Lumos burst onto the scene with their first LED helmet, The Kickstart. It was launched with an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, bringing in over $800,000 in pledges. It has a sleek design, bright display of LEDs, turn signals, and braking light technology which led to the product being widely well received. Awards include: The Reddot Design Award 2017, Times Best Inventions 2018, and Oprah’s Favorite Things 2018.
In 2019 the Lumos Matrix was launched. The new design is catered towards EV riders and skateboarders. This helmet includes many of the same features as its predecessor, with a variety of new ideas and LEDs.
Despite a high price tag and difficult fit, the Lumos Matrix stands out as an innovator in the emerging E-helmet market.
Technology & Lighting
The most attractive features of the Matrix include the super-bright, multicolored rear LED panel, and the cool blue visor light strip on the front. Combined, these LEDs pack in 1,000 lumens, providing the brightest helmet currently on the market.
77 super bright multi-colored LEDs make up the back panel of the Matrix
The back panel has multiple preset and customizable settings that include classic hazard signs, pulsating patterns, and even customizable colors and banner texts. The banner text is by far my favorite part of the helmet. I advertise my Youtube channel on the back banner and it sure comes in handy on game day to root for your favorite team (Go Browns!) The front panel is surprisingly bright and increases the visibility of the rider on the road in addition to alerting oncoming traffic. You can notice this when riding a dark path or a street with no lights.
A turn signal remote control activates a left or right blinker on the front and back of the helmet, which uses a traditional yellow color tone. The controller has a magnetic charging port that seamlessly fits into place on the rear inside of the helmet, and will charge off the main battery while the helmet is charging. The remote comes with a mount and mounting bands, which easily attach to handlebars, but can alternatively be held in your hand. It does not require syncing or Bluetooth connection. It just works. That is the beauty of thoughtful design in electronics.
The Lumos Companion App gives you full control over the helmet. Here you can view battery life, change the brightness or pattern of the LEDs, select or customize back panel settings, and update the firmware on the helmet. The app experience is a breeze with easy user functionality. Consistent firmware updates keep the helmet functional and periodically add new pattern options- the latest pattern updates included PacMan and Pong patterns. Additional playful patterns include a fireworks explosion, and hearts. The Lumos Companion App is great for fine-tuning your settings but is not needed for every ride. You can use the power button on the helmet strap to scroll through your presets without having to pull out your phone.
The Lumos Companion App also works with an Apple Watch, so a user can use hand gestures to activate the blinkers on the helmet. I personally prefer using the remote, but it is a great addition for Apple Watch owners. Additionally, the Matrix is capable of showing brake lights when the user slows down on the road. I still have not successfully been able to activate the brake lights. It was in beta at first, but Lumos claims it is functioning at this time.
An Innovator in Safety
According to the creators, Lumos helmets came from the merging of two conflicts: riders feeling uncomfortable on the road in traffic, and drivers not being able to see riders easily. Their theory is adding one more step of safety in helmets which they call, Proactive Safety. Prevention is better than a crash. When reviewing this product, this is something I noticed almost immediately. Drivers were consistently giving me more passing room and the added confidence of blinkers kept my riding more fluid with less confusion in where I was intending to turn.
Outside of the added safety of LED lighting, the Matrix hits all of the major safety certifications including CPSC / F1492 (US), EN1078 (Europe), AS2063 (Australia), and an optional MIPS upgrade. I enjoy using helmets with MIPS. It stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This feature greatly reduces rotational motion in head injuries during the event of a crash. Our brains are very sensitive to rotational forces and statics show that many falls happen at an angle which increases the chance of having rotational forces rock your brain. Any helmet that is going to further protect me from a traumatic brain injury is a win in my book. The MIPS options on Lumos helmet goes for an additional $30. Just remember, no helmet guarantees protection from injury or death, so play it safe on your extremely overpowered electric board.
Compared to other popular Half-Shell Helmets on the market, Lumos Helmets offer the most safety certifications.
|CPSC Standard||EN 1078||ASTM F1492||AS/NZS 2063||MIPS Available|
|Triple 8 Gotham||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Weight and Build
The Lumos Matrix weighs in at 580 grams, which is approximately 1.3 lbs. It is definitely a little heavier than the average helmet, probably due to the battery and electronics inside, but the weight is well distributed throughout and is not too heavy to negatively impact your riding experience. It is well ventilated with four slots on the top and a great aerodynamic design that seemingly pulls the heat right off your head.
The helmet itself has good built quality with seamless contours in the design of the hardshell. The LEDs on the front are very bright, and the LED panel on the back is quite impressive; it has a rainbow of colors, and has a 7×11 dot-matrix display, providing enough space to work with for a variety of pattern designs. The Matrix claims to be weatherproof in rain or shine, I have used it in snowy conditions with no issues.
The sizing system of the helmet is where I feel they really fell short. The Lumos Matrix sells as a one size fits most helmet, with two sets of interior helmet padding, to help make a more snug fit. There is also a “BOA” like crank system in the rear, but the quality of this system is lacking and feels a bit flimsy compared to the rest of the helmet. I recommend trying on this helmet at an Apple store before purchasing, to ensure it fits your size head well and comfortably. According to their website, the sizing window is 56 – 61 cm (approximately 22 – 24 inches). They also state that the Matrix is designed with a wider shell to accommodate a broader range of head shapes and sizes and that the helmet can be adjusted to get the perfect fit.
I would take this with a grain of salt. Although the helmet may “fit” with pads and the crank system, the helmet may not be snug to your skull. I personally don’t want a gap between my skull and the helmet that I need to protect me in the case of a crash, and a forced fit can also cause discomfort while riding. This was the case with some of my friends, so if you have a small head, this helmet is probably not for you. Hopefully, multiple sizing options are available for this helmet in the future.
From my experience so far the Lumos customer service is really great. If you are having any sort of issues with your helmet it seems like they’ll swap out your current helmet for a replacement free of charge. There is a 30 day, no questions asked return policy on the helmets. The current warranty is one year from the date of purchase and requires a proof of purchase, so make sure to save that receipt!
This Helmet retails for $250, which seems a bit steep, but when you add up all the features it offers, the price seems to make sense. I have noticed Lumos occasionally puts on sales where the helmet is discounted, offering an even better discount if you buy two helmets.
|Lumos Street with MIPS||$207.95|
|Lumos Matrix with MIPS||$219.95|
The Lumos Matrix comes in two colors, glossy white and matte black. Lumos also offers a nearly identical product called Lumos Street. The only difference is the back LED panel on the helmet has a more simple sleek design. There are overall far fewer LEDs, and this model is $20 cheaper than the Matrix. The Street also comes in white or black, and like the Matrix, has the MIPS add on option for an additional $30.
From left to right. Lumos Street, Lumos Matrix
The Lumos Matrix is an innovation in LED helmet technology. The safety of 1000 lumens of light is indisputably effective in preventing a crash. The price may sway some to look for other options, but if the fit is right for you, this helmet is a great safety addition to your evening commute. The beautiful design and seamless technology integration make this helmet a leader in keeping commuters safe in any lighting condition.