Colorimeter vs Spectrophotometer

What is a colorimeter?

A colorimeter is designed to perform a type of psychophysical sample analysis, which means its measurement correlates to human perception. To put it another way, it's made to see color the way we do.

What is a spectrometer?

The spectrometer is an instrument designed for a physical sample analysis via a full spectrum color measurement. by providing wavelength by wavelength spectral analysis of a sample's reflectance, absorbance, or transmittance properties.

Difference between colorimeter and spectrometer:

  • A colorimeter is a general type, while a spectrometer is a specific type.
  • A colorimeter is limited to the visible light only with WL 400-700nm, while the spectrometer can be extended to x-ray, UV light, infrared, and radiofrequency.
  • Colorimeters 2 digit reading after the decimal point,  while the spectrometer is 4 digit reading after the decimal point.
  • The calorimeter consists of a sensor and simple data processor, while the spectrometer consists of the plus data processor or computer with software.
  • Both of them measure the color and intensity of color through light.
  • The basic method of operation is similar for all instruments.
  • the colorimeter is cheap, while the spectrometer is very costly.
  • Colorimeter utilizes three-color generally, red, green, and blue generated either color wheel with a color filter or set of specially designed LEDs. While spectrometer utilizes either a diffraction grating or prism in the sensor.
  • The calorimeter consists of a rugged and less complex instrument than a spectrometer, while the spectrometer is a more complex instrument than the colorimeter.
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