Phlite turns your camera gear into stylish lighting
By Simon Crisp
December 19, 2013
Whether it's their vintage rangefinder or a carbon fiber tripod, some photographers like looking at camera equipment almost as much as the photographs they've taken. The Phlite lamp is a product which might mean us camera-geeks don't have to pack our kit away at the end of a shoot, because it turns photography gear into stylish interior lighting.
Currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, Phlite is a light which attaches to the top of a camera or tripod, but not one you're going to use when taking photos. Instead it's intended to be used when the camera isn't. Makers suggest using your camera as a desk light, or your tripod as a floor-standing lamp, and accordingly the Phlite lamps will come in two sizes.
Inventor and photographer James Madelin says he came up with the idea for the Phlite lamp when he was packing away his carbon fiber tripod and thinking it was a shame he couldn't enjoy it when he wasn't shooting. Then he thought about his wife's old Nikkormat, and what a shame it was that it was sitting somewhere in an old camera bag in a cupboard, rather than being out on display.
After a year of work he developed the Phlite – which consists of a light fitting, a lampshade and a custom lampshade spider – and it's now ready to go into production. It attaches to the hot-shoe of a camera, or to a tripod plate via a Frio cold-shoe, and features a textile power cord with an integrated switch.
Because photographers often need their gear to hand at a moment's notice, Phlite lamps can be put on (or taken off) in a matter of seconds – it's just like adding or removing an external flash. When removed it can be used as a stand-alone light, as the shade has a cable exit. Users can also customize Phlite lights by making their own shades using a downloadable template.
A Kickstarter pledge of £40 (that's about US$65) is enough to get you a small Phlite lamp while £50 ($80) will get you the large one. There are other options for multiples or to bundle a Phlite with classy tripods like the Brian from 3 Legged Thing. If funding is successful, backers should receive them in April.
You can learn more about the lamps in the video below.