Color Measurement Standard
  • Colorimeter VS Spectrophotometer

  • Both colorimeter and spectrophotometer can be used for color quality control. They are all belongs to color meters. Why they are called colorimeter and others call spectrophotometer. What’s the difference between them? And what’s the difference between their applications. We will introduce it.

    1.What’s colorimeter?
    Colorimeter is used for measuring the color difference value (Delta E) between two samples. Its accuracy is limited and can not tell the absolute L*a*b value, but it can tell theΔE. Because it can not tell the absolute L*a*b value, we can not exchange the test values with others.

    2. What’s spectrophotometer?
    Spectrophotometer is higher accuracy. In spectrophotometers, there is a spectrum analyzer; Spectrophotometer is designed for physical sample analysis via full spectrum color measurement.
    It provides wavelength-by-wavelength spectral analysis of a sample’s reflectance, absorbance, or transmittance properties. And can get the absolute L*a*b value. More color spaces and light sources can be chosen by spectrophotometer.

    3. Working Theory
    Spectrophotometer is based on the principle of spectrum analysis , and colorimeter is based on the principle of tri-stimulus value (XYZ) design. Spectrophotometer has the advantage of higher accuracy, better repeatability and wider application. It is more suitable to control the products’ color quality and guide for color matching. It analysis the reflectance value under each wavelength to get the color value, it is more suitable to do complex color analysis and its price is also much higher than colorimeter. Tri-stimulus colorimeter has the advantage of low cost, small and easy to take out, simple operation, etc.

    The main difference is colorimeter can get the sample CIE L*a*b,△E,△L,△a and △b values. Spectrophotometer can get the reflectance for every 10nm or 20nm wavelength. But colorimeter can not. Spectrophotometer can stimulate 24 kinds of different light sources, colorimeter only have one or two kinds of light sources.

    In total, colorimeter is used for getting the color difference value. Spectrophotometer contains all necessaries color spaces and light sources for different industries especially for color quality control and color matching.

    CHNSpec Tech is the manufacturer of color measurement instruments. We offer full range of color measuring meters to meet the different requirements of customers. We can provide high quality colorimeters,spectrophotometers,gloss meter,color QC software and color matching software. Contact us if you have any color measurement problem.






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