LAS VEGAS - Chatlight is one of those products I hope catches on. Why? Because lighting matters, and the sad truth is that the vast majority of us are poorly lit in self-made videos and selfie photos. Chatlight is a clip-on LED light (it's not a flash) designed to light individuals for videos.
Chatlight on a MacBook Air
The device has two rows of alternating white LEDs and yellow LEDs tuned for an image that's not too warm and not too cold. Those LEDs have a cover made of diffusing plastic, and the bank of lights can be rotated to affect how much light you get. There are also two intensity settings.
The rechargeable battery inside Chatlight lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, and recharges in 60 minutes. It has a self-retracting clip that allows you to attach it to your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac, or Cinema Display (or other displays, if that's your thing). The company includes velcro in the box for those with thicker displays or other surfaces they need to attach it to.
Chatlight is surprisingly bright—too bright to stare into at the brighter intensity. You'll want that brightness in a lot of settings, and you can rotate the lights up or down to decrease how much direct light you get. They're very lightweight, and small enough to throw into a bag for travel or just using them out and about.
At US$29.99, some people may want to consider getting two for placement on either side of their face to minimize shadows. I have two for testing and will be seeing if Chatlight can't make my video appearances better.
I met with two of the founders at CES, and they said this is merely the first lighting product they will release. I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Chatlight is shipping now in a black, silver, or white finish. The company got is start with a successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter, blew through its first production run in five hours, and just got its second run in before CES. Grab one or two while you can.