The word “smart” in website copy is about as catchy as “environmentally-friendly” these days, and both terms have varying levels of significance for actual products. The Ray 2600 headlight from Magicshine uses the word “smart” to denote that it has a remote control option, and it can switch between different settings based on ambient light. I didn’t find the remote useful out on the trail and promptly misplaced it, but the auto-adjust feature seems like a legitimately smart one.
This compact lamp weighs 193g, which is a reasonable weight for helmet-mounted trail lighting. The battery is integrated and waterproof, so there’s no external pack or cord to fiddle with. At the rear, the USB-C port is well sealed from the elements, and the rubber port plug should keep corrosion at bay for several seasons. The two beams churn out a wide variety of electric daylight, with a reported range of 170 to 2,600 lumens and a battery range that spans nearly 24 hours on the lowest “eco” setting and 94 minutes at full gas.
The light body attaches to a Magicshine handlebar or helmet mount with a quarter-turn adapter that’s identical to those used by Garmin. The helmet mount straps somewhat firmly through a pair of upper vents, but it does still move around and make some noise on rough trails. The beam angle can be adjusted by loosening a screw and wrenching it back into place. That screw managed to work its way loose one night, so I’m left zip-tying the light to the mount to keep it from slamming back and forth. If you prefer fake sunshine on your head you’ll want to ensure everything is properly snugged down before leaving the house.
I found the low and mid settings with both bulbs illuminated to be sufficient on the trail. Magicshine says that these settings offer 650 and 1300 lumens respectively, and run times in the 5h 48m to 2h 12m range. I haven’t flirted with the run times on this light, but it has endured a few 2h evening pedals without issue. The “smart” setting wherein the Ray 2600 will adjust lumens according to ambient light is super cool. Night rides often kick off at dusk when I only need a light so drivers can see me, and since this light brightens as the sky darkens there’s no need to toggle through settings, further negating the need for a remote.
This output is plenty sharp, with little luminance wasted filtering off-trail where your eyes can’t use it. I prefer to ride with a single lamp pointed precisely where my head is, and this one fits that night-riding style well. The illuminated patch is plenty tall and wide, even if the angle of the mount gets bumped off kilter a bit. If you roll with a second handlebar-mounted light your way will be both broadly lit and focused. The challenge of riding the same speed at night that I would when the sun is high intrigues me and the Ray 2600 spits light far enough to satisfy some relatively high trail speed.
The button used to toggle through modes is fairly small and a little tricky to use with gloves on, though that’s true of nearly every light I’ve tested. If you’re able to set it and forget it this doesn’t matter, but if you prefer to dance through the menu you might want to use the remote control doohickey.
Magicshine says that the Ray 2600 goes from dead to charged in 2.5 to 3 hours and that seems fairly accurate. It doesn’t hold a charge super well when not plugged in, so I have resigned to leaving it connected to my computer. If you haven’t used the light in a while you may want to top off the batteries before sunset.
At $160 (available at Amazon) with the helmet mount, the Ray 2600 offers a solid deal and decent performance. If you’re better at keeping track of things like the remote and mount bolt it should be a great option to illuminate the trail.
⭐️ The Magicshine Ray 2600 is available at Amazon.
- Bright beam for fast laps
- Auto-adjust for commuting
- Light enough for helmet use
Pros and cons of the Magicshine Ray 2600 light.
- Helmet mount isn’t the best
- Only 94 minutes of runtime in the high setting