Lumos smart helmet review
The Lumos smart helmet takes cycling safety to an all new level with integrated front and rear lights to help you be more visible when on the road, along with turning indicators to help other road users your direction of travel.
So that is the marketing spin for the smart helmet, but how does it perform in real-world usage to warrant the £149/$179 price, let’s find out in the Lumos helmet review.
Lumos helmet review in the box
The box helmet is a simple affair with its contents neatly packed inside, in the box you get;
- Charging cable
- Indicator box
- Kickstart is our original crowd-funded smart helmet. It’s practical
- It’s turn indicators and automatic brake lights are very intuitive to drivers
Lumos Helmet review in pictures
Lumos Helmet review key features
- PRICE – £149 / $179.99
- COLOURS – White, Blue and Black
- SIZE – Single Adult Size. 54cm – 62cm / 21.3 – 24.4in.
- BATTERY LIFE – Approx. 6 hours on flashing mode and 3 hours on solid mode.
- CHARGING TIME – Approx 2h
- FRONT LIGHTS – 10 White LEDs
- BACK LIGHTS – 16 Red LEDs
- LEFT AND RIGHT TURN SIGNALS – 2 x 11 Yellow LEDs
- MATERIALS – EPU Liner, PC shell
- BATTERY – 3.7V 800mAh Lithium-Polymer Rechargeable Battery
- WEIGHT – 450g / 0.93lb
- CONNECTIVITY – Bluetooth (BLE 4.2)
So with all the key facts out of the way, let’s get onto the in-depth review
Lumos helmet review Design
- PC shell with EPU liner
- 48 LED’s on the helmet to increase visibility
- Weight 450g, heavier than most helmets
The Lumos Helmet on first handling is an solid construction, made from a PC shell with an EPU liner with perforations across the top of the to allow for ventilation.
In total the Lumos helmet has 48 LEDs, with a white strip of 10 white lights on the front, a section of 18 red LED’s on the back in the shape of a triangle and then 10 either side of the main LED lights which are the orange indicator lights, but also double up as part of the brake light system.
The Lumos helmet is rather heavy at 450g when you compare it to a traditional cycling helmet, with the weight towards the back as all the tech stuff lives there along with the on/off button to turn it on and change the light pattern and the charging port, which is proprietary charging cable.
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The padding inside is good with an adjuster on the back to make sure it fits snug along with a Fastening strap, but it does not include a chin rest for extra comfort, which I found to be an annoyance so I changed one over from another helmet.
According to Lumos the helmet has been tested and it confirms to CPSC in the United States (CPSC 16 CFR Part 1203) and EN1078 in Europe Lumos also meets all other requisite standards required of consumer electronic devices set by the FCC and CE along with being waterproof for use when it is raining.
In addition to the helmet, you also get a small wireless unit that controls the indicators and this also houses the motion sensor.
Overall the Lumos smart helmet is comfortable to wear, however, it does feel heavier than my everyday helmet and despite its weight being towards the back of the helmet, you don’t really notice it. On hot days ventilation is not great, but not terrible either, I am not saying your head will cook, but I found I did sweat more when I was out on a ride.
Lumos helmet review Features and performance
- 3 light options when in use
- Brake warning lights
- Basic app
If the Lumos helmet was any other helmet this would be a shorter review, but it’s not, it is a smart cycling helmet and the main focus of the helmet is safety with the LED lights on the front and rear along with the turning indicators to warn traffic behind your intended direction of travel.
So let’s get into the detail of the Lumos smart cycling helmet
As I have already said the Lumos cycling helmet features 48 lights and these are split into the front and rear of the helmet and these are activated by pressing the button at the rear of the helmet and if the helmet is on your head when you turn them on, the Lumos will beep to let you know they are activated.
With the Lumus you have 3 light pattern options, the 1st being a solid light pattern, the 2nd being a flashing 3-second pattern and then the 3rd is a 1-second flashing pattern. I did test the Lumus with all 3 and the only real advantage is battery life as the solid light pattern will drain the battery more.
The Lumos helmet also features turning indicators like you would find on a car and these are found both on the front and rear of the helmet.Unlike other reviews that I have seen, I would not suggest you rely on the LED indicators alone to warn traffic of your intended direction. But regardless this extra feature can only help you to be seen and this is a good thing from a safety point of view.
In order to operate the indicator lights on the Lumos helmet, you can do it 2 ways, the first being the control unit that Lumos suggest you fit your handlebars and the 2nd being through the Apple Watch, with the latter I never go to work, despite several attempts.
Mounting of the control unit is fairly simple and it is just like mounting another other cycling accessories as in you first mount the cradle via 2 silicon bands and then the control unit can be put into place.
Lumos suggest installing the indicator box across the handlebars and this is explained so it can also work with the braking system as the motion sensor is inside this box. I found when it was mounted this way, the process to press the button and then signal with my arm, whilst moving at speed sometimes was difficult and it was just easier to forget it and use my arms alone to indicator my direction of travel.
However, when I move the unit to the inside of the handlebars near to where my right hand would be during normal riding position, I found it was easier to operate the indicator box, just like you would with a Garmin remote.
The Lumos helmet has features beeps to indicate when you have activated the turn indicators, this is a good feature to give you confidence that they are activated and the frequency of the beeps can be adjusted in the app.
Using the Lumus smart helmet in both light and dark conditions I found the LED lights bright enough to be seen by traffic approaching from the front and rear. However, I would not suggest you replace any of your bike lights as the front LED lights are not bright enough to light up the road.
I have spoken to other cyclists about different ways you could implement a braking system into a rear light on for us in road cycling with various different ways suggested and the Lumos helmet has gone with a solution that uses motion sensors to detect braking (or slowing down)
The motion sensor is located inside the handlebar-mounted controller, so it’s not affected by head or body movements when you moving around on the bike. You can also adjust the sensitivity in the Lumos app if need to do so.
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When carrying out the testing for the review it was hard to fully determine how accurate the braking light activation was. However, I did have someone follow me for 10 minutes during a ride and based on the tests the braking system was 9/10 accurate, which is a good thing.
One thing I do want to point out, as of writing this review this feature is still in beta and the app along with the literature in the box tells you this and it warns you of increased battery drain. Based on my testing the battery drain is a real issue as on a 1 hour 15-minute ride the battery went from 100% to zero.
The Lumos app is relatively simple and its broken down into 3 sections, settings, dashboard and profile.
This is where you can set up the battery notifications to warn you of low battery, link your Lumos helmet app with Strava and Apple health. You can also alter the turning frequency and turn on the brake warning lights along with updating the firmware
It shows the battery level for the helmet and the handlebar control unit, but you can also track rides when using the helmet. Now you do need your smartphone with you as the helmet does not have built-in GPS, so I don’t see the point to the tracking feature as if you have gone out and bought this helmet, you will have probably already invested in a fitness tracker or at least use an app on your smartphone, but still the option is there for you to use
Nothing really here other than the profile that is signed into the app, not sure why this is even an option in the app, it would have been better to have this in the settings menu.
Lumos helmet review battery and charging
- Charging time 2 hours
- Varying battery performance depending on modes
- Brake warning feature drains the battery
The Lumos helmet is powered by a 3.7V 800mAh Lithium-Polymer Rechargeable Battery with a claim it will last Approx. 6 hours on flashing mode and 3 hours on solid mode and a full charge will take about 2 hours.
The latter is true, I found charging took about 2 hours and the control unit took about 1 hour and I have no charged since I started the Lumus Helmet review.
However, when it comes to battery performance of the Lumus helmet, it all depends on the settings you choose. As I have already mentioned using the brake warning lights will drain the battery and I was only getting on average an hour of use with this feature switched on, but here is my usage base don testing;
All features used
- Solid lights with brake warning: average 1 hour 10 minute
- 3 second flashing with brake warning: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 1 second flashing with brake warning: 1 hour 30
No brake warning lights on
- Solid lights: average 2 hours and 30 minutes
- 3 second flashing with brake warning: 4 hours 45 minutes
- 1 second flashing with brake warning: 4 hours and 15 minutes
These tests was conducted over 10 rides with varying duration.
As you can see you get different battery performance on the Lumos helmet based on what features you use. But to be fair to the makers of the Lumus Helmet, they do say the brake warning light is in beta form and warn against heavy battery drain.
Should I buy the Lumos helmet
The Lumos helmet is a solid cycling helmet and as cycling safety at the core of the product and if you do a lot of cycling commuting throughout the year especially in winter and dark evenings then the Lumos helmet is a great choice. I am not convinced of the turning indicators as its just as easy to just stick your arm out, but it does no arm having extra warnings for other road users.
The app is a little bit lacking and whilst I see why Lumos included the tracking feature and connection to Strava, I have to question how many people will actually use it due to the fact if you are going to spend this kind of money, you will already have a fitness tracker or something else.
The bottom line and the conclusion I came to when conducting the Lumus helmet review is that its a good solid cycling helmet with good safety features and this is a good thing. Its will be particularly useful for winter training or commutes early morning or evening in the. winter months, but it’s not a helmet you will be sticking on for the Sunday club ride or the 100-mile sportive and you can find cheaper alternatives with more smart features