I featured a British light-up cycling jacket, Glofaster, two years ago. It was a great idea and worked well, but didn’t make it commercially. Now Lumo, a start-up based in Chichester, has stepped into the breach with a more sophisticated and stylish range of light-up products and, I think, has the vision to go the distance. The Harrington jacket I tried looks and feels pretty good even without the lights activated – you could walk into a meeting wearing it and not feel embarrassed – and when lit up it becomes a warm, water-resistant jacket that makes you visible on a bike even on these dark winter days.
Lumo’s jackets have 14 sewn-in four-lumen LEDs front and rear, and two settings: a super-bright pulse and a gentler flash. The 38g battery is a substantial, USB-chargeable 1100mAh 3.7v lithium polymer unit, which will feed the lights for six to 14 hours – enough for a good few days’ commute.
Over the next five years, Lumo plans to release jackets that integrate navigation, contactless payment chips and wireless charging for mobile devices. Its longer-term vision includes clothing with nano-fibres to harvest energy from body heat and movement, as well as a protective membrane that hardens instantly on impact and returns to a flexible state within 30 seconds. A little company worth watching.