The images coming out of our phones are never ending. And unfortunately, a lot of them just aren’t that good. With 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute*. 657 Billion photos a year* are uploaded to social media. There are bound to be a lot of them that are just, well, not good. And aside from actually taking pictures of interesting things, lighting is one of the most important aspects that defines a good scene. Throw on top of that the rise of video calls and conferencing, and you can see why highlighting, well, lights is so important.
But how do you get good lighting? Whether you use your camera phone, dedicated camera, drone, or webcam, the built in option is rarely ideal. With just the one source of light, you’ll cast shadows and have poor quality. To take a step above the average, the ordinary, you need detachable, portable lighting. Enter, the Lume Cube Air.
Before interacting with this product, my idea of lighting centered around a studio setting. Large, intrusive lights that would illuminate myself and a green screen. Diffused to not throw shadows, and inconvenient. But that was the nature of lighting. But this is something different.
Small, boxy, portable, bright. Emphasis on bright. I’ll admit to blinding myself with this product when testing it sans diffusers. Do not look directly into the blazing LEDs. With that power though, comes a light that is much more than its size. It has been an absolute joy to use this device.
- Size: 1.6” x 1.6” x 1.1”
- Weight: 2oz
- LUX: 400 @ 1M
- LED Temp: 5600K Daylight
- CRI: 90 +/-
- Beam Angle: 60º
- Waterproof: 10M / 30Ft
- Manual Settings: 4 Manual Brightness Levels and Strobe
- Durable Rubberized Exterior
- Wireless Bluetooth Controls via Lume-X App
- Battery: Internal Non-Replaceable Lith-Ion Polymer
- Charge: Micro USB
- Run Time: 2.5+ Hours @ 50% Brightness (30-45min @ 100%)
- Mounting: Built-In Earth Magnet (rear), Tripod Mount (Base: ¼”-20)
- Control: Bluetooth and Single Button Manual Operation
- Compatible Devices: iPhone, Android, Digital Cameras, Video Cameras, GoPro, Action Cameras (*Not recommended for Drones due to magnet)
It’s a light. Plain and simple. But it’s a very good light. One that has intensity, variability, and portability. While I personally use it for a studio light, to be able to suction it on a random surface or stick it to pole in the room makes it invaluable. It has replaced much larger units with ease.
This is of course because I can keep it plugged in. Avoiding one of the major draw backs. Lack of replaceable batteries. While the battery life can last for well over an hour in the highest settings, someone who perhaps takes this on a weekend getaway may want to use this sparingly. Or bring a spare Lume Cube Air. That is of course if you don’t feel like using them in tandem.
For content creators, I don’t think I could recommend something better at this price point for lighting up a space. For streamers, photographers, or YouTubers, this will be my go-to recommendation for the foreseeable future.
The companion app is a bit of a sticking point. From a privacy point of view, I have no idea why a light would ask for my email address and a name to be associated with the device. (After our recent interview with Lume Cube on the show, we discovered that they have been experimenting with adding productivity tools using voice commands. Nothing to it yet though). But on top of that, some might be concerned with the permissions associated with it. The light interacting with photos and videos makes perfect sense, but I still haven’t figured out why the Lume Cube Air needs access to my microphone. But the app is intuitive and easy to configure, so from a usability standpoint, no qualms.
Overall, this is what an LED light should be. You can find more information at their website: https://lumecube.com/