Paul C. Buff’s Celestial is a Powerful Battery-Powered Strobe

January 5, 2023

By Hillary K. Grigonis

© Paul C. Buff

Lighting Company Paul C. Buff is best known for its studio lights—such as the Alien Bees and Einstein—but the company’s latest strobe is entirely battery powered. Arriving on Jan. 20, the Celestial is a battery-powered flash with up to 500 Ws of power and features like High Speed Sync.

The Celestial: Battery Power

Paul C. Buff’s Celestial delivers up to 500 Ws of power and a 1.5 second recycle time to full power. The company says that the battery can power the 160w equivalent modeling lamp at full power for 90 minutes. Unlike a hot shoe flash, the Celestial aims to offer on site to studio versatility by allowing the battery to charge while in use. That gives photographers the ability to move between the easy outlet accessibility of a studio and off-site locations.

Flash Duration

The flash adjusts from .25 Ws to 500 Ws in 1/12-stop increments. The HSS makes it possible to use the flash with shutter speeds up to 1/8000 seconds. Action mode with flash durations as short as 1/18,600 seconds and color modes are also available. Color is adjustable plus or minus 50+ at any power setting.

[Read: Furiously Fast Flash: Strobes for Any Budget or Camera]

The Celestial expands the Paul C. Buff lineup with a fully portable strobe that doesn’t require packing an external power source. While a few of the company’s priciest strobes will out-power the Celestial, the new flash also has the widest power variability at 12 stops. Compared to the rest of the company’s line-up, the Celestial isn’t the fastest or brightest, but sits well above the entry level options that require a plug. The flash with the battery weighs about 4.6 pounds.

HUB Remote

The flash is designed to be used with the HUB remote. While the light will also work with older CST3, CyberCommander, and CyberSense remotes, HSS and TTL are not compatible. The lens ships with a magnetic diffusion dome while colored gels are available separately.

The Celestial: Due Date

The company says the Celestial is expected to arrive on January 20th, with a $649.95 list price and an optional eight pack of color gel domes for $59.95.