Olight & Magicshine Rechargeable Bike Light 3500 Lumens Review Super Bright
OLIGHT RN 3500 Rechargeable Bike
The Olight RN 3500 is a super bright light ideal for off-road mountain biking and hiking. It has a disconnected battery pack that makes it more lightweight on your head or handlebars. The price per lumen and quality of the build of this light makes it one of the best options on the market. A few things I don’t like are the short cord, even when using the extension, and the mounting hardware.
Olight/MagicShine Bike Light Review
The Olight or Magicshine RN 3500 is an ultra-bright handlebar or helmet-mounted bicycle light. It can be used for road biking or mountain biking thanks to its adjustable beam, brightness, and mounting options. I have been using this bike light for a couple of months now and compared it to a few other lights I love using from Light and Motion, and NiteRider. This review is my honest opinion and has not been compensated by Olight. However, there are links in this review that help us pay for the products and reviews on GearChase.com. If you find this information helpful please use the links in our reviews to help support our website.
I have used a lot of bike lights over the last 20 years. I remember using rechargeable AA batteries in my first bike light that was barely enough to light a path to walk let alone ride down a trail at night. Over the years, lights have improved to the point where I feel I can ride almost as fast at night as during the day. There are many categories that bike lights can fall into. Lights for trail riding, lights for road riding, lights to be seen, or lights to see with. There are lights with external batteries, lights that are self-contained, lights with Bluetooth remotes, and more. This review focuses on one of the brighter lights offered by Olight as a road bike, or mountain bike light used to see and be seen with enough battery for multiple hours rides in an externally connected battery.
In the box
In the box comes the light and battery pack as well as mounting hardware and a user manual. You may notice if you have been researching the Olight and Magicshine lights that there are some different accessories included in the boxes when comparing the two. The Magicshine seems to come with a Garmin style mount for mountain bike handlebars whereas the Olight comes with a more universal mounting style.
- RN 3500 Light
- Battery Pack
- 4 Aero Bar Compatible Straps
- Handlebar mount
- 3mm Hex wrench
- 2 Nylon Straps
- Micro USB Charging Cable
- User Manual
The Olight 3500 offers some impressive specs especially given the price for the light when compared to lights of equivalent size, weight, and lumen count.
- 350 meter light throw
- 31000 candela
- 1148ft/350 m Beam Distance
- 75 hour Max Runtime
- 1 meter drop protection
- IPX5 waterproof rating
- 110g Light weight (without battery)
- 316g Total Weight
- Luminus SST-20×5 Light Source
- Aluminum Alloy Body Construction
- Length 2.36 in / 60 mm
- Width 1.71 in / 43.5 mm
- Height 1.63 in / 41.5 mm
- Warranty 2 Years
The Bike Light
The light is bright, of course that is all relative and there are brighter lights available. Having a bike with lights of all power, there is a sweet spot for each light in each condition. A light with 3500 lumens without a good spread of light can put too much light in one spot washing out the shadows and making it difficult to see details in the trail.
An average headlight produces anywhere from about 1200 (Halogen bulbs) to 4000 lumens (LED Lights). The laws here in Utah for headlights and high beams are around 300 candlepower (https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter6A/41-6a-S1616.html) or about 3700 Lumens.
Because of the different light modes and external battery pack, this is good option for an all around light.
Bike Light Modes
3 Light Configuration Modes
- Bottom 2 lights
- Top 3 lights
- All 5 Lights
5 Light Intensity Modes
The light uses a Garmin-type quarter-turn mount that can easily be attached to almost any type and size of handlebar. Olight advertises that it can be attached to a helmet but requires additional accessories to attach to a helmet. The plus side is that you can purchase any Garmin mount for handlebars or helmets and the light can attach to it.
Pros and Cons
- Super bright bike light
- Cost per lumen
- Versatile mounting options
- Long charge time (9 Hours)
- Difficult helmet mounting
- Short cord
Bike Light Usage
Using the bike light is pretty simple, however, understanding all the modes can be a little confusing.
For mountain biking, I like to attach the light to my helmet and run the cable down my back into a hip pack. When I am riding at a slow pace, I’ll set the light at a lower output to conserve the battery. When I pick up speed, I’ll turn the light on to full brightness. Riding like this I can easily get a 2 to 3-hour ride in with the light and battery fully charged.
It’s worth noting that more lumens aren’t always better. There are times when I am mountain biking at night and have so much light coming off that there are no shadows in the trail. This can be resolved by aiming the light higher or just matching the brightness of the light to the riding conditions.
When using the light for road biking, I attach it to my handlebars and the battery to my bike frame. I also take caution to aim the beam down to avoid shining into driver’s eyes. This light is very bright and if on high power could be very distracting to a driver. I also only use the lower output setting for road biking that meets the needs of my ride. If I’m in a city with street lights I don’t need as much light. When I am on the backroads with no cars or lights, I’ll use a brighter mode.
To use the light you need to decide where you are going to mount the light, and where you are going to carry the battery.
The light mounts to any Garmin style mount or can be attached to handlebars or a helmet with special additional accessories. The light comes with a few different sizes of bands that can be selected to fit the diameter of your handlebars for a secure fit. The battery has two velcro straps that can be used to attach the battery (which has a grippy rubber side to it) against a bike frame. I prefer to just toss the battery in a backpack or hip pack because I prefer wearing the light on a helmet.
On Light Indicator
- Flash Red: 0%-5%
- Red: 6%-20%
- Green: 21%-100%
On battery Indicator
- 3 LED light-up constantly: 100%-71%
- 2 LED light-up constantly: 70%-41%
- 1 LED light-up constantly: 40%-10%
- 1 LED flashes: 10%-0%
There are two types of modes on the RN 3500. One controls the number of LEDs on at a given time. This can be changed from 2, 3, or 5 at a time. The second mode controls the intensity of the LEDs that are on. This can be changed from eco, Low, Medium, High, and Flashing.
The RN3500 and most of OLight headlights and Flashlights are waterproof to the IPX5 standard. Check out our page on IPX waterproof ratings to know exactly what this means.
The battery alone weighs 9.7 ounces
The light alone weighs 4.37 ounces
Light and Battery Weight
The combined weight of the light including the mount with the battery attached is 14.07 ounces
The battery pack is a 4 cell 18650 Li-ion cell with a 5200mAh capacity. The model number is MJ-6116. The Lithium-ion battery is 7.2 V 5.2AH 37.44 WH. The input rating is 5V 2.0A and the USB output is 5V 2.0A for charging other devices.
The battery takes a considerable amount of time to charge. This is largely dependent on the type of charger, its output, and the cable you are using. The user manual states that the charging time is 9 hours. Luckily, I was able to charge the battery faster with the included charging cable and a 9V 1.67A/5V 2A Charger. This charged the light in about 5 hours. There is some confusion about the battery light indicator. It appears that the light can be almost fully charged and still only register 2 out of 3 lights on the charge light.
I was surprised at the amount of runtime I got from the light. I powered the light on high inside a room with a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no airflow around the light and it was left on while a timer ran. The light ran on max output with all 5 lights on for a little over 2 hours. The red light starts flashing on time after about an hour and a half. I still had another 30 minutes of use after this.
I typically ride for about 2 hours in the dark so this light meets all my needs if I were to ride at high power my entire ride. I find it more peaceful and can conserve battery power by riding uphill or less technical low-speed sections on a low-light output setting. When the speed picks up or I enter a more technical section I hit the button on the top of the light and go to high mode. By doing this I easily get over 4 hours of use with the light.
There is also a safety feature to help you from getting stranded. Once the light is nearing the end of the battery it will switch to a low output mode and still provide light for you to hurry back. This feature doesn’t allow you to switch light modes once the battery is almost dead.
The light gets very hot. Testing the temperature when the light was running on high power in a room that was 70 degrees Fahrenheit the light ran at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit max. This is with no airflow around the light. This is pretty hot to the touch without gloves on, so be careful. Using this light on a ride, it runs a little cooler depending on the ambient temperature outside.
Other Olight/MagicShine Models
- BFL 900 Bike Light $60 USD (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
- BFL 1800 Bike Light $80 USD (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
- Allty 2000 Bike Light $150 (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
- RN 400 Bike Light $30
- RN 800 Bike Light $60
- RN 1200 Bike Light $70
- RN 1500 Bike Light $80
- RN 3500 MTB Bike Light $200 (Featured)
- Monteer 8000S Galaxy v2 Remote $400 – 8000 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Monteer 6500S Zeus v2 Remote $370 – 6500 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Monteer 6500S Zeus $350 – 6500 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Monteer 5000S Storm $250 – 5000 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Monteer 3500S Nebula $200 – 3500 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- MJ 906S All-Around Bike Headlight $200 – 4500 Lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- MJ 902S All-Around Bike Headlight $140 (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- MJ 900S All-Around Bike Headlight $70 (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Ray 2100 front bike light (https://magicshine.com/collections/mountain-bike-lights)
- Light and Motion 2500
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Olight the same as MagicShine?
MagicShine is the bike-specific light offered by OLight. Olight and MagicShine are partners. OLight does offer some bike lights but has a wider range of lighting options like flashlights and other use lights. MagicShine focuses mainly on bike lights for road biking and mountain biking as well as rear red lights.
How many lumens are needed for night riding and What are the minimum lumens for riding at night?
A minimum of 500 lumens are needed to ride at night. This is just enough to light up a small patch of road or dirt in front of you when riding in the dark but requires slow speeds for safety and comfort. Riding on the road in the dark the surface is more predictable and there are often additional street lights and headlights from cars around that make 1000 lumens a nice starting point for a good road biking light.
You can comfortably mountain bike or trail ride with 1500 lumens. Because the terrain changes more quickly, it’s nice to have a light that has a further throw and wider beam pattern. WIth 1500 lumens it allows you to ride similarly to how you might ride during the daylight hours.
There is a huge difference riding with a 3500 lumen light at night. It provides an almost daytime riding experience. There is enough light to light up a large portion of the surrounding area, and cast enough shadows to be able to read the trail far ahead.
Are 800 Lumens enough for a bike light?
800 Lumens is a good place to start for a bike light. It is enough for riding around the streets where there is often additional lighting and might be enough for some light trail riding.
What are the most powerful bike lights?
MagicShine offers one of the most powerful actually usable bike lights available. It boasts an incredible 8000 lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/new-released/products/monteer-8000-mountain-bike-lights) this is likely overkill and can actually be too much light when biking on the road as it’s about twice as powerful as a car headlight and can washout the trail removing the shadows that help navigate the trail at night. However, there are times when it’s a lot of fun having that much power on your bike. For example when riding in the desert where having a large light throw is beneficial to see as far in front of you as possible, or where there are large rock walls in the distance that are nice to light up at night to still enjoy the scenery.
Can a light be too bright?
Yes, a bike light can be too bright. Bright lights can be dangerous for oncoming traffic both on the road and on the trail. Automobile drivers can be blinded or distracted by extremely bright lights if not aimed at the ground. Additionally, on the trail when meeting another rider head-on, the lights can be blinding to them. As a biker etiquette, I like to stop and cover my light or look at the ground aside of the trail to prevent blinding other riders. Lastly, putting too much light or too bright of light right in front of you can wash out the shadows on the trail and make it harder to navigate the trails.
Can the light fall off while riding?
There are many different styles of light attachments; some are more susceptible to falling off while riding. I’ve found that most handlebar-mounted lights that have an integrated battery will rotate while riding your bike. The light doesn’t necessarily fall off, but it’s annoying having to constantly reposition the light. I have a lot better luck with bike lights that have a detached battery because it reduces the weight of the actual light and helps it stay in place.
If the actual mount of the light fails, yes the light can fall off. I’ve ridden some rough technical trails and never had a light fall-off from just riding. The only time I’ve seen lights fall off is because the rider bumped it, tried to change the setting, or bumped by a tree branch. If you are worried about light falling off a good thing to do is attach a tether or small cord from your light to your bike or helmet. This can help to prevent damaging the light if it does fall off.
Does the Olight RN3500 come with other mounting brackets?
The RN3500 comes with 1 mount that can be attached to various sizes of handlebars or helmet mounts. This mount requires a tool to attach but then the light can be twisted a quarter turn to remove and add to the mount. Additional mounts can be purchased as well as any Garmin style mount the light is compatible with.
How long does the Olight/Magicshine take to charge?
The charging time for an OLight or Magicshine light depends on the size of the battery, and the charger output. In general, for a smaller bike light, you can expect a couple of hours. For a larger bike light expect at least 4 hours.
Is the Olight RN3500 the Same as the Magicshine Monteer 3500?
Yes, these are basically the same light just branded differently from OLight and Magicshine. Depending on where and when you buy the light sometimes they come with different mounting options.
What is the color temperature of the Olight RN 3500?
The color temperature is 6500K
Can you mount the Olight or MagicShing 3500 on a helmet?
Yes, you can mount these lights on a helmet but they require additional mounting brackets or accessories not included in the box.
Olight MagicShine Bike Like Review Conclusion
Overall you can’t beat the value of this light, it’s a high quality, true lumen count, long-lasting battery at a fraction of some of the competition.