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Culture

Lumos bike helmet glows with turn signals, brake lights

A bike helmet that telegraphs when you're turning and stopping could be just the thing to light up your life.

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Be seen with the Lumos bike helmet. Lumos

Where I live there is a subset of the bicycling community I call "ninja bikers." They zip around at night without lights while wearing dark clothes, and I worry for their safety. I wish they would all roll over to Kickstarter and order a Lumos, a helmet that lights up with LEDs in the dark.

The styling of the Lumos is in line with most modern helmet designs. There are plenty of vents for comfortable airflow. It looks like a normal helmet until you push the power button located on the side and turn it into an active safety device, adding an extra layer of visibility to your nighttime biking activities.

The Lumos isn't the first helmet with integrated lights. There are already helmets with built-in red lights and the crowdfunded Torch line of helmets with large front and rear lights. The Lumos takes that concept and advances it with the addition of brake lights and turn signals.

The brake lights are implemented in a clever fashion. Lumos has a built-in accelerometer that detects when you're slowing down and automatically triggers the red brake LED array. The yellow turn signals are activated by a wireless remote mounted on your handlebar. The helmet is recharged using a USB cable and can last up to 2.5 hours when in flashing mode.

Lumos is proving to be popular on Kickstarter. It has attracted over $219,000 in pledges, well over the $125,000 funding goal. The project has 27 days left to run. There are still $99 (about £63) early-bird pledge prices available. The regular pledge price is $119 (about £76).

Crowdfunding carries some inherent risks for buyers. You're betting on the item being delivered as expected and on time. The Lumos is in prototype form and the creators are hoping to ship the first batch in April 2016 after finalizing the design, passing safety testing and going into production. The price is in line with many high-end helmets and the added bling of the multi-function LEDs could make it a popular choice for urban commuters.

The Lumos lighting up. Lumos