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Magicshine RN 3000 front light review

Does an enormous lumen count translate into usable performance?

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £130.00 RRP | USD $160.00 | EUR €154.00 | AUD $237.00
MagicShine RN 3000 front light for road bikes

Our review

A light that promises much but fails in its application
Pros: Massive lumen count from an integrated unit; can be used as a power bank; compelling price tag
Cons: Poor user experience on the move; fitting and adjustability niggles; highest outputs cause glare; beam could be better refined
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The Magicshine RN 3000 is an all-in-one front light that boasts a high 3,000-lumen output and a keen price tag. On paper, that’s enough to draw attention to itself.

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There are merits to those top-line specs, and the ability to use the RN 3000 as a power bank will be a handy feature for some.

However, there are too many shortcomings for it to compete with the best bike lights.

Magicshine RN 3000 details and specifications

As the name suggests, the RN 3000’s two LEDs emit a maximum of 3,000 lumens.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

Starting from the top, the Magicshine RN 3000 boasts an impressive 3,000-lumen output from its two-LED array.

The unit has 16 modes to choose from. These are arranged in four functions, with four power outputs for each function.

In practice, the light switches on via a single press of the power button. A double press then switches the function, with further single presses cycling through the power outputs within the function.

From the perspective of someone positioned behind the RN 3000, with the light pointing forwards:

  • Function 1 lights up the left LED in a focused spotlight beam
  • Function 2 uses the right LED, which is lensed to produce a wider, less focused beam
  • Function 3 engages both LEDs to effectively double the lumen output (2 x 1,500 lumens at the most powerful output setting) and combines the two beam profiles to floodlight the road ahead
  • Function 4 is the light’s flash function, making both LEDs flash

Each LED can produce up to 1,500 lumens on the most powerful setting. The lower-powered settings come in at 750, 375 and 150 lumens.

Aside from the different lensing of each LED, the top of the outer lens features horizontal strafes, which are said to reduce glare to oncoming traffic.

The power button on top is rubberised, depresses with a positive click and lights up green or red to indicate remaining battery levels. Red shows with 20 per cent battery remaining, with the indicator flashing red to show 10 per cent left.

There’s also a lock function to stop accidental activation of the light. This is activated by holding down the power button for five seconds.

The body of the RN 3000 is made of aluminium, with a USB-C charge port hidden behind a rubber cover.

The RN 3000 is built from aluminium.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The 10,000mAh battery is claimed to offer anywhere up to 62 hours of burn time – assuming you use one of the single-LED functions on the lowest 150-lumen power setting.

The highest power settings are said to produce 4 hours 40 minutes of life for the single LED functions. The double-LED settings last for a claimed 2hr 10m at the full-bore 3,000-lumen output.

Magicshine doesn’t offer predicted burn times for the flash function.

The battery can also be used as a power bank. Magicshine provides a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box.

The light attaches to the bar via a bracket with a Garmin-style quarter-twist mount. The bracket is a four-piece affair (more on this below), with four straps provided to cover off handlebars of differing profiles.

The bracket fastens using a bolt and a 3mm Allen key.

All in, the light and bracket system weighs in at 299g (using the second-longest strap).

Magicshine RN 3000 performance

Beam quality

The beam is powerful, clean and primarily central.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The RN 3000 produces an impressive amount of light.

From the perspective of the rider, when you engage the full beam function and dial up the power to the max, there’s a serious amount of light that lands on pretty much everything in front of you.

The beam is clean with no excessively bright or dim spots. Most of the light is focused on a centralised area.

The light bleeds off steadily and there’s no harsh step-change from where the focused area of the beam ends. It reaches well to the periphery of an unlit road (or gravel trail), and offers good illumination further down the road.

However, the focus could be better thought out to maximise the potential of that output. I found the RN 3000 illuminated not only the road and the periphery, but also the canopy of trees above with almost equal power.

Although this might give a little more forewarning of low-hanging branches in certain scenarios, I’d see those anyway with less light bleed upwards.

User interface

The rubberised power button sits atop the unit.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The upward light bleed will also affect oncoming traffic.

Even though I pointed the light downwards, I was headlight-flashed on a few occasions by oncoming drivers.

It’s easy to press the power button once, which immediately dims the light to the lowest setting.

However, you always need to cycle through the power outputs to get back up to the highest output – you can’t easily flick back to full power again.

This takes precious time with a hand off the bar, and a couple of important seconds without the light you might need on an unlit road riding at speed.

Compounding the issue, pressing the button too fast meant the RN 3000 mistook my repeated single presses as a double press, and changed the function.

If you’re using the dual-LED function, it goes to the flash function (which is totally unsuitable for unlit road riding), and you then need to cycle around the functions with repeated double clicks to get back to the dual-LED function again.

It’s a sub-optimal experience, at best.

Using the second-tier 1,500-lumen output (or even one of the single-LED functions) might partially solve the problem by reducing the glaring light, but the mode-switching issue remains.

Only here, it’s worse, because if you single press the button to be considerate to oncoming traffic, it cycles up to the 3,000-lumen output before then dropping down to the lowest output you need.

The natural response, then, is to press the button quickly to skip past the 3,000-lumen output as fast as you can. However, this brings the risk of the light interpreting a double press, which then cycles you through to the flash mode again – after which, the process of getting back to the dual-LED function begins again.

Unfortunately, this cyclical style of functionality dominates the experience of using the light on the road, regardless of how well the beam might light up the path ahead.

If you could confidently turn the light to the setting you want and leave it alone – say, on an empty gravel track – it would be less of an issue. But I found I needed to use a 750-lumen setting or lower to confidently settle on a mode without feeling the need to dim the beam with traffic around.

The single-LED functions offer differing beams – one more focused with a longer reach, and one less focused but with a wider bleed to the periphery.

Each is useful, and I was happy to use them in isolation, but you still need to deal with the mode selection system – 1,500 lumens is still more than enough to annoy an oncoming road user.

Bracket and fitting

The mounting system is more complicated than on rival lights.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

I found the bracket and fit system secure, but there are niggles here too. Installation feels more complicated than it needs to be.

In a world where multiple brands simply use a single rubber strap to attach the bracket to the bars, the RN 3000 uses a fully detachable strap, with a semi-loose alloy nodule that serves as a kind of clasp to hold the band to the top section of the bracket.

You then take the separate bolt to fasten the assembly together, screwing through the recess in the alloy nodule.

In practice, it’s needlessly complicated. I dropped the alloy nodule on more than one occasion during assembly because it wouldn’t stay fast to the bracket while I fiddled around for the screw.

There’s only one alloy nodule, so you need to switch it between the other length bands. Although I still have mine, it will be easily lost by falling out of the strap. It should ideally be captive inside.

Once on and fastened, you attach the light body to the bracket using the Garmin-style mount system. It’s secure enough, and is markedly tighter to fit than a Garmin bike computer would be to its own mount, for example.

This is good – the near 300g weight of the light needs support.

Build quality is impressive.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

You need to orientate the RN 3000 at 90 degrees before twisting it on. This means it can scrape against a stem during fitting, which is annoying – unless you mount it further away from the centreline of the bars.

I tried to get around this by mounting the light already attached to the bracket, but this makes the fastening screw quite difficult (although not impossible) to access.

Plus, the mounting system doesn’t allow for any left-right adjustability, so you can’t quite shine the light centrally when mounted off-centre.

You can tilt it up or down during initial fitting, of course. However, once fastened tight enough so as not to move or shake excessively on a ride, you don’t really want to be using brute force to adjust it downwards to try to compensate for glare.

Overall, the build quality of the light is good. The alloy body allows heat to dissipate well – the RN 3000 doesn’t need to power itself down to keep its temperature regulated.

Although there are too many loose parts to the bracket, each of those parts is well made too.

Construction and burn times

The USB-C charging point is hidden behind a rubber cover.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The rubber charge cap seals well, with the light happy to be ridden in any sort of rideable wet conditions. I saw no ingress on the one particularly soggy ride I used it on, also subjecting it to a five-minute deluge under a running shower head.

On my test unit, the attachment point for the rubber seal had come out on receipt, and I found it impossible to pry back on. I’d hope this is an isolated experience, because it’s a real pain to lose charge covers.

Although a secondary use case, the ability to use the battery’s capacity as a charger might be a helpful feature for those on bikepacking trips with multiple peripherals.

I found burn times to be close to Magicshine’s claims on my test RN 3000, within reason. Left shining at the full 3,000 setting on a full battery, I saw an impressive 2hr 25m burn time – but I did note a very gradual dimming of the beam throughout the test.

Although still very, very bright, once the power button battery indicator flicked over to red (signalling less than 20% battery remaining), the LEDs were no longer producing the full 3,000-lumen output.

As a result, battery drainage rate will fall accordingly too. In the end, the light simply fades out, with the final flashing red battery indicator almost a needless warning when the light is dimming so rapidly.

Despite the obvious flaws here, a nod must go to the price of the light. It’s impressive to see 3,000 lumens packed into a unit costing only £130. You can spend more than this on far lesser-powered lights, and far more if you look to lights with this amount of power or more.

If you tend to ride in a situation where you can just leave it on one of the higher settings, seldom needing to play with the power output, there’s enough performance here to make you look twice.

The trouble is, despite its impressive spec list for the money, the Magicshine RN 3,000’s application of those specs in the real world, plus other niggles, means most people’s money will probably be better spent elsewhere.

Magicshine RN 3000 bottom line

While its spec is impressive, there are flaws that let this light down.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The Magicshine RN 3000 comes to the table with compelling specs, with an equally compelling price tag. It also packs in good build quality, USB-C charging and power bank capability.

Unfortunately, the cyclical function and power mode selection system leaves much to be desired, and dominates the experience of using the light (unless you’ll never need to play with the modes, which is rare).

Setting up the bracket can also prove a chore thanks to its over-complication, and the use of a Garmin-style mount for the light body seems to be a misstep too.

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All in, unless the positives I’ve outlined are the only things that matter to you, there are many better front lights available today.

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $237.00EUR €154.00GBP £130.00USD $160.00
Weight 299g – including bracket
Brand Magicshine

Features

Light type Front
Output (lumens) 3000