If you have a knack for photography and filmmaking, then you know the significance of accurate lighting during the shooting process. A light meter helps you understand the dynamic range of your camera and toy around with the contrast ratios. These devices are also useful for other tasks, such as gardening and interior lighting.
Check out the list of 13 best light meters that’ll meet your needs and eliminate the hurdles to make your shots a visual treat.
Types Of Light Meters
There are two types of light meters available in the market.
- Incident light meters: These measure the light that falls directly on the object rather than the surroundings. They are precise and accurate as they may not pick any background lights.
- Reflective light meters: These pick up the intensity of light reflected by an object, including any object in the background. They work well when you have to click a shot that captures the entire space and not just an object.
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13 Best Light Meters
The compact light meter from Sekonic is a flexible device, which provides an excellent photo mode and effective HD cine mode. The device is great for metering flash and ambient light, so that your still images turn out perfect. The device is easy to use. The battery backup is long-lasting, and the light meter is a great choice for mirrorless videography.
- Easy to operate
- Provides bright display
- Enhanced accuracy
- Made with superior materials
- Requires frequent charging
The Leaton Digital light meter is powered by a nine-volt battery. The sensor has an effective accuracy of up to 200,000 lux. The device features a hold function and two ranging functions, auto and manual. The efficient product will automatically switch off after 15 minutes of non-operation. The digital meter works smoothly, and the three-button operation makes it easy to use.
- Automated turn-off
- Great for indoor and outdoor photography
- Smooth functioning
- Doesn’t work well in high-intensity light
The easy-to-use meter provides several options to select your type and range of measurement conveniently. The 270-degree swivel of the light sensor allows you to measure the light intensity from all the angles without much movement. The digital luminance meter can effectively measure up to 10,000 lux. The meter lets you record 33 sets of readings.
- Measures light from all angles
- High functionality
- Automated power off
- Low battery reminder included
- Measurements are not very precise
The Digit Illuminance meter from Aoputtriver covers a large range and measures luminosity up to 40,000 lux in all types of temperature. The meter features a bright backlight to ensure ease of use in dark areas. The functions included in the device are minimum/maximum readings, automated power off, data hold, and a reminder for low battery. The lightweight product is easy to carry around.
- Covers larger range
- Bright backlight
- Indicates low battery
- Instruction manual not included
The versatile LED light meter is an accurate, lightweight device that can brilliantly measure standard and LED lights of all colors. The product is delivered in a package, which includes a built in-sensor, a user manual, a storage pouch, and two AAA batteries. The meter provides you the option to measure the light in two different units — lux and foot-candle. The device is equipped with calibration and auto-ranging features. It comes with one year warranty.
- Highly accurate
- Built-in sensors
- Precise reading
- Comes within a storage pouch
- User manual and batteries included
- The display is not backlit
The lightweight handheld meter features a large LCD and covers a wide range of up to 200,000 lux. The backlight of the screen makes it easier to read in dark places. The light meter allows you to measure illuminations in both lux and foot-candle units. Equipped with an advanced in-built calibration sensor and twice per second frequency, the light meter provides a precise reading. The rotatable head of the meter makes it easy to measure the light illumination from all directions. Pros
- Easy to carry
- Large LCD with clear fonts
- Accurate reading
- Powerful backlight
- May not be the best choice for all types of photography
The Klein tools digital meter is a simple device that can be easily operated with just one hand and measures illuminance levels in lux and foot-candle units. The versatile tool can be used by photographers, maintenance workers, gardeners, and inspectors. The backlit LCD of the unit with the 40-segment bar graph makes it easy to measure the reading in low light. The other features include the hold button, maximum/minimum buttons, and the automated switch off.
- Handy device
- Auto power-off
- Enables reading in low light
- Includes a carry pouch
- Does not indicate low battery
The Latnex light meter effortlessly measures visible light and LED white light. You can use the device in multiple areas, such as factories, offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and filmmaking. The equipment includes the calibration certificate as well.
- Calibration certificate included
- Measures both LED and standard lights
- User manual not included in package
The well-designed light meter efficiently allows you to use lux and foot-candle units. The device has a large display, and its backlight makes reading easier in low-light conditions. This tool works exceptionally well in indoor activities and gardening. The other functions include maximum/minimum display, average reading display, bar graph display, and hold function. The light meter comes with a ten-year warranty.
- Large display
- Robust built
- Long warranty period of ten years
- Great for indoor gardening
- Not suitable for all types of photography
The light meter by Kenko is a simple device and is a dual ambient/flash meter. The handy product is completely reliable, and the large LED display effectively shows clear readings. The precise reading meter has both cord and cordless operations. The device has a great grip and can be easily handled with just one hand.
- Handy product
- Can be operated single-handedly
- Excellent grip
- Average Battery backup
The portable light meter is an easy-to-use device that features a five-digit display and allows the user to take both lux and foot-candle measurements. The equipment has a large range of 20,000 lux and provides accurate results. The Reed handheld meter provides several other functions, including data hold, minimum/maximum record function, and low battery indication. The package includes a wrist strap for easy use while outdoors.
- Indicates over range and low battery
- Allows one-handed operation
- Compact design
- Package includes battery and wrist strap
- The display has no backlight
The highly accurate digital meter has a measurement range of up to 200,000 lux units. The device guarantees a sampling frequency of two times per second, and the portable tool features an LCD screen with a backlit function. The light meter smoothly functions at a nine volts power supply and features a data hold function along with the maximum/minimum button. The efficient equipment automatically turns off after 15 minutes of inactivity.
- Portable device with a backlit LCD screen
- Automated power off
- Warns against overloading
- Easy to switch temperature range
- Might fluctuate at higher units
The professional light meter by Protmex is an accurate tool that helps in the quick and easy determination of the light exposure. The device features a backlit LCD screen, minimum/maximum function, normal indication, and a low power warning. The equipment automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity. The meter has a measurement speed of 2.5 times per second and a measurement range of up to 200,000 lux. The handheld meter is super light and very easy to carry around.
- Handy tool
- Excellent grip
- Indicates low power
- Not ideal for flash metering
Things To Consider Before Buying Light Meters
Buying an ideal light meter can be a very tricky process if you’re not aware of what to look for in a product. We’ve listed the most significant parameters that you must pay consideration before making a choice.
- Purpose: The different models available in the market target different areas and you must buy the one that suits all your requirements. The light meter suitable for photography might not be the best choice for gardening or vice versa.
- Display: Make your choice between the analog and digital display meters. Nowadays, digital LCDs are widely available, and the backlit screen they feature helps in easy reading of the measurement at all times.
- Ease of handling: If you’re always on the road and want an easy product to carry around, then choose a handheld meter that can be operated single-handedly. A compact device is also more convenient to carry in a bag.
- Effective spot metering system: The spot metering helps maintain a brilliant balance between the subject and the background, thus ensuring better quality pictures. You may check for this feature in a light meter.
- Efficient flash metering: You have to ensure that the device can accurately meter flash during photography. It is a vital attribute if you mostly click pictures with flash illumination.
An efficient light meter helps you overcome all the exposure limitations and achieve your light-measuring requirements. These handy tools have become essential equipment for photographers and other professionals. Browse these 13 best light meters and pick one that works the best for your work or profession.