Great images depend on optimal lighting, Photojojo’s Luxi light meter helps you find it

[Update: Photojojo told us that Luxi “talks” to the iPhone via the front-facing camera.]

For casual photographers looking to add more precision and professionalism to their shots, say hello to the little Luxi from Photojojo.

Luxi is a portable spot-on light meter that easily attaches to your iPhone, meant to be used with a DSLR or any camera that has a manual mode. With a quick slip-on of its diffusing 180-degree dome, Luxi is able to measure the light falling onto your subject and give accurate readings to ensure the most vivid exposure possible. Luxi communicates with the iPhone through the front facing camera, relaying the lighting information to the companion Luxi app.

Unfortunately, if you have a case on your iPhone, you’ll have to remove it first before attaching the Luxi, and it works only with iPhone 5 and 5S.

Difference between using a DSLR’s automatic light meter and the Luxi.

Luxi is best described is an “incident light meter,” which differs greatly from reflected light meters in cameras that only gauge light being bounced directly toward them. After downloading the free app, Luxi provides info you can use to adjust your camera’s manual settings and compose images how you want them to be, rather than how the camera’s auto setting “sees” it.

Generally, cameras have automatic settings that can interfere with your intended images – especially when high contrasts come into play. Luxi measures the amount of light falling onto your subject and responds accordingly, so your shots (even with backlit subjects) come out pristine and ready to share with the rest of the world. At least, that’s the theory. Luxi doesn’t tell the camera directly how to change those settings; the user has to input that info into the camera’s manual mode.

Luxi is now available for $30 on Photojojo’s website. It’s a bargain considering its potential usefulness.

Settings for different lighting conditions.

(Photos via Photojojo)