Lumu – pricing themselves out of the market

I was looking to get a light meter so I decided to investigate something called a Lumu, which is an iPhone lightning attachment based light meter. It’s a clever concept, you get a small attachment that looks like the top of a light meter and attach it to the lightning connector on your iPhone.

Great? Actually not so great. It’s also the same price as a Sekonic Light Meter, and not just the cheapest one, a decent one like a Sekonic L478-D from a reputable seller on eBay. No option to get a cheaper Lumu on eBay so that’s not the issue.

For those who dont know, this tiny thing called a Lumu…

Photo from Lu.mu website

sells for the same as this thing…

Photo from Sekonic website

…and no one at Lumu saw a problem with this or thought they may have priced themselves out of market?

Aside from the obvious items, like the Sekonic having the manufacturing cost of a huge friggen LCD screen, being more accurate, offering spot metering option, being a well known and respected brand, the Sekonic is also ranked as one of the best light meters on the market. I think the only thing it really offers over and above the Sekonic is white balance.

I don’t want to knock Lumu from a product perspective, I think it looks really great, and conceptually, if it works as they say it does, it sounds good, but if you want people to try your product, it has to be ranged in such a way that it isn’t competing with one of the best products in the market and the same price.

As a buyer, I could buy a renowned light meter from a reputable brand like Sekonic and know exactly what I am getting. With Lumu, I could buy a Light meter that uses the processing power of my iPhone and “might” get app updates to reflect iOS changes, and I am tied to Apple which I may or may not like. I also can’t help feeling like I’m paying more for an idea than the hardware, which is relatively small and has a very low cost. You cannot tell me the manufacturing costs is anywhere close to the Sekonic…it would be a 10th of the cost, if that. Whilst it is a great idea, pricing has the reflect product. I can’t charge $400 for a paperclip simply because it’s a great idea.

So Lumu, I’m sorry to say, I’ll be getting a Sekonic L-478, not a Lumu. I would have love to have tried one, but it would have needed to be about half the current price for me to even consider it.

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