Pocket-sized LED lamps don’t pack the power of a full-size panel or a pro flash setup, naturally, but they’re a lot more useful than you might think. They provide handy short-range illuminations for portraits and close-ups and if you’re feeling creative you can tuck one away behind the scenery to add some interesting background lighting indoors or at night.
When you’re using them off-camera, though, changing the intensity becomes a bit of a faff, which is why the Lumimuse 8 with Bluetooth’s wireless connectivity starts to make a crazy kind of sense. This is an addition to the range – there is already a Lumimuse 8 without Bluetooth, so don’t get them confused.
Using the free iOS Lumimuse app, you can control the intensity of the light, from 0-100%, from your smart device. In fact, you can control up to 13 separate lights from the app, including Manfrotto’s larger LYCOS LED lights when they’re equipped with a Bluetooth dongle, allowing some quite complex and sophisticated lighting setups.
You can control more than just the light intensity with the Lumimuse 8. It also comes with three colour filters and a diffuser for changing the colour temperature and softening the light. YOu get a static shoe mount too, though you can also mount the Lumimuse 8 on a regular tripod (or one of Manfrotto’s PIXI tabletop tripods, say), thanks to its built-in 1/4-inch screw fitting. It will also attach to various Manfrotto lighting accessories and arms, including its Twist Grip smartphone rig system.
It’s not cheap for a small LED panel, but it has a smart aluminium body and it’s powered by an internal rechargeable Li-Pol (lithium polymer) battery which gives it a run time of up to 60 minutes. You can recharge the battery via a USB cable or, apparently HDMI – there is an HDMI charging cable included.
Compact LED panels like this are a relatively new idea that’s yet to gain a whole lot of traction with regular stills photographers, who tend to look for a little more light output, but it’s perfect for relatively short-range work and ideal for bloggers and vloggers who need immediacy and speed rather than time-consuming lighting setups.
The Lumimuse 8 with Bluetooth is available now and costs £129.99.