Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200

    I'm looking to get a new light and these two seem to be at a reasonable price with more that enough wattage:

    Gloworm Alpha 1200
    $139
    2 cell battery
    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...13585615912995

    Serfa True 1200
    $149
    4 cell
    https://www.steepandcheap.com/serfas...F0MTAwMjAyNTM2

    My last light was one of the original Magic Shines, not sure of the power, but it was bright enough for what I needed. And before that I had one of the original(?) Niteriders from the mid 90's with one of those 5lb water bottle batteries and that was bomb proof and again, bright enough by my standards.

    95% of the riding I'll be doing is on trails and likely less than 2 hours ride time max. I'll definitely use the helmet mount and not a bar mount. Any have experience with either or know of pros/cons of the two? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Gloworm Lights
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    I'm looking to get a new light and these two seem to be at a reasonable price with more that enough wattage:

    Gloworm Alpha 1200
    $139
    2 cell battery
    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...13585615912995

    Serfa True 1200
    $149
    4 cell
    https://www.steepandcheap.com/serfas...F0MTAwMjAyNTM2

    My last light was one of the original Magic Shines, not sure of the power, but it was bright enough for what I needed. And before that I had one of the original(?) Niteriders from the mid 90's with one of those 5lb water bottle batteries and that was bomb proof and again, bright enough by my standards.

    95% of the riding I'll be doing is on trails and likely less than 2 hours ride time max. I'll definitely use the helmet mount and not a bar mount. Any have experience with either or know of pros/cons of the two? Thanks.
    Hey Scott

    If you're only going to be riding for 2 hrs then the Alpha is by far the best choice, based purely on runtime on the smaller battery.

    It also means you can mount the entire system on your helmet including the smaller battery - without fear of being too heavy. Weight is under 200g total.

    Gloworm offers a 2-year warranty on the product in addition to additional optics so you can tune the beam pattern to exactly the way you want it. Programming of the light levels can also be changed to suit your riding.

    The 1200 lumen Alpha has the same brightness at the centre of the beam as our 1700 lumen x2, the beam is just a little more narrow (perfect for helmet mounting).

    We also use high flex cables that will resist fatigue for years to come.

    If you have any questions please ask. There are a few users on here that rate the Alpha.

    Cheers

    Bruce
    Gloworm Lights - 'Create Your Escape'
    High End LED Light Designer - New Zealand

  3. #3
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    I appreciate the info, Bruce, thanks.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    I'm looking to get a new light and these two seem to be at a reasonable price with more that enough wattage:

    Gloworm Alpha 1200
    $139
    2 cell battery
    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...13585615912995

    Serfa True 1200
    $149
    4 cell
    https://www.steepandcheap.com/serfas...F0MTAwMjAyNTM2

    My last light was one of the original Magic Shines, not sure of the power, but it was bright enough for what I needed. And before that I had one of the original(?) Niteriders from the mid 90's with one of those 5lb water bottle batteries and that was bomb proof and again, bright enough by my standards.

    95% of the riding I'll be doing is on trails and likely less than 2 hours ride time max. I'll definitely use the helmet mount and not a bar mount. Any have experience with either or know of pros/cons of the two? Thanks.
    Hard to go wrong with the Alpha. Very light weight, excellent throw and low current draw so runtimes are very good using a 2 cell battery. My only concern is the beam width may be a little narrow for helmet light only use so I definitely would give the provided wider spread optic a try to see if that works better than the standard spot optic. If you still have your 808 Magicshine you might want to consider picking up a wide angle lens for it and use it on the bars so you have nice floody light around the front of the bike and still be able to use the stock spots for max. throw (if you like higher speed stuff). Always nice to have a backup light just in case too! I have no experience with that Serfas light and searching around only found an old MTBR article on the 1000 lumen version that I'll add a link to + one for the 808 wide angle lens.
    Mole

    https://reviews.mtbr.com/review-serfas-tsl-t1000

    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...ide-angle-lens

  5. #5
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    I had a customer send me a Serfas True 1000 a few years ago to build a custom GoPro adapter for. It seemed a really well made light. IIRC, it utilized kind of a "fade" to transition from level to level and off and on. Never seen an Alpha, but Gloworm have a good reputation. I think this choice is pretty much a toss-up, but my preference would be the bigger battery on the Serfas and drop it in a jersey or jacket pocket.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  6. #6
    Goats Rule!
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    My only experience with Gloworm has been an X1 which I've never really liked, so I can't comment on the Alpha.

    Regarding the Serfas, I have a TSL-T1000 and a TSL-LT1000 and love them. One of my favorite lights - the only difference between them is the battery - the T1000 has a larger 2 cell battery with a built in Thunderbolt tail light while the LT1000 is a smaller 2 cell battery which IMHO is perfect for helmet mounting.

    The True 1200 is the same light head as what I have, only a bit brighter since they went from a 1000 to a 1200 lumen output, but the 1000 if I recall was closer to 1100. I've had my T1000 for over three years with no problems and the LT1000 since earlier this year when Bike Closet was selling them for $79. On the Serfas lights, you can use any old MagicShine compatible battery as a replacement (such as the gloworm batteries, Ituo batteries, etc.)

    I'd go with the Serfas you're looking at since it comes with a four cell pack and you can source two cell ones cheap if you want to mount the light head and battery on your helmet. Also, look for any S&C coupon codes that might be out there to bring the price down further.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheHill View Post
    Regarding the Serfas, I have a TSL-T1000 and a TSL-LT1000 and love them. One of my favorite lights - the only difference between them is the battery - the T1000 has a larger 2 cell battery with a built in Thunderbolt tail light while the LT1000 is a smaller 2 cell battery which IMHO is perfect for helmet mounting.
    Great to find a source of information on the Serfas light. I know (own) the Alpha and hope you can answer some of the questions I would want to know if I were deciding between these two lights. Does the Serfas have changeable optics and how would you describe the beam (spot/flood/something in between)?
    I'm assuming the preset levels are not adjustable so how would you describe the levels (examplr: 100/50/25%)? What's the UI program like (2/3/4 levels? More than 1 program?). What are the mounts like (or at least the helmet mount)?
    Mole

  8. #8
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    Put the Serfas on your bar and the Alpha on your helmet problem solved! I would never run just one or the other in the woods. Try with both and then try just one or the other, you’ll wish you had both in my opinion.

  9. #9
    Goats Rule!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Great to find a source of information on the Serfas light. I know (own) the Alpha and hope you can answer some of the questions I would want to know if I were deciding between these two lights. Does the Serfas have changeable optics and how would you describe the beam (spot/flood/something in between)?
    I'm assuming the preset levels are not adjustable so how would you describe the levels (examplr: 100/50/25%)? What's the UI program like (2/3/4 levels? More than 1 program?). What are the mounts like (or at least the helmet mount)?
    Mole
    Hey Mr. M,

    The Serfas does not have changeable optics. I suppose you could try and find the right sized ones and open the light up, but I don't see it designed for this to be easily done.

    The beam is about a medium spot, I find the tint very pleasing. On the cooler side of neutral.

    Levels are preset - four levels, 1000, 650, 450 and 230 lumens. There is a flash setting which is separate from the main levels - you need to hold the button down for a bit to enter flash mode. It is a flash, not a strobe. The levels are not changeable/programmable and there is only the one stock program. There is an optional wired remote for the light that is very small - cable is thin but it has never broken on me. Came standard with the T1000, is optional with the LT1000.

    The mounts are nice - the bar one is a stretchy strap with a buckle. The problem is the retaining pin is easy to lose as it can fall out - the pin goes into different slots depending on bar size. It is very secure and is adjustable left to right so it doesn't have to be mounted dead center for the light to aim straight.

    The helmet mount works well - it is a tight fit with the light base so adding a bit of silicone spray or wax helps. There is a retaining nub that clips in to the base of the light to secure things together. Serfas made a GoPro mount that was unfortunately mis-sized for this light so the light base does not fit in correctly. I was told over a year ago they would be re-made correctly but I've never seen them on their website. They specifically now say the mount won't fit this light (and a few others). I'm using one of the mis-sized ones and just forced the light into it - you can see the mount bowed some in the pictures.

    Here are a few not great pics I quickly took.

    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-20190821_130153219_ios.jpg
    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-20190821_130201323_ios.jpg
    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-20190821_130206073_ios.jpg
    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-20190821_130325717_ios.jpg

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the details! I have a much clearer idea of what the serfas has to offer vs. the GW Alpha. No real weak points on either light. As far as advantages, the Serfas has the larger capacity battery and (my preference) top mounted mode button and the Alpha has some nice features (changeable optics, programmable presets, 2 program UI (3 level trail + 2 level hi/low road)) + IMO a bit better mounts (bar and helmet). Also considering the Alpha can be purchased through Jenson who frequently have a 20% off a single full priced item code on their home page, the Alpha can be had for significantoly less money. I also believe as the US distributor, Action-LED-Lights does all the warranty work for the Jenson Gloworm lights so you get their A+ customer service which I consider a significant perk. This should help the OP decide which light will be best for his needs.
    Mole

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheHill View Post
    .....Serfas made a GoPro mount that was unfortunately mis-sized for this light so the light base does not fit in correctly. I was told over a year ago they would be re-made correctly but I've never seen them on their website. They specifically now say the mount won't fit this light (and a few others). I'm using one of the mis-sized ones and just forced the light into it - you can see the mount bowed some in the pictures.....
    Hey! They stole my idea!

    Here are a couple pics of a Serfas T1000 with the custom GoPro adapters I made 4 years ago. Had a customer get together with a couple buddies with Serfas lights and ordered enough to make it worth a custom design and CNC run.

    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-img_0054.jpg

    Serfa True 1200 vs Gloworm Alpha 1200-img_0055.jpg

    I guess I know now why no further orders for that model ever materialized.

    Anyway, as I said in my earlier post, the Serfas lights seemed like quality units and IMO, a fine choice.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  12. #12
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    Not sure if everyone knows this but Serfas actually doesn't manufacture anything. They outsource and sell rebadged products, in this case lights made by Moon. Here's a link to a similar light they sell in the UK through Merlin Cycles (which would have the incorrect charger!). No point here, just interesting.
    Mole

    https://www.merlincycles.com/moon-x-...ght-64667.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Not sure if everyone knows this but Serfas actually doesn't manufacture anything. They outsource and sell rebadged products, in this case lights made by Moon. Here's a link to a similar light they sell in the UK through Merlin Cycles (which would have the incorrect charger!). No point here, just interesting.
    Mole

    https://www.merlincycles.com/moon-x-...ght-64667.html
    Actually I thought it was the other way round ( Serfas first, Moon second ) but likely these are just "Sister products" with both being made by the Chinese. Serfas was first marketed in the USA while Moon was being sold and marketed basically in the E.U.

    Regardless the Serfas and Moon products are both fairly decent ( from what I have heard ). I like the line-up of Serfas rear lights but since I already own a bunch of rear lights I haven't bought one of their newer models. Real shame too because one of the rear models will give an audible tone when it is about to run out of juice.

  14. #14
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    Great info, guys. I appreciate the help.

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