Lume Cube 2.0 – A light painting photographer’s new best friend?
Tiny LED lights have become very popular over the last few years. I’ve even become a fan of them myself for lighting up night scenes, quick product shots, as an on-camera light for interviews, and to add a little dash of light to a dark corner of a shot. One of the most well-known names in small lights is Lume Cube. Recently, they announced the Lume Cube 2.0, so we caught up with them at PhotoPlus 2019 to find out more.
The Lume Cube 2.0 takes the original Lume Cube and updates it to newer LED technology and incorporates some of the suggestions requested by their customers. It offers the same build quality, but the button system has been improved to be able to more quickly adjust the power output through 10 different settings.
On the back of the unit, the micro USB socket has been swapped out for a Type-C socket in order to charge the unit. This, for me, is probably the most important update on this light, and I wish more manufacturers would do it. Even though the current requirements for something like this don’t require the full power capabilities of USB 3.1 Gen 2, it’s a mechanically more solid connector than micro USB. I’ve broken and replaced so many micro USB cables over the years I’ve lost count, but I’ve never had a Type-C cable fail on me yet.
The screw-on cover over the power connector has also been replaced by a new rubber cover, that can more easily be opened and closed for charging. Once charged, they say it offers an hour and a half of run time, which is quite a lot for such a small light.
When it comes to the LED itself, it’s 5600K white balance to offer more of a daylight appearance, and the beam angle has been widened to 80° to increase the spread a little. Modifiers for the Lume Cube 2.0 are also available, and a couple are even included in the box with the new light.
One cool feature in the Lume Cube 2.0 is a new “Low Light Mode”. In this mode, instead of having power from 0-100% in 10% increments, you get power from 1-10% in 1% increments, allowing for things like light painting, or when you’re out shooting astrophotography and just need a little illumination to see what you’re doing without blinding yourself.
The Lume Cube is waterproof to 30ft, officially, but they say in tests they’ve been able to take it a little deeper with no ill effects, as long as that rubber gasket over the Type-C socket remains closed. They don’t really recommend going deeper than 30ft, though.
The Lume Cube 2.0 is available to buy now for $89.95 and comes with a magnetic modifier holder, along with a warming gel and diffuser.
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John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.