Choosing the best infrared thermometer depends on what you need that for. There are infrared thermometers for 4 kinds of uses and they all have different performance:
- Infrared thermometer for medical uses
- Infrared thermometer for industrial uses
- Infrared thermometer for culinary uses
- Infrared thermometers for construction uses
The biggest differences between infrared thermometers are their lenses. There are 3 basic infrared thermometer types:
They are cheap, easy to use, and suitable for cold places. Besides, they are pretty small in comparison to the other types.
Their main difference is that they use a funnel made of reflective material to focus their infrared light into a small area. This funnel design helps it to be able to move between different environments without any resting period, but it can be a bad choice for hotter environments because of the lack of protection on their lens. Moreover, they are not suitable for long-distance readings and you have to be very close to the object that you are checking its temperature.
- Easy to use
- Very suitable for cold places
- Not suitable for long distance temperature measurement
- Not suitable for high temperatures
- Fresnel Lens
These kinds of infrared thermometers are commonly used in the food industry. They are inexpensive and practical enough to be used in restaurants. They have a limited temperature range that covers both ends of the spectrum. Its lens is made of plastic, and when it is exposed to sudden temperature falls, its shape changes.
- Very suitable for food
- Usually comes with laser guides
- It requires some time to adapt with the environment when the temperature suddenly falls
- Mica Lens
This type of thermometer is the most expensive infrared thermometers and they are usually used in industrial settings. Their lenses are made of mineral glass, and because of the design of their lenses, they are more sensitive to damage than other thermometers. However, they are very accurate in measuring very extreme temperatures, and they can measure from long distances.
- Suitable for industrial use
- Can measure extreme temperatures
- Can measure from long distances
- Requires a 10 minutes rest while moving between temperature zones
- Can easily break
What can you use an infrared thermometer for?
- Measuring human body temperature
- Measuring food temperatures
- Finding faulty terminations in high-powered electrical circuits
- Locating overloaded circuit breaker
Everyone should consider 7 things when choosing an infrared thermometer;
Accuracy is the most important characteristic of thermometer. Infrared thermometers are often used in situations that accuracy is very important, and inaccurate measurement can lead to major issues. Some infrared thermometer need some time to adapt with the environment when switching between different temperature zones, thus, it is better to give them some time to adapt with the environment to prevent inaccurate temperature measurements.
- Temperature range
An infrared thermometer’s temperature range is directly related to its performance. For example, you cannot use a No-lens thermometer for measuring extremely high temperatures.
For measuring cold temperatures, a no-lens thermometer is appropriate. For a variety of medium-heat jobs, a standard Fresnel lens thermometer can work exceptionally well. When you want to measure temperatures that are very extreme, a Mica lens is very suitable.
- Read speed
The speed of an infrared thermometer is the time it takes to deliver an accurate temperature measurement after you have started the thermometer’s measuring process. Faster thermometers are better in almost every situation, and it is better to find one with fast temperature measurement.
- Backlit display
It is not necessary for the infrared thermometer to have a lit screen, but it helps with reading the temperature in bad lighting conditions.
Emissivity is the term used to describe how much infrared energy a thermometer can put out at a time. The emissivity of an infrared thermometer impacts its ability to read different materials. It would be great to find one that allows you to adjust the amount of energy it emits.
No-lens and Fresnel lens thermometers are often made of a durable polymer, and that would be enough to protect them from damage. But Mica lens thermometers need a much more protective design to prevent them from damage.
When you want to measure the same object’s temperature, the recording would be essential. A suitable recording software can tell you the average temperature of an object over a set period, and it can tell you if there are any meaningful fluctuations in its temperature.