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Profoto puts sunshine in your pocket with photo studio-quality smartphone lights

Profoto, a company known for its pro-level studio lights and flashes, is now making a light you can fit in your pocket. The Profoto C1 and C1 Plus, the brand’s first smartphone lights, are designed to bring the flexibility of studio lighting in a portable design made for smartphones. Unveiled on September 18, the lights can be used as a flash or continuous light and work in conjunction with the Profoto Camera app.

While the C1 and C1 Plus aren’t the only lights geared for smartphone photographers like the Lume Cube, the compact lights use a round shape for falloff that’s designed to imitate the look of natural light. Both LEDs also use a built-in dome diffuser.

With the app, the lights can be adjusted automatically, using an auto mode that reads the scene and determines where to set the light’s power and temperature. The wireless connection the app also syncs the flash, though the lights can also be used on continuous mode as well.

The body of the C1 Plus light contains controls for adjusting the power and temperature without the app. A shutter release on the light itself allows mobile photographers to comfortably trigger the shot with the light in one hand and the smartphone in the other, or to remotely trigger a shot from a tripod.

Along with the added controls, the C1 Plus also has more power than the C1 — 4,300 lumens from 20 LEDs compared to 1,600 lumens from seven LEDs. The more advanced light also has a magnetic mount for adding a grid and colored gels using the Clic system, which accepts the same modifiers as the Profoto A1 and A1X flash. A thread mount also allows the C1 Plus to be used with a tripod or accessory mounts, while compatibility with the Profoto Air TTL remotes allows the light to sync with a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

“We recognized that there are many people out there who might not see themselves as professional photographers, but they are great image creators and dependent on professional-looking images in order to build their business and brand,” said Profoto CEO Anders Hedebark. “People like bloggers and influencers. That is why we developed the Profoto C1 product range and the new and intuitive Profoto Camera, an app for smartphones.”

The Profoto C1 retails for about $300, while the C1 Plus lists for about $500.

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