Laser Thermometers

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The term "laser thermometers" is often used to describe non-contact infrared thermometers. Although the designs of some IR thermometers may feature a laser (or multiple lasers), the laser has little connection to measuring temperature. The laser is simply included in many laser thermometers to provide the operator with a more precise targeting system.

Targeting Systems of Laser Thermometers

A universal property of IR thermometers is that the target area proportionally increases in size the further the operator is from the target. However, the rate at which the target area increases in diameter differs by the model and make of the IR thermometer. The growth rate for target sizes is commonly characterized by a distance-to-spot ratio.

For example, suppose the distance-to-spot ratio of a compact laser thermometer is 5:1. Hence, at a distance of five feet, the target area will be a circular area with a diameter of one foot. Some professional IR thermometers have a D:S ratio of 180:1, which means that they much more accurate targeting system than some compact models.

Devices that feature multiple laser targeting may project a series of dots that encircle the measured target area. Another method projects three dots: one at the center of the target area, and one at each end of the diameter. This enables the user to be very specific about the subject of the measurement as the presence of stray objects in the target area often results in unreliable temperature readings.

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