Factors to Consider When Choosing Infrared Thermometers

Factors to Consider When Choosing Infrared Thermometers

Factors to Consider When Choosing Infrared Thermometers – Infrared thermometers have become a common tool in the industrial and automotive sectors. Getting an accurate reading is crucial but sometimes it isn’t possible to get close enough to make a contact reading.

There is a huge array of infrared thermometers to choose from. At the end of the day, you need to know how to choose the right infrared thermometer for your specific purpose.


When you begin looking for infrared thermometers from a vendor like RS, the most important factor to consider is accuracy. After all, what is the purpose of getting a reading if it isn’t going to be an accurate one? This piece of technology can be immensely helpful when trying to get accurate reading in hard-to-reach, potentially dangerous, or otherwise inconvenient areas.

Infrared thermometers depend on the distance-to-spot ratio (D/S ratio) to provide an accurate reading. The ratio tells the user what the maximum distance from that particular surface that an accurate reading can be calculated on that specific surface area. If you need to measure a 4-inch area, then that would be a D/S ratio of 8:1. This means the maximum distance is 32 inches. With bigger ratios, temperatures can be measured from much further away.

Temperature Range

Each infrared thermometer works within a specific temperature range. That temperature range can drastically impact the kind of work that can be performed. Having an infrared thermometer that has a wider temperature range is great for recording processes that have different temperatures.

Using an infrared thermometer with a narrower range does have its advantages, however. Where higher resolutions are required, a narrower range can ensure that a more accurate reading is given. A very specific temperature is often required to ensure control over that process, usually in a research or medical application.


When referring to emissivity, it is the reading of how much infrared energy a thermometer is able to put out at a single time. Infrared thermometers that have an emissivity of around 1.00 are able to read more materials than a thermometer that has a much lower emissivity value.

The best option is to choose a thermometer that has an adjustable emissivity level. This allows the amount of emitted infrared energy to be tweaked, which can make it easier to compensate for the energy being reflected by the material.

Reading/Response Time

Think about those old glass Mercury thermometers that we used to use for getting temperature readings. Now, thermometers are able to deliver an accurate reading in a far shorter period of time. Reading speed is how long it takes for the reading to come after initiating the reading process.

For the most part, this isn’t necessarily an issue. Where moving objects are concerned, an infrared thermometer with a faster response/reading speed. They are able to deliver a much quicker, more accurate reading than another type of infrared thermometer may be able to provide.


Even within the realm of infrared thermometers, they are not all created equally. For instance, infrared thermometers that are meant for industrial purposes are built to be a bit more rugged. Those get bumped, dropped, etc. all the time and require additional protection to ensure that they aren’t impacted or broken.

There are also some infrared thermometers that have no lenses, thereby improving the overall quality of the structure and reducing other issues. Using thermometers with Mica lenses tend to have a much thicker shell as well as a carrying case. This is ideal for protecting the lens from any potential damage and even from any cracking issues that could arise.

Poppy Watt

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