Night biking is an adventure into darkness. There is an inherent danger to the world when night falls, even more so to a biker on busy streets or unlit roads. Wearing lights is not only a good idea for bikers, not having them is grounds for a ticket in some places. You want to be able to see and be seen. One old trick is to clip a red light to the back of your helmet, but that’s the definition of basic compared to the Lumos.
Lumos is a bike helmet with all the lights you need built in. The campaign for the brilliant yet so obviously logical design launched on Kickstarter today. The front of the helmet has not one little puny headlamp, but a row of 14 super-bright LEDs shaped like a modified asterisk to stand out in driver’s reviews.
The 16-LED rear warning lights form a flashing red triangle on the back. An accelerometer integrated into the helmet picks up when you brake and automatically turns the rear triangle solid and increases the brightness, just like a car’s brake light.
The standout feature of the Lumos has to be the turn signal lights. Arrows made up of 12 LEDs on either side of the rear triangle and to either end of the headlight strip are controlled by a remote on the handlebars. The remote itself is a simple two-button affair. It runs on a CR2032 battery, one of the round flat ones that look like a coin. The turn signal remote wirelessly pairs to the helmet whenever the two get close enough together.
The helmet itself is rechargeable via micro USB, but should flash and blink away for three and a half hours before it conks out. Water resistant, both helmet and remote will survive a good rain, but don’t go swimming with them.
It’s easy to get front and rear frog-type lights for your bike. Alas, that cheap option is not nearly as visible as helmet mounted lights, and would require a separate turn signal setup and obviously a helmet to match the Lumos’ features. Lumos combines all the things most commuters use on a daily basis in an innovative convenient way. No more stripping your bike lights to keep them from getting stolen when you park outside overnight — it’s all in the helmet.
Flashing lights are great addition and do prevent accidents, but helmets are designed in case the worst happens. The Lumos meets all the major safety certifications for both helmets and consumer electronics.
Lumos was not conceived by the same people who created Lumo, the cycling clothing line (even though a partnership between the two would make sense — DT corporate matchmakers at your service). Euwen Ding and Jeff Chen, the Lumos’ creators both engineers and cyclists themselves built the prototype during a hackathon while they were students at Harvard. They honed the design considerably before kicking off the Kickstarter campaign. Support from the Harvard Innovation Lab and Dragon certification are good signs that backers will get their helmets in a timely fashion. They’re seeking $125,000, with super-early bird specials going for $100 after you factor in the $15 shipping, saving $70 over the regular price.