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"The Wand-Lighting Charm is simple, but requires concentration. Take care not to accidentally set your wand alight as damage of this kind can be permanent. If in any doubt about your abilities you would do better to buy yourself a magic lantern."
Miranda Goshawk regarding this charm[src]

The Wand-Lighting Charm[1] (Lumos)[2] was a charm that illuminated the tip of the caster's wand, allowing the caster to see in the dark. The counter-charm for the spell was the Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox), which was used to extinguish the light from the caster's wand.[1]

History

Despite its apparent simplicity, the Wand-Lighting Charm was not invented until the 18th century. It was first used publicly by its inventor, Levina Monkstanley in the Ministry of Magic in 1772 — to the astonishment of her colleagues — to help her look for a fallen quill in a dusty corner.[2]

However, Garvin Lügner (a German wizard) claimed to have been the one who invented the spell, while he was developing his Instant Darkness Powder. It later transpired that Lügner had been lying about the invention of the charm and that his Instant Darkness Powder did not do too much more than slightly dim the lights.[2]

This spell was taught in first year Defence Against the Dark Arts and Charms classes at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry[3][4][5] and was detailed in The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection,[1] another unidentified spellbook[3] and the Book of Spells.[2] This spell was also used frequently as Hogwarts student skulk about the castle or the Forbidden Forest, often during the night-time or in dark places.[6]

Effects

"To illuminate the end of a wand, the caster must call out the incantation "Lumos." If correctly incanted, the end of the wand will then illuminate and cast light in the immediate vicinity of the caster. It can also be used to illuminate unseen entrances."
Miranda Goshawk regarding the effects of this charm[src]

The bright light created with this charm

One of the simplest yet most useful light-creation spells, the Wand-Lighting Charm's principal usage was to create a light at the tip of the wand in order to see in the dark. This light was fairly warm, and risked igniting flammable things, including the caster's wand if they were careless enough.[2]

Wand light was also able to repel ghosts and other spectral foes such as Gytrashes, from which they would flee. In addition, the Wand-Lighting Charm was able to illuminate and reveal magically hidden architecture such as doorways.[3][7]

While the caster, by definition, had to own a wand in order to perform the charm, they did not actually have to be holding it in order to illuminate it. Indeed, if the caster performed the charm without holding their wand, their wand would light up even if it was some distance away.[8]

When the charm was used in The Cave, the illuminated area was less-than-expected, as the darkness within seemed to be denser than normal.[9]

There were three known variations of this charm: Lumos Solem,[10] Lumos Duo[11] and Lumos Maxima.[12]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Newton Scamander September, 1927 Used it to light Yusuf Kama's eye in Nicolas Flamel's house while he was trying to pull out, by tweezers, a water dragon parasite which weakened Kama.[13]
NewtLumos.gif
Porpentina Goldstein Used it to light the Records Room in the French Ministry of Magic while searching for a box with Credence Barebone's true identity.[13]

TinaLumos.gif

Harry Potter 24 May, 1993 Used it to light the trail of spiders in the Forbidden Forest.[14]
29 May, 1993 Used it to light the tunnels leading to the Chamber of Secrets.[15]
6 August, 1993 Used it to light the Magnolia Crescent when he spotted Sirius Black in his Animagus form.[16]
December, 1993 Used it to light the passage way leading from the statue of the hump-backed witch to Honeydukes.[17]
6 June, 1994 Used it to light the passage way leading from the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack. Used it when trying to gain entry to the upstairs of the Shrieking Shack.[18]
24 February, 1995 Used it to light the Hogwarts Library to seek books about how to survive under water, a few hours before the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[19]
24 June, 1995 Used it to light the path in maze during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[20]
2 August, 1995 Used it wandlessly to light the Magnolia Crescent when he and Dudley Dursley were attacked by two Dementors.[8]
30 May, 1996 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest when he and Hermione Granger followed Rubeus Hagrid to meet Grawp.[21]
30 June, 1997 Used it to light the Crystal cave during the search for the Horcrux locket.[9]
2 August, 1997 Used it to light the stairs in 12 Grimmauld Place while hiding after the attack at the Burrow and the Luchino Caffe Duel.[22]
September, 1997 Used it to examine the Marauder's Map whilst staying in Perkins's tent camping out in the English wilderness, whilst hunting for Horcruxes.[23]
24 December, 1997 Used it to light the room in Bathilda Bagshot's house while he and Hermione Granger were searching for the Sword of Gryffindor.[24]
28 December, 1997 Used it to light the Forest of Dean while following the silver doe sent by Severus Snape.[25]
1 May, 1998 Used it to light the Lestrange Vault to search for the Horcrux cup during the break-in.[26]
2 May, 1998 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest in order to use the Resurrection Stone.[27]
September, 2017 Used it to light the room while talking to Ginny Potter in their home.[28]
Severus Snape 1993 Used it to patroll the Hogwarts corridors at night, during which he caught Harry Potter out of bed, but the pair was interrupted by Remus Lupin.[29]
Harry, Snape & Lupin at night.gif
Hermione Granger 6 June, 1994 Used it to light the passage way leading from the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack. Used it when trying to gain entry to the upstairs of the Shrieking Shack.[18]
25 August, 1994 Used it to light the forest in Dartmoor while hiding from the Death Eaters after 422nd Quidditch World Cup final.[30]
30 May, 1996 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest when she and Harry Potter followed Rubeus Hagrid to meet Grawp.[21]
1 May, 1998 Used it nonverbally to light the Lestrange Vault during the break-in to search for the Horcrux cup.[26]
Ron Weasley February, 1994 Used it to light the tree, where he and Harry Potter spotted Crookshanks.[31]
25 August, 1994 Used it to light the forest in Dartmoor while hiding from the Death Eaters after 422nd Quidditch World Cup final.[30]
1 May, 1998 Used it nonverbally to light the Lestrange Vault during the break-in to search for the Horcrux cup.[26]
Albus Dumbledore 24 May, 1995 Used it to light the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest while looking for Bartemius Crouch Snr.[32]
12 July, 1996 Used it to light the room in the wrecked house in Buddleigh Babberton in which Horace Slughorn was hiding.[33]
13 July, 1996 Used it nonverbally to light the run-down stone outhouse near The Burrow, where the Weasleys kept their broomsticks, to talk with Harry Potter.[33]
30 June, 1997 Used it to light the Crystal cave when he and Harry Potter were searching for the Horcrux locket.[9]
Cedric Diggory 24 June, 1995 Used it to light the path in maze during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[20]
Peter Pettigrew Used it to light his wand in the dark Little Hangleton graveyard.[34]
Arthur Weasley 18 December, 1995 Used it to illuminate the Hall of Prophecy at night whilst he served as night watchman.[35]

ArthurWeasleyHallOfProphecy.jpg

Minerva McGonagall Used it to help illuminate her dark surroundings as she escorted Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley to Albus Dumbledore's office at night, following Harry's vision of the Attack on Arthur Weasley.[35]

Order-of-the-phoenix-harry. minerva, ron.jpg

Nymphadora Tonks 5 August, 1995 Used it to light the stairs in 4 Privet Drive, when she and other members of the Advance Guard escorted Harry Potter from Surrey to 12 Grimmauld Place.[36]
Advance Guard rescue OOTPF.png
Neville Longbottom 1 May, 1998 Used it to illuminate the dark passageway between the Hog's Head Inn and the Room of Requirement whilst taking the trio there.[37]
Neville Lumos.png
Ginny Weasley 31 August, 2017 Used it to light the room while talking to Harry Potter in their home.[28]
Mathilda Grimblehawk 21st century (presumably) Used to explore the dark sewers of London whilst investigating a case for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.[38]

Known practitioners

Etymology

The incantation Lumos is derived from the Latin word lumen, meaning "light".

Behind the scenes

Lumos as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

The wand movement shown in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

  • This is the only spell whose hand motion stayed the same between Pottermore and Wonderbook: Book of Spells. In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery shows a different movement.
  • It is possible this charm was not affected by The Trace, perhaps because of its simplicity or because it resembled torch light so closely.
  • In the first three video games, the spell works by being cast on a special Lumos gargoyle, which will enchant the statue and illuminate the wand, revealing concealed secrets and openings in the world, such as hidden doorways.
  • If one listens closely in the third and the sixth films, one can hear a very soft humming sound when the spell is cast.
  • On any Android phone (on Lollipop or better), if a user types Lumos in the search bar on the Google app, the torch will turn on. Respectively, the Wand-Extinguishing Charm turns it off.
  • A charity founded by J. K. Rowling is named after this spell.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Pottermore
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Wonderbook: Book of Spells - see this video
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  4. 4.0 4.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Chapter 2 (Welcome to Hogwarts) - Charms Lesson "Lumos"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 1 (Dudley Demented)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) - Chapter 27 (Through the Trapdoor)
  11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - Chapter 1 (Under Covers Prologue)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 3 (The Knight Bus)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  24. 24.0 24.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  29. 29.0 29.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - Chapter 17 (Who's There?)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  31. 31.0 31.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
  32. 32.0 32.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)
  34. 34.0 34.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) - Chapter 17 (Occlumency)
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  37. 37.0 37.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  38. 38.0 38.1 Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World - Case 6: A Filthy Business
  39. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 19 (The Yule Ball)
The Standard Book of Spells
Book of Spells 1.png
Grade 1 · Grade 2 · Grade 3 · Grade 4 · Grade 5 · Grade 6 · Grade 7
Charms included in the series: Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Fire-Making Spell · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Memory Charm · Mending Charm · Nonverbal spell · Severing Charm · Skurge Charm · Softening Charm · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm · Tickling Charm · Unlocking Charm · Wand-Lighting Charm
Charms (class)
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Charm-book writers and developers
Blagdon Blay · Daisy Pennifold · Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Helixa Hyslop · Syna Hyslop · Randolph Keitch · Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck · Felix Summerbee · Violeta Stitch
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick · Unidentified male Charms Professor
Textbooks Achievements in Charming · Extreme Incantations · Quintessence: A Quest · The Standard Book of Spells
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Ascendio · Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Blackboard Writing Spell · Blue sparks · Box Blasting Charm (Cistem Aperio) · Bubble-Head Charm · Cheering Charm · Cleaning Charm · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Confundus Charm (Confundo) · Counter-charm for hiccoughs · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Descendo · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Disillusionment Charm · Drought Charm · Entrancing Enchantments (Theortically) · Eradication Spell (Deletrius) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Extinguishing Spell · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Gouging Spell (Defodio) · Growth Charm · Ice Jinx · Knitting Charm · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Leg-Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis) · Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locking Spell (Colloportus) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Memory Charm (Obliviate) · Muffliato Charm (Muffliato) · Nonverbal spells · Pack Charm (Pack) · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Scouring Charm (Scourgify) · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Severing Charm (Diffindo) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Slowing Charm (Arresto Momentum) · Skurge Scouring Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Spell for growing legs · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar into Wine · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Lumos Maxima · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)
Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Subjectsdada.JPG
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Professors
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
Textbooks
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence – Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Cave inimicum · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nasuem) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenium Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Rectratum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimble Wimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie