Categories DesignPosted on

Award-winning Lumos Headgear Lights Up London’s Roads

SEEN warmly applauds Lumos, a new invention to make cyclists more visible on the roads of the capital.

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The Lumos helmet, invented by engineers Eu-wen Deng and Jeff Chen, uses embedded lights to let drivers know when cyclists are turning or braking. The relationship between motorist and cyclist can be very confrontational so anything that helps both parties share the road in a calmer fashion is a bonus. The designers launched Lumos in 2015 after a Kickstarter campaign generated start-up funds.

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We heard countless stories of how cyclists felt invisible or vulnerable on the road,” they explained. “Cyclists regularly cited riding with traffic as a troublesome but necessary part of their ride. Similarly, drivers described how they felt frustration or fear due to the difficulty in seeing or predicting the movements of cyclists riding on the road with them.”

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The helmet won the transport design of the year category for 2016 Beazley Design of the Year Awards. More than 60 integrated LEDs in the front, back and sides light up to alert other road users to the cyclist’s next move. The brake light is triggered automatically when the cyclist slows down. A built-in accelerometer measures the cycle speed, enabling a bright red triangle to illuminate when the bike brakes.

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The indicators are triggered by the cyclist pushing a button on the handlebar when they approach a turn. The Lumos helmet replaces the more usual clip-on lights which are easily stolen or mislaid. White lights at the front and red lights at the rear of the helmet flash continuously, causing the cyclists’ presence to register more effectively with other road users.

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Water-resistant and activated by a single button, the Lumos charges via a connection to a USB port, which takes about two hours. Though the helmet’s charge should last a week if used for thirty minutes a day. The company states that the handlebar remote lasts for several months before charging is required. An app can be used to monitor the battery life and the cyclist can change their light preferences if they wish.