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The Magicshine Seemee 30 combo lights are a compact and smart ‘be seen’ light set that offers features not typically seen at this price point.
When it comes to bike lights, they generally fall into two bins: the compact ‘be seen’ type and the powerful ‘to see’ type. As the name implies, the ‘be seen’ lights ensure you are visible to others on the road but don’t provide enough illumination to see with. The benefit of these style lights is that they are lightweight, compact, and offer versatile mounting. In this review we’ll be looking at the Magicshine Seemee 30, their latest ‘be seen’ light combo set. With a low retail price, the headlight and tail light offers an impressive 30 lumen output along with an integrated ambient light sensor. Despite being the most affordable light in the updated Seemee lineup, the Seemee 30 also shares the same constant, flash and smart output modes.
|Category||Bicycle Head Light/ Tail Light|
|Retail Price||$29.99 ( or $16.99 for the tail light)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||26 (headlight) / 26(taillight)|
|Likes||+ Battery status checker
+ Integrated ambient light sensor
+ Compact and lightweight form factor
|Dislikes||– Integrated battery
– Bodyclip mount is not included
– Confusing number of output modes
The Magicshine Seemee 30 combo light set comes in a simple box with the characteristic black and orange graphics. Both the headlight and tail light are prominently displayed through a center cutout of the box to allow you to interact with it.
In the box you’ll find:
- Seemee 30 tail light
- Seemee 30 headlight
- 2x Micro USB charging cable
- 2x Rubber mounts
- User manual
The Magicshine Seemee 30 combo comes with a simple rubber strap for both the headlight and the tail light. These straps attach to hooks that are directly molded into the body of the lights for quick and easy mounting. We found that the rubber straps feel robust and thick, which gives us confidence they should hold up even with heavy use. The simple mounting design means you can easily place these on your handlebars, seat stays or even your fork. Unlike the Seemee 100/180/200 variations which have clever cutouts to accommodate aerodynamic seatposts, the Seemee 30 tail light can only be mounted on a round seatpost.
FIT & FINISH
The Magicshine Seemee 30 combo head light and tail light share the same housing design aside from the different color LED output. They both have a tall and narrow rectangular profile with a lens design that utilizes COB LED for a nice uniform light output. You’ll find the Magicshine logo ghosted onto the left and right sides of the housing. With the light off, the lens is not visible from side angles, which initially had us worried about side visibility. However, part of the housing surrounding the lens of the Seemee 30 is transparent and becomes illuminated when the light is on, thus allowing for 230° visibility. The mounting hooks are directly molded onto the housing for a clean design.
On the back of the light, there is a long removable rubber pad that is slightly rounded to sit flush against seatposts or handlebars. Underneath the cover is the micro USB port, which means you need to take off the lights from the bike to charge them. The lights are IPX6 rated which means wet weather riding should not be a problem. Although we wish the battery was replaceable (like the Lupine Rotlicht), the integrated battery provides great runtime and allows for better sealed lights.
The user interface on the Seemee 30 is well designed, as it utilizes a single click to change the setting within a mode or a double-click to switch between output types (steady – flash – smart). A long press turns the lights on or off in any mode with the built-in mode memory ensuring the tail light is always restored back to the last selected mode. Magicshine has also incorporated a battery status checker into the one-button interface (quite similar to the Fenix BC05R and BC21R v2 lights) that allows you to short press on the power button to illuminate the backlight for 3 seconds to indicate the battery status. Unlike the larger Seemee lights, with the Seemee 30 there is only a two-level indicator that turns either a solid red (21-100%) or flashing red (>20%). This is a great feature as it allows you to check the battery before you start riding.
AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR
Despite the diminutive size and low cost of the Seemee 30 lights, Magicshine has integrated an ambient light sensor. As with the other Seemee tail lights (i.e. 100, 180, and 200) the sensor is used to adjust the settings while in special smart output mode. If the sensor detects higher ambient light, the smart mode has a slower on-off flash output that ensures you remain visible during the day. In low-light situations, the output mode switches to a low power <-> high power flash setting to improve nighttime visibility. We preferred to ride with the smart mode as it allows the Seemee 30 to automatically choose the best mode for the conditions. This provides a similar experience as the Light and Motion Vya Pro or Bontrager Flare RT and is one of our favorite features.
If you’ve read this far into the review, you may be wondering how the Magicshine Seemee 30 compares to the other tail lights. Across all the current Seemee tail lights (200/180/100/30) you’ll find the same light output modes, user interface, battery status checker and ambient light sensor. The Seemee 30 tail light has a more compact form factor than the other models, but shares the same transparent housing to improve side visibility. Compared to other ‘be seen’ lights on the market like the Planet Bike Spok USB, the Seemee 30 has better power output and a more compact form factor. The integrated ambient light sensor is also a feature that is typically not available at such a low price point. These lights are also compact and sit more flush against the bike compared to battery-free lights like the Reelight CIO.
More is better. At least that’s the strategy Magicshine uses when they develop the output modes for their lights. Across the Seemee tail lights (200/180/100/30), Magicshine has programmed three constant modes, three flash modes, and a slick ‘smart’ mode for a total of 7 settings. A single-click cycles through the different levels and a double-click to alternate between the main steady – flash – smart setting groups. The Seemee 30 only utilizes the ambient light sensor for the smart output mode.
The three steady modes are (headlight/ tail light output): low (8/7 lm), medium (17/14 lm) and high (35/30 lm) with runtimes that vary from 2 hrs to 14 hrs. Instead of only having the typical on/off flash, Magicshine has added three different flash patterns: breathe (ramps up and down, 0-35-0 / 0-30-0), comet (ramps down, 35-0 / 30-0 lm), and finally flash (standard on/off at 8 / 7 lm). The runtimes for flash modes vary from 4.5 to an impressive 55 hours, and we particularly like the breath and comet modes for their uniqueness. The last mode is called ‘smart’ and as we discussed in the previous section, utilizes the ambient light sensor to switch between 35 / 30 lumen flash or a 3-35 / 3-30 lm night mode flash.
Although the flash modes are distinct from each other, the smart mode is quite similar to the flash and interactive mode which makes it easy to get lost while cycling through the different modes. We would prefer if Magicshine simplified the number of output modes to ‘smart’ and perhaps a steady or flash mode though, something Light and Motion Vya Pro has done. In real-world riding, there is little use to having so many modes, particularly when a light sensor can be programmed to automatically optimize the output for the conditions. Also, if you plan to do multi-hour rides, you’ll need to remember to use the flash, interactive, or smart mode to ensure you have enough battery runtime.