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Colorimeter used in laboratory

1. What is colorimeter?
    1.1 Working principle of colorimeter
    1.2 Components of colorimeter
    1.3 Types of colorimeter
    1.4 Function of colorimeter
2. Colorimeter vs. spectrophotometer
    2.1 Chroma meter
3. How to buy colorimeter?

What is colorimeter?

Colorimeter is a laboratory instrument. It measures or details color by comparison with synthetic pigments. A typical colorimeter has a standard light source, three colored filters, phototubes, and a standard reflective panel. More advanced colorimeters will have phototubes and electronic circuitry instead of the human eye as a receiver, thus speeding up the acquisition of results. The chromaticity is the result of a colorimeter test.

The colorimeter is an instrument used to measure the tri-stimulus value or color coordinates of an object color. This is not very accurate for measuring the color of food, and it cannot be used for computer color matching because the spectral reflectance of the object color cannot be measured. However, it is relatively inexpensive.

A colorimeter for measuring the color of light, comprising: a color sensing device, a suspension device, and a color distortion reduction device, the suspension device is suspended from the color sensing device in an opconcerningnship with respect to the color generating device. The color distortion reduction device is used to reduce color distortion on the color-generating device while the color sensing device is in an operative relationship with the color-generating device.

Working principle of colorimeter

The functionality of the colorimeter is based on the Beer-Ambert law, which assumes that the absorption of a liquid sample is proportional to its concentration. To analyze color according to existing standards, the colorimeter sends illumination through the liquid sample.

The colorimeter's lens and tri-stimulated absorption filter convert the light beam to isolated wavelengths. The photocell evaluates how many wavelengths are absorbed and the device returns the results on its digital display.

At its most basic level, a colorimeter works by causing the light of a specific wavelength to pass through a solution and then measuring the light that passes through from the other side. In most cases, the higher the concentration of the solution, the more light is absorbed, which can be seen in the difference between the origin of the light and the light after it has passed through the solution. To find the concentration of an unknown sample, first, prepare and test several samples of known concentration in the solution. They are then plotted on a graph with the concentration on one axis and the absorbance on the other to create a calibration curve; when testing the unknown sample, the results are compared to the known sample on the curve to determine the concentration. Some types of colorimeters will automatically create a calibration curve based on the initial calibration.

Colorimeters and spectrophotometers are two of the most advanced color measurement devices available in the laboratory. Although they are closely related, they each have unique advantages and disadvantages that make them best suited for different types of measurements.

Components of colorimeter

A colorimeter is a light-sensing device used to measure the absorbance and transmittance of light as it moves through a liquid sample.

The main components of a colorimeter include in the following table.
Light sourceA specific fixed light source that passes through the object.
CuvetteThe sample holder in which the liquid is placed.
Standard observerA standard observer of two degrees. This is a small and specific field of view.
PhototubeA system for detecting the light passing through a sample.
Triple-stimulated absorption filterA filter separates out the specific wavelengths to be applied to a sample.

Types of colorimeter

There are two different types of colorimeters. including colorimeters for measuring primary color density and colorimeters for measuring color reflection and transmission. Styles include digital (also known as laboratory) and portable. Digital versions are most commonly used for sampling in a laboratory setting or for educational purposes in the classroom. Portable versions can be carried around to test things like water and soil samples in the field, regardless of environmental conditions.

Colorimeter: Measures the density of primary colors.

Color photometer: Measures color transmission and reflection.

Colorimeters can also be compact and portable enough to be used on the go, or larger enough to be used benchtop in a laboratory.

Function of colorimeter

Colorimeters are commonly used to compare the results of new samples with those of existing samples. Common colorimeter applications include monitoring the growth of yeast or bacterial cultures, evaluating beverage colors, and measuring the color of inks used in printers and scanners, especially in the production and inspection phases of manufacturing.

Colorimeter does not provide full-range spectral data, so it is better suited for applications that require fast results and a small depth of analysis.

Colorimeter can be used in different industries and environments. Small portable devices can be used to analyze color contrast and brightness on a TV or computer screen, allowing the user to adjust settings to obtain a good-quality image. In the printing industry, colorimeters are a fundamental element in color management systems. Other applications in the printing industry include checking the quality of electronic components and pulp and measuring the quality of printing inks.

Diamond dealers use photoelectric colorimeter to measure the optical properties of gemstones. In cosmetology, the colorimeter is used to measure the sun protection factor of products applied to the skin. Colorimeter can analyze skin color and tooth color to help diagnose certain diseases, and hospitals even use some types of this equipment to test the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood.

Colorimeter vs. spectrophotometer


Chroma meter

Color envelops every moment of our lives and influences our emotions, behaviors, and beliefs in ways that vary in size, consciousness, and unconsciousness. Color can set moods, warn us of danger, provide important information, and even bring us joy. Despite the prevalence of color, it remains elusive due to its description.

Instrumental color measurement goes beyond human perception and vocabulary, allowing us to capture color information as objective data, thereby creating a common color language that is essential for communication among and between industries worldwide. Colorimeters and spectrophotometers are two specialized types of color measurement instruments that both use sophisticated techniques to accurately and precisely quantify and define color. While these instruments are closely related, they have unique qualities that may make one instrument more suitable than the other for a particular type of measurement.1 Understanding the characteristics of colorimeters versus spectrophotometers can help you choose a good tool for your application.


Colorimeter is designed to perform a psychophysical sample analysis by mimicking the human eye-brain perception. In other words, it is designed to see color as we do. The colorimeter produces objective color data by extracting color information into tri-stimulus values by using a combination of a set light source and a standard observer and isolated broadband tri-stimulus absorption filters. If desired, this data can be compared to a standard or reference to determine acceptability.
Applications of colorimeter
Colorimeters are very accurate, allow direct color measurements, and are well suited for determining color differences, color fastness, and intensity, and for routine comparisons of similar colors. As such, they are invaluable for color quality control and are primarily used in the production and inspection phases of manufacturing.
Disadvantages of colorimeter
While colorimeters can produce highly accurate color measurements, they do have some disadvantages. They do not identify isochromatic or colorant intensities, are not suitable for color formulation, and cannot be used under variable light source/observer conditions.


A spectrophotometer is an instrument used for physical sample analysis by full-spectrum color measurement. By performing wavelength-by-wavelength spectral analysis of the reflectance, absorbance or transmittance properties of a sample, it can produce precise data that cannot be observed by the human eye. If desired, a spectrophotometer can also be used to calculate psychophysiological colorimetric information.
Range of applications
Spectrophotometers offer greater flexibility and versatility than colorimeters, in part because they offer multiple light source/observer combinations and can operate in multiple geometric arrangements of 45°/ 0° and d / 8°. As a result, spectrophotometers are able to measure isochromatic spectra, identify colorant intensities, analyze a wide range of sample types, and provide users with the option to include specular reflectance to account for geometric properties. The full-spectrum analysis also provides greater specificity, allowing the identification of color differences missed by colorimetry. Spectrophotometry is well suited for a wide range of applications in the R&D phase, including color formulation and color system development, as well as color quality control throughout the production process.
Disadvantages of spectrophotometer
Although spectrophotometers have historically become larger and instruments more complex, making them unattractive for some instruments, today's technological advances have made it possible to manufacture smaller, easier-to-use spectrophotometers, eliminating many of these problems. However, not all manufacturers will need the capabilities of a spectrophotometer and may find that a colorimeter will meet their needs.

Difference between colorimeter vs. spectrophotometer

Colorimeters are simple tools for color comparison and are often confused with spectrophotometers. However, the range of capabilities of colorimeters is more limited than that of spectrophotometers.

There are many key differences between colorimeter and spectrophotometer. One of the main differences is that spectrophotometers are more versatile with multiple combinations of light sources and viewers and multiple geometric arrangements. A spectrophotometer's precision optics collect light reflected from or transmitted through an object. The spectrophotometer then calculates the exact number of photons at a specific wavelength and determines the three-dimensional coordinates of the object's color.

While spectrophotometers measure reflectance and transmittance across the electromagnetic spectrum, colorimeters work only in the visible portion of the light. Spectrophotometers can also measure qualities that colorimeters cannot, such as homochromatic anomalies.

Because spectrophotometers provide full-spectrum analysis, they are well suited for a variety of applications where tolerances are tight, especially in the development phase where they can be used for color system development and color formulation. They are also well suited to provide quality control during the production process.

How to buy colorimeter?

ANTITECK provide lab equipment, lab consumable, manufacturing equipment in life sciences sector.
If you are interested in our colorimeter or have any questions, please write an e-mail to, we will reply to you as soon as possible.

    AntiTeck Life Sciences Limited

    A1-519, XingGang GuoJi, Yingbin Road, Huadu, Guangzhou, China, 510810
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