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How an Infrared Thermometer Works

Home > Temperature Monitoring Blog > How an Infrared Thermometer Works

Here at Global Sensors, one of the products we offer is infrared thermometers, which allow you to accurately and precisely measure temperatures at a distance. Although these thermometers are becoming ever more common — it’s possible that you may have one in your kitchen as you read this–many people who use them don’t have a clear understanding of how they work. Our team believes that understanding how your equipment works is the best way to spot potential problems with it, so in this article we at Global Sensors will provide a brief overview of how infrared thermometers work to help you keep yours in good working order.

How an Infrared Thermometer Works

The basic principle behind an infrared thermometer is called black body radiation. Essentially, everything is made of atoms, and atoms are constantly moving–the higher the temperature, the faster they go. As atoms move around, they emit a type of energy called infrared radiation, which is below the spectrum of visible light. What infrared thermometers do is measure the amount of infrared radiation being emitted by the target object and compare it to the surrounding atmosphere to determine its temperature.

Like visible light, infrared radiation can be focused and absorbed, and an infrared thermometer does both in order to measure temperature. The thermometer has a lens that directs incoming infrared radiation towards another component called a thermophile, which converts that energy into heat. This heat energy is then converted again into electricity, which is then sent to a detector that calculates the temperature.

We at Global Sensors hope that this article has been helpful or has at least satisfied your curiosity. If you have questions about our infrared thermometers, we encourage you to give us a call.