If you’re interested in improving the quality of your stream, there’s three key areas you need to focus on: audio, video, and lighting. Lume Cube is all about the latter, a company dedicated to providing content creators with lighting solutions to take their productions to the next level. For this review, we’ll be looking at two products from Team Lume Cube: the RGB Panel Pro and its brand new Edge Live Streaming Light. While the Panel Pro is all about adding color to your setup, the Edge Streaming Light goes toe-to-toe with the Elgato Key Light Air and aims to one-up it with added versatility and a lower price. Let’s take a closer look and see how they fare.
RGB Panel Pro
- 360 Adjustable RGB Colors
- 5% - 100% Brightness Adjustability
- 3000k - 5700k Color Temp Adjustability
- 263 powerful LEDs with 1000 Lumen output
- Three 1/4'' 20 Tripod Mounts
- CRI > 96
- 1500 lux at .5 meters
- Bluetooth Compatible
- LED Screen
- LCD Screen located on the back of the RGB Panel Pro allows you to see remaining battery time, battery level, brightness display, color display, strobe, color temperature display, scenes, and RGB Levels
- The battery run time will automatically update as you change settings for the most accurate levels
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
- Battery life displays on the back LCD screen of the Panel Pro
- Up to 4 hours at 50% power
- Up to 2.5 hours at 100% power
Edge Streaming Light
- Premium Edge-Lit Technology provides multi-level diffusion for incredibly soft light
- Color Adjustability - 3200-5600K
- Brightness Adjustability - 0-100% (in 1% increments)
- Accuracy - CRI >97
- Body Breakdown
- Powered via A/C Cable for endless illumination
- Mount to any desk or table via built-in Clamp
- 5 Pivot Points for rotating/positioning the light around your workspace
- Light Weight for portability
- Extra Features
- Charge multiple devices with the built in USB-A & USB-C Charging Ports
- Soft Touch controls for easy adjustability (control the light at the swipe of a finger, no pressure needed)
Overview: Lume Cube RGB Panel Pro
Lume Cube made its name on camera mountable video lights. Its lights were small but exceptionally bright, making them perfect for travel. It carries on that design philosophy with its RGB Panel Pro video lights. These lights are fully RGB enabled, allowing you to add color to your stream, video, or photo project.
Compared to cheaper RGB lights, the RGB Panel Pro is designed with creators first in mind. It’s not just about “adding color,” it’s about adding accurate, customizable color that will record well on camera. Philips Hue lights, for example, are notorious for flickering at common frame rates. So, if you’re using a DSLR or mirrorless camera to record your stream and happen to put a Hue light in the background, you’re likely to notice dark lines tracing their way across the light or other visual artifacts that can be distracting. The Panel Pro, by contrast, will create smooth, seamless lighting no matter where you place it and won’t begin to flicker until you progress to exceptionally high frame rates for recording slow motion; not something you’re likely to do on stream.
The lights are extremely versatile thanks to dedicated lights for white, warm white, and RGB. You can use them for any kind of lighting you might need, including sticking one on the top of your face cam (or even next to your webcam) and calling it a day. Likewise, because the lights are only about a quarter inch thick, they can easily be placed in your background or hidden in your scene with minimal effort.
Specwise, each light features 263 LEDs capable of 1500 lux at .5 meters at full brightness. At that brightness, the lights will run for two and a half hours and four hours at half brightness. In most cases, it’s not necessary to run the lights at their maximum setting, so real-world battery life will fall between these two quotes. The colors are accurate, so will play nice with most cameras white balance settings.
Controlling the light is also very easy thanks to the built-in, detailed LCD screen. You can easily see your exact color or white light kelvin setting, brightness, or effect built in. If you have more than one light, this makes exact matching very useful. The lights are also able to be controlled over Bluetooth for remote control.
Finally, the Panel Pro also comes with a snap-on diffuser. This might seem like a small thing but after having to buy separate diffusers for the PilotFly AtomCUBE RX1 video lights, just having it included is a nice touch, especially at this price.
Overview: Lume Cube Edge Live Streaming Light
The Edge Live Streaming Light is an interesting product. Like the Elgato Key Light, it clamps to your desk but instead of mounting the light on a simple pole, the Edge uses a boom arm like a microphone. This allows the light to be adjusted to different angles and expands the versatility compared to many competing streaming lights.
In fact, that’s one of the biggest selling points. The Edge Light doesn’t need to be limited to just streaming or video calls. When you’re not going “live,” it doubles as a normal desk lamp. It’s bright enough to use for projects at your desk or you can even point it at the ceiling and use it to light up the room.
For filming, that adjustability also comes in handy for lighting different kinds of shots, like overheads. If you do maker streams, it’s great for being able to get the light exactly where you want it — much more so than a pole light like the Elgato or it’s many copycats.
The Edge Light also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. The light is color customizable from 3200 to 5600K, so you can choose from anything from a warm amber light to a cool white light. All of the controls are onboard, built into the arm for quick adjustments without needing to add it to your WiFi network.
Around the back of the light, at the base of the arm, is another neat addition. Lume Cube has added USB Type-A and USB Type-C power outputs. If your camera runs on compatible USB power, this will allow you to power it directly from the light without taking up another outlet or port on your computer.
The light also uses a built-in softening lens and diffusion layer to keep the light soft and flattering. Lume Cube doesn’t disclose the total brightness, but compared to the Key Light Air which tops out at 1400 lumens, the Edge Light seems nearly as bright, if slightly less.
Performance: Lume Cube RGB Panel Pro
At $159.99 each, the RGB Panel Pro lights don’t come cheap. Thankfully, they’re excellent little lights. Compared to the AtomCUBE lights I reviewed previously, they’re not quite as bright (1500 lux vs 1800 lux) and are slightly larger, but they’ve become my go-to RGB lighting solution for my photo and video work. Their slim size makes them easy to throw into my camera bag or place around my room, and ease of use trumps a tiny brightness difference any day.
The larger surface area actually works to their benefit. Paired with the diffuser, they’re able to deliver soft, even lighting. For product photography, this is especially important as hotspots can absolutely wreck a shoot. But the same is true if you’re lighting your facecam. Lighting is often about smoothness. Hotspots are distracting — to you and the viewer.
All of that said, if all you’re doing is streaming, these lights are not the best choice. They’re designed for filmmakers and photographers first and foremost, realms where that color accuracy matters most. If all you’re doing is lighting your background, Govee has a number of lights that will get the job done for less, such as the Starpal Pro. Get the RGB Panel Pro if you’re streaming too, not all by itself.
Performance: Lume Cube Edge Live Streaming Light
The Lume Cube Edge Light sells itself on its versatility and for good reason. If you need an adjustable light that’s just as good for streaming as getting homework done between matches, it’s a solid bet. Likewise, if you need to light something more than your face, like a project with a top-down camera, it’s adjustability beats out the Elgato Key Light any day of the week. For bonus points, it also folds away nicely when not in use.
The edge lighting technology it uses is very good and the diffusion layer is quite effective. Despite being only six inches in diameter (about two inches smaller than the Key Light Air), it manages to create very smooth, great looking lighting. That smaller size means that hotspotting is more likely at higher intensities, however, so you’ll have to spend time really dialing in the brightness to look your best.
Here’s how it looks on its own:
And here’s how it looks compared to the Key Light Air:
One thing you can see here is that the smaller light does impact the amount of coverage the Edge Light is able to deliver. The shadows are slightly harder and the light covers less of the room behind me. That said, I like the slightly harder shadows. It’s a great looking little light when dialed in properly.
But, at only $10 less than the Key Light Air, there are some major missing features here. The lack of Bluetooth is a big omission. I regularly control both of my Elgato lights using my phone: it’s quicker, easier, and more discreet if you happen to be on camera when they need to be adjusted. Because they’re WiFi enabled, the Elgatos can also be controlled on the computer, right in the notification tray.
By contrast, adjusting the Edge Light is downright annoying. The control pad lives on the underside of the boom arm and is easy to reach up and access, but is extremely hard to see when the light is on. It lacks any kind of tactile bumps to indicate which button your thumb has to be on and since it’s capacitive, there isn’t even any click to tell you if your thumb is in the right place.
There’s also no good way to tell what brightness level or color temperature you’re at. Instead, you just need to hold the plus or minus button until it looks right — which is generally fine, unless you’re trying to dial in a particular white balance. In truth, this is a minor issue for practical use — it’s easy enough to eyeball your brightness and color settings, but a little more feedback would have been a welcome addition.
Final Thoughts: Are they worth a buy?
Both products are objectively good. If you’re the kind of user who’s looking for an RGB panel light that you can take on the go, the RGB Panel Pro is a very good option. It’s form factor makes it easy to travel with and it offers enough brightness and customization to dial in whatever you’re looking for to light your scene. If all you’re doing is streaming, they’re going to be an object lesson in expensive overkill, but for wider content creation are excellent little tools.
Lume Cube RGB Panel Pro, Score: 8/10 (Great)
The Edge Light, on the other hand, is a good light with lots of versatility but one that feels lacking in control compared to the competition. For only $10 more, the Key Light Air offers two forms of remote control, a larger diameter, and slightly better brightness. Going that route robs you of the boom arm functionality, however, and the neat ability to charge your camera directly from the arm. The Edge Light is more than capable of making you look great on stream but it’s also a light that begs for a version two to really reach its full potential.
Lume Cube Edge Streaming Light, Score: 7/10 (Good)The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.