Serfas True 1500 – 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout

Lights Shootout Video

A significant step up to the Serfas 500 light is the Serfas 1500 which claims a 1500 lumen output. This light is a high-end head unit with separate battery light which retails for $390.

Beam pattern is great as it has a big center spot with a huge, wide halo around it. The light combines good peripheral beam with a far-reaching center throw. The case and switch ergonomics seem  excellent as there is a positive click when activating the switch. There’s three light modes and a flashing mode to scroll through before the light shuts off. Another way to shut the light off is be depressing the switch for about 2 seconds.  The light dims to shut-off rather than an abrupt cut-off like most lights. This is a nice touch that gives the impression of quality.

One thing we noticed with this light is it stayed cooler than competition during our bench test in front of the fan. That means that it has excellent heat dissipation qualities and it will not only protect the circuits better but it will also stay brighter longer under hot or non-moving conditions. Most lights over 1500 lumen just heat up on High mode even when directly in front of a fan.  Serfas seems to manage heat very well and the head unit stays the coolest in our bench test.  They seem to have accomplished this with good air flow porting and providing a lot of surface area to dissipate heat. This means that the light is well-suited for high heat conditions or situations where the rider is stopped a lot. This also means that the light will not have to step down in light output to protect the circuits from heat damage.


  • Price: $390
  • Claimed Lumens: 1500 Lumens
  • Light Head Weight: 153 grams
  • Installed Weight:490 grams
  • Run Time: 3 Hours
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 133 Lux
  • Measured Lumens: 1505 Lumens


Handlebar mounting is done with a quick release mount that works quite well once snug. It can be aimed left to right.  The quick release lever is non-intuitive at first though as it seems to be reversed.  Mounting on different diameter bast is a bit tricky as two pins have to be aligned in the right holes to get the proper bracket size.  There is an included helmet mount as well as this head unit can be mounted on the top of the helmet as well. At 153 grams, the light head is  not too heavy to mount on the helmet.  Also, it is low profile enough that it is decent for low-branch clearance.

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Trail Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

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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  • Darren McInnis says:

    I just picked up the Serfas true 1500 light in the past week! and I tell ya that this is some
    nice light I love the options and the light works so great in the trails I Live in Dartmouth
    Nova scotia and there is nice single track and the only time to get out in the winter is at night. pro product I am going to purchase a Serfas true 500 for my helmet.
    Great stuff! just give R !

  • Steve says:

    As a bike shop employee, I was able to buy the True 1500 on a show special deal at the Interbike show last fall (can’t tell you all how much. It’a secret!). I was a little skeptical, as I really didn’t even know Serfas made lights. I had Cygolites at the time (still do) and have been very pleased with the reliability and awesome features (we sold Cygo and Niterider). My skepticism for the Serfas light was concerning reliability, but having seen a coworkers 1500 and experiencing the light beam from outer space (wow!) I wanted to try it and figured I couldn’t go wrong for the price. Used it on a long ride for the first time in the almost pitch black darkness last night and all I have to say is WOW!!! Awesome! Puts the relatively small light output of both my Cygolite 200 and 250 to shame!! Their light has been adequate for trail use, but I’m spoiled now! For the price, even at retail, you can’t go wrong. Many other companie’s high powered lights cost a lot more than these things! I’m very pleased with the quality, the mounting brackets, storage bag, and even the really nice box it came in, which works great for longer term storage. Can’t yet vouch for long term reliability, though, but this is a VERY nice set up so far!!

  • Scott says:

    Is there a way to tell that you have a 1500+ vs the 1500. None of the pictures show an + on the packaging, head or battery.

  • Bruce Roberts says:

    We love your lights and sell tons of them during the summer months. However, once winter comes and people are looking for a headband type light attachment, Serfas is left behind because they can’t put their light on their head for XC skiing or snowshoeing. This is a big oversight. The competitors are all making strap type mounts to go over a beanie. Will you be making one soon?

  • kyle millsap says:

    I have a helmet mount that works great. Best light on the market!

  • JtotheC says:

    Anyone rebuild the battery pack on this? If so, did you get improved run times?

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