Lumos is the ultimate bicycle helmet that helps cyclists stay safe and visible on the road.
Biking at night, especially on roads, can be downright dangerous. Just how dangerous, you ask? Every year, more than 49,000 cyclists are seriously injured in the United States alone — a large number of them as a result of a collision with a motorist. And although there have been several innovations geared towards making riding in the dark safer, a new helmet from one Boston-based startup may be the most clever yet. As a way to draw the attention of traffic, Lumos is equipped with wirelessly-controlled turn signal indicators and brake lights that automatically illuminate as speed is decreased.
It’s a pretty smart idea, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from former Harvard students Euwen Ding and Jeff Chen. Whereas modern-day light attachments can be easily left behind, not too many will venture out onto the roads without grabbing their helmet. Even better, Lumos has been designed to look no different than its more conventional counterparts.
The front of the helmet is equipped with series of 14 ultra-bright white LEDs, enabling them to be seen much more clearly than typical bike-mounted units. What’s more, 16 red LED are arranged in the back to form a triangle — a commonly used warning symbol on the road. An accelerometer embedded inside the helmet is able to detect whenever a cyclist is braking, which instantly turns the rear triangle solid and intensifies in brightness, just like a car.
One of, if not, the most standout features of the Lumos has to be its turn signal lights. These arrows are made up of 15 LEDs on either side of the rear triangle and headlight strip, and are activated through a two-button wireless remote attached to the handlebar, which runs on a CR2032 battery. Once triggered, vibrant yellow lights are turned on to form an arrow and a dash from the front indicating the direction a rider wishes to turn. Another press of the button will switch the signal off.
“The wireless remote works off a 2.4 GHz RF chip. These RF chips are more than powerful enough to handle the signaling feature and are also robust, reliable, and consume very little power, making it ideal for this use case. The remote is perpetually in sleep mode by default,” its creators note. “But when you press it, it instantly wakes up, sends its signal to the helmet it is paired with (a 1-1 pairing with the helmet that just needs to be done once during first use), and then powers down again after you turn the turn signal off. Since the remote is off for the vast majority of the time, this allows the remote to last for months before its coin cell battery would need to be replaced.”
The water-resistant helmet is currently available in two colors — charcoal black and pearl white — and comes with an integrated battery, which can be recharged via microUSB. According to both Ding and Chen, if Lumos is used for 30 minutes every day, each charge should last about a week.
Ready to stay safe while riding your bike at night? Then race over to Lumos’ Kickstarter page, where the team is seeking $125,000.