I’ve been a massive fan of the Lume Cube lights since I first discovered them (you can pick one up here). The small size of the Lume Cube 2.0 offers powerful light and a ton of options. Unique features round out the offering at a price that makes them a bargain. And now, with version 2.0, things just got even better!
What is a Lume Cube?
Let’s tackle the easy question. Lume means light, and the cube is the shape. Simple, right? A Lume Cube is the smallest; professional quality LED Light I’ve ever used. I find that it’s perfect for both photography and video work. The light is waterproof, self-contained, and can even be remotely controlled from your smartphone. At 1.6” x 1.6” size (approx. the size of a Golf Ball). At full brightness, its close to the intensity of a car’s headlight. But you can dim it down with precise controls to just 1% of that. It also can be used as a strobe for flash photography and much more.
What’s in the box?
While you can buy Lume Cubes in a two-pack, here’s what’s in the single light kit (for the two-pack, double everything).
- One Lume Cube 2.0 LED Light
- One Modification Frame for mounting Gels & Diffusers (2 included, with many more to buy)
- One Magnetic Softening Diffuser
- One Magnetic Warming CTO Gel for warming color temperature (Down to 4500K)
- One Camera Hot Shoe Mount
- One USB-C Charging Cable
- One Quick Start Guide
Additionally, the batteries are rechargeable and built right in (rated for 600 recharges). Plus, the mobile app is free for iOS and Android.
Lume Cube 2.0 is versatile in many situations
My favorite thing about these lights is how versatile they are. We’ll have some more tutorials soon, but here are a few of my favorite ways to use them (and check out even more ideas)
- Video interviews — quickly light up an on-camera interview (the diffusion works great)
- Tabletop photography — light up close-up shots for photo or video, from products to food.
- Webcasting — it’s a great light that you can use to fill in faces or backgrounds for webcasts.
- Mobile photography — the mobile app can wirelessly trigger the Lume Cube as an off-camera flash.
- Off-camera flash — any camera can use multiple Lume Cubes. The new 360˚ optical sensor means you can place the flash anywhere nearby and use it to fill in backdrops or large groups. When your flash goes off, this instantly fires in-sync.
- Drone lighting — the lights are small enough to fly for nighttime lighting, light painting, and more. Be sure to check out their mounting brackets as well as any local laws.
- Night photography — the low power modes mean you can easily light paint or light up larger objects for long exposure photos.
- Snorkeling and SCUBA photography — The light works at up to 30’ (and likely further). This makes it perfect for snorkeling or nighttime swims. It’s also perfect for underwater or inclement weather photos.
- Safety/work lights — when shooting at night (or even camping), I find these perfect for lighting up a large area. Plus, I can charge them from a solar panel. I carry several in my pockets or bags. I even keep one in my glove compartment and in my backpack for safety when out and about.
What’s new in Lume Cube 2.0?
So what’s changed in version Lume Cube 2.0?
- Color temperature is now set to a perfect 5600˚ K for a daylight balance.
- The Color Rendering Index is rated at 95+ for accuracy.
- The lens now focuses to a wider 80˚ with zero hot spots.
- Charge using the USB-C ports on your computer or mobile devices.
- A tripling of run time to 1.5 hours at 100% power.
- Ability to change the brightness up or down directly on the light (as opposed to just cycling upward)
- A dedicated lowlight mode (press both buttons) to adjust between 1–10% power.
- A 360˚ optical flash sensor for slaving the flash.
- An indicator light that turns green when the light is fully charged.
- Several accessories included that used to be optional buys (frame, gels, and mount)
There’s so much to love about the Lume Cube 2.0 update, but let’s get the only two negatives out of the way.
- The waterproof rating goes down. The original Lume Cube was rated to 100’ for SCUBA diving, with a screw-on back (which was easy to lose). The new rubber flap is more convenient, but reduces the rating to 30’. The previous light did have control issues, though, as water pressure built up (often shutting the light off). The company tells me though they are considering making a dedicated dive light soon, which makes me personally happy for underwater photography.
- The cost went up (sort of). The cost of the single lit went up by $10. But the previous generation didn’t include the frame, diffuser, gel, or mount. Those accessories ran about $30 in total. So while the cost went up, the total cost didn’t, and the light is more useful out of the box
The bottom line
While the fine folks at Lume Cube sent me a light to review, I’ve already ordered two more. Add this to the 12 that I have spread across all of my gear bags, camera kits, dive bag, and you get the point… these lights are awesome.
The new version 2 improvements are substantial, especially battery life and improved light quality. Plus, all the existing accessories work on the version 2 lights. Pairing with the mobile app is as simple as launching and tapping one button (it’s faster and easier than connecting a pair of AirPods).
This light is amazing. Whether you shoot with a photo or video camera, go diving or use a drone… this light is perfect. It’s versatile, lightweight, and high-quality. I can’t recommend it enough.