The bright idea of a cycling Kickstarter, the Lumos helmet with its integrated lights is already an online success story
The basic premise of the Lumos helmet is to help get you seen at night. It features a front light and a back light in the shape of a warning triangle. There are also left and right side indicators operated by a wireless handlebar-mounted remote control and a motion sensor-controlled brake light function which turns all the rear lights red when you slow down.
The Lumos is a product that’s obviously aimed at commuters. It’s too heavy for prolonged road use – you definitely feel it weighing down on your head.
However, that’s to be expected, especially when you consider inside the shell it’s carrying a battery and a shedload of tech.
It is surprisingly comfortable despite its weight. The load feels evenly distributed rather than perched on top of the head.
Where it is limited, though, is in its retention design. The back can’t be pulled down to cradle the back of the skull and the retention dial is primitive, causing a pressure point after a while.
That said, I found it more comfortable than Giro’s RocLoc retention dial, but that could be down to individual head shape.
It’s the added lights that really make the Lumos helmet shine, though. I found it reassuring to know, especially when riding on busy roads, that I always had extra lights. They’re easily easily bright enough to get you seen.
However, don’t expect the strip light on the front to get you home if you run out of street lights – it’s not that powerful.
While they’ll get you seen, I would never replace my existing bike lights with the Lumos helmet. Naturally the more lights you have the better, but car drivers expect to see lights low down on the bike.
So it’s a worthwhile complement to fixed lights because it enables a cyclist to move additional light into the eye line of drivers to be sure of being spotted.
Watch: Helmet buyer’s guide
As with all bike lights, battery life is a key consideration: I found the battery lasted over three hours on consecutive morning commutes.
For comparison, I would expect to recharge my regular bike lights after this amount of time, although they burn brighter than the Lumos helmet does.
Disappointingly, the Lumos helmet ships with a flimsy charger that doesn’t fit the charging port perfectly, making it prone to falling out if knocked around.
Similarly, the decision to use a proprietary charger rather than micro-USB is frustrating – lose the cable and you’re stuffed.
The Lumos helmet really complements a commuting lifestyle. It’s surprisingly comfortable if a little heavy, and it’s reassuring to know there are added lights for those dark nights. It silenced the part of me that thought it was a gimmick.