If you are interested in filmmaking and construction, you will need to invest in a light meter. These instruments help to measure the luminous intensity of light that travels in a particular direction. For filmmakers, these devices measure the dynamic range of cameras. This allows them to do what is expected to contrast ratios.
Top 5 Best Light Meters : Editor Recommended
In the market, you will find both in-built camera meters and separate options alike. Unlike the built-in options, the light meters measures both reflected and incident light in any field of view. Based on facts from professionals who employ these devices in their daily projects, herein is a review of the market’s top light meters.
The 10 Best Light Meters Reviews:
1. Dr. Meter 1330B-V Digital Illuminance/Light Meter
- ▶【4-Range Settings】: This high-quality digital illuminance/light meter has 4-range settings, 0/200/2,000/20,000/200,000 Lux, for a dynamic metering ability.
- ▶【High Accuracy】: With auto zeroing capabilities, you can be sure you'll always get a reading with pinpoint accuracy, and it will always be fast!
- ▶【EZ-Read Display】: Clearly readable info lets you read Units and Signs easily, and stay informed with the over-range indicator.
- ▶【Convenient Switches】: Get better control over your readings with Data Hold & Peak Data hold for when you're recording information. You'll also benefit from its lower power consumption and short rise and fall times.
- ▶【Bring Anywhere】: From squeezing into tight places to keeping your load light, you can bring the Dr.Meter Digital Illuminance/light meter wherever you need to. Fits easily into a work bag or large pocket and barely adds any weight. It's the ultimate in light-metering convenience!
When it comes to customer satisfaction, Dr. Meter 1330B-V is the brand of choice. The model assures users higher convenience in their daily measuring activities. The meter provides users four range settings to make their preferred choice from. The range setting includes 0/200/2,000/20,000/200,000 Lux. This digital light meter is ideal for those who need a meter with dynamic metering ability.
Moreover, they stand out as potential competitors to other top models when we talk about accuracy levels. The model has an auto zeroing capability that assures users accurate and fast results. The manufacturer designed it with an EZ-Read display to easily read through any signs and units. There is also an over-range indicator that enables users to remain informed.
The convenient switches help workers have control of the readings. The peak data and data hold features also help an individual get good control when recording readings. Additionally, it is small; you can fit it in a work bag or even in a large pocket to use wherever you need.
- Consumes less power
- Provides optimum accuracy
- Has the dynamic metering ability
- Boasts excellent features
- You cannot replace the battery
- Works poorly with LED lights
2. Sekonic Light Meter 401-208 Twin Mate
- ONLY SEKONIC METERS THAT ARE SHIPPED BY AND SOLD BY AMAZON.COM OR OTHER AUTHORIZED SEKONIC DEALERS CAN ENSURE THAT YOU ARE RECEIVING GOODS THAT HAVE PROPER FCC COMMUNICATION AND ARE COVERED BY A USA WARRANTY. THE AMAZON OFFER MAY BE SEEN TO THE RIGHT. GREY MARKET SEKONIC METERS WILL NOT APPLICABLE FOR A US WARRANTY.
- Perfect for beginners, or as a compact ambient backup meter
- 30-seconds to 1/8000th, f/1.4 to f/32 in half-stop increments
- ISO 12 to 12500 in half-stop increments
- Hold-and-Read mode locks readings for 15-seconds, allows for extended exposure evaluation time
People who have been into photography can attest to what the Sekonic meter brand offers. This is a light meter for both professionals and beginner meter users alike. This is a good light meter for those who need to learn more about using light meters. However, most professionals use it as compact ambient backup options.
The Sekonic dealers produce products with proper FCC communication backed with a great warranty. Moreover, the meter has held and read mode locks. Users can hold readings for about 15 minutes, as well as an extended evaluation time for exposure.
This model looks more competitive in the market at large. Like other top models, Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter measures both the ambient and flash lighting. Moreover, its overall sensitivity is impressive for a meter that is in its price range.
- Backed with an amazing warranty
- An affordable option
- Quite versatile
- Lacks advanced features
- The battery runs out quickly
3. BTMETER BT-881E Digital Light Meter
- ☀【HIGH ACCURACY】+/- 4% readings +/- 0.5% f.s (10,000 Lux; 1,000 FC); +/- 5% readings +/- 10 digits (300,000 Lux; 30,000FC)
- ☀【0.4 SECOND RESPONSE】2~3 times sampling per second, Instantly to measure out how much lights you’re getting
- ☀【WIDE MEASURE RANGE】 This light meter can measure luminance at 0.01~300,000 Lumens, (0.01~30,000 Foot Candles), Which is much wider than the others. Resolution 0.01
- ☀【EASY TO USE】The light sensor can be rotated 270º, so you don’t need to turn around the light meter to measure lights from different angles. Just rotate the sensor, and you can still read the measure at front
- ☀【MEMORIZE THE LIGHT READINGS】This Lux Meter can help you record 33 sets of readings,Temp Testing, The RELATIVE measuring mode will show you the difference between current / recorded data. Ideal to use at home, garden, aquarium,plants, school, office, state, LED lights, indoor and outdoor
For people concerned about overall accuracy, this is a model to try. The model is super-fast in processing data. It has a response speed of 0.4 seconds; this is equivalent to about two to three sampling every second.
Moreover, its measuring range is unbeatable. Its luminance measuring range lies at 0.01~300,000 Lumens. The resolution of this model is also quite impressive; its resolution power is 0.01. This is also a versatile market option equipped with a Lux meter that records 33 reading sets. You can use it in various setups, including at home, school, garden, office, and many other places.
Most prefer it due to its easy-to-use interface. There is no need to turn the meter round to measure light. It has a light sensor that rotates 270 degrees to enable users to measure light at any angle without turning around. All you will do is just rotating the sensor and take measurements at the front.
- High resolution
- A versatile option
- High measuring range
- Offers optimum accuracy
- Short battery life
- A bit costlier
4. Extech LT40 LED Light Meter
- USB interface for easy setup and data download
- Selectable data sampling rates from 1 second to 24 hours
- LCD displays current readings, min/max and alarm status
- Includes Windows 2000, XP and Vista compatible analysis software
After keenly looking at this meter’s features, we ascertained to add it to the best meters round. Extech LT40 LED Light Meter is an affordable light meter perfect for use indoors. The model has a dynamic metering capacity, and it can measure both the standard and LED lighting. It offers decent performance for both the white and color LEDs.
The best part of the Extech LT40 LED Light Meter displays measurement in both Lux and FC units. Moreover, it boasts an automatic shutdown feature that automatically stops after a few minutes of inactivity. This helps to conserve power to use long-term usage without the battery getting depleted. Additionally, it has a push button that enables users to set and operate the meter quickly.
Furthermore, this is a versatile model you can get in the market. It measures not only light but also incandescent, high-pressure, fluorescent, and metal halide light sources. You can use this model in many environments, including manufacturing plants, offices, schools, warehouses, hospitals, and many other places.
- Display readings in both FC and Lux units
- Equipped with an automatic shutdown feature
- A versatile model
- Don’t require DIY calibration
- Most users question its accuracy
5. Gossen GO H264A Sixtomat F2 Light Meter
- COMPREHENSIVE METERING METHODS-incident and reflected light measurement with adjustable measured value display in full, 1/2 or 1/3 increments
- WIDE MEASURING RANGE-f-stop from 1. 0 to 90, exposure time from 1/8000 s to 60 minutes
- PRECISE MEASUREMENT AND DISPLAY-repetition accuracy of 0. 1 EV, measured value display in 1/10 increments
- FLEXIBLE AMBIENT LIGHT MEASUREMENT-aperture or shutter priority pre-selection as well as exposure value display
- INDIVIDUALIZED ADAPTATION-entry or measurement within a range of 7. 9 EV correction values in 1/10 increments
Most people like light meters they can carry to any place for use. If you are in this category of people, Gossen GO H264A Sixtomat F2 Light Meter is the choice model. The manufacturer designed it with comprehensive metering methods and a wide measuring range.
It measures both incidents and reflected light. The measuring range of this model lies between 1.0 and 90. Its exposure time, on the other hand, lies between 1/8000 s and 60 minutes.
The repetition accuracy of this model is 0.1 EV. This is quite incredible for a meter of its price tag. Gossen GO H264A Sixtomat F2 Light Meter is one of the accurate light measuring models in the market. It displays measurements in increments of 1/10.
Moreover, this model stands to compete in the market due to the diversified features it boasts. The battery level feature alerts users when the battery is depleted and needs a replacement with a new one. The under and over-range features alert you of the ranges at which the meter can’t measure.
Furthermore, the CINE function helps filmmakers determine the f-stop for film speeds between 8 and 64 fps. This includes correction factors in deviations that range from 180 degrees.
- Lightweight and small
- Boast several excellent features
- Accurate measurements
- There is no flash metering
- Difficult to replace the CR2032 cells
6. Sekonic L-308X-U Flash Light Meter
- Exposures accurate down to a tenth-of-a-stop for both ambient and electronic flash light readings in full-stop mode.
- At ISO 100 the ambient EV range is 0 to 19.9 flash f/stops range from f/1.0 to f/90.9 with a shutter-speed span of 60-seconds to 1/8000th-of-a-second (1 sec to 1/500th for flash).
- Photo Mode: for still image photographers featuring shutter or aperture priority display of a full range of ambient and flash functions including cord and cordless flash measurement
- HD Cine Mode: perfect for DSLR and mirrorless videographers who need to take exposure readings and control light using shutter speeds and frame rates
- Cine Mode: designed for use with cinema grade cameras, allows users to select from the most useful frame rates and shutter angles for exposure control with one-tenth stop accuracy.
A boom! Sekonic is one of the world’s leading brands that seem to cater to photographers’ needs at large. Those who have used the best light meter for film can tell how portable and versatile it is. The model offers a variety of functions for photography and cinematography. Sekonic L-308X-U Flash mate Light Meter boasts a lot of features that provide users a satisfying experience.
Sekonic L-308X-U Flash mate Light Meter is a perfect model for beginners who need gain from their light meters. The sliding lumisphere enables users to take measurements of both the reflected and incident light. Moreover, the model uses the lens to measure light with a reception angle of 40 degrees.
The metering range is impressive for a meter of its price. The model measures light in the range of between 0 and 19.9 EV. Furthermore, Sekonic L-308X-U Flash mate Light Meter works with exposure times ranging between 1/8000 and 60 seconds.
The models boast several features, including a customizable backlit LCD. Its package comes with a Seconic Deluxe casing for easy storage and transportation.
- Optimum accuracy
- A versatile model
- An affordable light meter
- Boasts excellent features
- The model is a bit complicated
- A bit larger than other models
7. Light Meter LM-50KL Measures Lux/Fc
- Measuring lights source: LED white light and all visible light.
- Measuring intensities of illumination in Lux or footcandles.
- Many applications include: Warehouses, factories, office buildings, restaurants, schools, library, hospitals, photographic, many video, parking garages, museums, art galleries, stadiums, building security.
This is another popular light meter globally employed by both the professionals and beginner meter uses alike. The model is versatile, and it is employed for use in many setups, including warehouses, office buildings, hospitals, factories, and schools. Moreover, you will find them used in most parking garages, stadiums, museums, and security buildings.
Light Meter LM-50KL meter can measure all visible light and the LED white light. It displays the measuring intensities in both FC and Lux units. The best part of this light meter is that it comes with a calibration certificate.
- A versatile model
- Displays readings in Lux and FC
- The package comes with a calibration certificate
- Short battery life
- Questionable accuracy level
8. Extech EA33 Easy View Light Meter with Memory
- Highest intensity light measurements up to 99,990Fc/999,900Lux
- Large LCD display with advanced illuminance functions and features
- Wide measurement range to 99,990Fc (999,900 Lux) with resolution of 0.001 Fc and 0.01 Lux
- Luminous intensity (candela) calculations
- Store and recall up to 50 measurements, includes relative or real time clock stamp
After carrying a test of Extech products, we were eager to find an affordable model that promises results. We settled for Extech EA33 Easy View Meter, an excellent alternative that performs decently for both professionals and beginners. Apart from offering users accurate measurements, it also boasts the highest light intensity measuring range. It has a measuring range of up to 99,990Fc. Like other top light meters, this model also displays measurements in both FC and Lux units.
Moreover, the large LCD enables users to read and record precise and accurate measurements. The additional memory included in this light meter makes it stand out from the rest. It can store as well as recall measurements, including the real-time or relative clock stamp. Extech EA33 Easy View Light Meter memory holds up to 50 measurements.
- Large LCD
- Has an additional memory
- An affordable model
- Questionable accuracy
- Only calibrated by a professional
9. Extech 401025 Foot Candle/Lux Light Meter
- Includes analog output and fast/slow response feature
- Accurately displays light level in terms of Fc or Lux over three ranges
- Select fast (1 second) or slow (2 seconds) response time
- Analog output of 1mV per count for capturing readings to a recorder
Let’s shift a bit to the light meter that includes an analog output from Extech before ending the list. This light meter takes a swipe ahead of others due to its excellent features. An example is its ability to measure light levels in three ranges, including 0-200, 0-2,000, and 0-5,000Fc. Moreover, the model displays measurements in both FC and Lux units.
The meter employs a precision color correction filter and photodiode to provide users an accuracy of 5%. The large LCD enables easy reading and recording measurements. This is also an easy-to-use and versatile light meter in the market. Its slow and fast response speed allows it to capture reading to display accurate and precise measurements. This meter’s analog output is at 1mV per count; an excellent range for capturing measurements to a recorder.
- Provides accurate measurement
- Boasts excellent features
- Large LCD
- An easy-to-use model
- Only calibrated by a professional
- The build material isn’t long-lasting
10. Sekonic L-858D-U SPEEDMASTER Light Meter
- Flash Duration Measurements - Understanding flash duration is the first step in freezing fast-moving subjects.
- Radio Control Modules for Wireless Triggering - The L-858 Speedmaster Pro expands upon ground-breaking innovation by adding functionality for Elinchrom Skyport and Phottix Strato II/ Ares II users
- Increased Light Sensitivity - An additional 3-stops of light sensitivity for incident light, 2-stops, for reflected light (spot), and an ability to capture a reading down 0.1 lx of Illuminance
- HSS Flash Measurements - Finally, photographers now have an accurate way of measuring their lights when they want to overpower the sun or achieve a very shallow depth of field through using HSS
- Flash Analyzing Function - Measures ambient and flash simultaneously and automatically indicates the percentage of flash in the total exposure
The list is not complete without reviewing Sekonic L-858D-U SPEEDMASTER Light Meter. This is a high-end light meter in the market, having a measuring range of between -5 and 22.9 EV. Sekonic L-858D-U SPEEDMASTER Light Meter is an ideal model for both professional and beginner light meter users. It boasts an Illuminance range of between 0.1 and 2,000,000 lux.
What makes this light meter stand out is its two meters in one. The model can measure both the reflected and ambient readings using an eyepiece and Lumisphere. This model also boasts excellent features, including flash duration measurement features, CINE and CINE HD modes, and many others.
Moreover, the manufacturer designed the light meter with enhanced ISO capabilities making it ideal for use even in dim settings. Furthermore, it has three light sensitivity stops that make it suitable for incident lighting. Additionally, its flash analyzing function is perfect for users who need to enlighten shadows. The function is also excellent for reducing background detail and on-location shooting.
- Has an adjustable Lumisphere shape
- Optimum accuracy
- Used even in dim settings
- Boasts excellent features
- The model is a bit larger
- Quite expensive
From the review above, I recommend Sekonic L-858D-U SPEEDMASTER Light Meter. It is a versatile model for various applications, including measuring the flash duration and reading ambient.
Moreover, the model captures readings to a range as low as o.1 lux. Sekonic L-858D-U SPEEDMASTER Light Meter is an excellent model worth the value.
Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choosing Light Meters
As of now, you have an idea of the best light meters worth your hard-earned money. However, you won’t purchase every model we have reviewed above. You will again get your tools down and choose the best one of all for your intended projects. But then, how will you decide on the best model to take?
Worry less; below is a guide that will instill your knowledge to get through the selection process. The guide composes a few factors that will enable you to select the best camera light meter of all once followed. The factors include;
a) Handheld/In-camera Feature
This should be your starting place when selecting the best light meter to use. Have an idea of whether you need a handheld or in-camera meter. The in-camera models are ideal when handling projects that don’t need high accuracy.
They are also not quite efficient when used to take flash/incident readings. Considering the best handheld light meter can mean a lot to the general accuracy you need in your projects. These meters have additional accessories that assure users excellent performance and higher accuracy.
b) The Budget
Before you rush to check the costs of light meters online or in the market, you should have an idea of how much you need to spend. State the price range at which you need the product you intend to purchase lies.
By this, we mean you set a minimum and maximum amount you need to spend. The budget will act as your guide since it will trim several options that fall outside your price range. Once this is in mind, closely study the light meters falling in your budget and select the best flash light meter of all.
When selecting a light meter in the market, the features are everything that determines what you will take home. Always have in mind that you will have to choose a meter that will fit your intended needs. Also, it’s the features that distinguish a model from the other.
From your list of possible models to purchase, study their features one by one. Some meters will have little more advanced features than others. Depended on your intended project and where you will use it, get a light meter with features that will make work easier for you. Also, ensure you choose a meter that is of the best value of all.
Almost every factor here is vital in deciding on the spot light meter to purchase. But how will you determine whether a particular meter is durable? You will start by studying the make of the meter you intend to purchase. The light meters are usually made of similar materials. However, you’ll get surprised that their durability varies at large. The way the meter is coupled and the overall design are what bring about the variation.
Moreover, there are brands renowned for making durable light meters. These are the ones to consider before you check at others. However, if you need to diversify to get a different option, you need to study them closely. Furthermore, you should look at the warranty period. A model with a more extended warranty signifies a durable light meter.
e) Ease of Use
A particular light meter can possess all the features that will guarantee a user excellent performance. However, if it is complex to operate, users will find it hard to get the best out of their hard money.
The meter should have an easy-to-use interface for users to get the best experience from what they pay for. Ensure you get a meter with features that are easy-to-use. Moreover, the ease of using a light meter implies that you will get precise and accurate measurements in your daily measuring activities.
f) Range of Sensors
This is also one of the top priorities when selecting the best light meter for photography. Various meters are best suited to perform perfectly in different environments.
Some will work well at handling the natural energy spectrum from the sun. Others are designed to work perfectly in studio environments. It’s recommended you get a light meter that suit where you intend to use it.
g) The Build-in of the Meter
This is one of the determinants when deciding the light meter to purchase. The meters usually get bumped a lot when we carry them around. The vulnerability of the model you intend to buy can help you decide the light meter take home. Ensure you have housing that can protect the sensor of your meter.
Protection here means when in the bag and also while you are using it. These meters have extra sensitive photo sensors. Their effectiveness goes down even after exposure to light when not in use. Consider getting a light meter with an appropriate housing to protect them and serve you effectively longer.
h) Rating and Reviews
The manufacturers always have that behavior getting their product at the top of others. However, it’s not always true as per what is said. Reading through the customer reviews provides an upper hand in knowing reality about a particular light meter.
The review usually comes from people who have used the particular products. We can ascertain that the way the meter got reviews is a true thing. Get online and look at what people say about the model before deciding to close the deal.
i) The Purpose of Purchase
Having an idea of the intended purpose of the meter will help you to decide what to purchase. In the market, you will find both multi-purpose and single-purpose meters. Choosing a multi-purpose meter can mean a lot. However, deciding on a model that will serve the need at hand is best of all.
Light meters are great investments for determining possible measurement values that can strike a balance in projects. They are employed in different industries to determine the amount of light intensity in different directions.
However, to get accurate results, you must use the best light meter. The article has reviewed the best light meters you can find in the market. The buying guide will help buyers decide the best model of all. Use the information herein to get a model that will work perfectly for you.