The Photographer’s Mail guide to studio essentials
The Lume Cube began as a kickstarter product which launched into popularity when 1660 backers blew past an initial goal of just $56,000 — pledging nearly $300,000 to help bring this project to life. First conceived as an ultra-cool GoPro accessory, it surpassed the tech geeks, quickly catching the eye of the photo industry, too.
A revolutionary little light, the Lume Cube is an ultra-compact and extremely portable addition to any on-location shoot. Much loved by photographers, videographers and — our newest breed — the iPhoneographers, this nifty device opens up new possibilities for shooting in low light, and in the thick of the action.
A three-centimetre-square cube weighing in at just 112 grams, and encased in an aluminiumalloy shell, the Lume Cube is built for the outdoors — and is durable against the wildest elements. Able to go virtually anywhere, and to mount to virtually anything, this nifty device is waterproof down to 30 metres. It can be attached to GoPros and DJI drones via mounting bars, as well as to light stands, tripod heads, or accessory arms, thanks to a standard tripod thread located on the bottom of the device.
The cube boasts a varied light output ranging from one lumen to a striking 1500 lumen at a 6000K colour temperature — and it’s so bright, in fact, that a warning notice reminds you not to look directly at the light when it’s glowing at full power. Offering 60 degrees of beautifully soft and feathered light, it ensures no hot spots and no sharp edges.
Despite its hefty power output, the Lume Cube promises a battery life of about 20 minutes of continuous light at full power, while its full charge from empty takes one hour. The integrated battery is robust, and when it does need charging, you just use an included USB cable connected to a power source to replenish it.
While at first glance it appears a very simple device, its real trick is that it acts as both a continuous video light or a still photo strobe — making this little fella the perfect partner to any shoot.
Two buttons are located on the top of the unit: one turns on the built-in optical slave, essentially putting the Lume Cube into strobe mode. This will cause the light to flash upon registering another speedlight firing, at durations that freeze motion at as quick as 1/8000s, to longer exposures of up to a second. The other button enables continuous light output — ideal for videography or light painting.
The Lume Cube comes with a free companion app for iOS and Android, allowing for the remote adjustment of flash duration, light output, and control of the optical slave, while monitoring the battery level and the Bluetooth signal strength of your connection to the cube. That said, to control multiple Lume Cubes at once, and to explore the full range of its creative possibilities, the ‘Pro’ version is available via the App Store and Google Play for just $4.49.
Offering freedom of shooting that’s yet to be rivalled by a more portable device, the Lume Cube can be purchased as a single, dual, or quad pack, and is available in black, gunmetal and silver colourways. For more information, see crknz.co.nz or visit your local independent photo retailer.