The luminous umbrella of the present invention uses a high proportion of the light generated by mounting the light bulb (28) high on the shaft (22) such that most of the light from the light bulb is projected at the highly reflective undersurface (36). The curvature of the undersurface (26) focusses the light from the light bulb (28) down to illuminate a space immediately around the user. This illuminated space widens towards the bottom, thereby providing the widest illumination at the ground where it is most needed. As a result of the light being efficiently focussed, the required luminosity of the light bulb is reduced, enabling the umbrella to be used using an incandescent light bulb and a few 1.5 volt batteries (32). Alternatively, if it is desired to provide increased illumination, the conventional incandescent bulb (28) may be replaced with a halogen bulb. The batteries will still suffice to provide bright illumination by the halogen bulb. Preferably the bulb is retractable within a protective bulb housing (123) during non-use to mitigate the risk of breakage.