Infrared Thermometer – Purpose, Types And Working Principle

There is a wide range of thermometers on the market, and each one is used for specific measuring application. When we talk about thermometers, most people think about the traditional home thermometers which are used for measuring the home temperature. However, today you can find more advanced models which are used for complex applications where precision and accuracy is required. One such thermometer is the infrared thermometer. This model is generally used for measuring the temperature (remotely), in environments where it is physically impossible to be in contact with items that are being measured, such as items that are far away or are very hot. This device is also suitable for measuring items which are prone to sudden changes in temperature.

The infrared thermometers are usually categorized by the measuring or sensing method they use. Handheld digital infrared thermometer, pocket or stick type infrared thermometer, infrared thermocouples, fixed mount infrared thermometers, these are few models which can be found easily on the market. The most commonly used is the digital infrared thermometer. This digital device has a form of a pistol and it is made of hard plastic. It is equipped with one or more lenses and small LED diode which displays the temperature. The most unique aspect of this thermometer is the guiding feature that produce a laser point which helps the user to aim the device and to measure the temperature with high precision. Like the pistol, the digital infrared thermometer comes with a trigger which needs to be pulled so that users can measure remotely the temperature of certain objects.


Measuring temperature with digital infrared thermometer is quite simple, but the process that happens inside the device is complex for explanation. The factors that need to be closely considered are the emissivity of the surface that needs to be measured, and the laser spot size. When the user pulls the trigger, an infrared radiation passes through the lenses of the thermometer. Then a special disc, which is known as optical chopper, slices the beam into tiny fragments. These tiny fragments travel with high speed towards the objects or items that need to be measured. An internal digital device of the infrared thermometer determines the difference between the outgoing and incoming heat, providing in this way a highly accurate temperature reading.

Although highly useful, the digital infrared thermometer is not suitable for all temperature-measuring applications. For example, when measuring the temperature of a shiny surface, the device cannot provide accurate temperature reading because of the reflection. Despite this negative side, the digital infrared thermometer is a perfect device to get accurate Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature readings quickly and very easily.

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Main Advantages Of Using Infrared Digital Thermometers

We all know that a thermometer is a device used for measuring temperatures. Usually, we use it to check human temperature when dealing with fever, food temperature and atmosphere temperature, but thermometers have a lot more uses. There are many different types of thermometers and some are able to measure temperatures over 500ºC. These thermometers are quite popular in many industries and are known as infrared digital thermometers.

The infrared digital thermometer is really incredible. This equipment can measure temperatures where traditional thermometer types cannot and it uses infrared technology to provide quick and precise thermal readings. Simple and easy to operate, the compact infrared digital thermometer performs a lot of complicated work. This thermometer offers a plenty of benefits and we will discover the main ones in addition.

Constructed of hard plastic materials and compact size, the infrared digital thermometer is a lightweight and compact tool. It uses one or two lenses and a small light-emitting diode (shortly known as LED) that displays the temperature. The most unique feature of this tool is the guide that produces a small red laser point to measure temperatures with accuracy. Just as shooting with a gun, you point the piston-like tool over the surface, pull the trigger and hold the laser point for a few seconds to get a reading.

infrared laser thermometer in hand

The main advantage of the infrared digital thermometer is its ability to measure objects’ temperatures from a distance. This means that the thermometer can be used to measure temperature from hard-to-access objects, such as motors, transformers, computer parts and other closed areas, objects or equipment, whether they are in operation or not. It can measure temperatures from wooden and plastic objects, which are otherwise unreadable for traditional thermometers. But that’s not all. You can use the infrared digital thermometer to test if an object has reached a hazardous temperature level.

People involved in the heating and air conditioning business use digital infrared thermometer for a variety of reasons. Using this superior tool, these technicians can easily and quickly find where are the hot spots, without burning their fingers while manually testing equipment that might be malfunctioning. Also, their accuracy is flawless and deliver nothing but reliable readings.

An infrared digital thermometer is efficient in many areas, for many objects, but it is not efficient for mirror-like or shiny surfaces. The reflection may impact the accuracy of the reading. However, this innovative measuring temperature technology is beneficial to all those who measure motors and other objects in motion. For any business that involves high and extremely low temperatures regularly, the infrared digital thermometer is a must-have!

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