When it comes to taking a selfie, angles and lighting are everything. For angles, it’s pretty easy to maneuver the camera around and see which way you look the best, but for lighting, well, that’s a different story. A lot of times, natural lighting is out of your control.
I find that broad daylight gives the best light, especially because it’s natural, but you can’t always count on that. What if it’s a dark, gloomy day? Or worse, what if it’s storming? Those are a couple of conditions that are less than ideal for taking the perfect selfie. Taking a cute pic indoors isn’t off limits, but, for me, I noticed if I don’t have perfect bright lighting, the photo turns out grainy, and it’s not ok.
The LuMee phone case is an accessory for your phone that has a built in light you can activate with the press of a button. It almost sounds too good to be true, but the Kardashians use this cutting edge case, so it has to be good, right?
Ever since I ordered my LuMee a few months ago, I’ve been obsessed with taking selfies. It’s like having a ring light attached to your phone case. There are other lighting attachments that can connect to your phone, like this phone selfie ring light from Urban Outfitters. It’s pretty cool that it has a built in lens, but, those types of things are separate pieces that you have to manually put on your phone every time you want to use it, and it can be pretty bulky, especially if you decide to leave it on 24/7.
The LuMee case lights up at the press of a button. The lights are on either side of the front of your phone, and there’s also a line of cases called the LuMee Duo that have lights on either side of the back of your phone, something that the Urban Outfitters light doesn’t have.
A lot of people are probably thinking “wow what a scam,” however, this product really works. Just look at the difference between the two photos down below. The left is in a shadowy room without the LuMee on, and the right is in the same room, area and everything, with the LuMee on.
The lighting even makes Snapchat filters look better, and those make everyone look good. Just look at the before and after photo of me with the cute little bear filter, taken in the same spot as the previous photos.
If you think it makes you a little too bright, you can dim the light so it’s not as exaggerated. All you have to do is hold the button down, and the level of light slowly changes. For the duo, if you press the button once, it activates the selfie light, and if you press the button twice, it activates the back lights. To dim each one, just press the button the appropriate amount of lights and then press again and hold.
In the first photo below, I’m not using the case, in the second one, it’s dimmed about halfway, and in third, it’s full blast. In the second photo, I look less orange, which are tones I can always edit out of the third photo if I wanted to, but I still look a little grainy. The natural lighting of where you are taking the photo also depends on the outcome.
As you can see, the LuMee illuminates your face, makes your skin look clear, and makes the picture more crisp. I did find however, that while the lights are great for indoors, cloudy days, and dark settings (such as a club), if you try to use it in natural sunlight, it doesn’t do much good. If you look at the photos below, you can’t even tell which one is taken with the LuMee case and which one is taken with it. But, I think that may be the case with all lighting attachments, so, I tested that theory with the ring light I use for my DSLR camera.
As you can see, you can BARLEY tell a difference, if even at all. That shows me that when using simple extra lighting in sunlight, it’s probably not worth it.
The first four photos in this post were taken with a baby pink LuMee Selfie case, which only has lights on the front. I put a gold mandala popsocket on the back, and it not only looks cute and matches the color of the case perfectly, but it makes it a lot easier to take pictures when you pop it out and place it between you’re fingers.
When I bought this case, I didn’t realize that the LuMee Duo existed, and I was really disappointed that I didn’t explore the site further. So, when a new glitter marble design came out for spring, I preordered it because it was so cute. The third set of photos in this post were taken with my new Duo.
That’s the other thing, the variety of colors and designs isn’t great, but they do have some cool ones like mermaid print, glitter, marble, and even a few with different Kimojis (Kim Kardashian’s Emojis) scattered on the back. But, your options may be limited depending on what type of case you want and what device you have. They also have something called the LuMee Duo Vibes, where the lights flash to the beat of the music like a strobe light. So, if you’re a club or festival goer, this one’s for you.
I was super exited to receive my gold glitter marble LuMee Duo case in the mail today, because I would finally have good lighting for all my photos, not just selfies. I even got a Coach ring grip in the shape of a bear to put on the back of it. I think the two together give my phone an edgier look, instead of a clean cut appearance that my pink LuMee Selfie case had.
As for the back lights, they definitely work as good as the selfie lights. They make your photo sharper, and of course, well lit. Here are some cute before and after photos of my pug Frank, just so you can see the difference.
Besides the pattern, there are some other key changes in my LuMee Duo compared to my LuMee Selfie. One being that the button is on the bottom instead of the top. The other main thing is that the “LuMee” logo is on the top instead of the bottom. Another major thing I noticed is that the LuMee Duo comes with a wrist strap and place to put the wrist strap, where as the LuMee Selfie did not, and, when you turn off the Duo, the lights slowly dim down, but when you turn off the Selfie, it just quickly turns off. The biggest difference though, in my opinion, is that the LuMee Duo has studio lighting, while the LuMee Selfie just has LED lighting.
Just like with everything, there are some downsides to this awesome, one of a kind case. The first being that the lights don’t last forever, so you have to charge it. Luckily, it comes with a USB cord that can plug right into a wall outlet plug, so you don’t have to buy one separately. The second downside, and this is just my opinion, is that it says ‘LuMee’ right on the bottom, which I find a little obnoxious. But, it could be worse, and it’s not something that you can’t easily cover up with a sticker or decal. However, the logo on my Duo is a lot more subtle, and I feel like the marble design makes it a lot less noticeable.
The other thing I find annoying, is that the button is SO easy to accidentally press. I constantly find myself accidentally turning it on, which wastes the battery and can be embarrassing in the wrong place and the wrong time. Imagine being at a bar, minding your own business, and all the sudden this huge light illuminates the space around you, making you the center of attention. Embarrassing.
Another negative to the LuMee is the price. For cases, the price range is anywhere from 40 to 70 dollars, depending on the type and device. My LuMee Selfie was 40 dollars, and my new Duo was 70 dollars, just to give you an idea. They also sell accessories such as ring grips, portable chargers, and a photo stick, which are pretty cheap. And, you can even get a gift set which, I think, is totally worth the price. Another option is to go to the sale page to find cases at a discount.
If love this case but wish it was a little cheaper, check sites like Poshmark or eBay. In fact, I’m selling my LuMee Selfie case on postmark right now for only $25, so if you’re interested, check out my listing.
While there are a lot of good things about this case, and the pros outweigh the cons, this case isn’t for everyone. A lot of people might think that it’s, in the words of my sister, “obnoxious.” If you think that’s the case, (no pun intended), or, you worry a lot about what other people think, then this case might not be for you. Although, if you still want perfect lighting in all your selfies no matter where you are, you might want to get a removable lighting attachment for your phone like I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
I though, love this case so much, and I will never go back to a “normal” case again. It honestly changed the way I take photos on my phone forever. #teamlumee
dress well. eat well. live well.