During CES 2020 one of the many smaller gadgets that caught my eye was the Moon UltraLight. I was lucky to connect and be able to test out the device after the show in order to write this review of it. This is a very interesting sort of attachment, and or addition to your mobile device.
This is particularly interesting in the line of work that I do as I create a lot of video content and take many pictures to support my work. What we get here, is a smart yet very powerful lighting addition. It’s compact, and lightly sits upon your phone to provide a light source. I’m going to dive into it, but I also wanted to highlight a photo comparison I made that’s available below so you can see the distinction in the lighting it provides.
I thought the best way to purely showcase what the lighting can do was to take a photo at night. I took it on the Google Pixel 4 with the front camera while turning off night sight mode. The left side is just the dark whereas the right is using the Moon UltraLight and you can see it’s very impressive. Keep in mind that flash also was turned off, just the product in action.
So right from the start, this is a very fun type of item. The box is incredible, and it was so fun to open. It’s got an anticipation element to it with a countdown strip and it’s so cool. Anyways, smart and great packaging. This charges quickly through a short Micro USB cord and then you’re ready to go. You drop it on the top of your phone and then go out. Now, this was an element I had an issue with.
I don’t use cases on my phones, I have the iPhone XS and Google Pixel 4 for context with the former being my primary. I do have cases available, but even then I was having issues. They really should have had some sort of minor attachment and or gripping option. This will sit there, but if you do any sort of movement the light just slides right off the top. If you’re doing a still setup, this is fine.
If you’re doing something that requires lots of movement or quick action I’d feel as though I’d lose it. I go to a lot of conventions, well not this year with the virus but I do typically and while I’d love to have this every step of way I’d be worried about losing it. It’s something to keep in mind, if you have a case where it holds nicely, that’s great. It fits devices noted as being 6mm to 10mm thick.
I just feel they could iterate on that area and just have something that sort of holds it steady so I don’t have to worry about it. I’m actually considering using tape with it, as this could be a vital part of my production pipeline going forward as light is everything. That aside, you could easily just hold this in your hand as a light source and dynamically choose where to hold it, that’s a great option for this.
So back to the really awesome parts of this device. It weighs only 2.11 ounces or 6 grams and you don’t even notice it being there. It has a height of 1.38 inches (35mm) with a width of 0.98 inches (25mm) and a depth of 0.94 inches (24mm). The lighting has tonal options which are great, but firstly I’ll be going over specs. There is a Tungsten color tone of 2700k, a daylight color tone of 5000k and a lux at 400. It features a frosted diffusion lens as well if that’s something of interest to you. When it comes to the battery this thing lasts quite awhile.
I’m very impressed how I’ve been able to use it over many days. It’s noted to last two to three days on intermittent usage and two to three hours for continuous use on say video mode. It’s fast charge capable of up to a 60% in thirty minutes. There’s a built in lithium-ion battery. It lasts quite awhile, and an impressive amount considering the size. It should last the longevity of whatever project you’re using it for, at least it did for anything I was working on. So with the box, you get a little circular case; a Micro USB cord, a clip, instruction manual and the device.
When it comes to the lighting elements this is truly great. It’s bright as you want it to be, or of course you can adjust that to make it less blinding. Change the tone to be warmer or colder. It has the functions of a traditionally very large lighting source, in a compact tiny little product. It’s quite incredible when you think of it in terms of scale and its output. You are easily able to adjust these elements using a rather intuitive touch based input.
You get a pamphlet to explain the touch inputs, but I found there to be a bit of a steep learning curve with it where I still need to reference the book. I’ve got turning it on easily down, as do I have adjusting the warm and brightness. I do have a very hard time turning it off however, I wish they could have set it up slightly different in regards to controlling it. It’s interesting, at the same time I can see people struggling with the controls. Again, very cool in how you control it yet perhaps not entirely accessible to all. I’d like to also mention I’m typically very good with handling touch inputs for control.
The Moon UltraLight is an incredibly compact and powerful lighting source, with some aspects that hold it back from pure greatness. In general, I was very impressed by this and will continue to use it on projects.
It’s great for video work since it has a hold option, or for photo as well with nice selections for warm or cold temperatures. It’s really great that they were able to provide so many settings in such a compact design, I do wish that the touch controls for turning it off were better. I also had issues in regards to keeping it on my phone, but having a case of a certain size should cure that fine.
I would have liked a more adjustable clip option to make sure it’s held there well. Whatever the case, this is a great option for professionals. It offers a powerful light, that’s absolutely tiny and light for any situation. You will be shocked by how bright this is, and the options for adjusting the look of that light.
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Moon UltraLight Review product provided by Entertainment Fusion Group tested with iPhone XS and Google Pixel 4.