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Technology Today - CES 2019 MPOWERD & Litra

By Robert Sanborn

When I went to CES four years ago, I ran across a neat little company that had created an inflatable solar lantern that they called Luci. I thought it was one of the coolest items to see from a new company called MPOWERD. Both my daughter and I love it and we have used it as a reading light for camping and even as a bedroom light as it was not as bright as the usual lights in the room. We still use it. What they have done is incredible by making it possible to give away these lights to their NGO partners throughout the world affecting over three million people. It gives them a light source that they would not normally have in places where electricity is unreliable or non-existent. For just $10, you can purchase a light that is donated to one of their partners. Here is the link.

Luci Original

They were back at CES this year talking about all the terrific things they are doing with their Give Luci program and I picked up one of their newest products; the Luci Inflatable Smart Solar Light + Mobile Charger. This one, you can control the light from your phone. This is the Luci Connect. With up to 250 lumens, it will give you light for up to 24 hours and is three times brighter than the original. It comes with 24 white and 12 multicolor LEDs that give you a wide range of colors. You can charge it via the solar panel in about 14 hours or in just a couple using the USB connector.  When you charge the 7.4Wh battery, you can also give your smartphone a boost when you run low.  Like the others, it is collapsible and waterproof. It comes with a USB Cable with the “A” connectors on each end for the quick charge option. Don’t lose this cable as when looking through the two dozen USB cables I have in my office, I had none that had the “A” to “A” connections. I suspect they do this to reduce the number of ports that need to be sealed against the weather. To charge your phone,  you will need to provide a cable that fits your phone. 

Luci Connect

I like this Luci.  It has four charging LEDs on the front while charging to let you know the status and charge level. To control the Luci from your phone, download the Luci Connect app from either Apple or Google, and since you will probably be out of cell phone range and have no wifi, it connects to the phone via Bluetooth. With the app, you can get very creative with the colors being shown. My only quibbles would be getting it blown up but then again, that was pretty easy. The other would be that to use it to charge anything, I will need two cables with me. Available on their website for $64.95.

Litra Professional Adventure Lighting  Torch 2.0 is one of those interesting little attachments that the more I hear about it, the more I want one so I picked one up at CES. They market it as “Studio Lighting In Your Pocket” and for $89.95 you get quite a bit of power. You get the flexibility of a 2200 Lumen strobe stepped down to 800 or 450 or 100 lumens of steady light that is set for daylight lighting at 5700 kelvin. A battery that will give you over 30 minutes of continuous 800 lumen light is pretty good. You charge it with a standard micro-usb connection and the unit is quite solid and waterproof.

Litra Torch 2.0

Torch Back In the box it comes with a DSLR mount, stick on magnetic mounts, diffuser bulb, a GOPRO mount, and a belt clip along with a very short charging cable. So, the key question is what do you do with it? I must say that looking at the FAQ on the website was not very helpful as far as using it goes, but then I found their blog site and that has some terrific ideas on how to use the lights, filters, and diffuser for artistic effects in your images. I also discovered that the perfect travel companion for my Torch 2.0 is the myCharge power pack with the built in micro-usb cable. One less cable to worry about bringing along.

What I did not see was much in the way to use the Torch in everyday shooting. The little tripod I found will be great as when taking pictures with a smartphone, you really need three hands. The good news is there is a mount included for DSLR cameras that come with a hot shoe mount. But it would be nice to have some idea on the settings to use also with the Torch mounted on the DSLR. The last piece of information I could use is how does it compare with the built in flash units on the smartphones and the DSLR cameras? I am really looking forward to taking it with me on my next photo shoot adventures and travels.  You can read more about it here.  The Litra Pro Torch 2.0 is available for $89.95


Litra myCharge

Robert Sanborn

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