Blind Spot Gear, creator of the Power Junkie (buy here), has announced its newest product, the LumiCard (buy here), a small colour-accurate LED panel that attaches to your smartphone magnetically and is powered wirelessly.
As usual, the company has taken to Kickstarter to launch the new product. It’s already raised more than 5x its modest goal and there are still 20 days to go on the campaign.
LumiCard – A wallet-sized “cinema-grade” LED panel
The LumiCard is essentially a lightweight and very compact LED panel. It’s much smaller than the back of your phone, ensuring it doesn’t get in the way of your camera modules. Despite its size, it offers 5 watts of 5600K daylight with a TLCI of over 97.
It’s rated to IP67 for maximum durability when shooting outdoors. This means it can handle pretty much everything nature can throw at it. IP67 does technically classify it as “waterproof”, but don’t expect to go shooting underwater with it.
It attaches magnetically to your phone for devices like the iPhone, which features MagSafe. For devices that don’t, a sticker is included with the LumiCard to attach to the back of your Android device to add magnetic functionality.
LumiCard – Wireless Power
The LumiCard contains no batteries. As such, there’s nothing to charge. It draws power directly from the wireless power share features of most Android devices. It uses the same QI wireless technology that your phone uses to charge – assuming your phone supports wireless charging.
There is a caveat with Samsung devices, which kill wireless power share when using the camera. And, of course, your iPhones won’t share their power wirelessly with other devices – neither will Android devices that don’t support wireless charging – but there is another option.
As well as wireless power, the LumiCard sports a USB-C socket, letting you plug the light straight into the USB-C port of your Samsung smartphone or the USB-C socket of the iPhone 15 models. If you’re using an older model iPhone with the Lightning port, you’re going to need a separate power bank.
Tiny but bright
Its 5W output offers a brightness level of 500 lumens. Sure, you’re not going to light the Grand Canyon with this thing, but it’s a lot more powerful than the 30-60 lumens output we typically see with the built-in LEDs on smartphones.
Going from 30-60 lumens to 500 lumens means about 8-16x as much output. That equates to a three or four-stop increase in light output over your smartphone’s built-in LED. That’s quite a significant difference.
An extra 3-4 stops of light means that when you’re shooting in brighter areas, you can light yourself (or your subject) brighter, too. This lets you reduce your exposure and darken the background to help improve subject separation.
Of course, it’s still coming from pretty close to the phone, so you’re not going to get the same sort of light shaping capabilities as you would getting it away from the phone – which, you can do with a USB-C cable and a power bank, if you wish.
|Output (Watts)||5 Watts|
|Output (Lumens)||500 Lumens|
|Colour||5600K / Daylight|
|Input Power (wireless)||QI Wireless Power|
|Input Power (wired)||USB-C|
|Dimensions||84 x 54 x 3mm|
Price and Availability
The LumiCard is currently running on Kickstarter with Early Bird pledges starting at £39 (about $48). The campaign ends on November 23rd, and items are expected to ship in April 2024.
Disclaimer: We only share crowdfunded projects we believe are legitimate. However, most of those projects are not in a delivery state. Make sure you look into the project and make an informed purchasing decision. While some projects may offer amazing rewards, others unfortunately may not deliver on their promises.