Lumos, the Wand-Lighting Charm

Lumos, the Wand-Lighting Charm

The Lumos spell is one of the better-known spells from the wizarding universe, probably because it is so useful. Lumos can illuminate any darkness, with the exception of complete magical darkness produced by something like Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, which is resistant to most lighting charms and spells from any caster’s wand. Even those spells cast with the most powerful incantation and magical ability. 

Isn’t it harmful to the caster’s wand?

Lumos seems like a simple spell, but it does call for concentration from the caster, as there is a danger of setting the tip of your wand alight, and burnt wands are not easily repaired. It can also cause a bit of an inferno if not used carefully around other heat-sensitive materials. 

If you would like your own wand that will light the darkness without setting light to its own tip, take a look at our Incendio Wand.

Incendio Harry Potter Wand

Where did the Lumos spell come from?

A German wizard named Garvin Lügner claimed to have invented Lumos while inventing Instant Darkness Powder. He was trying to create something similar to Peruvian powder. But his was a much weaker version which should have been named something like ‘slightly-dim-the-light powder,’ as that’s all it did.

However, Lumos was actually developed by an accomplished British witch named Levina Monkstanley, who first cast the spell publicly to search a dark and dusty corner for her lost quill. 

Incendio Harry Potter Lumos Invention

Levina worked as an Unspeakable in the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries. Nobody knows quite what the Unspeakables do in their department, but we do know that they study things like time, love, the nature of thought, and death.

The Department of Mysteries is the place used to store magical objects such as the time turners and that veil that Sirius Black fell through that one time…no spoilers. So goodness knows how Levina came up with the Lumos charm. Perhaps she used a time turner to go back in time and steal the spell from Garvin Lügner!  

What is Peruvian instant darkness powder?

Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder is a magical item that causes instant and complete darkness, which cannot be permeated by Lumos or any other known magically lighting objects, spells, charms, or incantations. Imported from Peru by the Weasley twins, Fred and George, and sold in their joke shop in Hogsmeade Village, the powder was used by Draco Malfoy to smuggle death eaters into Hogwarts

What is the wand lighting charm used for?

The wand lighting charm is used in the wizarding world in the same way as muggles use a phone torch now. If you need to see at night or in dark places, simply light up your wand or use your Android or iPhone's torch, depending on whether you are a muggle or a wizard. Or team Android or iPhone! 

Incendio Harry potter Wand Light Charm

Smartphones are sometimes affected by magic spells, and if you say ‘Lumos’ to the voice assistant (ok Google or Hey Siri) on your Android device or iPhone - your phone flashlight will light up. To extinguish your flashlight, just say ‘Nox’. Nox is the counter-spell for Lumos and was also developed by Levina Monkstanley.

If you’d prefer to do magic with a real wand, not just your phone, and cause a fiery explosion of light, check out these incredible wands that shoot real fire,

Where do witches and wizards learn how to perform spells like Lumos?

Taught to all Hogwarts students in their first year, the Lumos spell is first learned in Charms and in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes. It is a useful incantation for disobedient students like the Weasley twins Fred and George, or like Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, who are often out of bed after hours and prowling around Hogwarts castle and would need a handy light.

Is it a good spell if you are in danger?

The Lumos charm can be used to reveal entrances that are concealed by magic, such as magically hidden doorways. It is also frequently used by witches and wizards to ward off foes, such as dangerous supernatural creatures who are sensitive to light, and it can be used to repel ghosts if needed. Although ghosts aren’t too dangerous if the Hogwarts ghosts are anything to go by.

Incendio Harry Potter Lumos Charm

Does Harry Potter use Lumos?

The wand lighting charm was used regularly throughout the series. It was first used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to light the dark path while Harry and Ron followed the trail of spiders through the forbidden forest.

The Forbidden Forest has seen its fair share of the Lumos spell, as many witches and wizards have used their wand tips to light their way in there. Harry used the spell again just a few days later to light up the tunnels to the Chamber of Secrets. 

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry used Lumos to light his way through hidden passages so he could get to Hogsmeade Village from Hogwarts, as well as using it in the passageway from the whomping willow to the shrieking shack. Hermione Granger used Lumos in that same passageway. 

She also used the incantation in a non-magical forest while hiding from death eaters after the Quidditch World Cup and with her friends to illuminate Lestrange Vault in Gringotts Wizarding Bank in their search for a Horcrux there.

In The Goblet of Fire, Harry used the spell in the library after hours, and he and Cedric Diggory both used their wands to guide them in their quest through the maze during their last tri-wizard tournament trial.

The Lumos charm was used in The Order of the Phoenix after Harry Potter and his cousin Dudley were attacked by Dementors. After fending the Dementors off with the Patronus charm, Harry used the Lumos charm to light their surroundings and reveal any hidden dangers.

In the search for the Horcrux locket in a cave inside a seaside cliff, both Dumbledore and Potter used the Lumos spell. It was a dark cavern and even with both of their wands lighting up, the darkness still seemed denser than it should. If you are a fan of the Hogwarts headmaster, you can try out Dumbledore's wand here.

Incendio Harry Potter Wand

Does Lumos work from a distance?

Yes, if your wand is not in your hand, you can still cast the Lumos charm and the tip of your wand will light up. That is the only spell I know that could possibly help you find your wand in a dark room. How very handy! I wonder if ‘Hey Siri, Lumos’ would work if you lost your iPhone? There’s a quest for you iPhone users; try that out!

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