Review: Serfas TSL-T1000

Lights Lights Shootout

The Serfas TSL-1000 is a cool light. It dares to innovate where many others stay the same and just employ the latest LEDs in their old light chassis. It’s a completely new light for Serfas with a tiny head unit much like the Lupine Piko and Gemini Duo, but this one is a little bigger and has air ducts to help dissipate heat.

What it really brings to the table is it integrates the awesome 50 Lumen Thunderbolt tail light in to the battery. This means that the commuter will have an integrated system with one power source. The tail light is one of the best in the business and can be visible from well over a mile away on a clear day.

Ok, more good news is that it delivers 1130 Lumens even though they only claim 1000. Such humility is to be praised in the light industry as it calls out those who wildly exaggerate their lumen ratings.

The beam pattern is awesome as you can see below. There is width and throw with two LEDs complementing each other to create a far and wide beam.

Run time is two hours and charge time is four hours on high. With the tail light flashing, the run time will hardly be affected. We suspect it will drop down by a couple minutes if the tail light is on solid.

It is a nice gimmick to integrate a tail light, but does it work? We think so, especially as a handlebar mounted light. The battery can be mounted on the seatpost and provide excellent visibility from the rear. For the helmet, we haven’t tried it but the 80 gram head and the 140 gram body is not too bad for the helmet. If the battery is mounted on the CamelBak or jersey pocket, it will lose its visibility. Do cyclists want this kind of headlight and tail light integration and will they pay for it? We’ll find out.

  • Price: $320
  • Claimed Lumens: 1000 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 1130 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 110 Lux
  • Lumens per $: 3.53 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 5.14 Lumens
  • Time on High: 2 Hours
  • Charge Time: 4 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 220 grams
  • Category: High End
  • Good innovation
  • Great front beam pattern
  • One of the best integrated tail lights
  • 220 gram overall weight is light
  • Excellent bar and helmet mount included
  • Helmet mounting the battery for visibility can make the system heavy on the head
  • Pricey at $320
  • We are uncertain if there is a demand for this kind of integrated product

An excellent bar mount is included and an independent helmet mount is available as well. The light can be aimed left to right.

Mtbr Light Meter Measurements

This light measured 110 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 1130 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1000 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Tunnel Beam Pattern Photo

The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern. The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 feet.

Compare all Tunnel Beam Patterns here »

For more information visit

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2014 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Gator says:

    I have the Duo, the only thing better about the Duo is the size. The Serfas has the best highest quality led’s none better. Very natural light, one of the best out there !!

  • Dan Nelson says:

    I have five serfas lights two 150 I keep around the house for emergencies they fit nice in your pocket. Since I have replaced them with the T 750 helmet mount with the narrow beam so I can see going into the turns ahead. And the T 1000 mounted on the handlebars to light up everything in front of me. The thunderbolt battery is excellent 5 choices for your pleasure as a tail light or flasher and numerous people have told me they stopped me because the have never seen a car tail light that bright. Because people text and do stupid stuff while driving including intentional things. I have added the 80 lumen flasher to helmet that I only use while on the street section of my trips so it sits up higher than the tail light on the thunderbolt by about 3 feet. So I end up with 160 lumens of tail light to follow. And almost 2000 lumens to look ahead with. Having manner when using these lights like covering the T 1000 with one hand for a few seconds when people come at you and not turning them on until you really need them prudence because it is a lot of light more than many cars have.

  • KOTH says:

    I love the TSL-T1000 They were a screaming deal when REI was clearing them out at $133.00 I agree with Gator, great tint on the LED – very natural light, no hint of blue at all. I really don’t know why the light didn’t take off – it’s great on the helmet or bars, and if you take the helmet mount apart you can use it on a gopro mount if you run the screw from the opposite direction you normally would. Yes, it’s not perfectly centered but it works. Runtimes are true to what is listed and really the second highest setting is more than sufficient for just about all trail riding, thereby extending your runtime.

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