Lumu: An Ultra-Portable, Highly-Accurate, Versatile Smartphone Light Meter


Light meters are less common now than they used to be. Now that we can see our photos right after we’ve shot them and delete, adjust settings and re-shoot, some people just don’t see the merit in spending $300+ on a professional meter.

Of course, a light meter can be an amazing tool, and so the folks at Lumu Labs have designed one they’re calling “the light meter of the 21st century”: a tiny, iPhone attachable light meter that claims to perform far outside its price range.


The little light meter is simply called Lumu, and it plugs in via the headphone jack on the top of your iPhone. Paired with the accompanying app, it measures incident light and spits out the proper settings for a given lighting scenario.


Lumu Labs claims that what makes Lumu stand out in comparison to other, cheaper, smartphone-attachable light meters, is a mix of quality and features. The light sensor inside Lumu is professional-grade, and the team is working to take full advantage of the hardware and the iPhone’s processing power to develop new and unique apps (e.g. specific videography apps) that will use Lumu as a starting point.


It won’t come as cheap as some accessories, but the team promises professional light metering capability (expandable through custom-built apps) and convenient portability at a fraction of the cost of professional meters.

And people seem to be on board. The company’s Kickstarter campaign launched earlier today, and already they’ve surpassed their $20,000 goal by almost a thousand dollars. It seems that, at the right price, people are more than willing to purchase a light meter that will, in Lumu Labs’ words, “unleash your creativity.”



The $79 early bird special is gone, but interested buyers can still grab a Lumu in either silver or black for $99 for the remainder of the 25-day Kickstarter campaign. Once Lumu hits store shelves, it’s expected to run you somewhere around $150.

For more info or to snag your own at two-thirds the foretold retail price, head over to the Lumu Kickstarter campaign and check it out for yourself.

  • Christian DeBaun

    iPhone only? Looks like a neat idea though…

  • MS

    If it had a PC sync on the back of it that would interest me. Popping strobes is about the only time I use a lightmeter these days…

  • Eugene Chok


  • cameron

    Great if it popped strobes.

  • Courtney Navey

    the only reason i’m saying no is because you can’t sync it with flash.

  • Leon Cabe

    Saw iPhone and became less interested.

  • yin

    $150? Yeah right.

  • AG

    Instead of spending $200 in one good light meter… I will spend $150 for a gadget for iphone… Sounds a good choice for sure!

  • Simon wardenier

    Funny how that Lumu thing costs about 7 times as much as the Zorki around his neck, and it doesn’t even sync with strobes + it’s annoying to have to put it on each time. I know a hipster gadget when I see one.

  • tekmonkey

    iPhone only? When will people learn…

  • Stefano Druetta

    after years looking for it, three months ago I got a sekonic 358L for 190€, used, pristine conditions. it pops and reads flash, its battery lasts for years, it gives you all the infos you need. sure, having an iphone to do all that would be great, i always thought if it was possible. but then I think how annoying it would be on set. remember the gadget, plug it in when you need it.. then you’re maybe playing music with your iphone, and so on…
    nice idea for the hipster or the wannabe with the old fashioned film camera hanging around his neck. professionals might wanna stick with professional equipment..

  • James David

    iPhone only? Fail. $150? Fail. No strobe sync port? Fail.
    All I see is a lot of fail.

  • MarvinB7

    Agree, except on one additional point. They are making money! ;) Isn’t that what the photo accessory industry is all about? Charge too much for stuff you don’t really need or could make yourself. Or get for 1/10 the price at the hardware store.

  • Mengdodigital

    nice tool for studio owners and strobists

  • Jozef

    The headphone jack has basically one analog channel, I doubt it will be hard to crack the protocol.

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    The Luxi looks like it is a piece of plastic covering the built-in camera. The Lumu actually has a bit of electronics in it so it’s several times the price. The photo example on the Luxi front page made me giggle; Clearly they don’t know to use spot metering.

  • Nik.C

    I like that he’s sporting a Zorki-4, and the lightmeter will no doubt cost a damn sight more than his camera! you can pick these up for peanuts, even with a superb Jupiter 8 lens and case!!

    I use a lightmeter app on my iphone, it’s accurate enough for my needs, and I’ve compared it with my DSLR and a Leningrad lightmeter, and it’s pretty close, plus you can pick up Leningrad’s and Weston meters for £5 and under, which will be far better, cheaper and less riskier than waving a £500 iphone 5 around, as well as the expensive high end camera you’re using! ( or not if you’re the guy above!)

  • 9inchnail

    Saves you 50 bucks you can spend on other worthless crap.

  • Vin Weathermon

    No Android, no flash meter/remote. Not replacing anything just adding redundant stuff. Fill those gaps, yes I would find that very interesting.

  • n1ck0las

    The only useful feature I see is recording your meter readings. Making it available on Android would be nice as well. Otherwise, my trusty Sekonic will do just fine.

  • Justin

    Nice idea for the hipster or the wannabe? Boy, your one of those ignorant bastards who thinks theres no room for anybody to take photos without looking foolish but “professional” photographers. What about people who just love making photographs.

  • Stefano Druetta

    oh boy.
    I’d explain the reason for each and every word I chose.
    I’d tell you why I called hipsters&wannabes the market target for this little gadget, instead of amateurs.
    but no.
    you call me a ignorant bastard without even giving a second read and/or thought about the whole thing. you don’ deserve a polite answer.