These little Lumos Firefly bike lights are some of my favorite safety additions for 2023 besides the Redshift Arclight pedals. I talk about these lights often on social but haven’t gotten around to writing an article, so let’s dig into these lights now!
I have been trying out the new Lumos Firefly Smart Bike lights that I had backed on Kickstarter for the past several months. They allow you to sync up to 8 individual Firefly lights, and your Lumos Smart Bike Helmet, into a connected lighting system to hopefully alert drivers and keep you safer on your next bike ride or adventure. They really are a stand-out product, but come with a price tag. Are they for you?
Let’s dig into the 7 things I think you should know about the new Lumos Firefly Smart Bike Lights.
Lumos Firefly Smart Bike Lights Key Details
- Firefly Light Functions
These lights can be synced with your phone and turned into headlights, taillights, turn signals using your phone or a remote, and brake lights when paired with a remote. This is really the standout feature in my opinion. You no longer need a dedicated headlight or taillight, and they become smart lights when you use the remote or the app on your phone. I would use the remote and hard mount it under your handlebar in a concealed fashion.
They all can be synced together, and to a Lumos smart bike helmet using the Lumos app. It is really quite easy to use but every once in a while I do have to unpair and repair lights when they go rogue on me. The good news is they still function as blinky lights, just sometimes don’t pair to turn into a signal or brake light.
The brightness and flashing pattern are customizable per light, within the app, or if you are lazy like me sometimes, I just use the button on the side to switch to another mode.
One function I really like is that you have to manually turn on all of the lights, but when you are done riding then you simply turn one off and all synced lights turn off, including the lights on your synched Lumos helmet!
The biggest miss in functions I have found is that they don’t have any motion activation besides the brake light which is actually being triggered by the remote. I wish they would turn on automatically with movement, or off if they sit long enough like my arclight pedals do.
- Light Brightness
Based on the Lumos article on lumens, which is where they talk about why they don’t believe in lumens, the lights are 38 lumens, 84 lumens with the brake lights, and 48 lumens for turn signals.
I plan on doing some basic end-of-driveway brightness tests against popular competitors but based on their claimed lumens I wouldn’t run these lights by themselves. They are simply extra lights to be seen.
- Mounting Options
There are several ways to mount the Firefly lights. All of them are based around the magnetic Firefly Universal mount.
The mount comes with a thin rubber backing that is concave and helps the mount lay flat against curved tubes like your seat tube, or in my case, the Clubhouse on my Tern GSD. There is also a thicker, angled, rubber backing for a seatpost.
You can either use a provided rubber strap that can be tightened at different increments, or a longer velcro strap to attach to things like a bag or your arm. Personally, I’m mostly using zip-ties to mount to things like helmets or the back of my Tern Clubhouse.
Lumos also recently announced the Ultra Fly helmet which has an integrated magnetic harness for a light to snap into the back.
There are other accessories I haven’t used yet like bar end mounts and there is a turn signal mount that is coming in the future.
- Battery Life and Charging
The battery inside each of these lights is a 500mAh battery. Lumos gives a very vague answer of 2.5 to 35 hours of run time, and 3-5 hours of charge time with the ability to check the charge status in your Lumos app.
Lumos took a unique direction for these lights, which I don’t fully agree with, and there is no charging port on the light. You must have either their Charging Cradle or Quad Charging Mat.
This to me is a bit of a bummer because it means I have to carry the adapter around with me if I want to charge on the go, and I can’t charge the light when it is running. Also, these chargers are not included with the light. The Charging Cradle is $10 if ordered with the light, and $20 after.
The Quad Charging Mat is an additional $50 and is how I am using to store and charge my lights. It is super compact and really a superb design.
I have some battery bench tests scheduled now that it’s getting a little cooler. My plan is to sit them outside when its 50-55º in one of the blinking modes to see how long they last.
- Setup & Lumos App
I’m not going to go into detail about the setup of these lights and the Lumos app since Lumos did a pretty good job of that themselves which I’ll link to below, Let’s quickly skim through it with a new set of 4 lights.
Open the app, turn on the light you want synced, and hold it for a few seconds.
Once you see it connected, move to the sync tab at the bottom. This is where you move the light to which location and function you want.
Within the app you can also click on the light, click on the settings which aren’t very intuitive, and change the light brightness, and strobe settings.
A couple of times the lights didn’t sync properly but I just moved them out of the sync area, reset the light and my app, turned it all back on, and moved the light back to where I wanted it and it fixed the sync.
- Warranty & Battery Replacement
The lights come with a limited 1-year warranty. It does not look like the battery is replaceable but I have inquired about it.
One of these lights is $50, with no way to charge it but comes with the harness, shims, and a couple of different mounting strap options.
The most common bundle I see this selling in is the 2 light with one charging cradle for $100, or 4 light at $180 and add the $50 quad charging light. So in total, $230 for my goto lighting setup that I switch between myself, my road bike, my cargo bikes, and my kids’ bikes.
Oh, add $35 for the remote if you want to easily use them as turn and brake lights.
While I have spent some time with these lights, I want to see how they handle water, cold, and longer-term durability of battery and charging.
These lights will be used in a mixed setup between my everyday city bike, the Tern GSD, helmets, and other bikes to test syncing together and the range they can be apart.
I’m also working on standardizing a bike light test in my dark driveway to show distance, light beam throw, and a few other things. Let me know what would be helpful for you to see!
In conclusion, these are fantastic smart bike lights that no one is competing with. As they design additional things like accessories and helmets that work with the lights it is only making the system better. They aren’t cheap but I hope with time the price is driven down with the economy of scale and competition.
With the smaller size of the battery, lack of charging while using, and lower end of Lumens this really makes these lights fall into the additional safety accessories and not the light that I would rely on as my main option day and night. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, but something worth mentioning!
Let me know what you think about these lights, and what you want tested. Until next time, stay well, stay good, and remember to bike more and worry less.