Smartphone Lighting Kit Review: Take Your iPhone Photography to the Next Level

The new iPhones are out and they continue to get better, in particular when it comes to photography. But one area that could use help is lighting, especially when it comes to using the self-facing camera. That's where the Lighting Kit for Smartphone ($99.99) comes in. Lume Cube gave me a kit to try. I often record videos from trade shows and I can see how valuable this will be for me.

Related: Express Your Selfie: Your Guide to Selfie Basics

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The lamp resembles an action camera and it is built quite well, with metal components. And it's waterproof. With the smartphone kit, the light attaches to a clamp that has a tripod mount. The grip is large enough that it should work with most cases even on the newest larger phones.

The lamp itself is quite bright, and the kit includes several diffusers that scatter the light so it doesn't blind you and covers more area. Those adapters pop on via strong magnets, which is a nice touch. Lume even has a free companion app so you can change the brightness level from 0 to 100 percent, set a strobe effect to one of seven speeds, adjust for red-eye, and more. Of course, this is one more thing to charge, and it uses a microUSB cable (included) not USB-C or Lightning, so that's another cable type for Apple users to carry. 

Pros

  • Solidly made
  • Multiple diffusers with magnetic attachments
  • Tripod grip mount
  • Companion app
  • waterproof and durable
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Recharges with included microUSB cable

Final Verdict

Whether you want to step up your selfie-game or have a robust and flexible videography lighting studio in your gadget bag, the Lighting Kit for Smartphone from Lume Cube is worth it.

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.