A few years ago no one would have thought that a digital camera would be capable of taking such incredible pictures, videos, and panoramas, but now you can use these and other features like smile detection and eliminating red eye to take great photos. There is one more thing that is important for making high-quality photographs—having the right exposure. For that, you need the help of a light meter. That’s where the new Luxi ($29.99) comes into play. It turns your iPhone 5 into a quality incident light meter. If you use your camera’s built in light meter, you are getting a reading for reflected light, which could be a false reading resulting in a photograph of under or overexposed poor quality.
First you have to install a light meter app (there are several available on iTunes), and then snap the little Luxi dome over the front or back camera lens of your iPhone 5. Hold the meter up to the subject, and a readout will appear on your phone screen giving you the perfect settings for your DSLR camera and a great shot. I was surprised to learn that Luxi does not have its own app You may want to experiment with available apps to see which you prefer.
It comes with a small bag for storage and transport along with a lanyard that makes it easier to keep track of it. Any serious photographer should have one of these in his gadget bag. The accuracy of the readings compares very well to much more expensive light meters which can cost up to 10-times more than the Luxi.
Incidentally, the Luxi is a great success story. It was originally a Kickstarter funded project. The creator, James Flynn, was hoping to raise $10,000 to launch Luxi. Forty-five days later he had raised $120,921.