Lume Cube is one of the most well know action lights that has established itself pretty well on the market through really amazing marketing in my mind. Don`t get me wrong – the product itself is amazing and speaks for itself but the content that pops up in social media is top notch.
There are a few action lights out there like the Litra Torch or the Knoq Qudos and some other lesser known alternatives but the Lume Cube definitely sits with the top dogs. Getting my hands on TWO of the tiny little cubes got me really excited and especially curious to see how they stack against the closest competitor – the Litra Torch. Let`s start with the overview of the Lume Cube before putting them against each other, shall we! If you want to read what the makers have to say about the product go check out lumecube.com
Lume Cube Specifications
- Wireless Control via Bluetooth App
- Adjustable Light Levels 0% – 100%
- Waterproof to 100 feet
- Durable Aluminum Housing
- Daylight Balanced Color Temp 6000K (+/- 5%)
- 60º Beam Angle
- 1500 Lumen LED
- 750 LUX @ 1m
- Run Time: 20+ Minutes in full power video mode. Mixed-use 2+ hours.
- Charge Time: 60 minutes
- Optical Slave Flash Functionality (down 1/250th of a second)
- Sync to your Smartphone for off-camera flash
- Rechargeable via Micro USB
- 10 Adjustable Light Levels Manually
- 1/4″ 20 Screw Built in for Tripod Mounting
Lume Cube GoPro Mount Specifications
The GoPro/Action Cam Mounting Bar provides a standard Action Cam slide compatible with any Action Camera on the market. Two 1/4″ 20 screws and tensions disks for easy mounting and adjustability. The finger mount on the bottom has been Aluminum Injected for maximum durability and is compatible with 100% of GoPro Accessories on the market.
Lume Cube overview
Everything starts with the first impression right? Well, the Lume cube makes a great one and makes a clear statement that it`s meant to be a great companion to your GoPro camera because it comes in a similarly clear, PVC display box, just like the GoPro cameras. I really love how it makes the product “shine” and gives it a really high-quality feel, but on the other hand, the world is already suffering from needless packaging waste so I`m a bit torn sometimes when I see a cool way to package and display cool products, but I know it contributes to the problem.
Anyway, back to the Cube. The Lume Cube box includes:
- Two (2) Black Lume Cube LED Lights
- Two (2) Micro USB Charging Cables
- Quick Start Guide
- Lume Cube Sticker
The Two Light Mounting bar comes in a clear plastic envelope and includes:
- One (1) GoPro Mounting Bar with GoPro Action Cam Slide-in mount
- Two (2) Tension Disks
Although 99% of the people probably don`t need more USB cables the ones that come in the box are nice and short and much better than the usual longer ones that get all tangled up in my gear bag. So I will be changing them up for sure.
The Quick Start Guide is good and detailed so if you can`t figure out how to use the cubes yourself take a quick look in the manual. And stickers are always nice.
Using the Lume Cubes
Before starting to mess around with the cubes it`s advised to give them a full charge. To do that you have around hatch that protects the USB port to make the cube waterproof. Use any random key or a coin to unscrew the hatch and plug the cube in. The two buttons on the top have red LED lights inside that will illuminate while charging and will turn off when fully charged. Make sure you screw the lid on back tight to ensure that your cubes are waterproof!
The Lume Cube has two control buttons to operate it manually and an app to connect to the cube via Bluetooth and adjust everything from your phone. The cube has two modes: Flash – triggers only when taking images just like any flash on a standard camera. It works on any camera app on your phone and is great for photos and saves tons of battery compared to the Video mode.
The Video mode is a constant beam of light and as the name suggests is perfect for videos. It has 10 brightness settings but can be fully adjusted from the app. You can also use it for photos if you need to adjust the lighting and find it better to have the lights constantly on.
It also has a Red Eye mode that fires short flashes before the photo to reduce red-eye on the photos.
The Two Light Mounting bar For GoPro And Action Cams allows you to mount two lights on either side of your GoPro (or any other action camera) and mount it to a pole, a bike, a car or wherever you want to mount it to. The mounting plate itself is solid and feel pretty durable. You have the GoPro quick connect plate in the middle and two tripod screws on either side. You also get two adjustment rings to fix the light at the right angle you want. In the bottom in the center, you have the “fork” that you use to attach either a hand grip or a pole etc. I actually prefer if it just had a standard screw mount at the bottom to make the mounting plate flat on the bottom (like the Litra Torch Double Mount)
- Left Button – Press the Left (Video) Button to turn on video mode and to cycle through
the 10 brightness settings.
- Left Button Long Press – Turn off
- Right Button – Press the right (Flash) button to enable Bluetooth or hold for 3 seconds
to enable the optical sensor. The Flash button will also turn off the video mode.
At the bottom, you will find the standard tripod screw mount so you can attach it to pretty much anything. The cube itself has an aluminum body with radiator grooves to keep the device from overheating. Although at full brightness and in room temperature environment the cube gets pretty darn hot, but that`s the case with all the small but powerful lights.
The feature I was most excited about is the fact that you can control the light with your mobile device via the Lume-X app. Connecting to the app is super easy -just press once on the left button on all your cubes to turn on Bluetooth and open the app (the first setup takes a few more moves). You can turn the cubes on and of, control the light intensity/brightness, change the lightning mode, control strobe duration, toggle RedEye, optical trigger, and Dive Mode and check the battery status. You can also toggle the cubes on or off once by one or all with a single tap. The app also has a camera feature built in but you can use any camera apps you have in your phone.
Lume cube and your DSLR
One other fantastic thing with Lume Cubes is that they can work as slave units to your camera flash, and this is FUCKING AMAZING. If you are into flash photography even a tiny bit you will appreciate the shit out of this feature and although the cube is supposed to be an action camera light I think it offers even greater value to DSLR and any other photographers. Buying flash units as slaves is really expensive and if you are not a professional who makes money with your images it might not be an expense you want to make. But having a few Lume Cubes in your camera bag can really help you out and add so much to your photo game.
The Optical Slave Mode allows your Lume Cube to detect additional light sources and fire simultaneously. Hold the right (Flash) button for 3 seconds to enable
the Optical Slave. The sensor it in the front side of the cube so you need to make sure that you position the cubes in a way that the light from the main flash can be seen by the sensor. While testing this feature out, I found it`s more reliable in darker ambient situations when the flash from the camera has a stronger impact. If you use the Slave Mode in bright daylight the light difference between the ambient light and the flash are not that big and the sensor will not detect it. The Lume Cube manual suggests placing the main light directly facing the Lume Cube to make it work but I found this is not needed and the Lume Cube will fire even if the main flash and the cube are facing opposite directions. It is heavily dependant on the ambient lighting and I assume the flash intensity. So the Lume Cube will not be a substitute for an external flash unit in terms of reliability but having such a small but powerful light that you can attach to anything is a HUGE value for any photographer.
You can also get the Camera mount with the 360 ball head that attaches to the hot shoe mount on your camera to get some extra light. I can see it useful for videos mostly or as a fill light on sunny days.
Lume Cube VS Litra Torch
There are different action camera LED lights out there but for sure the two most compared are the Lum Cube and the Litra Torch. They are very similar in size and shape – both are pretty much cubes. They both cost 79USD and they both are really really great products. I love that Litra Torch has a diffuser and a belt clip in the box and the magnetic back is an amazing feature. I also like that it has TWO tripod screw mounts – that gives you a lot more freedom in setting the light up.
On the other hand – the Lume Cube can be FULLY controlled via the smartphone app which is amazing if you are working with multiple lights (or if you are the kind of person who likes taking selfies ) and the fact that the cubes can be used as slave lights is freaking AMAZING!!!
One thing I noticed is after 10 minutes of full power the Litra Torch gets hotter and although you can hold it in your hand it was too hot to hold it really tight in your palm. The Lume Cube was hot but I could still squeeze it tight in my hand. The Lume Cube will also get too hot to hold tight but it heats up slower. But it`s very naturall for both of them to get hot after a while so that`s part of the game.
Side by side comparison
This includes only some key features I find most important to me and this is not a full list of things to consider.
|Lita Torch||Lume cube|
|Weight: 97grams||Weight: 107grams|
|Size: 4.2×3.7×3.7||Size: 4.4×4.3×4.3 (The front s actually 2mm smaller, so it gets narrower just a little bit)|
|Rubber covered waterproof USB port||Screw-on lid cover for the USB port|
|Two screw mounts||One Screw mount|
|Belt clip||Light sensor|
|Colored filters||Colored Filters|
|3 Solid light settings||10 Solid light settings|
|Bluetooth connected App to control all Lume Cubes|
|Works as a Slave Light|
|Waterproof 30 feet||Waterproof 100 feet|
|Battery life at 800 Lumens ~60min||Battery life at 800 Lumens ~120min|
|Beam angle 60º||Beam angle 80º|
|80 USD||80 USD|
|Accessories included with a single unit: USB Cable, Belt Clip, Diffuser, GoPro ¼ 20 Finger Mount, 2 Magnetic Mounts, Cold Shoe Mount||Accessories included with a single unit: USB Cable,|
Lume Cube Summary
I was most excited about TWO features: The Slave mode and the app and they do not disappoint! Such a small and simple product (a tiny LED light) is actually so versatile and offers so much for action camera users and photographers alike. Having a few Lume Cubes (or one) with you can add so much to your photos or save a video in dim lighting conditions so if you are considering buying any of the action lights out there throw the Lume Cube in the hat as well.
Things I love about the Lume Cube
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Great app
- Amazing build quality
- Slave mode
- 10 Brightness levels manually
- Closed USB port lid
- A second tripod screw mount at the back would be nice (were the USB port is)
Lume Cube – Should you buy it?
YES, yes, friggin` YES! All the action camera lights that I have tried (Knog Qudos, Litra Torch, Freewell Underwater light, GoScope Halo, Dive Light, Lume Cube) work great do the job they are supposed to do really really well but hands down the LUME CUBE is most versatile thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity and the Slave mode. I think anyone with any kind of camera should get it and don`t just limit yourself with on. You can sync a bunch of them and add even more to your photos.
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