The Lume Cube 2.0 is a little high powered portable studio LED light in a solid metal casing and I love it! Want to know why? Watch the videoreview!
- Weight: 121,3 grams (3.5 oz)
- Size: 44 mm x 43 mm x 43 mm (1.75” x 1.6” x 1.6”)
- Price: € 239,00
Let’s make make one thing very clear: I am not a photography and video-specialist. The reason why I say this is that I am totally hooked on the Lume Cube 2.0 that I am reviewing here. Being hooked and not being a specialist in this field means that I don’t have the brought view that I have in Outdoor en Bike topics. That said; I don’t think there is any harm in being enthusiastic about a product that makes my video- and photography a lot easier.
How I got it
In the Christmas period of 2019 I was asked to do a gadget page for an outdoor magazine in The Netherlands. I contacted a few companies and since we do the photography for the magazine ourselves, the products were sent to me. In the Christmas period I always look for some nice stuff that looks good, in real and on paper too. And with this I mean the appearance should be appealing. The price doesn’t really matter. Hé, it’s Christmas! The Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit Plus checked all the boxes and after the photography I asked the manufacturer if I could use it to play with to see if this is anything that I should have in my equipment. No problem of course and the result is this review. As said: I am hooked and want to share this with you.
Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit Plus
The Lume Cube 2.0 that I am reviewing here is a set: the Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit Plus. The kit contains:
- 1 Lume Cubes 2.0;
- 1 Modification Frame;
- 2 CTO Warming gels;
- 4 RGBY Colored gels (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow);
- 2 Lee Filter – Flat white diffusers;
- 2 Honeycomb grids;
- 1 Barn Door;
- 1 Snoot;
- 1 Diffusion Bulb;
- 1 USB-C charing cable;
- 1 Softcase.
- Weight and size
Since I am on the move a lot of time I don’t have a huge desire to carry a lot of equipment with me. The Lume Cube 2.0 is everything but a lot in size and weight. The whole package weights 544,9 grams but the Lume Cube 2.0 LED solo only weights 121,3 grams (3.5 oz). The pack size of the soft case is 230 mm x 170 mm x 80 mm whilst the lamp is 44 mm x 43 mm x 43 mm (1.75” x 1.6” x 1.6”).
Lume Cube 2.0 Soft case
The soft case is well made. It opens with a zipper and lid and bottom are the same size. In the lid you’ll find a mesh with – again – a zipper. This is a nice place to store the USB-C cable and I store a quick drying towel there too. Always handy if I am shooting outside and it is wet. The bottom is made out of foam with the shapes of the accessories in it. Everything has a comfortable tight fit so nothing moves around or falls out when opening the soft case. After four months of intense use the whole is tightly in one piece and looks (almost) like new.
Waterproof and solid
The light cube is of even a higher quality than the soft case. The house is made out of solid aluminium with a plastic back. On the outside the whole light has a structure for cooling but also for a good grip with cold or wet (or both) hands. And it is also usable with gloves. I dropped the Lume Cube 2.0 a few times but without any consequences. At the back is the connection point for the USB-C cable. The opening has a well fitting rubber cover so water does not enter. Lume Cube states that the light is waterproof to 9 meters or 30 feet but fails to state if this is their measurement or an official IPX rating. But I did put it in an aquarium at home to see what happend and it was waterproof here at least. Also in downpours I had no issues.
LED there be light
Turning the light on is easy: on the top two rubber buttons are placed. The left one is the on/off switch and doubles as a minus to dimm the light. The right button is the plus to get more light on the object. Going from the lowest lighting position to maximum takes 9 clicks; from 10% to 100% in steps of 10%. The LED has a color temperature of 5600K – that is the same as daylight – and a CRI of 95%.
CRI is an indication how capabel a light is in representing the original colors of an object. How higher the CRI the better. Lume Cube claims that the LED produces 1500 Lumen but if you’ve seen other reviews I made you know that Lumens doesn’t say a lot. The cool thing about Lume Cube as a manufacturer is that they even state how much Lux it provides: 750 Lux at 1 meter distance. Not many manufacturer state this. Lux is the amount of usable light. The beam angle of the Lume Cube 2.0 is 80º.
As mentioned above: the Lume Cube 2.0 has two buttons to increase or decrease the amount of light. But this is not all. Pressing both buttons simultaneously for 3-seconds switches the light to Low Light mode. In Low Light mode I can change the amount of light from 1-10%. This has proven very clever during longer exposures at night and even in my ‘studio’ when taking pictures of the Spanninga S-Run Running light.
Pretty cool too is that on top of the Lume Cube 2.0 is a 360º optical sensor and I can use it as a slave flash. In shooting video’s I don’t use flash of course and on the rare occasion that I shoot photo’s at night… I have a flash from my camera that is sufficient. But when shooting with my iPhone the Lume Cube 2.0 is really clever. It fires when I use the flash on the phone and the light is way more capable than the one next to the camera. Switching the flash mode on is matter of pushing the right button for 3 seconds when the light is already on. You can use the app too. App? Yes app!
The Lume-X app is available for iOs and Android smartphones and installation is easy. What I don’t like is the fact that I have to register the Lume Cube 2.0 to make the app work. They claim it is for warranty reasons but it is also a way of getting an email-address so I can be on a marketing list. But uncheck this box at the registration and I am sort of anonymous. In the app I can control the light and also the light strobe functions for the flash photography. According to Lume Cube I can connect multiple Lume Cubes with the app and also capture and save photo and video to the smartphone. In the app sharing to social media is also possible. I am not sure if I want this. For the rest… the app does the job.
It’s a little cube so don’t expect too much here. The manufacturer claims a run time off maximum 90 minutes at full power and 2.5 hours at 50% brightness. I expect that this is the time they measured inside at around 20 degrees Celsius. I measured 82 minutes – about the same – in my house at 18º Celsius. Outside at 6ºC I measured a run time of 100 minutes. Positive outside with lower temperatures is that the Lume Cube produces a lot of heat. I measured a maximum temperature of 54.2 ºC with an infrared thermometer using the cube inside in my studio. Even with this temperature the Lume Cube was still touchable with bare hands. In fact…using the cube outside at 6ºC I measured 39 ºC and that is nice with cold hands. And – for the record – I did not see any consequences to my equipment.
Charging the light is easy. Plug the USB-C cable in the cube and to a power source. This can be an adapter – not in the package -, a computer or a powerbank. The indicator light on the top of the cube flashes red when charging is in progress. A green light indicates that the Lume Cube 2.0 is fully charged. Charging takes about 45-60 minutes according to Lume Cube and they state it depends on the charger. Well… With my iMac I it took almost 3 hours, with my big Goal Zero power station 2 hours and 45 minutes and with an iPhone adapter it too 2 h 30 min. So double what Lume Cube claims at least.
Lume Cube 2.0 Set Accessories
The set includes a lot of nice accessories and everything can be connected to the Lume Cube with small magnets. I found this extremely consumer friendly. You should be aware if you are using the Cube outdoors that sometimes sand wil stick to the magnets. With the warming gels I can make faces or surroundings a bit warmer (from 5600K to 3500K) and the white diffusers… diffuse the light. The two honeycomb grids work well if I want to focus the light a bit more on an object. The half domed white diffusion bulb does almost the same but more in the direction of the 80º beam angle.
The two accessories I used the most are the barn doors and the snoot. The snoot funnels the light on one spot and has proven to be super for pinpointing a part for example on the Stromer ST1 review video. The barn door makes it possible to block light in certain directions. One final remark: the quality of the accessories is top notch.
On the bottom of the Lume Cube 2.0 an 1/4” 20 thread is build in so I can use it with my Joby GorillaPod 3, tri-pot or in combination with the in the package provided DSLR camera mount. This camera mount has a swivel head which is handy if you use the light on top of the camera and want to point the light in a certain direction.
What I do like about the Lume Cube 2.0 is that the inventor though about more usability than as a good extra small portable studio or location light on top of a DSLR. The Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit Plus that I review here is very complete with a lot in the kit in it but of course you can buy a less compete set too. And what I also like that as an extra a rig is available that makes it possible to connect two Lume Cubes to a GoPro. This kit should be interesting if you like shooting in shallow water. And… they also made kit to mount two cubes to the DJI Mavic 2 for shooting night footage. All the accessories are also separately available. Nice in case you loose or damage a piece in your set or just what to expend. This is sustainability too.
Speaking of sustainability. In the process of selecting and accepting products for reviews, I made the choice a while ago to work with nice brands and nice people (or vice versa) that also pay attention to sustainability. In the case of Lume Cube I like that for every $ 100 spend on the Lume Cube website, two trees are planted. This is done in cooperation with WeForest.org. Maybe it’s marketing but they also could have chosen NOT to this.
I can’t stress enough that I am no expert in the field of portable studio and outdoor lighting. Yes I own a few others that are a bit like the Lume Cube 2.0 but in build quality and performance they’re not even close. It is rugged and waterproof. Battery life is fine, the light modes are super and the accessories are well made. The app works and using the light as a slave flash is clever. It is tiny and the weight fine in relation to build quality. On the downside: charging takes too long. The cube gets seriously hot but never too hot to touch it with bare hands. It doubles as a hand warmer….
Overall… I love the Lume Cube 2.0 since it makes my shooting – indoors and outdoors – more easy and more creative; it is a sweet little tool. The price for the Lume Cube 2.0 Portable Lighting Kit Plus that I tested is € 239,00 (price starts at € 109,00) and that is not cheap but still worth every penny. I rate it at 9,2 out of 10 points total.