Any respectable photographer owns and uses an incident light meter. An incident light meter generally tells you exactly how much light is actually falling on your subject in a given shot, so if you’re looking to capture a specific effect, you’ll be able to know if you’ve got the right light to do it. But not everybody has the cash to have a good incident light meter lying around. Luxi was designed to give you the tools to get that information to make the best possible shot.
It’s actually very simple, although surprisingly clever. The Luxi is just a clip and a translucent plastic dome, the main tool on an incident light meter. Just clip Luxi to your phone, firmly over your iPhone’s front or back lens, and fire up your closest light meter tool. Most of them use the main camera to take light readings, and you’ve now instituted a measure of control over that light.
This is a great idea for more than just making your camera multiuse. Photographers have a whole litany of apps available to them about calculating light direction, light temperature, and often will even use the cameras on tablets and phones to do a dry run and get a rough idea of what the image might look like and what tweaks they need to do. Granted, this will make iPhone photography a little trickier, but this isn’t really for the snapshot crowd, but the professional.
If you want to add a Luxi to your kit, be prepared to be surprised; it’ll cost you only $30 for the whole thing. However, you’ll want to buy and try out several different light meter apps to see which works best: Luxi doesn’t come with an app, so you’ll need to buy a few and experiment to get the right calibration.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.