Camera Accessories

Lume Cube brightens up your smartphone shots and GoPro videos

These 1.5-inch smartphone-controlled cubes can be used for flash photography or as a constant video light.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

There are a few video lights and flashes made for smartphones and tablets, but none of them match up to the power of the Lume Cube.

Measuring 1.5 inches (3.8cm) square, its three LEDs and can brighten up your subject with up to 1,500 lumens of light and have a color temperature of 5600K. Up to five of them can be synced via Bluetooth to iOS or Android devices and the accompanying app gives you individual control over brightness and flash duration.

The cube is wrapped in water-resistant silicone that makes them easy to hold onto when shooting. But there's also a standard 1/4-20 tripod mount in the bottom. If that won't work, a magnet and specially designed suction cup on back can be used to get the perfect lighting for your shot.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

The built-in USB-chargeable battery lasts up to 2 hours at 50 percent and takes about one hour to fully charge. By the way, the Lume Cube has optical sensors so you can trigger them with an external flash, too, with no recycle time between flashes.

I'm always hesitant to write about Kickstarter projects, but I had a chance to see the Lume Cube in action at the PDN PhotoPlus Expo and these little things are impressive. They're being made by the company behind the LED Light Cube, which is basically a larger, pro version of the Lume Cube.

By backing the Kickstarter, which has already blown past its $56,000 goal, you'll be able to get one for $59 (converted, about £38 or AU$68 before taxes and shipping) or pick them up bundled with accessories such as a GoPro mount for two Cubes and a waterproof housing.