How to travel smart with battery-powered strobes
If you’re a traveling photographer and the owner of a portable battery-powered strobe, there’s a chance that you’ve had a friendly encounter with TSA. Many of the the popular battery-powered packs / heads from Profoto, Broncolor, Elinchrom (and many other lines) are APPROVED for carry-on travel. Since it’s approved for air travel, does it mean that you will not get push-back from our friends in the airports? Absolutely not. It doesn’t matter if you are in a major hub or a small, regional airport – you will get questions.
Thankfully, the manufacturers have provided lithium-ion battery and transportation certificates – which will give you support / credibility when you encounter the questions at the airport. These documents serve as a certification that the battery has passed inspection, and state the nominal voltage, rated capacity, energy density, etc. Additional, it covers how to handle spare batteries, as well as defective batteries. We recommend printing multiple copies of the documents – just in case you find yourself in this scenario, and the airline is attempting to separate you from your valuable gear.
It is always advisable to consult with your individual airline as some may have, especially for international travel, more restrictive rules. For a comprehensive article that addresses the multiple layers of air travel with photography equipment in general, check out Shutter Muses’s Travel Tips – Flying with Photography Gear. It’s a valuable reminder of best practices when traveling with the tools of the trade.
Download Battery and Transportation Certificates
- Broncolor Move 1200 L
- Broncolor Siros L Certificate and Siros L Travel Document