LumoPro LightSwitch (LP742) is quite a unique speedlight accessory. It is a speedlight case that can turn into a flash reflector, bounce card, flag, and even, as it turned out, in a snoot ;). Let's take a look.
First of all, LumoPro LightSwitch is one of the best flash cases we have used. Up until now, our favorite speedlight case was the one that comes with the Phottix Mitros flash. LumoPro LightSwitch is now competing for the first place in our book :). It has a design and materials similar to the case being shipped with LumoPro LP180 manual speedlight, and the images below show the three flash cases side by side.
The Phottix case has more bells and whistles, like extra pockets and a hanging loop. However, LightSwitch can put up a fight: it features a belt loop, a small pocket on the back (where you can put some gels, for example), and an inside pocket for storing a flash stand. LightSwitch also seems to have the thickest padding.
The design of LumoPro LightSwitch is very clever. The case unzips into two pieces, the larger of which can be used as a reflector and the smaller one works as a bounce card or a flag.
LumoPro LightSwitch includes a strap for attaching the reflector and the bounce card parts to a flash head. The two stripes on the back of the strap ensure that it stays on the flash securely. When not in use, the strap can be conveniently stored inside the case. Please note, however, that this is not your typical Velcro strap for speedlights, like LumiQuest UltraStrap or Honl Photo Speed Strap. Instead of the Velcro loops, the LumoPro strap features hooks, so it can only be used with the LightSwitch accessory. It is kind of a bummer, because you cannot use this strap with many other speedlight modifiers. Moreover, you cannot use both parts of LumoPro LightSwitch at the same time: put the reflector on one flash and the bounce card or flag on another (using a strap you already own).
We really liked how LightSwitch employs magnets. For the bounce card configuration, the main flap stays in place with a help of a magnet that is built into the body of the case. To change to the flag setup, you just need to flip the flap over. Brilliant! The top two images below show the bounce card configuration, and the bottom two show the flag one.
The following images show the LightSwitch bounce card and flag next to Honl Photo Bounce Card / Flag and Rogue FlashBender Bounce Card (with a flag attachment).
LightSwitch delivers the light quality you would expect from a diffuser of its size. It can be used on and off camera, but smaller reflectors like this are better suited for on-camera applications, especially indoors, where you can also bounce the light off of the ceilings.
We have to note that at first, we felt uneasy about the zipper sliders when using the LightSwitch reflector on-camera. There are two zipper sliders that you can place anywhere along the zipper side. So, the pull tabs of the sliders hang down (almost like earrings :)) and can make a little bit of noise and distraction. However, after some time, we realized that we are used to them and not paying attention. So, we scratched that as a concern, but wanted to share our thoughts on it.
Another minor quirk of LumoPro LightSwitch that we found is that for smaller flash heads, when used as a bounce card or flag, it may partially cover the speedlight's display. This wasn't an issue for us, but it can potentially be a problem for some small subset of applications.
Finally, LumoPro LightSwitch can be used as a speedlight snoot. That is not something the company advertises, but we figured... why not? By unzipping an opening on one end, you can attach the case to a flash head using the strap. The flap stays open on the other end with the help of the built-in magnet. The shape of the light spot is not really round, but it's quite usable. Our tests showed that the produced spot is closer in size to the one of the Small FlashBender and larger than the spot produced by Honl Photo Speed Snoot.
To conclude, we think LumoPro LightSwitch is a brilliant idea, which is well executed. With LightSwitch, you get 5-in-1: a case, a reflector, a bounce card, a flag, and a snoot. In each configuration, it performs really well. While it does have some minor quirks here and there, we are tempted to dismiss them :), because we really like the concept. LumoPro LightSwitch is a perfect solution for photographers who prefer to carry less gear, but want to have the flexibility of multiple accessories.
So, what about the price tag? LumoPro LightSwitch is priced at about $30 (USD). A similar type reflector and a snoot can cost you between $15 and $30 (USD) each. A bounce card and a flag will be another $10-$15 (USD). A Velcro strap – about $10 (USD), and a decent case can be another $10-$15 (USD). So, if you were to buy all these accessories separately, you are looking to spend between $60 and $90 (USD).
Do we recommend LumoPro LightSwitch? Absolutely! It can also be a cool gift if you have friends into flash photography. You can check the latest price below.
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