What is a Colorimeter?

  • A colorimeter is a tool that measures color by mimicking the way human eyes see and understand color. Colorimeters use a set illuminant to refine measurement to three values (also known as tri-stimulus values) , red ( R ), green ( G ), and blue ( B ).  Color Muse is a colorimeter that matches at an extremely high accuracy rate for a device of its kind and cost.

What is a Spectrophotometer?

  •  As the name might imply, a “spectrophotometer” utilizes the visible color spectrum to depict color on any surface. It does this by measuring reflected and transmitted light and then develops a reflectance curve to describe the color of that surface. “Spectros”, as the industry fondly calls them, can also use multiple illuminants, or lighting environments, to measure colors. Spectrophotometers can have varying geometries or measurement abilities to suit different color measurement scenarios. The three most common spectro geometries are 45/0, d/8, and multi-angle.

Do You Need A Colorimeter or Spectrophotometer?

The type of color matching technology you need depends on what you’re trying to do.

Colorimeters are powerful devices when it comes to matching solid colors and comparing similar ones, a good colorimeter can produce accurate results effective for basic QA and inspection. They often provide more mobility than a bench top spectrophotometer and are great for  printing, and painting. However, when it comes to identifying metamerism, or the phenomenon of colors changing when viewed in different light, a spectrophotometer is the way to go. 

Spectrophotometers provide a wealth of color data needed for identifying exact matches and determining formulas. Industries like automotive coatings use spectrophotometers to measure automotive paint that might have effects and appear different in various lighting. 

Spectrophotometer - Colorimeters - Gloss Meter - Haze Meters

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