Serfas TSL 1500+ Rechargeable Li-Ion Headlight
The TSL-1500+ features three high-powered CREE LEDs, which are cooled by a forced RAM Air system to improve performance. Pushing out over 1500 lumens in overdrive mode, the TSL-1500+ will never let you down on even the darkest mountain trail. It features a Lithium Ion fuel cell that now delivers up to three hours of night riding pleasure on the highest setting. With additional batteries available for purchase, you can charge up an extra, slide it into your jersey pocket, and ride all night long! This powerful light comes with a handlebar mount, helmet mount, extra long extension cable, wall charger, and transport pouch. You’ll never have to worry about overcharging either, the built in smart charger protects your battery and eliminates any chance of this happening. Serfas has changed the game on high powered lighting by testing its lights in house with a 20” N.I.S.T traceable standard integrating sphere.
Do you care about the planet? All Serfas Lights are RoHS compliant. The RoHS directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. RoHS is not mandatory in the United States but for over 4 years, Serfas has elected to do the right thing for the environment and only manufacture lights that are RoHS compliant.
I've had this light for almost a year now, and gone on about 20 night rides with it during that time, so I think I've put in enough use to give it a review. I'll get straight to the point: This is a ridiculously bright light, the battery lasts a decent amount of time, the mount is a bit iffy, it gets hot easily, and overall it's a pretty darn good light. Now...to the specifics! Brightness This thing is bright. This thing is seriously bright. The rating says 1500+ lumens, and I believe it. The few times I've used this while doing night rides on city streets I've had to turn the brightness down to the middle setting. I was dazzling pedestrians, dazzling the folks I was riding with, and dazzling myself whenever I'd catch a reflector or license plate at the right angle! On the plus side, there's no doubt in my mind I was VERY visible! Seriously, it's better than the headlights on my car. Off road, the wide beam, intense LED lighting, and incredible brightness really makes this thing shine (No pun intended). I like it best mounted on the bars; the LED's throw hard shadows that really let you see the definition and contours of the trail, making the ride safer and more enjoyable. Battery: This thing's battery is beefy, heavy, powerful, and pretty long-lasting. I haven't timed it, but on full brightness I can get about 2 and a half hours; probably more if I was moving the whole time and keeping it cool (more on that later) and not turning it off and on often. The charger it's supplied with is horizontal, not like a big, fat power-brick that takes up 3 outlets, which is a nice touch. It's rubberized on one side and mounts to the frame with a velcro strap. It's simple and works well enough, but on frames with oversized/oddly-shaped tubing, it can be a hassle to get it to really stay securely in place. Thankfully, it comes with a long cord so you can do the old "battery in a water bottle" trick. Mounts: Here's where things start to be not as great. I already mentioned the issues with the battery mounting, but now I turn my attention to the headlight's mount. I do have a headlight mount, but I haven't used it. The bar mount clamp is pretty simple. Rubber strap attached to a flip-clip to secure it. Now don't get me wrong, it's plenty secure and I've had no problems with it rotating, but there is a problem with it. If you have oversized bars (31.8) like most people, then you're going to need to either leave the clamp on all the time, or learn a trick. The issue is that the strap is EXTREMELY hard to tighten, and even harder to unhook with larger-diameter bars. With a 35mm bar it might even be impossible. So to get it on, you need to tighten the clamp in an area where the diameter is thinner, then twist/scoot it towards the middle, which isn't ideal because the metal can scrape up the finish and you can't easily get it right in the center up close to the stem clamp often. Plus side is that it is VERY secure! Heat: This thing has some good vents on it, and it certainly needs them; this light will get HOT unless you're moving at a good pace! When you are moving, it's not a big deal, and the light will stay at a nice, cool temperature. But if you stop, it heats up quickly, and it heats up a lot. I left the light on for about 5 minutes while chatting with my buddies after our ride, and when I went to turn it off and take it off my bike, I nearly burned my hand! Moral of the story: if you stop for more than a few seconds, turn this thing down to its minimum brightness or off! Overall: Again, this is a very good light, and great value for money; especially at the current price on this site. If you need a seriously powerful headlight for not too much cash, this thing should be on your short-list!
I have the last gen 1000 Lum. I first read a Bike Radar light comparo, and this light was one of the very few that actually put out the claimed lumens. On top of that, while most of the lights in the test dropped lumens as they warmed up and over time, the Serfas didn't. They said it was due to its "Awesome" fan cooling system... The beam is long and wide, which I've found perfect for off-road conditions. The battery lasts a pretty long time...I wanna say it'll last 4 hours on its brightest setting, but I usually leave it on 2 or 3. They're plenty bright for pitch-black off-road riding, so I just use the brightest setting on fast descents where I need as much light as far out as I can get it YES the battery is on the big side. Since it straps to your frame however, I've found it to be no-problemo. I've ridden through rock gardens and over jumps with the battery strapped to my frame, and it's NEVER moved. The price PP has on this light right now($189) is INSANE! If you're in the market and don't pick this up, you LOSE.
This is my second winter with this light and I'm still amazed at its quality. I use it exclusively for nighttime mountain biking (mostly in the winter) and it's given me serious peace of mind. The battery is a bit heavy, but that's because its got The Juice. It fits fine into a jersey back pocket but is a bit clunky, so tucking it into a backpack works better. On full power it's as close to daylight as any light I've seen. Well-made, durable, bright.