The Elinchrom ELB1200 Docking Station Makes the Monolight Better for Studio Use

It’s about time that the Elinchrom ELB1200 Docking Station came out.

The Elinchrom ELB1200 monolight is receiving an upgrade today that’s going to make it much more versatile, especially for studio photographers. Photographers will have the opportunity to drop their hard earned $699 on the Elinchrom ELB1200 docking station. This station replaces the battery unit when connected to the ELB1200 and lets the photographer connect to outlets if they wish so that they can use their ELB1200 in a studio without wasting battery power. When they’re ready to shoot on location, they can just switch to the battery pack.

For photographers trying to wrap their head around this (in the same fashion that it took me around 10 minutes to do the same), it’s very much like the now older Paul C. Buff Einstein system. The Einstein E640 can connect directly to a wall outlet via a cable; it differentiates itself here in that it doesn’t need to be used or controlled with another pack. When you’re ready to go shoot with it on location, you can connect a Vagabond. That’s really all that there is to it without mentioning Buff’s awful reliability with using the modeling lamp when connected to a battery. In comparison, photographers who use the Profoto B1 system will probably just use the batteries all day and night. The same goes with the Adorama Orlit system. I rarely see photographers connect to a wall outlet anymore unless they’re in a studio. So now, the Elinchrom ELB1200 is making itself useful more as a studio product.


Here’s what the Elinchrom ELB1200 docking station can do when connected to the Elinchrom ELB1200 units. Below is what’s possible when connected to the battery packs. When you compare the two, it doesn’t look like there is a lot of variance. Luckily the color temperature doesn’t change at all; at least that’s what’s implied with them not mentioning it in the dock specs. Admittedly, we haven’t tested this ourselves yet. It makes sense as the heads are separate units.

What’s odd though is the recycling time; it seems like the dock can make it slower. Otherwise, it doesn’t look like there is much else that’s different. Of course, being able to connect to a wall jack could help quite a bit to ensure that you can keep shooting. While it’s fantastic that the Elinchrom ELB1200 Docking Station is coming out, I wonder why an option like this wasn’t available from the start. With other systems, a photographer can simply plug a cable into the monolight’s battery, connect to a wall, and shoot.

Elinchrom ELB1200 Docking Station Tech Specs

We took these specs from the Elinchom website.

  • Recycling times with Dock: 0.06 – 1.8 s.
  • Recycling times with Battery: 0.05 – 1.7 s.
  • Dock power Input: 100 V – 240 V – 50/60 Hz
  • Weight: 1.9 kg (4.1 lbs.) (Dock only)
  • Weight: 5 kg (11 lbs.) (With Dock)
  • Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 10 cm (Dock only)
  • Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 31 cm (With Dock)


  • The ELB 1200 unit must be updated to the latest firmware 1.7 in order to be compatible with the Dock.