I got my hands on the Luminette Drive for some in-depth testing to figure out if it’s worth the money!
The Luminette Drive is a new light therapy device on the market and is currently the only one made specifically for in-vehicle use.
This could be very useful for anyone driving long commutes in the early morning hours, especially on those dark and gloomy days!
The Luminette Drive
The Luminette Drive mounts onto the visor of a vehicle and projects a turquoise-blue light down into your eyes from above.
Lucimed, the company that makes the Drive as well as the Luminette 3 that we reviewed, claims that this device can help alleviate symptoms from things like seasonal affective disorder and depression as well as sleep disorders like insomnia.
What Does it Come With?
Inside the package you’ll get the following:
- The Luminette Drive device
- A magnetic visor harness
- One 5V 4.2A 3-slot USB car charger
- USB-C charging cable
- The almighty Allen wrench!
I was quite pleased to see that the charger they include with the Drive has three total USB slots instead of just one or two. And the charging slot is also USB-C which is always a plus.
How Do You Use It?
To use the Drive you first have to attach the magnetic mount to your visor. The stretchy Velcro strap it comes with ensures it will fit just about any visor out there.
After that, the Drive itself attaches to the mount via a powerful magnet.
Once it’s on, just angle it so that the blue light is shining across your eyes, there’s no need to look directly at it and this should be avoided while driving!
Pushing on the large blue power button will cycle it between low, medium, and high at which point it’ll will run for 20 minutes before automatically shutting off. But you can press and hold the power button to turn it off before then.
Luminette recommends that you change the brightness setting depending on your distance to the Drive:
- Low: <10 cm (<4 in.)
- Medium: 10 – 20 cm (4-8 in.)
- High: >20 cm (>8 in.)
They claim that this keeps the illumination level to around 100 lux and for the most part we found that to be correct as you’ll see in our test data below.
Charging and Battery Life
During our testing, we found that the Luminette Drive lasted an astounding 25 sessions on the high setting before needing to be charged again!
Since most of you may not even use this setting, charging is hardly an issue with this thing.
Once it’s been turned on and a brightness setting has been selected, a green indicator light means there’s enough charge left for that session, while a red LED means it needs a charge.
Testing the Luminette Drive
We put the Luminette Drive through our usual testing of course! Which includes taking various readings at different settings and distances to see how best to use this.
Here’s what we found…
Spectral Properties of the Luminette Drive
The Luminette emits a turquoise-blue light at around 471 to 473nm. This blue light is what allows it to perform so well at lower lux levels, similar to the AYO light therapy glasses.
We’ve compiled graphs of the lux levels at various settings and distances and used the LHRC’s circadian stimulus calculator to determine where the Drive will be most effective for you!
Each graph is color-coded to represent the optimal range for both brightness and glare as well as effectiveness.
Luminette recommends using the low setting if the Drive is <10cm from your eyes and this looks to be about right.
It’s best to use the low setting if the Drive is 3-5 in or 7-13 cm away from your eyes.
It’s probably best to use the medium setting if the Drive is 5-9 in or 13-23 cm away from your eyes.
It’s probably best to use the low setting if the Drive is 9-12 in or 23-31 cm away from your eyes.
Even on the highest setting, after you get to around 12 inches from the Drive the effectiveness starts to drop off, so try to keep to within 1 foot of it during use!
My Experience Using It
I took the Drive out on some rather long morning drives to see how it felt to use it on darker road conditions, and it wasn’t as bad as I had expected.
Positioned correctly, it’s out of your direct view, and since the light is projected at you and not the windows like an overhead light often is, there isn’t much glare hitting the windows to distract you.
I found that it wakes you up! So this may even assist during the drive home from work to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel…
This is a must-have product for anyone who has to dash out of the house in the morning and doesn’t have time for standard light therapy.
Truck drivers who need to stay awake and anyone with a long morning commute, especially in the long winter months would benefit from the Drives ability to deliver effective circadian light.
Now check out our guide on 19 Ways to Align Your Circadian Rhythm for more tips on how to get better sleep!