A lesson in light; getting your best side

Because who doesn’t want the perfect selfie? Getting your best side on the go is becoming increasingly important. Lighting tech is meeting the demand and LED turns out to be the answer.

Lenovo, who now own Motorola, have just released the latest self-photography accessory, the Selfie-Flash, as an extension to their Vibe X2 Pro. Not only does the phone come with built in “selfie beautification tools,” this plug-in ring flash comes equipped with eight white LEDs to perfectly illuminate your face as you strike a pose. The flash plugs right into the headphone jack to sync as you snap.

Selfies aside, what is the most flattering light? Outside the confines of a posed image, how do you look your best in everyday lighting?

As a general rule of thumb, avoid harsh, clinical lighting that casts shadows from above. Even illumination is the key to the selfie flash. This is a little harder to achieve with one light source in a whole room, so a mixture of lighting is optimal to create soft and even illumination. LEDs are a good solution as they give off a warm, soft glow and illuminate the room properly. As a bonus, they maintain energy-efficient properties and will save you money to buy more roses!

However, more so than illumination, colour is an important factor when creating flattering lighting. In theory, LEDs can shine up to 16 million different colours, including a spectrum of colour that gives a ‘healthy glow’. The first thing to remember is “pretty in pink”. That is, slight pink tones in the light will flatter any complexion.

As well as creating atmosphere, lighting can act as a feature. Dutch designer Marcel Wanders designed a flattering feature light for Moooi a couple of years ago for the Unexpected Welcome exhibition in Milan. The ornate frame encloses 32 LED lights, capped by individual transparent lamp shades. Wanders points out that in his design he considered that “You have these little lights, but each of them is very sharp. If you want enough light in an LED lamp you have to put them together and [if] you have a lot it [will] blind you completely. One of the solutions is to put these little lights further away from each other.” They were able to bypass the issue of wiring by using the lamp frame to contain layers of conductive material, powering each bulb.

Lastly, adding mirrors to your room will reflect the room’s light, creating interest and offering more side lighting to flatter all around. As an added bonus, the mirrors will help you to get ready for your selfie moment!

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