We thought the original Lume Cube was a bright idea when it launched in 2014, but this highly-portable lighting solution for still photography and video has gotten even more versatile with the new Lume Cube 2.0. While it looks essentially the same as its tiny predecessor, Lume Cube 2.0 offers significantly improved battery life, better quality of light output overall, more control and a collection of accessories that are now included rather than sold separately.
Just 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.75 inches in size and weighing in at only 3.5 ounces, this cube-shaped (of course) LED light produces the same amount of illumination as the previous version (750 lux at 1m) but now offers a true daylight balanced 5600K color temperature and a higher CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 95+. The result is portraits shot using Lume Cube 2.0 are more vivid and life-like while video looks more professional. It also features a new built-in lens designed to eliminate hot spots with a wider 80-degree beam angle.
Battery life has gotten a major boost: up to 1.5 hours at 100% brightness versus 25 minutes per charge on the original model. The new Lume Cube adds a USB-C port (previously Micro USB) for charging, and a USB-A to USB-C cable is included. A simpler-to-use rubber panel covers that port, where previously it was an awkward screw-in metal cover. On the downside, that makes the Lume Cube 2.0 less waterproof, but you can still use it up to 30 feet under water. Overall, the new light’s aluminum body is as durable as its predecessor and includes a 1/4″-20 thread for mounting the light on a tripod, a drone or other thread-compatible devices.
There are now two clearly marked rubber buttons on top of the device to manually increase (+) and decrease (-) brightness. When you hold down both buttons for three seconds, it triggers a new low-light mode that lets you manually adjust brightness between 1%-10%, which is great for night and long exposure photography. A green indicator light on top now lets you know when it’s fully charged where previously you had to guess. We also like that the optical sensor has moved to the top of the new Lume Cube, so it’s easier to trigger remotely, or use as a slave flash to fire other lighting devices.
While Lume Cube 2.0 is approximately $10 more expensive than the original model, multiple accessories are now included including the USB-C cable, a magnetic modification frame for adding gels and light modifiers, a softening diffuser, a warming gel and a mount that allows you to attach the light to the camera’s hot shoe.
The free Lume X app for iOS and Android lets you wirelessly control multiple Lume Cubes from your smartphone via Bluetooth from up to 60 feet away. Estimated price: $89.