What is a light meter?
Light meters are lightweight and portable devices that are used to measure the level of light in a place. These handheld light meters are very sensitive measuring instruments designed for a variety of uses and applications.
Topics discussed in this article:
- What is a light meter?
- What do they measure?
- How do they work?
- Uses and applications
- What are the best light meters?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Modern cameras and smartphones include automatic light meters that measure ambient light and automatically activate the integrated flash when the ambient light is low. They measure the light reflected by objects in the frame, but this presents an incomplete image.
Comparison of luxury meters with light meters
Luxury and light meters are the same instruments. Lux meters are the most common alternative to light meters because the Latin word Lux means light.
What do optical meters measure?
Light meters are designed to measure brightness. This typically includes the following:
- Visible light sources, including the sun and moon
- Light-emitting objects
- Fluorescent lights
- Incandescent lighting
- LED lamps
- UV light sources
- High pressure sources of sodium and metal halide
They can be used in many different applications, industries and environments, but the basic principle is the same. These devices are easy to use and carefully and versatilely designed. It is also worth noting that some models are evaluative and others have the ability to store measurements via internal memory or the ability to record internal data. Some meters may also provide cosine correction of the angle of incidence of light.
Depending on the type of light meter, light measurements may be recorded in lux (lx), candela per square meter (cd / m2), or foot candela (fc).
How does a light meter work?
Modern digital light meters use optical sensors based on one of three materials – the elements selenium and silicon and the chemical composition of cadmium sulfide (CdS).
The first two are photovoltaic, meaning that they produce an electric charge proportional to the amount of light that hits the sensor. Selenium is very sensitive and produces enough voltage to work without batteries. However, they perform poorly in low light and therefore can not be used for candlelight or night scenes.
Silicon sensors require both a battery and an amplifier circuit, but perform well in low light. Meanwhile, CdS-based hand-held light meters, which also require a battery, generate an electric charge that varies in response to exposure. Due to their sensitivity to low light, most modern luxury meters are made of CdS or silicon.
In addition to these components, a rugged enclosure is used to protect the delicate sensor and provide a stronger product. A lens cap may also be fitted to further protect and ensure that the photodiode remains in good condition. These measures are especially useful in heavy industrial environments where the risk of injury is higher.
Most modern light meters display their light readings in digital format on a readable LCD screen. In contrast, older models typically use analog rotating screens or galvanometer screens.
What is a light meter used for?
Why use a light meter? There are several reasons, but they have two main uses:
- Measuring the amount of light in public spaces or workplaces for health and safety reasons
- In photography, evaluate the ideal photography equipment and exposure settings for planned photography
The first use is applied to places such as offices, hospitals, schools and in fact in any place, with a significant walk. Employers have a legal duty to ensure that the work environment is adequately lit, and this has clear safety implications for public spaces.
Handheld meters are used in professional photography to optimize photos. They measure ambient light and show the ideal shutter speed and aperture number. This is especially valuable in outdoor environments where the ambient light level is very complex.
Cinematographers and filmmakers also use light meters to ensure that the scenes are illuminated correctly.
Other uses of light meters are:
- In hydroponics, to ensure that plants receive enough light for healthy growth
- In building and architecture, ensure that lighting systems are installed correctly
- When installing solar panels, selected to ensure the desired position and angle
- Measure light pollution, to help monitor and prevent excess light
In short, the luxury meter can be easily used in home, commercial and industrial environments:
- Measure the light level and light intensity
- Provide insight into any adjustments that may be necessary
- Optimize both performance and convenience, depending on the application.
What are the best light meters?
Whether you need a light meter to evaluate a feature or film and photography, two models are recommended here.
The best light meter for photography and film
This versatile model has a sensitive, silicon-based sensor that can read light sources up to 20,000 lux (lumens per square meter). Lumen is an international measurement of brightness. Users can also easily read readings on the screen until they are ready to take notes.
The best light meter in terms of price
This light meter is affordable but still of excellent quality. It can provide accurate readings of LEDs, fluorescents and other light sources. This device is hard and easily portable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of light meters?
The majority of luxury meters are small and compact handheld devices. This means that they are easy to transport and can be used in a wide range of environments. Combined with simple design, easy meter reading, and ease of use, these tools typically use plug-and-play capabilities.
Do light meters need calibration?
Accuracy is very important, so regular calibration of the luxury meter is a necessity. The accuracy of the meter may decrease over time, so calibration can help ensure that accurate and error-free readings are made at all times. This is especially important if you need to measure with previous readings or datasets. In order to ensure maximum accuracy, it is recommended that the devices be calibrated by fully trained professionals.
Rose Calibration Company in Melbourne, Australia with over ten years of experience provides all calibration, maintenance, and repair services throughout Australia. If you live in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Geelong, and Brisbane, you can receive your quote in less than two hours by fill-up the form via the “Booking” link.