Lightstrap: An iPhone Case that Doubles as a Capable Ring Flash


Although it can’t compare to a quality camera, it’s hard to deny that the iPhone is capable — after all, we’ve seen NY Times cover photos, fashion shoots and even a professional portrait taken using an iPhone as the camera of choice.

But if there’s one situation where the iPhone and its ilk perform badly, it’s in low light, when the phone’s own flash falls short of the kind of quality most people hope to capture, even with their phones. Enter the Lightstrap case: a product that, by all accounts, seems to solve this problem outright.

Lightstrap is basically a ring flash that doubles as a case for your iPhone 5 or 5s. Just attach it to your iPhone, pull up any camera app that is enabled to use the phone’s own flash, and snap away. The Lightstrap case works by sensing and mimicking the phone’s flash, so when the phone flash goes off, so does the Lighstrap case… only Lightstrap does it with ten times the power.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t just a way to add some power to your flash, though it will certainly do that and, as a result, reduce blur and noise in your final photos. No, Lightstrap goes beyond that by giving you some control over your light as well.

Using the two buttons on the case, you can pick from seven different brightness levels and six different color temperature settings until you’ve got the flash dialed in just right. And since the Lightstrap runs off of its own battery (promises 500+ flashes per charge) you won’t have to drain your phone to use it.

Here are some sample photos lit using the Lightstrap case next to similar shots taken using only the phone’s built-in flash:


As you can probably already tell by the embedded Kickstarter video above, Lightstrap is taking a swing at crowdfunding to raise the money required for the first production run.

The campaign is only a few days old, so for now you can still grab your own Lightstrap for the $87 early bird price, but once that runs out, getting your own will run you $97. Shipments (assuming they get funded) are expected to go out to backers in April.

To learn more about the Lightstrap or pledge for one yourself, head over to the Kickstarter page. And if you’d like more hands-on info, check out Gizmodo coverage (they got a production model ahead of time) by clicking here.

(via The Phoblographer)

  • Matt

    Nice. Great to see ideas like this…

  • 3ric15

    Seems like one of the more useful iPhone accessories *cough* iPhone telephoto lens *cough*

  • megdalena

    What about other phones?!??? I swear to god, iPhone users must think they’re the cool kids since half or more of the companies that make accessories and apps ONLY make them for the iPhone. Makes me want an iPhone even less, to be honest.

  • David Vaughn

    iPhones all have the same shape and dimensions (although it differs between generation.) If you make a case for an iPhone 5 running iOS 7, then that case will fit all iPhone 5’s. Please tell me which specific Android/Windows/Google phone is as popular as the iPhone. Even if Android is a more popular operating system, every Android phone is different and I doubt there is one Android model that is as popular as the iPhone is. It’s just smart to produce accessories for a phone that is both popular and consistent in its design.

  • Fullstop

    This is really cool. A huge improvement over the built in flash. Now even more people can be a photogapher!

  • Fullstop

    LOL U mad bro?

  • bob cooley

    Yeah, because there is nothing i like more in a dark restaurant or bar then a suddenly very large, bright, constant light…

  • dosels22

    I’d buy that

  • bogorad

    NOVA seems like a much better idea. Doesn’t add bulk to the phone, works with any BT4-equipped phone, not just the , is small and cheap. I’ve pledged some money and are eagerly awaiting mine.

  • Renato Murakami

    Not to be a downer, but by the time this comes out your iPhone will probably be outdated and the next one will be incompatible with that case.
    Get yourself a small LED light with a diffuser. Cheaper, also compact, and you’ll also be able to shine the light from some other direction. There probably are some out there that could act as an external battery too.

  • Oscar

    better photographies? Buy a proper camera.
    -Hello, am a night photographer in an ad that will stop my work…
    Newspapers giving the journalists iphones to cover the work of the photographers.
    Whats next?
    Iphone 5s price: 32GB 800€…
    For 800€ i can buy a new CaNikon camera that will blow the pictures taken with a “PHONE”.

  • Jake Stewart

    I would agree that the NOVA seems like a better option, for a couple of reasons. Direct flash (lightstrap) is never as pleasing when compared with the freedom of off-camera lighting the NOVA provides. Secondly, as others have already stated, a an accessory like this will quickly lose its purpose once the shape of the phone changes. Of course sticking with your current phone when something new comes along is arguable, you’d just make sure not to break/lose your iPhone once its obsolete.