Back in 2015, Lumos initiated a Kickstarter program to manufacture a bicycle helmet with an embedded headlight, tail light and turn indicators. While it took the company longer than expected to bring a finished helmet to market, we recently got an opportunity to try it for ourselves.
At the front of the helmet are 28 bright white LEDs that change to yellow when the turn signals are used. At the rear is a set of 22 red LEDS laid out in a traditional warning triangle shape.
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On either side of that triangle is a set of yellow LEDs that flash in unison with those at the front of the helmet when the turn signals are activated – a handlebar-mounted Bluetooth remote is used to do so.
All of the lights are powered on with a simple button at the back of the helmet. While the front white LEDs provide some forward illumination, they should not be used in lieu of a proper bar-mounted headlight. They aren't bright enough to illuminate the road ahead of you, although they do a terrific job of lighting up the front of the helmet for anyone coming toward you.
The same goes for the red triangle and yellow turn signals at the back. They can be easily seen at some distance.
The handlebar remote also contains a motion sensor that turns all of the lights at the back of the helmet solid red if it senses that you've made a sudden stop.
Since there are electronics involved, both the helmet and the remote need to be periodically recharged. Lumos states that if you use the helmet for about 30 minutes a day (an average commute), it will only need to be recharged once a week; the remote far less often. We concur.
The helmet lights and remote turn signal module will still work without the accompanying app. But if you want to personalize basic functionalities like the number of beeps the remote turn signals make, check the battery level and get firmware updates, you'll need the app.
The Lumos helmet fits well and weighs less than a pound (440 grams). A ratcheting system at the back loosens or tightens it, allowing it to fit adult head sizes of between 21.3 to 22.4 inches (54-62 cm). The electronics are also nicely embedded in the helmet, so they don't add any unsightly bulges to the streamlined design.
If safety certifications are your thing, the Lumos helmet meets both US and European safety standards for the helmet and the electronics.
Having set a goal of raising US$125,000 on Kickstarter in the middle of 2015, Lumos actually raised over $800,000, but ended up delaying the product delivery date a few months beyond what had originally been projected. The good news is that the company has delivered the helmet as promised to its backers and the market. At a price of $179, we think it was worth the wait.
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