Wand Lighting Charm




Hand Movement





Illuminates the wand tip


Levina Monkstanley (1772)

"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 on this charm[src]

The Wand-Lighting Charm[1] (Lumos) is a charm, a light-creation spell, used to illuminate the tip of the caster's wand; this light is fairly warm[2].


Despite its apparent simplicity, the Wand-Lighting Charm was not invented until the 18th century. It was first used publicly by Levina Monkstanley, its inventor, in the Ministry of Magic in 1772 — to the astonishment of her fellow colleagues — to help her look for a fallen quill on a dusty corner.[3]

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.[3]


One of the simplest and most useful spells, it not only illuminates the wand tip, but can repel spectral foes such as Gytrashes and malevolent spirits.[4]

If one charges the spell properly, it will appear lemon-yellow; if one over-charges it, the charm will appear as a vibrant scarlet.


This spell is taught in first year defence classes[5] and is detailed in The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection[1], another spellbook[5], and Book of Spells.[3]



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

Behind the scenes

  • This is the only spell whose hand motion stays the same between Pottermore and Wonderbook.
  • It is possible this charm is not affected by The Trace, perhaps because of its simplicity or because it resembles torch light so closely.
  • 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 are three variations of this spell.


Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (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
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Tower · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious (uno, duo & tria) · Wand-Lighting Charm · Glacius · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse ·
Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection · Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius
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