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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) is a charm that illuminates the tip of the caster's wand, allowing the caster to see in the dark. The counter-charm for the spell is the Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox), which is used to extinguish the light from the caster's wand.

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

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, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2, Chapter 3 (Lighting Your Wand)[src]
One of the simplest yet most useful light-creation spells, the Wand-Lighting Charm's principal usage is to create a light at the tip of the wand in order to see in the dark. This light is fairly warm, and risks igniting flammable things,[5] including the caster's wand if they are careless enough.[2]

Wandlight is also able to repel ghosts and other spectral foes such as Gytrashes, from which they will flee.[6][3] In addition, the Wand-Lighting Charm is able to illuminate and reveal magically hidden architecture such as doorways.[6]

While the caster must own a wand in order to perform the charm, they do not actually have to be holding it in order to illuminate it. Indeed, if the caster performs the charm without holding their wand, their wand will still light up, even if it is some distance away.[7]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Newt Scamander September, 1927 Used it to light Yusuf Kama's eye in the Nicolas Flamel's house while he was trying to pull by tweezers a water dragon parasite which weakened Kama.
NewtLumos
Tina Goldstein September, 1927 Used it to light the Records Room in the French Ministry of Magic while searching for box with Credence Barebone's true identity.
TinaLumos
Harry Potter 24 May, 1993 Used it to light the trail of spiders in the Forbidden Forest.[8]
29 May, 1993 Used it to light the tunnels leading to the Chamber of Secrets.[9]
6 August, 1993 Used it to light the Magnolia Crescent when he spotted Sirius Black in his Animagus form.[10]
December, 1993 Used it to light the passage way leading from statue of the hump-backed witch to the Honeydukes.[11]
6 June, 1994 Used it to light the passage way leading from Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack. Used it when trying to gain entry to the upstairs of the Shrieking Shack.[12]
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 Triwizard Tournament.[13]
24 June, 1995 Used it to light the path in maze during the Third Task of Triwizard Tournament.[14]
2 August, 1995 Used it wandlessly to light the Magnolia Crescent when he and Dudley Dursley were attacked by two Dementors.[7]
30 May, 1996 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest when he and Hermione Granger followed Rubeus Hagrid to meet Grawp.[15]
30 June, 1997 Used it to light the Crystal cave during search for the Horcrux locket.
2 August, 1997 Used it to light the stairs in 12 Grimmauld Place while hiding after attack at the Burrow and Luchino Caffe duel.[16]
September, 1997 Used it in the forest while the Trio was on their hunt for Horcruxes, after infiltrating the British Ministry of Magic.
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.[17]
28 December, 1997 Used it to light the Forest of Dean while following the silver doe casted by Severus Snape.[18]
1 May, 1998 Used it to light the Lestrange Vault to search for the Horcrux cup during the break-in.[19]
2 May, 1998 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest in order to use the Resurrection Stone.[20]
September, 2020 Used it to light the room while talking to Ginny Potter in their home.
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.
Tumblr n54nlhLwsA1rm6p5go9 r1 250
Hermione Granger 6 June, 1994 Used it to light the passage way leading from Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack. Used it when trying to gain entry to the upstairs of the Shrieking Shack.
25 August, 1994 Used it to light the forest in Dartmoor while hiding from the Death Eaters after 422nd Quidditch World Cup final.[21]
30 May, 1996 Used it to light the Forbidden Forest when she and Harry Potter followed Rubeus Hagrid to meet Grawp.[22]
1 May, 1998 Used it nonverbally to light the Lestrange Vault during the break-in to search for the Horcrux cup.[23]
Ron Weasley February, 1994 Used it to light the tree, where he and Harry Potter spotted Crookshanks.[24]
25 August, 1994 Used it to light the forest in Dartmoor while hiding from the Death Eaters after 422nd Quidditch World Cup final.[25]
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.[27]
12 July, 1996 Used it to light the room in the wrecked house in Buddleigh Babberton in which Horace Slughorn was hiding.[28]
13 July, 1996 Used it nonverbally to light the run-down stone outhouse near The Burrow, where Weasleys kept their broomsticks to talk with Harry Potter.
30 June, 1997 Used it to light the Crystal cave when he and Harry Potter were searching for the Horcrux locket.[29]
Cedric Diggory 24 June, 1995 Used it to light the path in maze during the Third Task of Triwizard Tournament.[30]
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.[31]
Ginny Weasley 31 August, 2020 Used it to light the room while talking to Harry Potter in their home.

Know practitioners

Etymology

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

Behind the scenes

  • This is the only spell whose hand motion stayed the same between Pottermore and Wonderbook.
  • It is possible this charm was not affected by The Trace, perhaps because of its simplicity or because it resembled torch light so closely.
  • When the spell was used in The Cave, the illuminated area was less-than-expected, as the darkness within seemed to be denser than normal.
  • If one listens closely in the third and the sixth films, one can hear a very soft humming sound.
  • In the films and video games, there were three variations of this spell.
  • 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, Nox turns it off.
  • A charity founded by J. K. Rowling is named after this spell.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pottermore
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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. Given that Alastor Moody burned some parchment with this, it had at least some heat to it.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Harry Potter video games
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 1 (Dudley Demented)
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
  9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 3 (The Knight Bus)
  11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog)
  13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
  18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
  21. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
  25. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  26. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  27. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
  28. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)
  29. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  30. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  31. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  32. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  33. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  34. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  35. Harry Potter (book series)
  36. Harry Potter (film series)
  37. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  38. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  39. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  40. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
  41. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)


Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather
Charmbook writers and developers
Blagdon Blay · Daisy Pennifold · Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Randolph Keitch · Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck · Felix Summerbee · Fred Weasley · George Weasley · Violeta Stitch
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick
Textbooks Achievements in Charming · Extreme Incantations · Quintessence: A Quest · The Standard Book of Spells
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Cheering Charm · Cistem Aperio · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Descendo · Disillusionment Charm · Drought Charm · Eradication Spell (Deletrius) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Growth Charm · 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 spell · 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
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Professors
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · 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 · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Lacarnum Inflamari · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Salvio hexia · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Snake-Vanishing Spell · Stunning Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Trip Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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