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Campaign goal was not reached by November 8th, 2013 – See more projects

Lumi - A Bright Idea

The Lumi is an intelligent umbrella that utilizes high-power LEDs, which are capable of producing 100 lumens of multicolored light. At the heart of each Lumi, there is a reprogrammable Atmel microcontroller that controls the brightness of the LEDs. Using a set of tactile buttons, the user can switch any combination of lights on and off, or program more interesting organic patterns that are only limited by your imagination. A clear, injection molded polycarbonate shell surrounds and protects the circuit board, switches, and the two AA batteries which power the Lumi for hours of stylish entertainment. 

Lumi is great for keeping you dry while you cheer on your favorite sports team, or at your kid's soccer practice. Don’t let bad weather keep you from the game.

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

It’s not a party without Lumi. Stay dry at every party and do it in style. Cheers!

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

Lumi is the perfect addition to a midnight stroll with someone special. Make it a night to remember.

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

Bring some light and safety to every child’s favorite night, Halloween. Lumi will let you know exactly where your child is and give them a fun accessory to their costume.

lumi illuminated umbrella pilobolus

Lumi was designed to be used by groups of people together, as well as individuals alone. By crowd-funding the production of Lumi we are promoting not only the creation of this creative and practical hardware, but encouraging groups of people to buy them together, use them, and send in pictures/video of what they have made!

Please send your pictures/videos to: lumi@pilobolus.org

UP: The Umbrella Project

This limited edition umbrella is created following the original design used as part of UP: The Umbrella Project, a participatory performance developed by Pilobolus Dance Company and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. UP premiered at the PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine in October 2012 and was performed again at MIT in May 2013. Each time over three hundred participants lit up the sky on a rainy night.

UP is a large-scale, live performance piece that arms untrained participants from all walks of life with umbrellas fabricated with multi-colored LED lights. Each participant spontaneously interacts with the group and, by manipulating the color of his or her own umbrella, creates an ever-changing landscape of hues as they move through the space to create the piece.


Bright Colored Lights for Rainy Nights

Designed in collaboration with Pilobolus, the world-renowned dance company, and inspired by their live show, UP: The Umbrella Project, Lumi is a one of a kind umbrella. Each Lumi is equipped with user-controllable red, green, and blue LEDs that can be independently switched on and off with the push of a button.  The LEDs are located on the handle of the Lumi and project color upward to illuminate the umbrella’s translucent dome and brighten up your rainy day.

Supporting Lumi will enable the production of Lumi umbrellas to be used in the next version of UP: The Umbrella Project!



AmpCast Cambridge, MA

About Us


KYLE GILPIN - Technical Team

Kyle is post-doc and electrical engineer in the Distributed Robotics Lab where he works to improve communication and control in large distributed robotic systems.  His past projects include developing cellular and Wi-Fi devices, real-time image processing systems, and collections of cubic robots capable of shape formation through self-assembly and disassembly.


JOHN ROMANISHIN - Technical Team

John recently graduated from MIT with a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on mechanical design and robotics.  He has experience working with local startups on mechanical and robotics challenges and loves designing, building and machining.  He is working to create a new generation of modular self-reconfigurable robots.

PILOBOLUS - Art that builds community

Founded in 1971, Pilobolus has built its fervent and expanding international following by proving the human body to be the most expressive, universal, and magical of media. Pilobolus maintains its own singular style while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from all conceivable professions the world over. Based in Washington Depot, Connecticut and New York City, in recent years Pilobolus has transformed from avant-garde dance troupe into an international entertainment company featured on the likes of Oprah, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Academy Awards. In addition to performing live in 65 countries for 5 million people over 42 years, the company has engaged in activities as varied as making circuses, creating television advertising, publishing books, breaking world records, teaching in schools, and producing music videos. Pilobolus has been awarded prestigious honors over the years, including the Berlin Critic's Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography, a TED Fellowship for presenting at the TED conference in 2005, and 2012 Grammy® Award nomination for its interactive music video collaboration with OK Go and Google Chrome Japan, “All Is Not Lost” (allisnotlo.st). Pilobolus achieves all of this without ever losing sight of its core mission: to make art that builds community.


ITAMAR KUBOVY - Executive Director

After having worked for many years as a director for stage and film, Itamar joined Pilobolus in 2004 as it's first Executive Director. He founded and co-curates the critically acclaimed International Collaborators Project, which opens the choreographic process to artists and thinkers from diverse fields. Recent collaborators include Art Spiegelman, Basil Twist, the MIT Distributed Robotics Lab, the band OK Go and Penn & Teller. Itamar also evolved and executive produces Pilobolus Creative Services, developing movement for film, advertising, publishing, commercial clients, and corporate events, and is one of the creators of Pilobolus’s Shadowland. Recent collaborators include MIT Distributed Robotics Lab, the band OK Go, puppeteer Basil Twist, comic book author Art Spiegelman, and masters of illusion Penn & Teller.


MATT KENT - Associate Artistic Director

Matt has worked with Pilobolus since 1996 as a dancer, collaborator, creative director, choreographer, teacher, and associate artistic director. He has performed in over 24 countries and on Pilobolus’s appearance on the 79th Academy Awards. Past Pilobolus projects include Head Choreographer for Andre Heller’s Magnifico, a large-scale circus production; Choreographer for a Sports Emmy-nominated teaser created in collaboration with the NFL Network; and Choreographer for [esc], a recent collaboration with Penn & Teller. Matt is also one of the creators of Pilobolus’s European hit Shadowland. Matt lives in Connecticut with his wife and two sons. 


ROBBY BARNETT - Artistic Director

Robby was born and raised in the Adirondack Mountains and attended Dartmouth College. He joined Pilobolus in 1971.


Is the Lumi really water proof?

The Lumi is only weather resistant, so we don't recommend using it during a huricane.  That said, it rained during both previous UP performances, and the first generation prototypes, (which didn't even have a plastic case), survived just fine. 

How long will the batteries last?

Based on our experiences with the first generation protytpes, we expect the batteries to last for several hours of continuous usage.  Lifetime obviously depend on how many LEDs you have illuminated. 

Is the Lumi rechargable?

No, the Lumi requires two regular AA batteries. 

How big is the umbrella that comes with the complete Lumi?

The umbrella has a 48 inch diameter.  When folded-up, it is about 32 inches long.

To what size umbrella shaft will the Lumi handle attach?

The Lumi handle will work with your umbrella if the shaft has a diameter of at least 5/16 inch.

How big is the Lumi handle attachment?

It is roughly a 3.75 inch long cylinder with a 1.75 inch diameter.

Can I reprogram my Lumi?

Yes, you'll need access to an Atmel in-system programmer (which costs about $30) and AVR Studio (which is free to download).

Do I need to be a computer programmer to use my Lumi?

No, the Lumi comes preloaded with the standard software which allows you to control all three LEDs.

Why isn't the Lumi's plastic shown in the video clear?

The Lumi in the video is just a prototype made with a 3D printer that is not capable of printing clear plastics.  The final, injection molded version of the Lumi will be clear.

Do you offer multiple colors of umbrella?

No, the Lumi works best with a white umbrella so that you can see all three LED equally well.

What are the Terms & Conditions for this project?

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