Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Pros: Solves the annoying problem of poor lighting conditions when using a smartphone for selfies or FaceTime; particularly with African American skin tones.
Cons: Pricey; currently only available for iPhone 6 and 6s.
Ty Hunter noticed something when he and his friends were using Snapchat and FaceTime; the lighting was inadequate using either app. So, he got an idea.
Hunter created the Ty-Lite Protective Lighted Case for Smartphones. The Ty-Lite has a series of LEDs running along its sides and top. These LEDS can be switched to three distinct light settings: Cool, Warm, and Brilliant to accommodate any light in any environment.
The Cool setting is ideal for outdoor selfies and video chats; Warm, is for indoors; and Brilliant automatically adjusts for either indoors or outdoors.
The Ty-Lite is powered on by pressing the yellow button on the back of the case. The default LED setting is Cool. Press the button again for “Warm,” and a third time for the automatic “Brilliant” LED mode.
Thankfully, the Ty-Lite runs on its own battery, so it doesn’t eat at a smartphone’s battery power. This does mean that it has to be charged independently from the phone, but it ships with its own universal AC adapter and micro USB cable. A battery indicator is built right onto the case to let you know the battery life status.
The Ty-Lite takes about an hour to charge. The accompanying manual states it stays charged for about 5 days, and that is a good estimate unless you are a heavy-duty selfie taker.
It’s also not just a case designed for superficial reasons—it’s made from sturdy silicone and provides protection of the phone.
Still, it surprisingly adds very little weight to a phone.
The Ty-Lite is not cheap, priced at $79.99. That may be a price you are willing to pay if you run in circles like those of Ty Hunter, who is also a stylist for Beyoncé. Hunter started his smartphone case company with other jet-setters including baseball player CC Sabathia’s wife. In addition, he also launched his own clothing line.
Perhaps that’s why he has yet to create a version for Android users—rumor has it they are more frugal and not as desiring of dewy, glowing-skinned selfies of themselves as much as the iPhone set.