Lume Cube has been generous enough (thanks!) to send over their latest offering in the world of mobile lighting: the Creative Lighting Kit. Lume Cube hasn’t made any upgrades to the original Lume Cube (look out soon for their next update in the near future!), but have included a number of accessories in this kit to take your mobile photography or cinematography to the next level! Coming in at $149.95 exclusively at the Apple™ Store (buy here), it’s a significant discount to buying all the included accessories separately, which would total to roughly $210.00 with extra diffusers.
I was pleased to open the packaging and see the same quality unboxing experience that I’ve come to expect from Lume Cube. Nestled behind a clear, plastic sheet, there is the original Lume Cube, a light-house and diffuser gels, warming gels, a diffusion bulb, and a smartphone clip. (Note: all of the accessories can be purchased separately from https://shop.lumecube.com/.
The light-house is built out of aluminum, and I immediately appreciated the build quality and attention to detail that Lume Cube put in. It fits perfectly around the miniature light cube, with no wiggle room to speak of. Note, that this cage is hardly needed for protection, on the contrary, the Cube is made of aluminum and built like a tank. I’ve dropped it on my foot once, and I was left with impressment on its solid weight and a bruise on my foot.
The box includes five different gels. Two are warming gels, 807 and 809 warm amber, and three are diffusion gels, low, medium, and high diffusion. Each gel fits directly in front of the led of the Cube onto the light-house. It attaches via four strong magnets, and even after vigorous shaking and attaching to a car, the gels don’t fall off due to the magnets and snug fit. The diffusion bulb is akin to what you might find in a professional studio, except miniaturized to fit inside the light-house. The bulb does an incredible job of softening and diffusing the somewhat harsh light of the Lume Cube. All of the above are welcome additions, as the Cube is capable of emitting 1,500 lumens of light. At first, I didn’t quite understand just how powerful it was until I took it out at the dead of night in the woods with virtually no light. The moment I turned it on to just medium power, the surrounding area around me was completely lit up. At full power, I was shocked at the amount of light that the Cube contained. It was more like a flood light than a miniature light.
The Smart Phone Clip is made out of 100% aluminum, and in my opinion, is the most robust and secure clip I have used. I’m an avid smartphone photographer when I’m without my 7D, so I’ve gone through too many clips to count. This is the first with two 1/4 20″ threads and made out of such great material. I’m confident that this could weather any storm like its counterpart Cube. It’s nothing but praise for the build quality that Lume Cube has to offer.
The Clip is robust and easy to clamp on and connects to the Lume Cube with the light-house on relatively easy. The gels are also equally easy to get on, albeit a bit difficult to get off, but that gives a sense of security to the stableness of the gels. The Clip itself has two extra quarter inch threads to attach from the bottom or side, giving an extra sense of versatility. The Cube connects to the Lume-X app, available on iOS and Android. One gripe I have is that my main phone is a Galaxy s7 Edge, and the UI is clunky still as it is in development. But for what it is, it gets the job done without bugs, just slowly. On the iOS side of things, after using an iPhone 7 Plus for testing, the UI is days faster. From the app, I get control over brightness, flash-duration, strobe speed and so on. I have no gripes, as it so far has met all my needs. The battery lasts 2 plus hours, and because it’s charged via micro-USB, I can use my portable battery to charge it on the go.
What I Like
- Incredibly compact
- 1,500 lumens in such a small body is magical
- Durable as heck
- Rechargeable via micro-USB
- Connects to my phone (clunky on Android but smooth on iOS)
- Waterproof up to 100 ft
- Light-house is durable, gels are easily interchangeable
- The gels and bulbs make a significant difference and help with the harsh light of the Cube
- Clip doesn’t damage my phone, but still is secure
What I Don’t Like
- After extended use, it gets very hot, but that’s to be expected out of such a compact lighting solution
- Pricier than other small lights, but does compensate with build quality and app compatability
- Color grading is an external solution, not internal, unlike other portable lights
In conclusion, I’ve fallen in love with the Creative Lighting Kit, it’s a phenomenal piece of kit that I can stuff in my camera bag or even in my backpack if I’m going somewhere without my actual gear. I recommend it to any budding photographer or videographer. I’ve taken it out in the water, thrown it in mud, and dropped it from the second story (buddy knocked it from the roof from a shoot). This is the GoPro™ of portable lighting, and I’m ready to purchase more for my needs. Check it out here and for more accessories and Cubes, click here for more mounting options on drones, GorillaPods™, and more!