Model by model, the iPhone is getting better at taking photos at night without making everyone look like spooky-ass ghosts — but you can only go so far with one or two little LEDs.
But what about 56 little LEDs? The Ember is an iPhone 5/5S case that promises to add a crazy bright panel of lights to the back of your handset.
“But wait!” you shout. “Won’t firing off 56 LEDs every time I take a picture wreck my iPhones battery life?”
It would… if the Ember didn’t have it’s own 2200mAh battery pack built in. It makes the case a bit chunkier than the LEDs alone would, but it means about 4 hours of continuous light without putting a strain on your iPhone or requiring a recharge.
According to their tests, their LED array provides about 10x more light than the iPhone’s flash can. You can also adjust the light output, if the max brightness of 56 LEDs proves a bit too intense.
Rather than trying to tie into your iPhone’s software, the light panel on the Ember is flipped on and off by a physical switch. That may not be quite as slick as the built-in flash, but it allows you to pop the case off to aim the light however you want (or, in theory, use it as an ultrabright flashlight.)
Meanwhile, the top of the case detaches to allow for third-party lens add-ons to be strapped on top without things smashing into each other — and if you feel like getting really fancy with your iPhone photography, there’s a cold shoe mount for strapping on a tripod mount.
The catch? As with many a neat iPhone accessory concept, it’s a Kickstarter project — and with $11,000 left before it hits its goal and just 42 hours left in its campaign, it’s possible that it might not even get the pledges it’s already pulled in.
If you squeeze in before they run out, the “Early Bird” cases (with a warming filter and tripod adapter) will set you back $59. Once those are gone, the price bumps up to $79 — and at retail, they’re planning on slinging these for about $90 a pop.
Wondering photos taken with the Ember actually look? Here are the company’s side-by-sides: