We recently received the Lume Cube, the next Kickstarter project hoping to take the world by storm. What is it? It is practically in the name, it is a cube, that is a light. It is that simple. But this simple little light packs one hell of a punch.
The Lume Cube measures 1.5 cubic inches in size meaning it fits neatly in your pocket and won’t take up much room in any camera bag. The small LED light has many uses for both still and video cameras. One of the key points behind the Lume Cube is its versatility. It’s best functions come from your creative use of it. After some extensive testing, we have come to the conclusion that for a $79.99 USD light, you are getting your money’s worth. However, that isn’t to say this light is perfect.
The first reaction most will have to the camera is its use as an action camera companion. This is not a bad assessment, as it does function very well with GoPro’s and other similar devices. When it comes to still photography, on the other hand, the Lume Cube has advantages over its competitors such as the Knog [qudos] GoPro LED. The Lume Cube comes with a free companion app available on both iOS & Android which allows you to perform a bunch of adjustments. The app allows you to sync multiple Cubes together (up to 5 from a single phone), modify brightness and flash duration, red-eye reduction, etc.
The Lume Cube claims produce up to 1500 Lumens with its patented LED cluster technology at a 6000K colour temperature. In addition, Lume Cube offers a line of coloured gels and diffusers in order to modify the colour temperature and the beam angle of the light which allows users to customise their shots further. Upon seeing the max settings, you will be astonished at the amount of light this little device can produce. The Lume Cube itself is extremely portable and quite light (3.5 ounces or 28 grammes), fitting well enough in your pocket. However, that is not to say it is lightweight enough or small enough to be taken with you on your next night out for some better lit selfies. Maybe in your handbag at most. However, a similar yet smaller product has been crowd funded to meet this exact need.
The Lume Cube comes with a built-in optical sensor (named Optical Slave) and when an additional light source fires, the unit is meant to fire a complimentary flash. This proved slightly difficult as the documentation is lacking in detail regarding this and the flash only seemed to work around 6/10 times. However, on the bright side, while the flash unit is a nice addition, where the Lume Cube really shines (yes, pun intended) is in its continuous light. The ten levels of brightness (which change in increments of 150 lumens) add fantastic adaptability to all your lighting needs.
On the bottom of the device is a standard 1/4″ 20 thread which allows for easy mounting to common light stands, tripods or camera accessory arms. Lume Cube has also created several accessories for your device, including a smartphone mount, DJI Drone mounts and a side-by-side GoPro mount for your convenience. The dual setup offers full lighting with GoPro’s 170-degree lens, as well as the custom designed fresnel lens for even lighting.
The battery life of the Lume Cube lasts around 20 minutes on full brightness but lasts approximately 2 hours at 50%. This can prove problematic depending on your needs especially in a professional photography sense. However, we found for most of our uses it was sufficient. Additionally, being able to charge via a Micro USB cable (port found under the waterproof screw on the back of the cube) over removable batteries is always nice. This typically takes around 1-1.5 hours to charge fully.
The build quality of the Lume Cube though is top notch and is tremendously dense. The sturdy device boasts waterproof capabilities up to 100ft (30.48 metres). We gave this a good test by passing our units to some professional athletic kayakers to see their opinions during a night training session. The bright Cube brought the dark river to life and withstood many a capsize or splash.
And that is the crux of this little device. Its versatility, its uses in many different areas. Whether it be on the top of your surfboard as in their Kickstarter videos, on a kayak, in the city on a grand night out, on your drones creating new awe-inspiring shots. Attach it to your selfie sticks while hiking a mountain, or on the front of a bike as you dash down it. If you are an aspiring YouTuber who needs better lighting but is on a tight budget, here is your chance. The Lume Cube is not perfect, but it is by far a solid product that for its price point is highly recommended. Is it the perfect photographers light? No. The perfect selfie light? No. Is it the good enough that it doesn’t matter? Yes.
The Lume Cube is only limited by your imagination. We give it an 8.5 out of 10.