Ask any photographer (or pro selfie taker) whatâ€™s a key to their craft and they will most likely say: lighting. Unfortunately, with our smartphones having small sensors and flashes being annoying and harsh itâ€™s hard to make great night pics or videos without having to haul around a separate light kit. But I want to be able to shoot on the go without being burdened by something else to carry that, frankly, I might not even end up using.
So when Lume Cube ($90) reached out about their lighting system I was intrigued. Their original cube is only 1.5-inch square, waterproof up to 100 feet and drop-proof. From attaching to drones, to smartphones to being used for poorly-lit video conferences in the office, this tiny box really performs well. One could say it shines.
Featuring multiple output strengths, mounting options, different diffusers and their app that allows for linking multiple cubes and adjusting strobe speeds, itâ€™s a well-thought-out tool with professional quality. It uses a custom fresnel based lens, has no hotspot, clean falloff and offers a really nice daylight tone which can be adjusted with their gels.
I was a little skeptical how often Iâ€™d use it figuring it was only something for night photos or if I was shooting some video in a dark part of the house but I was very wrong. In the past few weeks Iâ€™ve had one, itâ€™s been used for a Skype audition, shooting videos inside and outside on my DSLR as well as my phone and even in a pinch as a flashlight to find something under the sinkâ€”itâ€™s kind of brilliant like that and is, now, an official part of my kit.
If you have an iPhone, you can purchase a Lume Cube Creative Lighting Kit on Appleâ€™s website. In addition to the Lume Cube, it comes with several gels, diffusers, and mounting options.