Colorimeters are straightforward color comparison tools that are often confused with spectrophotometers. However, colorimeters have a more limited range of capabilities than spectrophotometers.
What exactly is a colorimeter, and how does it work?
What Is a Colorimeter?
A colorimeter is a light-sensing device that is used to measure the absorbance and transmittance of light as it moves through a sample of liquid.
The main components of a colorimeter include:
- Illuminant: A specific, fixed light source that passes through the object.
- Cuvette: A sample holder where the liquid is placed.
- Standard observer: A two-degree standard observer, which is a small and specific field of view.
- Photocell: A system that detects light passing through the sample.
- Tristimulus absorption filter: A filter that isolates specific wavelengths to be applied to the sample.
There are two different types of colorimeters:
- Color densitometers: Measure the density of primary colors.
- Color photometers: Measure color transmission and reflection.
Colorimeters may also be compact and portable to use on the go or larger for benchtop use in a lab.