Do you really choose the right one to buy a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer?

How to establish color standard, improve product appearance, control color difference and match color by computer software? Here we have to mention a kind of color detection tool: colorimeter.

At present, there are many types, brands and businesses of color measuring instruments. Customers will have various problems when they don’t know the instruments well or even know their own needs.

  • Why is the price gap between different instruments so big?
  • Why are the results measured by the same type of instrument different?
  • Why is some called chromatic aberration meter, some called spectrophotometer, what’s the difference?
  • Where are color difference meter and spectrophotometer used respectively?

Now we will give a detailed introduction, hoping to answer your doubts after understanding:

What is “colorimeter” and “spectrophotometer”

As the name suggests, “colorimeter” is used to measure the color difference between two samples. The accuracy is relatively low, generally can not accurately give the absolute value of color coordinate space (L, a, b value), but can give the color difference value (Δ E) between two samples (usually between standard and sample). This kind of color difference meter has no absolute value data of color, no way to exchange data with others, and can not establish and manage its own color standard database.

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Color Meter SE Color Meter Pro Color Meter MAX

The precision of spectrophotometer is high, and the setting of pre positioning board is used, which avoids the process of using standard blackboard and whiteboard in the calibration process of traditional colorimeter and color difference meter. The built-in software has powerful functions, including all necessary color equations, standard light sources suitable for different tasks, and a large number of indicators for specific industries and applications.

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Spectrophotometer CS-500 Spectrophotometer CS-520

Design principle 

  • The spectrophotometer is designed according to the principle of spectrophotometer.
  • The color difference meter is designed according to the principle of tristimulus value.

Spectrophotometer has high precision and increasing versatility. Color spectrum spectrophotometer can simultaneously measure SCI (including specular reflection). For this reason, it reduces the influence of sample surface to a minimum, especially suitable for color quality monitoring and computer color matching) and SCE (it is a measurement method excluding specular reflection). The results of this type of measurement are similar to those observed by naked eye. Because it can measure the reflectivity at each wavelength, it is suitable for complex color analysis. Of course, the price is relatively expensive, but there are exceptions. For example, colorimeter Se / Pro / max launched by color spectrum is a spectroscopic principle, but only less than USD1000. Tristimulus color difference meter has the characteristics of relatively low price, small size, outstanding flexibility and easy operation.
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Measuring principle 

The colorimeter can automatically compare the color difference between the sample and the sample, output CIE L, a, B three groups of data and △ e, △ L, △ a, △ B four groups of color difference data after color comparison. Different from the simple color difference meter, the spectrophotometer can measure the “reflectivity curve” of each color point (10nm or 20nm wavelength interval), but the color difference meter can’t. Spectrophotometer can simulate many kinds of light sources, while chromatic aberration meter generally has only one or at most two kinds of simulated light sources. But there are also exceptions. The color difference treasure series and spectrophotometer series (direct product details) launched by Caipu can not only see the reflectivity curve, but also have a variety of light sources to choose from. They are products between the color difference meter and spectrophotometer, with very high cost performance.

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CIE LAB diagram

Light source

In the color measuring instrument, the stability, the orientation, the lifetime and the validity of the spectrum curve should be considered first. At present, LED lamp and xenon lamp are two kinds of light sources.
Xenon lamp is mainly used for ultraviolet light source measurement, which can emit short-term high-intensity arc light, but it is difficult to produce repeated equal intensity arc light. In addition, xenon lamp light source needs complex high-voltage oscillation excitation circuit, and maintenance is also very complex. When replacing, in addition to the bulb, the whole set of capacitors should be replaced, so the price is relatively expensive. It is generally used in high-precision desktop spectrophotometer, such as cs-820n, cs-821n and cs-826.

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Bench-top Spectrophotometer CS-820N

In the current standard color measuring instrument, LED lamp is the most suitable from the technical and economic aspects. In particular, portable instruments need to be light, power-saving, easy to maintain and operate. Long life cleds (full band balanced LED light source) is used in color spectrum color measuring instrument, so it is not necessary to worry about replacing the light source frequently.
In general, the colorimeter is mainly used to measure the color difference between samples. Spectrophotometer mainly contains all the necessary color equations, standard light sources suitable for different tasks, and a large number of specific industry and application indicators, especially suitable for color quality monitoring and computer color matching. Enough to achieve the best color measurement in almost all application areas of quality control.
SourceChina colorimeter manufacturer

Summary
20210131070000 - Do you really choose the right one to buy a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer?
Article Name
Do you really choose the right one to buy a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer?
Description
The colorimeter is mainly used to measure the color difference between samples. Spectrophotometer mainly contains all the necessary color equations, standard light sources suitable for different tasks, and a large number of specific industry and application indicators, especially suitable for color quality monitoring and computer color matching.
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www.spectrumgfa.com
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