike lights in South Africa. Look out for these amazing new lights at a cycle shop near you. 

Since 2009 Magiclight has been a pioneer in the bicycle lighting industry in South Africa. 
We were first to introduce cost-effective, high-powered LED lights to SA cyclists and over the last 3 years we've developed a number of enhancements and upgrades to make a good product even better. 

We're determined to remain on the cutting edge of technology, and for this reason we've decided to take on the distribution of Gemini lights to compliment our existing range.
Striking a fine balance between cost, quality and leading innovation is not easy, but Gemini have managed to pull it all together in their bicycle light packages.

We will continue to distribute our Magiclight models, which are recommended for the more cost-concious cyclist.
For riders looking for a light that pushes the boundaries, Gemini is for you.



Magiclight @ the 2012 Trans Draak MTB race

posted 8 Mar 2012, 02:48 by Brad Jackson


Magiclight was once again there on the sidelines supporting the riders during the dark hours of this gruelling mountain bike race.

Well done to all teams (and solo riders) who took part this year.
With a winning time 2 hours longer than the Trans Baviaans, its evident that the mighty Draak poses a formidable challenge for anyone looking to test their endurance levels. This is definitely one of those races that all Trans Baviaans participants should put on their bucket list.

We've uploaded some photos we took along the route. Check them out here

EPIC battery

posted 4 Oct 2011, 00:17 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 4 Oct 2011, 01:56 ]

Our ULTRA battery, which we like to call the "All Night Battery", has proven to be a popular choice for riders taking part in long night rides and endurance races like the Trans Baviaans

We went one step further and created the ultimate endurance battery...

Magiclight EPIC battery

The EPIC battery sets the new standard in terms of a compact, high performance bicycle light battery.
If the ULTRA was an all night battery then the EPIC can be thought of as an all-week battery
Weighing just 737g (less than a 750ml water bottle) and fitting conveniently into a bottle cage on your bike, the EPIC battery is what you need when you want to ride for several nights in a row without having to recharge in between.
Its also great if you don't want to worry about conserving power by running your light on a medium or low setting. With the EPIC battery you can crank your light at its maximum setting and never worry about running out of juice on your ride.

Check out our comparison table of the various batteries available.
Magiclight battery comparison table

The EPIC battery has arrived just in time for the 2011 Trans Drakensberg MTB Race
As the official light of this new event, Magiclight is offering entrants a special deal on lights & accessories.
Contact us and we'll help you get kitted out with all you need for your night cycling adventures.


Upgrade Handlebar mounts now available

posted 17 Aug 2011, 01:00 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 29 Sep 2011, 05:22 ]

After a long development and refinement process we have finally taken delivery of the first full batch of our upgrade handlebar mounts. These are now in stock and should be available from your local Magiclight stockist.


The mount is a simple user-installable, bolt-on upgrade which replaces the original O-ring mount on the base of the light.

It is compatible with all of our lights and in fact will even work on many other brands of bike light which can accommodate the single-screw base attachment.


The kit includes installation instructions and 1 rubber handlebar spacer to accomodate smaller diameter handlebars.

 

We had these at the 2011 Trans Baviaans and the response from riders was overwhelming - the O-ring mount is the one feature on our lights which we've had requests to change, and its clear that our customers love the new addition.


Here's a video demonstrating our handlebar mount:


Trans Baviaans 2011 - A new route and a new challenge

posted 9 Aug 2011, 00:40 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 10 Aug 2011, 07:42 ]

The Eastern Cape has experienced a phenomenal amount of rain over the last few months, resulting in the road through the Trans Baviaans having to be closed by the authorities.
The Ecobound Team have made a last minute change to reroute the race along another road which runs parallel to the original route, the Groot Rivier Road.
I believe this change is going to make 2011 a memorable and legendary Trans Baviaans. All riders are at the same disadvantage - those who have ridden previous Trans Baviaans races will not have the advantage of knowing the course.

I've put together a simple video recording of a Google Earth tour of the new course. The quality is not great as I tried to keep the bandwidth requirement as low as possible.
It should give a reasonable idea for the riders of what to expect.

All of this has the makings of a real adventure.

Magiclight is proud of our association with this great race and we look forward to being there this coming weekend and supporting the riders.
We'd like to remind riders that you're gonna need some good lights to navigate your way to the finish - come and speak to us at Race Registration if you have any last-minute lighting requirements.

See you in Willowmore

2011 Trans Baviaans route profile

Its not just about the lumens...

posted 8 Jun 2011, 23:38 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 18 Apr 2012, 05:41 ]

Sadly the bike lighting industry seems to be falling into the same pitfall that the digital camera industry suffered from a few years ago. Once the digital camera craze gained mass popularity and competition started to emerge among the various manufacturers, they had to come up with a "yardstick" to use as a marketing tool.
They settled on the infamous "megapixel". This became the single selling feature that was punted by nearly all digital camera manufacturers. They entered into a pointless race in an effort to lay claim to the highest megapixel title.
While this was going on very little attention was paid to far more important factors like the quality of the lens, image processing capabilities, useful camera functions, and basically just producing better photos.
Thankfully the megapixel trend seems to have died down in recent years and digital camera manufacturers are giving us those other features which really add value and create an overall better product at the end of the day.

So, what does this have to do with bike lights?

The LED bike lighting industry is still relatively new and, much like the digital camera trend a decade ago, is seeing a surge in popularity as more players enter the market. Along with competition comes the need to convince the consumer why their particular product is the best, and the flavour of the day for bike lights has become the Lumen. 
The lumen is a really bad unit to use to compare a bike light's output for a number of reasons:
  • Very few manufacturers measure the actual output of their lights. Instead they usually advertise the theoretical maximum output of the LED's (which is impossible to achieve in a real life application)
  • The lumen measurement does not take into account the way the light is focused. Imagine a very bright light bulb in a room. It may produce a whole lot of lumens, but its not going to be of much use mounting that to the front of your bike.
  • The physical factors which make up a bike light - configuration and efficiency of the driver circuit, length and quality of the cables, quality of the connectors, type and efficiency of the reflector/optics - these all have an effect on the amount of light that actually reaches the trail in front of you.
At Magiclight, we ride, and we test each new light model before deciding whether to include it in our range. If we release a new product, you can rest assured that we've evaluated it and that it really adds value to our product line up.

For cycling, you want some light concentrated in the centre, to light up the road or trail in the distance. You also need a portion of the available light spread around towards the edges of the beam. Many of the lights currently on the market produce a very "floody" beam, or one which is concentrated into a spot beam with a bright centre (a tight spot beam is only recommended for helmet-mounting)
A very bright light shining on the ground / trees close to you (known as a flood beam) is actually counter-productive as too much of this light gets reflected right back into your eyes and you lose the ability to see when you try to focus on something outside of the immediate pool of light. On the other hand, a tightly focused spot beam is also a bad thing, as you lose the ability to see whats going on right in front of you and towards the edges of the trail (exception being a helmet light, which is always focussed where you are looking anyway)

We recommend testing a bike light before you buy. Don't just make your decision because of high claimed lumen ratings.
Check with your Local Bike Shop / Bike Park, many of them will have a Magiclight available for you to test.

ML1000 replaces the MJ808

posted 20 Apr 2011, 15:33 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 26 Apr 2011, 10:56 ]

The MJ808 has been our most popular seller until now.
Well we believe that's about to change with the introduction of the ML1000.

The ML1000 keeps all the great features of the MJ808, including the enhancements which we've introduced over the last few months:
  • 3rd Generation, waterproof, shock proof and dust proof battery with digital display
  • Thermal protection for the LED
  • 4-stage battery level indicator built into the light
So what's different with the new model?
The ML1000 now features the latest high power LED to hit the market - the Cree XML.
This new LED is brighter and more economical!! 
Its about 35% brighter than the MJ808 on High and for that you only lose about 8% of the runtime.
On Low the ML1000 will give you about 8,5 hours runtime on the Standard battery, and about 19 hours on the ULTRA battery.

Available from your local bike shop.


How to prolong the life of your Lithium Ion Battery

posted 24 Mar 2011, 09:25 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 24 Mar 2011, 09:44 ]

We receive many inquiries about how best to look after a lithium ion battery.
Here's my attempt at answering this question in laymen terms:

Many people have the false perception that fully discharging their lithium ion battery is "good for the battery".
This idea stems from the days of older battery technologies like NiCd or NiMH. These batteries were best treated by performing frequent full discharges (i.e. running them completely flat) and then recharging in order to counter the "memory" effect.

Exactly the opposite is true of Li Ion batteries, which are best looked after by recharging more frequently and keeping them "topped up".

Below is an excerpt from a very informative article about how to prolong the life of lithium ion batteries - courtesy of the author, Isidor Buchmann (www.batteryuniversity.com):

Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count [for a Lithium Ion battery]. The smaller the depth of discharge, the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid frequent full discharges and charge more often between uses. If full discharges cannot be avoided, try utilizing a larger battery. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine; there is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles....

For those with an appetite for all the technical detail, the full article can be found here: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

Trans Baviaans 2011 Rider Specials Announced

posted 17 Feb 2011, 05:52 by Brad Jackson

We've just announced our special deals for riders taking part in this year's Trans Baviaans.

ULTRA Battery in stock

posted 16 Feb 2011, 05:50 by Brad Jackson   [ updated 15 Jun 2011, 06:47 ]

We've just received new stock of our Li Ion ULTRA battery!
The initial response was overwhelming and our first batch sold out in no time.
  • Capacity: 9600 mAh (thats more than double the capacity of the Standard battery) this one will keep you riding all night long.
  • Weight: 412g (thats only 100g heavier than the Std capacity, Generation 3 battery)
  • Completely waterproof and shock proof (its practically indestructible)
  • Estimated runtimes
    • ML1000: High - 6.5hrs, Low 19hrs
    • MJ816: High - 6hrs, Low > 500hrs
  • Bottle-configuration so it fits easily into one of the bottle cages on your bike.
  • Compatible with all existing Magiclight bike lights and Li Ion chargers
  • No awkward pig-tail cable to get in the way, just plug your light's cable straight into the recessed power-port at the top.
  • Designed and assembled in South Africa
Available from your Local Bike Shop.


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