A crowdfunding campaign has begun for a new kind of photography light. The LED Light Cube — hoping to raise $60,000 from Indiegogo — is both a flashgun and video lamp.
What’s unique about the 10*10*10 cm device is that it has no recycle times — allowing it to keep up with any combination of cameras and triggers — and the flash duration is customisable from 1/8000 second to 30 seconds in length.
As you might have guessed, the Cube sends out photons with light-emitting diodes, not a Xenon flash tube. But it isn’t nearly as weak as the so-called “flash” LED on your cameraphone or cheap macro ring lights. According to the makers, the LED Light Cube is equivalent in output to a Canon Speedlite 580EX II at full power.
No flash tube means no capacitors needed to store the charge, therefore no recycle time between shots. “No matter how high you may make your power settings, the Cube can fire remorselessly,” we are told. “For the likes of wedding and sports photographers, this means never missing an ‘I do’ or winning moment.”
At full power, the proprietary removable Li-ion battery is said to last for up to 1,000 flashes. It connects to a camera or radio trigger via sync port or with a built-in optical slave sensor.
Camera-mounting is possible thanks to a coldshoe connector, and several Light Cubes can be stacked together in an array, one “master” unit controlling the settings of its neighbours.
The adjustable light duration has been mooted as making the LED Light Cube highly versatile, for applications in freezing fast action at high speeds or painting with light at lower ones. It can also be used continuously as a video lamp.
The project is being pushed by IC12, a “leading global online solutions company” from Australia that specialised in working on photography competitions and using phrases like “solutions” and “full-featured”. This is their first venture into hardware, but IC12 reckons it’s not what you know, it’s whom:
“We know photographers, and we know that photographers have wild artistic ambitions that are being constantly curtailed by the physical limitations of their equipment,” reads the product web site.
“So, we thought of the one device that, from our discussions with working professional photographers, could have the greatest impact on the photographic community right now as it stands, and we believe that device is The LED Light Cube.”
Nathan Oxley, managing director, said: “We don’t want to create a product that is a version of something else. What we’re doing is unique, improving and building on what’s out there.”
The first fifty “early bird” backers who pledge more than US$350 to the Indiegogo campaign will get their hands on a unit, the price rising thereafter to $480 — which may or may not be a representation of the Cube’s final retail price.
As a “flexible funding” campaign, IC12 will receive all funds raised, whether or not it meets its $60,000 threshold by 11th September 2013. But at the time of writing they’d already raised nearly $10,000 in three days, so the project seems to be on target so far.
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