13 Best Light Meters on the Market Today | Buyer’s Guide

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If you’re into photography, nobody would understand the role of light better than you. It’s imperative to measure the amount of light accurately to get the proper shot. In these situations, one cannot ask for a better friend than an efficient light meter.

These devices come very handy at determining the appropriate exposure for a brilliant photograph. However, it’s quite apparent that finding an excellent light meter under a fair budget isn’t as easy as it may sound.

And that’s why we have handpicked some of the best light meters we could find so that you land one that satisfies your needs precisely. Also, go through our buyer’s guide to acknowledge the main factors to consider while buying a light meter.

So, without any further ado, let’s get into it.

Best Light Meter

  1. GossenDigiPro F2 Light Meter

While speaking of efficient light meters under a bargain-basement price range, the first product that crosses our mind is the Gossen Digipro F2. Now, nobody understands photography and lighting better than Gossen, a global brand that has been in this business since 1933. So, let’s have a more in-depth look at its core features.

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Why did we like it?

First thing’s first, what makes a perfect light meter? Of course, its compatibility. Photography isn’t a desk job, and you’d need to carry around your equipment a lot. Here, the DigiPro F2 aces this criterion with its ultralight weight and compact size. 

However, despite its rather compact size, this microprocessor-controlled product offers decent performance that makes it an appropriate option for beginners. For starters, the DigiPro F2 comes packed as an exposure meter that also features a digital LCD and a shutter priority preselection feature. It is also quite efficient at measuring ambient light with an impressive range of accuracy.

Coming to its measurement capabilities, this device packs a corded/non-cord measuring system and two different modes, i.e., incident and reflected light measurement. This way, the DigiPro F2 makes an ideal light meter for both in-studio and outdoor shoots.

What could have been better?

Although we aren’t complaining about its capabilities, it frequently needs a lot of spot metering. Moreover, despite being appropriate for beginners, the instructions for this product are not easy to understand at all. This way, it may appear a little difficult to get accustomed to the function of its switches and different modes in the beginning.

Pros
  • Exposure meter with LCD
  • Shutter priority preselection
  • Decent measurement range
  • Two measurement modes
Cons
  • Needs a lot of spot metering
  • Instructions are hard to follow
  1. Dr. Meter LX1330B Digital Illuminance Light Meter

Dr. Meter is a reliable brand when it comes to products that assure you of higher convenience and customer satisfaction. The new LX1330B Digital Illuminance stands out as potential competition to the DigiPro F2 on grounds of accuracy and user-friendliness. For those who cannot afford to spend a fortune on high-quality light meters, this product makes a decent alternative. 

Sale
Dr.Meter 1330B-V Digital Illuminance/Light Meter, 0-200,000 Lux...
  • ▶【4-Range Settings】: This high-quality...
  • ▶【High Accuracy】: With auto zeroing...

Why did we like it?

This device offers a wide array of features under a very reasonable price, which makes it an appropriate choice for beginner photographers. To begin with, this Dr. Meter device sets the bar higher for metering with its diverse 4-range settings, i.e., 0.1-200/2000/20000/200000 Lux. 

Now, due to its wide metering range and its auto zeroing feature, this product offers us readings with sharp accuracy every time. What we’ve liked even more is that it gets the job done in a matter of seconds, with precision. 

Furthermore, this device is ultralight and ergonomically designed, which makes it more convenient to carry around and use. To make it even better, numerous buttons on this device allow the user to gain total control over the readings while the info is being recorded. 

However, what we believe enhances the portability and convenience of this device even more is its low power consumption feature. This way, you don’t have to always worry about charging it too frequently. 

What could have been better?

After testing this product in numerous events, we’ve found out that this product doesn’t work well with LED lights. Also, the product does not come along with a battery during its delivery, for which it gets a thumbs down from us.

Pros
  • 4-range metering settings
  • Auto zeroing feature
  • Higher user control
  • Low power consumption
Cons
  • Doesn’t work well with LED lights
  • Non-replaceable battery
  1. Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter

If you’ve been into photography for quite a few years, it’s less likely that you haven’t come across Kenko. This brand is best known for manufacturing some of the best meters and filters in the market for the last 63 years. The Kenko KFM-1100 is one of their most exceptional light meters that has impressed us with its features, and we can’t wait to share our experience with you. 

Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for Flash and Ambient...
  • Simple and easy-to-use ambient/flash meter
  • Accurate and full featured

 Why did we like it?

Right as we started to test this product, we found a major common feature that instantly classifies this product as a must-have item. Just like the Gossen DigiPro F2, the Kenko KFM-1100 stands out as an efficient light meter that can read both flash and ambient light with precision. 

Unlike Dr. Meter LX1330B, this product has fewer switches, which, however, gives this device a very simple and less confusing user interface. This product also features a wide shutter range of 1/8000 second to 1800 seconds, which makes it quite eligible for professional use.

This product doesn’t require a sync cord to be operated, which enhances its user convenience by a great deal. As a bonus, the KFM-1100 allows us to evaluate the flash and ambient lighting to gain an in-depth understanding of the lighting ratio of a particular scene. 

What could have been better?

The build material of this device is light plastic, which makes us question its durability. Also, we believe that it’s a little too expensive for a flash meter. Most of its competing brands are usually offering similar features (except a few negligible ones) at a comparatively low price in the market.

Pros
  • Reads both flash and ambient light
  • Lighting ratio calculation
  • Higher accuracy
  • Cord/Cordless feature
Cons
  • Building material isn’t durable
  • May appear a tad pricey
  1. Ikan CV600 Digital LED Light Meter

Ikan is the ultimate one-stop solution to every fundamental need of an aspiring filmmaker. The Ikan CV600 is currently one of the best-selling digital LED light meters in the market right now. Get a detailed breakdown of why it’s in such popular demand in the market these days. 

Ikan CV600 Digital LED Light Meter with Exposure, Spectrometer & CRI...
  • Wavelength 380nm-780nm. Operating temperature is...
  • Modify ME Design for Flicker

Why do we like it?

For starters, this light meter spells fancy. It comes equipped with a 3.5-inch full touchscreen LCD, which gives it an instant advantage over other products in terms of simple user operation. To make it even better, this product comes along with a durable battery that can last up to 5 hours on a single charge. 

One thing that we’ve noticed is that the Ikan CV600 allows us to generate Excel sheets and JPG format pictures on an SD card. This makes storing vital information even more comfortable while we’re on the go. We can later transfer this data to our devices via a USB 2.0 port.

Now, it makes a decent measurement gadget when it comes to luminance and colored LED lights, which makes it entirely appropriate for filmmaking projects. With an impressive measurement range of 70-70,000 lux, this product gives a heavy competition to Dr. Meter LX1300B. 

What could have been better?

We’ve encountered a minor bug while transferring the files. To be precise, the data transferred from the meter doesn’t appear correctly on the uSpectrum software most of the time. Operations are only at its best when we are using the functions within the device. Otherwise, it may appear as a buggy unit.

Pros
  • Wide touchscreen LCD
  • Can generate Excel sheets/JPG images
  • SD card for data storage
  • Decent measurement range
Cons
  • Data doesn’t appear correctly on uSpectrum software
  1. Sekonic L-478DR Litemaster Pro Light Meter

There’s hardly any other device in the market that assures light measurements as accurate as the Sekonic light meters. The Sekonic L-478DR Litemaster Pro is an ideal option for beginner photographers and filmmakers, as it’s an easy-to-use light meter that also packs numerous astounding features. 

Why did we like it?

Just like the Ikan CV600, this product also offers an advanced touchscreen LCD that enables users to operate it with ease. Although the screen isn’t as large as the CV600, we found it sufficient for smooth operation. However, the L-478DR comes packed with an in-built radio flash control, which gives it an advantage over the CV600.

As a bonus, the device enables triggering for the 2.4 GHz Elinchrom EL Skyport wireless system, which makes measuring incident light a lot simpler. Now coming to its metering capabilities, this product offers a decent measurement range of -2 to 22.9 EV at ISO 100. 

To make it even better, the product also features two different videography modes apart from its still functions, such as Cine mode and HD Cine mode. Overall, this unit makes an absolute value-for-money product that everyone must consider.

What could have been better?

The most significant disadvantage of this product would be its incompatibility with PocketWizard devices. It’s because, as it’s a Japanese model, it isn’t designed to be compatible with the US radiofrequency. This is a major inconvenience, and we’re hoping Sekonic addresses this issue on urgent notice to make this unit more compatible. 

Pros
  • Touchscreen LCD
  • In-built radio flash control
  • Two videography modes
  • Easy to operate
Cons
  • Doesn’t work with PocketWizard
  1. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Master

Globally leading brand Sekonic bags two consecutive spots in our list with the L-3O8X-U Flashmaster Light Master. It seems that Sekonic truly understands a photographer’s need for being versatile, as the wide set of features offered by this unit proves it. We’ve had the opportunity to have a hands-on experience of this unit, and we’re quite satisfied.

Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305)
  • Exposures accurate down to a tenth-of-a-stop for...
  • At ISO 100 the ambient EV range is 0 to 19.9 flash...

Why did we like it?

This unit appears to us as stiff competition to the Gossen and Kenko light meters, as it also allows us to measure flash and ambient lighting. Quite frankly, the light sensitivity of this unit is pretty impressive for a meter at this price range.

Now there’s a reason why the L-308X-U makes a perfect option for beginner photographers who still haven’t had their hands on an independent meter before. It’s because this unit boasts utmost accuracy and offers one of the simplest user interfaces in the market.

What comes next is its versatility, which is unarguably the USP of this model. Simply put, this device provides three different modes for metering, such as still photography mode and Cine /HD Cine mode for videography.

What could have been better?

We were hoping that just like the L-478DR, this unit will also feature numerous advanced and fancy features, such as a touchscreen LCD. However, we understand that due to its low price, Sekonic has cut down on many additional features. Furthermore, we’ve noticed that the device doesn’t come along with a Lumidisc attachment, which is a tad upsetting.

Pros
  • Very user-friendly
  • Compact and ultralight
  • Quite versatile
  • Appropriate for beginners
Cons
  • No advanced features
  • No lumidisc attachment
  1. Gossen GO 4046 Starlite 2 Exposure Meter

Gossen has managed to bag another position in our list with its GO 4046 Starlite 2 exposure meter. After testing this product, it’s safe for us to say that Gossen has set higher standards for durability and convenience with this unit. 

Gossen GO 4046 Starlite 2 Exposure Meter (Black)
  • SPECIAL METERING METHODS-reflected light...
  • PRECISE MEASUREMENT AND DISPLAY-repetition...

Why did we like it?

First things first, the Gossen Go crushes its competition with its measuring capabilities. In other words, this unit allows us to measure ambient, flash as well as spot light levels with precision. 

To make it even better, this product also displays the recorded data in photometric values, such as FC and lux. Overall, this product offers decent accuracy when it comes to measurement.

Now, sometimes photographers/filmmakers are required to shoot/film around seas, rivers, swimming pools, or in areas with humid weather conditions. This brings us to the USP of Gossen Go. This product comes with a waterproof body that gives it a higher advantage in terms of durability in humid environments. 

What could have been better?

We couldn’t help but notice that despite having a waterproof exterior, this unit thumbs its nose at the build-material quality. To be more precise, the spot lens cap attachment appears to be a little flimsy and may be damaged if used forcibly. On the other hand, the battery guard slot of this unit is built with poor quality material.

Pros
  • Waterproof body
  • Different modes for measurement
  • Zone system
  • Efficient exposure management
Cons
  • Spot lens cap is flimsy
  1. Extech LT45 LED Light Meter

Extech is a popular name in the Test and Measurement tools industry that has been catering to professional photographers since 1971. The Extech LT45 LED light meter appears to us as an astounding innovation that takes light metering to another level with its groundbreaking features.

Extech LT45 LED Light Meter
  • Measures LED and Standard lighting
  • For White and Color LEDs

Why did we like it?

In terms of versatility, this product gives a fierce competition to the Sekonic L-308X-U unit. It’s because the LT45 allows us to measure numerous sources of standard light, such as incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium, apart from color LED lighting. 

Coming to its display, its full LCD comes with additional features such as auto shutdown, overload notification, and data holding. Moreover, this meter also shows luminous intensity with precision.

Just like the Gossen GO, this product also shows measurement in both FC and lux units, which can be changed with a single click. Overall, it delivers an absolute power-packed performance at a fair price.

What could have been better?

Although this product stands the test of time with its cutting-edge features, it thumbs its nose at elementary criteria. To be precise, we’ve noticed that this product isn’t compatible with third-party calibration, which lowers its efficiency by a great deal.

Pros
  • Numerous standard light measurement modes
  • Auto shutdow
  • Luminous intensity mode
  • Ergonomic design
Cons
  • No third-party calibration
  1. Extech LT40 Light Meter

After testing the semi-professional Extech LT45 light meter, we were pretty eager to have our hands on its low-priced alternate version, the LT40 light meter. Although this unit isn’t the best light when it comes to outdoor shoots, it is quite efficient at measuring the indoor lights.

Sale
Extech LT40 LED Light Meter
  • Measures LED and Standard lighting
  • For White and Color LEDs

Why did we like it?

We were searching for a low-budget light meter that offers decent performance at measuring the light levels of in-studio environments when we came across the Extech LT40. To our surprise, this product stands out to be pretty impressive at analyzing and monitoring the indoor light levels. 

The LT40 isn’t any less than the LT45 when it comes to the versatility of light measurements. It can also measure fluorescent, incandescent, sodium, high-pressure, and metal halide light sources. As a bonus, its push-button feature also allows you to set and operate this gadget quickly.

Coming to its additional features, the LT40 also has an automatic shutdown feature that helps in conserving power. And, this product also displays both FC and lux units for measurement. 

What could have been better?

Just like the LT45, this product also does not support 3rd party calibration. We hope that Extech takes note of this significant issue ASAP so that the users do not face this problem any further. Furthermore, we’ve noticed a lot of customers complaining about its unsatisfactory accuracy, which also lowers its value in the market.

Pros
  • Several modes of measurement
  • Automatic shutdown
  • Fc and lux measurement unit
  • Easy to operate
Cons
  • No 3rd party calibration
  • Accuracy is questionable
  1. Lumulabs Power Light and Color Meter

Now, as we’re reaching the end of the list, we want to shift from the conventional light meters and introduce you to some of the most excellent examples of modern tech. Speaking of which, Lumulabs has established a new milestone in the light meter market with its Power Light and Color Meter.

Let’s dive deep into its core features.

Lumu Power 2 Lite Light and Color Meter for iPhone
  • LUMU POWER 2 Lite transforms your iOS device into...
  • AMBIENT EXPOSURE Measure ambient exposure of your...

Why did we like it?

First things first, there’s hardly another product in the market that spells portability and convenience as the Lumulabs power light meter. While other brands are busy making independent light meters, Lumulabs has made a one-click opportunity to turn your iPhone/iPad into one!

This adapter, once attached, converts any iOS device into an efficient light meter. All we had to do was download its official app, and we were able to measure illuminance, light exposure, and color temperature on our phone the very next minute!

The device converts the volume buttons into reading triggers, which is quite easy to operate. Also, this product allows us to maintain the balance between the shutter time and aperture rate for a perfect ambient effect every time.

What could have been better?

The unit doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and the online instructions are a little difficult to understand for novices. Furthermore, we’ve found out while testing that it delivers abysmal performance in low light. 

Pros
  • Portable and compact
  • Converts any iOS device into a light meter
  • Lightweight body
  • Spot metering facility
Cons
  • Instructions are difficult to follow
  • Poor performance in low light
  1. ennoLogic eL200K Light Meter

Shifting towards some of the best less-popular names in the current market, ennoLogic is one of the emerging brands that’s making waves with its eL200K light meter. Apart from being one of the cheapest light meters we’ve come across till now, this unit also stands out to be one of the most efficient indoor light meters in the market.

Sale
Light Meter ennoLogic eL200K – Digital Illuminance Lux Meter...
  • THE ENNOLOGIC LIGHT METER eL200K measures...
  • WORKING ON THE LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME? It can be...

Why did we like it?

For a light meter at this economical price range, this product surprised us with its impressive measurement range of 0-200,000 lux. The only product that gave us such a remarkable measurement range till now was the Dr. Meter LX1330B unit. 

The unit comes with an analog bar graph display and displays the maximum, average, and minimum readings with precision. This way, this product stands out as an excellent device to use while measuring indoor light levels, such as offices and schools. 

Here’s a smart tip- you can use it to fix the lighting levels in your residence, or to check whether the plants in your balcony/garden are getting enough sunlight. 

Not to forget, it also offers numerous additional features such as auto shutdown, override option, and tripod mount. Overall, we couldn’t have a better low-priced yet efficient option for you than the ennoLogic eL200K meter.

What could have been better?

The most significant disadvantage of this product is that it can’t be used for photography or filmmaking purposes. Furthermore, most of the users complain about its inability to recalibrate, which lessens its worth in comparison with its competitors by a great deal. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Excellent measurement range
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Auto-shutdown feature
Cons
  • Can’t be used for photography
  1. Neewer LED Light Meter

Although Neewer isn’t comparatively as popular as the major brands right now, it still delivers satisfactory performance under a bargain-basement price range. We’ve recently tested the Neewer LED light meter, and we’re excited to share our experience with you.

Why did we like it?

To our surprise, this unit revealed to feature a German-engineered optical sensor that initially promises a higher range of accuracy. To make it even better, the measurement speed or sampling rate of this unit is two times per second. Quite impressive, we must say!

Furthermore, this product also features an in-built calibration filter that helps in measuring the lighting accuracy in different colors. On top of that, this product doesn’t require you to make instrumental adjustments as per the different colors as well.

This product also features some additional standard features such as low power consumption mode, low battery notification, and LCD data hold settings. So, if you want an efficient light meter but can’t afford an expensive Gossen or Kenko product, give this product a try.

What could have been better?

As it’s a very low-priced product, we don’t recommend it to those who are looking for long-lasting and durable light meters. Also, this product doesn’t function at its best in low light, which is a little disappointing.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Ergonomic design
  • Decent measurement speed
  • Low battery indication feature
Cons
  • Not long-lasting
  • Inefficient in low light
  1. HDE DigitalLight Meter

This one is strictly for the beginners who are learning the basics of lighting and require a simple independent meter to get the hang of it. The last unit on our list is one of the most user-friendly products we’ve come across, the HDR DigitalLight meter. .

HDE Digital Light Meter with LCD Display Lux Meter for Photo Lighting...
  • Digital light meter luxmeter will allow you to...
  • Accurate up to 50,000 lux +/- 5% | Requires one 9V...

Why did we like it?

We don’t want to misguide you by exaggerating how well-capable this unit is at providing a professional metering experience. No, this product is simply a compact and portable unit that is good enough to measure the lighting levels of any indoor area.

Now, this product offers a decent measurement range of up to 50,000 lux. The range of accuracy is also commendable, which altogether leaves us with fulfilling user experience. What we’ve liked more is its detachable light sensor, which helps in measuring the light levels in almost any position.

Furthermore, this device features a full LCD and runs on a 9V battery. So, it may not be the fanciest recommendation we have for you but won’t disappoint you if you’re a person of simplicity.

What could have been better?

This product lacks numerous advanced features such as auto power shutdown, override control, and so on. Due to this, it fails to compete against the major brands in the market. Furthermore, its screen flickers too often, which is an existing bug of this product, 

Pros
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Decent measurement range
  • Good for indoor photography
Cons
  • LCD may flicker a lot

Light Meter Buying Guide  

As it appears, you’re already aware of the 13 best light meters in the market right now. However, you still need to choose which one is the best for you, among these products. But, how will you make this decision?

Don’t worry; we have included an exclusive buyers guide for you to acknowledge the different factors that altogether make a perfect light meter. And that’s why we’ve listed the various features that you must evaluate before you decide upon a single product.

In-camera/Handheld feature

First things first, are you looking for an in-camera exposure meter or a handheld meter? The in-camera systems are not quite efficient at taking incident/flash readings. These are good enough for tasks that do not require high accuracy. Nonetheless, handheld meters are additional accessories that guarantee you a higher range of accuracy. 

Incident metering

While you’re taking a still picture, incident light measuring is essential as it determines the amount of light that’s falling upon the key subject. These may not be as useful for those who are filming, as the item will be moving continuously. 

Spot metering

If you’re going for a handheld meter, the first thing you must check is whether it’s efficient at spot metering. Spot metering is vital in maintaining the balance between the subject and the background, which plays a significant role in photography.

Flash metering

As we all know, camera flashes are as quick as 1/1000th fraction of a second. Maintaining proper light balance during such a swift instance is very important in still photography. So if you’re buying a light meter, you’ve to make sure that it’s quite efficient at flash metering.

Verdict

Most of us are not familiar with the big brands that manufacture high-quality light meters. And there’s nobody to blame; it’s not something we buy regularly. There is too little knowledge and an abundance of products out there, which naturally lead customers into buying cheap products that are no good.

On that note, we hope that you’ve enjoyed our 13 best light meter list as much as we’ve enjoyed handpicking the products for you. 

Have you used any of these products before? If yes, then do not forget to share your experience with us in the comments below.

That being said, we’ll take your leave for now. Stay tuned for more!

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