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Product Spotlight: Chatlight and Nova Bluetooth Flash

We had the "bright idea" this week of spotlighting another category of tech products. This week it's about some lighting products. We're taking a look at a portable flash for your iPhone, as well as a useful "clip-on" light to help with video calls and selfies in dark rooms.

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Anyone who has ever tried to make a video call or take a selfie in a dark room knows how annoying it can be. Unless you have one of the few phones out there with a front facing flash, you’re pretty much out of luck. Until products like this next one came around. The Chatlight is a rechargeable LED light that clips to the top of your Smartphone, tablet or laptop. It’s got an adjustable clip, so it’s compatible with just about any device, even if your phone or tablet are in a case.

chatlightThe Chatlight has two settings, hi and low, and can be rotated to give you just the right amount of light. The company says it will charge fully in about 15 minutes and will give you up to 90 minutes of light on that single charge.

When I first saw this product, I thought it was goofy. I mean who would want to walk around with this clipped to their phone? But when I realized it would work on a laptop as well, I quickly saw how useful it can be. Especially for things like Skype video calls. You can even angle the light down, and light up your keyboard, making it easy to type in a dark room.

The Chatlight is available in three colors – black, white and silver – and sells for about $30.

Next, on to a product we’ve talked about in the past on our show. The Nova Bluetooth off-camera flash for iPhone or iPad. For years photographers have use lighting techniques that involve nova-in-hand-lit-adjusted-1xmoving the light source away from the camera. This product brings that ability to your iOS device. The photos are taken with the free Nova Photos app, and saved to your Camera Roll.

The device itself is about the size of a credit card and has 40 LEDs that can be adjusted to match the color temperature and brightness you need. It charges via micro USB cable. There has not been an official word on battery life, but I’ve read of users taking around 150 pictures before having to recharge.

While they aren’t officially supported by the manufacturer, we have been able to get it to work on a few different Android phones as well.

The Nova Off-camera flash is available online and sells for about $60.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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