Action light Death Match: Lume Cube vs. Litra Torch

Apr 4, 2018

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Action light Death Match: Lume Cube vs. Litra Torch

Apr 4, 2018

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Face it, if you want an action-light (those small on-your-motorcycle cube lights), there are two options in the market: the Lume Cube (Amazon, B&H) and the Litra Torch (Amazon, B&H). They are both great lights if you are doing any sorts of action sports photography, they are compact, light, have some resistance to the elements and hold a few hours if you avoid max power. But which is the better light? Which of those light will give you the most bang for your buck? we set out to find out and ran the two lights through a battery of (sometimes ridiculous) tests.

Just before we start, here is a quick disclaimer. We were not paid for this review, we also realize that putting a light into boiling water or freezing ice is not how those lights were meant to be used. On the other hand, there are enough videos that show you those lights on a bicycle handle.

Quality of Light

We tested three factors: Brightness, Light Pattern, and light quality in terms of CRI and Color Temperature.

The Luma Cube was about twice as brighter with continuous lights (which is what we tested for). On the other hand, most of that brightness was concentrated inside the center of the light throw. This is may be good if you are shooting a very narrow field of view and want to get as much light on one spot in the frame. The Litra was about half as bright, but the light spread was significantly more even.  It also gives about half the light.

Interestingly, none of the lights excelled with color, The Litra had a good color temperature, but horrible CRI and the Lume Cube had an OKish CRI, but a color temp of about 10,000 Kelvin. If you want that TL;DR-ed: both lights are not optimal for shooting people, as they will have crappy skin tones.

Durability

We ran three tests here: A throw test, a boiling water bath, and a freeze test. Will you ever need to put your light in a bowl of boiling (or freezing) water? of course not. but we thought that if a light survived that, it will survive anything else we can throw at it.

It turns out our tests were too harsh. The Lume Cube seal broke under boiling water, I guess the glue melted. The Litra could not operate on full power on sub-zero temperature (but regained consciousness after it thawed).

One interesting test case was how the Lume Cube handled a 5-meter drop. The LED lens popped out of the lamp. The interesting thing is that the glass that protects the LED was not damaged. The lens is sitting behind that glass, so we have no idea how it popped out.

Usability

Usability was a hard one, and we had quite a few discussion within the team. We all liked the 1-2-3 approach of the Litra better. Some argued that Bluetooth is significant while others debated that because of the way the light was meant to be used, an app does not really make sense. The control range is too short on one hand, and operating a phone will not be practical in many of the cases.

We settled by giving the Litra a point for onboard controls and giving the Lume Cube a point for the app. Feel free to adjust the core.

The operational time you’d get from each of the lights depends on the brightness. At full power, the Lume holds about 20 minutes. But if you match the light output of the Luma Cube to that of the Litra (about a stop less), they both hold for a decent about of time – 40 minutes give or take.

Price & Value

The Litra Torch comes with plenty of accessories (bumper, clip, dome diffuser and a few others) and costs $75.00 (we bought ours for $60 a few months back). The Lume Cube cost $79.99 and comes pretty much bare bone. If you want all the goodies, prepare to depart with another $100 or so.

Conclusion

In the end, no light won with a knockout. The team here preferred the Litra, mostly for the light pattern and being a bit more durable, but feel free to give different weights to each of the parameters and make your own decision.

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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10 responses to “Action light Death Match: Lume Cube vs. Litra Torch”

  1. Daniel Berberi Avatar
    Daniel Berberi

    Just a quick note – it’s “Lume Cube,” not “Luma Cube.”

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      how embarrassing, fixed :) must have confused with the kickstarter

  2. Ryan Cooper Avatar
    Ryan Cooper

    Hi there, you mention the Litra sells for $60 (and a pair for $100) and the Lume Cube for $79…I just checked all over the internet (Amazon, B&H, both the links in your article) and both Litra and Lume cube sell for $79, and a pair for $149….so there really is no price difference at all…just want to make sure you’re aware for accurate comparisons next time!! Price is quite an important feature for the customer to be aware of :) thanks for the review!

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      Heya Ryan, yea price has changed. That was the price though when we got our lights and filmed the review

  3. lewisfrancis Avatar
    lewisfrancis

    I have a couple of the Litra Torches and they rock — I especially like the built-in magnets making for easy placement when you’ve some metal handy.

    1. John Kelliher Avatar
      John Kelliher

      How do you find the Litra for video–are they to bright in a small area as Im thinking of buying, Thanks John

      1. lewisfrancis Avatar
        lewisfrancis

        Hey John, I don’t do much video so can’t help you with any direct experience, but fwiw they have 3 steady light levels and come with soft white domes to provide a diffuse light source. HTH.

        1. John Kelliher Avatar
          John Kelliher

          Thanks for getting back to me, I have two other lights but they’re pretty big, I think I’ll buy one anyway as it’s a lovely small light to have in my bag, thanks john

  4. mario Avatar
    mario

    “Interestingly, none of the lights excelled with color, The Lytra had good color temperature, but horrible CRI and the Lume Cube had an OKish CRI, but a color temp of about 10,000 Kalvin. If you want that TL;DR-ed: both lights are not optimal for shooting people, as they will have crappy skin tones.”

    Sorry, but the company is called LITRA, not Lytra, and the color temperature is measured in KELVIN degrees, not Kalvin.

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      How embarrassing. Thansk for the heads up! All fixed