Co-Creation Part 2: Versatile Bike Lights
- Welcome to Lumos Co-Creation Series
- Part 2: Versatile Bike Lights
- Part 3: Design
- Part 4: An Effortless User Experience
Part 5: Accessorising Firefly
Thank you to everyone for your feedback. There were some really great ideas in there, some of which we hadn’t considered too seriously, but because you’ve mentioned it, we’re now thinking about it a lot more. Stay tuned as we’ll be incorporating as much of the feedback as possible within these updates.
I’ll try to address a few comments in this post, and at the same time give you all an update on where we’re at regarding the design of the bike lights.
One thing that was abundantly clear from the feedback is that there are a lot of good ideas and they’re all pulling in different directions. We’re no strangers to intense feedback from our customers as we know you can be very passionate about the things we build, which we love, by the way.
I believe it is our job to deliver what you (reasonably) ask, but that also means making the hard choices on what to deliver on and what to push to a potential future product. We know full-well that trying to cram on features without strong use-cases is asking for trouble and makes for a very unfocused, often-times unreliable product.
At the same time though, we don’t want to disappoint, so we try our very best to make things happen.
With that, let’s talk about the word for this update:
Versatility in mounting locations
Since this is our first bike light product, we didn’t want to focus on just a front light, or a rear light, but wanted to ensure that whatever we make could be used for both. Of course, there are a few limitations here, but first and foremost, we wanted the lights to be super versatile so that we can get them out into our customers’ hands and on your rides and get as much feedback from you as possible before deciding on the next lights.
You heard that right, these won’t be a one-off product, but an introduction to a new line of products from us. We’ll get to that in the future, but for now, the most versatile bike lights!
We actually started off with calling these lights “Minis” as the idea was that they would be small enough to mount just about anywhere, hence the versatility. Thinking about where we’d expect you to mount the lights, we came up with the following…
That’s a lot of versatility. We decided to tackle this problem by chipping away at the large rock to eventually narrow down on a few mounting solutions as making a new mount for each possible location is neither smart, nor environmentally conscious.
Those mounting solutions are:
- a handlebar/seatpost mount
- handlebar end mounts
- a helmet/armband mount
- a dedicated turn signal mount
Let us know if you feel we’ve overlooked an important mounting solution that absolutely needs to be in the launch lineup.
Fun fact: We actually also explored mounting to apparel, like t-shirts and jackets, but that solution ended up pulling us in a direction that was counter to the key features we wanted for these lights (ie longer battery life, brighter LEDS, etc)
Whilst this prototype is pretty sexy and if we were Apple, we’d congratulate ourselves on the thinness of the design at the expense of other important features, this is not what we think is practical for the majority of you, so this direction is currently on hold for a bit. That said, do let us know what your interest levels are here, as it may affect how we prioritize the next lights.
Versatility in functionality
There’s also been feedback regarding being able to use the lights in specific ways, such as white for the front, red for the rears and yellows for the side. To address that feedback, each light will come equipped with at least all 3 of those colors to allow them to be used as fronts, rears, sides and turn signals.
We’ve played around with the idea of RGB LEDs and for our fans of the Matrix helmet, imagine a much larger version played out with a light being a single pixel in a full array. Now, this is us dreaming big, and as a tech demo, I would absolutely love to be able to pull it off, but it again loses focus on what we’re trying to build here. Again, that doesn’t mean the idea is off the table, so do send us feedback on this idea and if it’s generating enough excitement, I would have a pretty strong case to put forward the development of an RGB version of this light.
Versatility within the Lumos product ecosystem
There was some more feedback that wasn’t quite bike light related, but I think makes sense to address in this update.
We couldn’t include front turn signals in Ultra as we were really trying to hit an aggressive price-point but still push for a high quality end product. We attempted to add front turn signals in the development stage, but the front light was just too small of an area for turn signals to be easily distinguishable, so we unfortunately had to drop it.
However, with the bike lights, it’s definitely possible to use them as front turn signals for your Ultra helmet. It’s not an ideal solution as you’ll need to purchase the extra lights, but the upside is that they’re way more noticeable and the lights can also double up as front lights if you wish to use them as such.
Finally, we intend for these bike lights to sync up with every Lumos helmet, so even if you’re an owner of our original Kickstart helmet from way back, get excited as these will work with your setup!
Okay, enough about versatility!
I’m being forced to keep to a 1000 word limit, which I’ve just hit, so I will be wrapping it up here. We have set up a quick survey to ask a few burning questions and get your inputs so do feel free to fill that in and register your votes. If surveys are not your style, but you still want to tell us something, then fire away in the comments and I’ll try to get to them in the next one!
Until then, ride safe!
Lumos Firefly is live on Kickstarter now! Enjoy up to 35% off with our Early Bird discount before the campaign ends.
Though the turn signal on the helmet is a great idea, most of the cars we will be negotiating with have no idea what the flashing on our helmet means. Your front and rear mounting on the bike is the better idea. That will be interpreted by at least 50% of drivers on the road maybe more. The lights on the handle bar end mounts is a great idea. Would be better if those mounts could have rear view mirrors on the with the mount for the light. That way you can see the cars and hopefully they can see you. Keep it up. Love that you continue to work on ways to keep cycling safe.
Yes. If these are versatile enough, those of us on recumbent bikes can mount them with less effort than most accessories. That would be a selling point.
I was on the verge of buying the Onvian Bike Turn Signals from Amazon before seeing this blog post. The item doubles as a horn and alarm. By adding loudspeakers and a motion sensor (possibly as an option) you could replicate these useful features and we could have a very clean handlebar (but please keep the scintillating remote!)
I just purchased the Lumos Street helmet. This is model is incredible. I can operate mine without the use of an Apple watch. Some of the comments regarding installing lights on the spikes. I have already done so. The lights I use can attach to the frame if you so desire. They come with a detached rubber closure, but they have a tendency to come off. So I’ve been using plastic zip ties and they work so much better. The lights I use operate on 2 AAA batteries, and come with 5 different modes. Since I only use them at night, the batteries last longer. Just like my motorcycle, you want to be seen from other cyclists and other forms of traffic. Be safe out there.
i’m currently on my second* Kickstarter Edition helmet. i’d love to see that one revisited with brighter LEDs like the more current helmetsi also got a Matrix for one of my partners and an Ultra for my other partner
l told my 34+ quadriplegic clients as they are rugby basketball and other sports mad athletes. explaining my lumos helmet well if you saw their grins wows being said you’d realise another rider is very enthusiastic
l know the measurements of 4wd and sports wheelchairs are narrower as it will be great to include these lights for other keen riders.
Still not selling in Australia?
I have the handlebar turn indicator and have to change batteries frequently so much I don’t use it. Could you make a USB chargeable unit like the helmet so can charge each night or when charging the helmet? Batteries are so 1980! The helmet charging light on my helmet is very dim compared to other lights that I have that are USB chargeable.
Great that you are working on lights! And turn signals! IMO you should make sure to NOT have red lights on the front of the bike, they belong on the rear or it will be confusing to drivers. Look to motorcycles and how signals are implemented to resolve positioning. Do not reinvent the wheel and do something totally different because you think it’s cool, or better. The point is communication to drivers, so keep it what has been done here.
Love the turn signals but didn’t like the unreliable connection with Apple Watch gestures. Instead of creating more lights options, I would prefer if you could create a communication devices to communicate between cyclists or other outdoor sports. Something like a walkie talkie.
1. It would be nice to have to option to hook into the nav dynamo already on my bike (providing power front and back) to combine the convenience of not having to change batteries with turn signals synced to my helmet. This is close to a deal-breaker for me.
2. It would be nice that the lights, especially the turn signal function, works without the helmet. Sometimes I’m lazy and go without a helmet and it’s be nice to use turn signals anyway.
Wonderful ideas, but please have a sizing of the helmet so that the evolution of bike lights can be appreciated by people with smaller heads including families with children! Thank you.
I like the idea of drop-bar/handlebar end mounts, but for those locations please also include the option of a shade/hood to prevent shining the light into the face of the rider themselves. Think the hooded streetlights you see in non-90 degree intersections (something like https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSRZpv3stZE9iZdgLPvUYta9tyFgDfN_AQ7ccwcVJLo1_INwDOc6eMknGX6dbyqJeo2Cis&usqp=CAU except of course not ugly/bulky)
Hi, my wife and I are amongst the early adopter of the Lumos helmets ( collectively we own one of every models ..) My wife loves her Matrix ( exception made for the unreliable interconnection with her Apple Watch ) and she receive many positive comments from othr cyclists. I enjoy my Ultra ( except for the charging light that never worked ) . My only comment is to stay away from those inter-connection technologies if they are not full proof ,it is very frustrating to try to use them and they don’t work plus your support service doesn’t seem to have any short term solutions for them. Another comment would be to use USB charging connexion instead of standard batteries.
I love all you are doing with the lights. it would also be nice to incorporate communication between riders in the helmet. A bluetooth mesh??
You guys should also look at small clips with an underlip on each side of the light and pair it with a strong rubber band that can be attached to the spokes of the bike. That way the bike wheels will be illuminated when riding. It would look like a Tron Cycle when on the move and impossible to miss.
I contacted your office sometime ago concerning this very topic. There was a company that made a product named “Blinkers”. I think they were originally funded by some type of source similar to what you used to get started. They completely sold out. I corresponded with the owner and he said that they were going out of business. I was shocked. I think they were great lights. Here is a video showing how they worked.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGdSGxW7QB8At one time I had the email address of the owner and he was trying to sell the proprietary information. They were primarily sold overseas.
Add a radar to it that can connect to a Garmin or a Wahoo like the Garmin RTL515 and you will be on to something brilliant.
Please consider recumbent bikes, like Catrike (e.g. https://www.catrike.com/catrike-559). Accessory mounts (https://t-cycle.com/collections/accessory-mounts or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FIAVN8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1 these are narrower diameter than most handlebars. I think it would be most useful to have front and rear turn signals, recumbent owners are, alas, accustomed to having to pay more than upright riders (FWIW).