GeekDad Review: LUMI Keys

5 min readJan 30, 2021

As a frustrated musician wannabe-someone who loves music but has never been able to play an instrument-I’m always on the lookout for ways to sneak into musicianship. The biggest win for me was , but even then my lack of coordination kept me at medium difficulty on any instruments, at best. When Rock Band 3 included a pro level with a keyboard and an actual Squier Stratocaster six-string electric guitar, I had high hopes, but those were once again smashed. When I saw LUMI Keys from ROLI, my hopes were raised once again.

LUMI Keys is a mini keyboard with keys that light up using LEDs. Combined with an app that translates music into colored patterns, the system is billed as “the easiest way to learn the piano.”

It Lights Up, But LUMI Keys Hardware Is Impressive All Round

I will freely admit that the first glimpse I saw of LUMI Keys had me sold. The keys light up with LEDs. And not crappy, spotty light, but bright and beautiful LED lighting. ROLI calls it Brightkey technology, which is apt. The LED lighting is for a practical reason-not just because it looks awesome-but it certainly doesn’t hurt the visual appeal of this mini keyboard.

Beyond the LED lighting, I found the keyboard seemed very well made. It felt solid. It charges or physically connects to a PC (MIDI) using USB-C. It has Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. In terms of the keys themselves, I thought they were very well done. They were large enough for my fingers, and they had a good feel. I’ve played around with plenty of small keyboards and their keys felt small, cheap, and unresponsive in comparison. I’m not a musician so I’m just going to repeat ROLI’s description of the keys:

* Pressure responsive keys featuring Polyphonic Aftertouch
* Key size DS 5.5, 9.67 mm wide high keys, 19.4 mm wide low keys (7/8 the width of a standard piano key)
* 10 mm, 92% plunge distance of a grand piano
* 2-octave range with octave shift buttons for full 7 octaves

In addition, the LUMI Keys is equipped with magnetic DNA connectors that let you snap on additional LUMI Keys keyboards to create a full-sized (or fuller-sized) setup.

It’s Portable!


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