Top 10 Best spectrophotometer reviews 2022

You should never introduce any food item or chemical product without ensuring the safety of the consumers. So the quality of the product is thoroughly checked before it gets into the market and a spectrophotometer comes in handy in this regard.

It is a handy device for chemical, biochemical, forensic, environmental research, or food quality checking. In most cases, it is used in the labs to do the test like our first pick Vision Scientific VLS002 Spectrophotometer 335 to 1000nm. However, some rare models are also usable in the outdoors.

The light source in these spectrophotometers is mainly tungsten and deuterium. Continue reading the article till the end to know more details.

Best spectrophotometer

Average cost of spectrophotometer

On average, the cost of a spectrophotometer ranges from $700 to $1,600. However, there are both cheaper and high-end models available. You can buy a cheaper unit spending something around $300, but you can't expect to have a multi-function from that one.

It costs you a bit more to have multi-functional units, which can go up to $2,000 as well. The most expensive ones are portable spectrophotometers. Typically these devices aren't portable, but when you spend around $3,800, you can have one to take on the go.

Our Top picks

Vision Scientific VLS002 Spectrophotometer 335 to 1000nm: It has a wavelength accuracy of ±2 nm and wavelength repeatability of ±1 nm.

M&A Instruments Inc. UV-5100B UV/VIS Spectrophotometer Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer: It comes with a wavelength range of 190 nm to 1000 nm and a wavelength accuracy of ±1 nm.

CGOLDENWALL 722N Portable Visible Spectrophotometer: It comes with a wavelength range of 320 nm to 1020 nm and wavelength accuracy of ±2 nm.

D&Y UV VIS Spectrophotometer with Scanning Software Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer: It can display 200 groups of data and has a wavelength range of 190 to 1100 nm.

Hach DR1900-01H DR 1900 Portable Spectrophotometer: It comes with a wavelength range of 340 nm to 800 nm and wavelength accuracy of ±2 nm.

Azzota SV-1200, Digital 4NM Visible Spectrophotometer: The wavelength range is 325 to 100 nm, and the device can store up to 50 groups of data.

Best spectrophotometers

1. Vision Scientific VLS002 Spectrophotometer 335 to 1000nm

Specifications

Brand: Vision Scientific

Weight: 16.07 pounds

Key features

  1. It is a single beam spectrophotometer that has 1200 lines/mm grating.
  2. The wavelength range is 335 to 1000 nm.
  3. It offers a wavelength accuracy of ±2 nm.
  4. It requires 50 to 60 Hz power.
  5. There is an easy-to-read large screen graphic LCD screen.
  6. The manufacturer used a high-quality silicon photodiode detector.

Technical details

  1. Wavelength ranges from 335 nm to 1000 nm.
  2. Wavelength accuracy is ±2 nm.
  3. Wavelength repeatability is ±1 nm.
  4. The spectral bandwidth is 10 nm.
  5. Single beam and the grating is 1200 lines/mm.
  6. Photometric accuracy ±1% T.
  7. Stray light ≤0.3% T.
  8. The power requirement is 50 to 60 Hz.
  9. 12 round optical glass cuvettes available.

The spectrophotometer comes with a large and easy-to-read LCD screen, which makes it easy to use as well. With the addition of this screen, the user can have accurate readings in absorbance, transmittance, factor, and concentration.

The light source of this spectrophotometer is halogen. The stray energy is ≤0.3% T at 340 nm and 400 nm. Alongside the optical glass cuvetts, it also has a cuvette adapter and dust cover. The manufacturer has ensured an easy operation through the device.

They added automatic zeroing, one-touch blanking, and built-in automatic filters to make the operation easier. They have also included a user manual in the package.

Pros

  1. The large LCD screen provides quick and accurate readings in absorbance, transmittance, factor, and concentration.
  2. The mode button on the control panel allows selecting any option easily.
  3. It provides high performance through the quality silicon photodiode.
  4. Built-in secondary filters automatically adjust when the wavelength is set.
  5. It allows interference with windows-based computers by the USB port.
  6. It uses halogen for a light source.

2. M&A Instruments Inc. UV-5100B UV/VIS Spectrophotometer Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer

Specifications

Brand: M&A Instruments Inc.

Weight: 33.2 pounds

Key features

  1. It comes with a large LCD screen of 128 by 64 Dots.
  2. It is a single beam spectrophotometer with a grating of 1200 lines/mm.
  3. The wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  4. The wavelength ranges from 190 nm to 1000 nm.
  5. The manufacturer used a silicon photodiode as the detector.
  6. Tungsten and deuterium lamp is the light source here.

Note: Vision Scientific VLS002 Spectrophotometer vs. M&A Instruments Inc. UV-5100B UV/VIS Spectrophotometer

The main difference: The first one has a wavelength range of 335 to 1000 nm, whereas the second one has 190 to 100 nm.

Technical details

  1. Wavelength range 190 nm to 1000 nm.
  2. Wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  3. Wavelength repeatability is 0.5 nm.
  4. The spectral bandwidth is 2 nm.
  5. Photometric accuracy is ±0.5% T.
  6. Photometric repeatability is 0.3% T.
  7. The photometric range is from –0.3 A to 3 A, 0 to 200% T.
  8. Stray light ≤0.3% T.
  9. Requires AC 85~250 Volts power.
  10. Single beam, grating 1200 lines/mm.

The large LCD screen allows the user to save data with 3 groups per screen. If somehow the power supply is interrupted, you don't have to worry about data loss. There is a USB port for an external computer and a parallel port for a printer available in the device.

Pros

  1. The large LCD screen can display and save 50 groups of data.
  2. You can restore the data even if there is a sudden power cut.
  3. Both tungsten and deuterium lamps can be individually turn off and extend lifetime.
  4. UV professionals can expand their applications to kinetics and quantitative.  
  5. It provides high performance through the quality silicon photodiode.

3. CGOLDENWALL 722N Portable Visible Spectrophotometer

Specifications

Brand: CGOLDENWALL

Weight: 18.92 pounds

Key features

  1. This visible spectrophotometer comes with a large sample chamber.
  2. The wavelength ranges from 320 nm to 1020 nm.
  3. It comes with a wavelength accuracy of ±2 nm.
  4. There is a control panel with an adjustment knob.
  5. It has a sample holder pull holder.
  6. Tungsten lamp is the light source of the device.

Technical details

  1. The wavelength range is 320 nm to 1020 nm.
  2. Wavelength accuracy is ±2 nm.
  3. Wavelength repeatability is ≤0.5 nm.
  4. The spectral bandwidth is 4 nm.
  5. Transmittance accuracy is ±0.5% T.
  6. Noise is ≤0.2% T.
  7. Stray light is ≤0.2% T at 360 nm.
  8. Stability is ≤0.002 A/h at 500 nm.
  9. Achromatic Czerny-Turner with a grating of 1200 lines/mm.

This spectrophotometer is made to be used in various applications. The list is long of its usability, but the most common applications are medical testing, food industry, petrochemical industry, environmental protection, monitoring, and several more fields.

The errors found while measuring the wavelength and transmittance is so minimum that it seems to give almost the accurate result. It comes with a precise automatic T/A changeover. There are sample compartments for 5 mm to 50 mm cells.

The device also comes featuring automatic zero and full-scale adjustment. It adopts microcomputer processing technology, which makes it applicable for material determination and quantitative analysis in the visible spectroscopy field.

Pros

  1. The larger sample chamber can accommodate up to 10 cm of cuvettes.
  2. The durable tungsten lamp ensures a long-lasting lifespan of the device.
  3. It offers highly accurate measurements with almost zero errors.
  4. It allows use in various applications.
  5. The user can have reproducible and stable measurements from it.

4. D&Y UV VIS Spectrophotometer with Scanning Software Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer

Specifications

Brand: D&Y

Weight: 40.2 pounds

Key features

  1. It comes with a large LCD screen of 128 by 64 Dots.
  2. It is a single beam spectrophotometer with a grating of 1200 lines/mm.
  3. The wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  4. The wavelength ranges from 190 nm to 1100 nm.
  5. The manufacturer used a silicon photodiode as the detector.
  6. D2 lamp and W2 lamp is the light source here.

Technical details

  1. Wavelength range 190 nm to 1100 nm.
  2. Wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  3. Wavelength repeatability is 0.5 nm.
  4. The spectral bandwidth is 2 nm.
  5. Photometric accuracy is ±0.3% T.
  6. Photometric repeatability is 0.2% T.
  7. The photometric range is from –0.3 A to 3 A, 0 to 200% T, 0 to 9999 C.
  8. Stray light ≤0.1% T.
  9. Stability ±0.002 A/h at 500 nm.
  10. Requires AC 220 volts or 110 volts power.
  11. Single beam, grating 1200 lines/mm.

The manufacturer has added scanning software with the spectrophotometer, which allows you to export test results to a computer. The screen can show more data than most common spectrophotometer screens found in the market. The D2 lamp becomes true pre-aligned with the flange, which enables the user to conveniently change lamps. It has an auto-setting wavelength, zero, and blank.

Pros

  1. The screen can display the standard curve and the curve equation.
  2. It can display a total of 200 groups of data, 5 groups per screen.
  3. It offers superb convenience for check and reloads.
  4. You can restore the lost data due to a sudden power cut.
  5. The user can extend the lifetime by individually turning of the light source lamps.
  6. The large sample compartment can accommodate 5 to 100 mm of path length cuvettes with optional holders.

5. Hach DR1900-01H DR 1900 Portable Spectrophotometer

Specifications

Brand: Hach Company

Weight: 3.31 pounds

Key features

  1. It is a portable spectrophotometer.
  2. It comes with an LCD screen of 240 by 160 pixels graphical display.
  3. The wavelength range is 340 nm to 800 nm.
  4. The wavelength accuracy is ±2 nm.
  5. It has xenon flash as the source lamp.
  6. It comes with a simple user interface.

Technical details

  1. The wavelength range is 340 nm to 800 nm.
  2. Wavelength accuracy is ±2 nm.
  3. It has an IP67 enclosure around.
  4. Xenon flash is used as the light source.

Not every spectrophotometer lets the user take it on the go, at least not so conveniently. However, the manufacturer has made this portable device to make it conveniently transportable. You won’t find another lightweight and compact-sized spectrophotometer in the market like this.

The lightweight and compact design make it an appropriate choice for users who love to go out with such a device. Well, only taking it outside is not all you want because it must withstand the sudden rough behavior of nature as well. And the makers have taken this seriously too.

They imposed a rugged build-quality of the device to make it usable in outdoor conditions. Whether you are using it inside a laboratory or outside in an open field, you don't have to worry about the quality. With the clear screen and easy interface, it is also easy to operate.

Pros

  1. The device is lightweight, easy to hold and take on the go.
  2. The wavelength range provides almost accurate test results.
  3. With a rugged build quality, it becomes a suitable choice for rough conditions.
  4. The simple user interface makes the testing for any user.
  5. It allows you to test anywhere you want.

6. Azzota SV-1200, Digital 4NM Visible Spectrophotometer

Specifications

Brand: Azzota

Weight: 26 pounds

Key features

  1. It comes with a large LCD screen of 128 by 64 bits.
  2. The wavelength range is 325 nm to 1000 nm.
  3. The wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  4. It comes with four glass cuvettes included.
  5. It has a built-in USB port to connect it with a computer.
  6. It requires a power of 110 volts or 220 volts.

Technical details

  1. The wavelength ranges from 325 nm to 1000 nm.
  2. The wavelength accuracy is ±1 nm.
  3. It has a spectral bandwidth of 4 nm.
  4. The photometric accuracy is ±0.5% T.
  5. Stray light is 0.2% T at 360 nm.
  6. Stability is ±0.002 A/h at 500 nm.
  7. It requires 110 volts or 220 volts of power.  

The spectrophotometer has two ports on the back, one is used as the software port and the other one is used as the printer port. A software port is basically a USB port, which connects it to a computer.

There are three basic modes available in the device, includes absorbance, transmittance, and concentration movements. It also comes with path length cuvettes and optional cell holders. You can have complete control over the device through the SpectroSoft application.

Pros

  1. The user can restore the lost data after a sudden power cut.
  2. It allows data checking and reloading from saved files conveniently.
  3. The pre-alignment design makes the device an appropriate one to change lamps.
  4. With the large sample compartment, it can accommodate 5 to 100 mm.
  5. The large screen can display a total of 50 groups of data with 3 groups per screen.
  6. You can save the test results directly to the system.  

Things to consider before buying a spectrophotometer

use Best spectrophotometer image

Before you make the final choice, you should check out the crucial things that make a perfect spectrophotometer. Knowing the things allows you to know about a perfect spectrophotometer and also eases the buying process.

  1. Look for a large, clear LCD screen.
  2. The wavelength accuracy and range are crucial for the least errors.
  3. The light source should extend the lifetime of the device.
  4. It should restore the lost data due to a sudden power cut.
  5. Make sure how much power it requires.

You guys might be thinking how can this little information make the buying process easier? Truly it won't and that's why there's a detailed discussion on these things.

Screen

You should never compromise into the screen if you want to have a clear view of the entered data. The majority of brands make their devices with a large and clear viewing LCD screen. The screen comes with 128 by 64 dots.

Depending on the size and capacity of the screen, it can save a different amount of data in the device. The minimal data saving capacity is 20 groups with 3 groups per screen. However, the high-spec model can save up to 50 groups of data with 5 groups per screen.

Wavelength

While talking about wavelength, there are three things you need to go through. The first one is wavelength range and mostly it stays between 320 nm to 100 nm. The largest range so far in the list is from 190 nm to 1000 nm.

However, there is also a wavelength range of 320 nm to 800 nm available. Sometimes the higher wavelength mark can do up to 1100 nm as well starting from 320 or 330 nm. Then you need to check out the accuracy and it is vital to have accurate readings.

Most spectrophotometers have wavelength accuracy of ±1 nm or ±2 nm. As a buyer, you must try going for one of these two for having minimal errors in the readings. The last thing is wavelength repeatability, which ranges from 0.5 nm to 1 nm.

Photometric specs

There are two things a buyer needs to check out in the photometric specs, which include photometric accuracy and photometric repeatability. In the listed items, there are mainly three photometric accuracy available. These are ±0.3 nm, ±0.5 nm, and ±1 nm.

In terms of photometric repeatability ranges from 0.2 nm to 0.3 nm. Different devices have different repeatability. However, there is a minor consideration as a photometric range. In most cases, the range is –0.3 A to 3 A, 0 to 200% T.

Light source

There are mainly two types of light source majority manufacturer uses, which are deuterium and tungsten. However, our first pick spectrophotometer comes with a halogen light source. The performance of the device depends a lot on the light source.

The high-end spectrophotometer models offer individual turns on and off, which is efficient to extend the lifespan. This feature is available when the system has tungsten and deuterium light as the lighting source.

Power requirement

No matter how good the spectrophotometer is, it can't operate without adequate power. Most of these devices require 50 Hz to 60 Hz or 110 to 120 volts of power. Before purchasing any of them, you need to ensure whether it supplies the required power or not.

There is another thing you need to ensure while checking out the power requirement. There might be a sudden power cut and you could lose your data. So you should look for a spectrophotometer that can restore the lost data even after a sudden power cut.

Sample compartment

Not every spectrophotometer comes with a sample compartment, but it is better to buy one with this feature. It allows the user to save the data conveniently into the storage. It can also accommodate 5 nm to 100 nm of path length cuvettes.

Size and portability

You might be thinking about whether it's a necessary thing to consider or not? Typically, it is not until you want to take the system on the go and do collect data and work in the outdoors. At that moment, you need a portable and compactly design spectrophotometer.

A traditional spectrophotometer is not made for on the go and it is also not one of the lightweight things to carry. But when the size becomes smaller and weight decreases, it becomes worthy of carrying. Again, you need to ensure a rugged construction of the device to withstand rough outdoor situations.

Usable applications

If you are not a multi-purpose user, I would suggest you buy one that can be used in various applications. It can include medical testing, food industry, petrochemical industry, environmental protection, monitoring, etc. It saves the user from looking for another extra device when he needs one for a different purpose.

If you want to arrange your lab with great instruments you should must needs this equipments Dissolved Oxygen Meters, Radiation Dosimeter and Isolation Gown.

Different types of spectrophotometer

There are mainly five different types of spectrophotometers available depending on their functionalities. Also, there are two minor types available except for these fives.

  1. Visible spectrophotometer
  2. UV-visible spectrophotometer
  3. Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  4. Infrared spectrophotometer
  5. Fluorescence spectrophotometer
  6. Mercury spectrophotometer
  7. Nuclear magnetic spectrophotometer

When you need a portable spectrophotometer, which can be used inside labs and in the fields, you should go for visible spectrophotometers. It typically works from a tungsten light source and the wavelength ranges from 320 to 100 nm.

With a dual lamp lighting source, UV-visible spectrophotometers come. The wavelength here ranges from 190 nm to 1100 nm. Tungsten and deuterium are the two light sources. It offers multi-functionality and they are typically high-end spectrophotometers with a better user interface.

For environmental testing and outdoor activities, atomic absorption units are the ideal choice. The sophisticated and functional design makes them an appropriate choice for the users. It is regarded as a powerful tool for material analysis and elemental analysis of trace metals.

An infrared spectrophotometer is also used for environmental purposes, but in the region with organic compounds. It doesn't matter whether the testing sample is in liquid, solid, or gas condition; it can still continue its analysis.

There is a variety of usage of a fluorescence spectrophotometer. It includes scientific research, chemical industry, medicine, biochemistry, environmental protections, clinical testing, and food testing, and so on. Through this unit, the user can clarify the relationship between molecular structure and function.

The Mercury unit is ideal for analyzing mercury substances in nature. On the other hand, nuclear magnetic resonance units are one of the powerful spectrophotometer units. It is typically used to determine the structure of organic compounds and reactions.

However, if you go deep into UV-visible spectrophotometers, you will find three more types there.

  1. Single beam spectrophotometer
  2. Double beam spectrophotometer
  3. Split beam spectrophotometer.

Single beam units have only one light source or monochromator from where the light emits. However, it doubles in the double beam units as there are two light sources, and the light emits from two monochromators.

The third type comes basically with a combination of both these types. It has only one light source, but the emitted light splits into two beams. That is why it is called a split-beam spectrophotometer.

How to use a spectrophotometer

use Best spectrophotometer

Depending on the type of spectrophotometer unit you purchase, the functionality might differ. Also, you may have some common and new functions in the different units. However, there are some common steps you can follow to use a spectrophotometer.

  1. Turn on the spectrophotometer and let it warm up for 15 minutes to get ready for work.
  2. Before taking the samples clean the cuvettes.
  3. Put the samples inside the cuvettes safely using pipettes.
  4. Prepare the solution of the sample.
  5. Decide which wavelength is ideal of analyze the sample and set it.
  6. You need to calibrate the unit with the blank before placing the sample.
  7. Remove the blank and test the calibration.
  8. Now you can insert the testing sample cuvette inside and wait at least 10 seconds.
  9. Do the same thing in successive wavelengths and take the readings.

How to take care of spectrophotometers

To extend the lifespan of your spectrophotometer, you need to rely on regular maintenance without any doubt.

  1. Always check the light source lamps and switches functionality.
  2. Prevent the electrical parts of the unit from overheating.
  3. Calibrate the unit before every test.
  4. Cleaning definitely increases the lifespan.
  5. Store it according to the instruction.
  6. Follow the user manual for proper maintenance.

Spectrophotometer vs. spectrometer

Have you ever mixed these two terms, spectrophotometers and spectrometers? You might have as you don’t know the differences between these two things.

Spectrophotometer

Spectrometer

It measures the absorption and transmission spectrum of a particular sample.

It measures the emission spectrum and light over a specific portion of an electromagnetic field.

It can typically work spectral areas near-visible spectrum.

It can detect spectra and work on different wavelengths.

A spectrophotometer consists of a spectrometer and it is necessary for the functionality.

A spectrometer doesn't require a spectrophotometer for functionality.

It is a complete system with a light source.

It is part of a spectrophotometer that measures various items.

It needs a visible spectrum to be used.

It is usable in different scientific fields.

Advantages of UV-visible spectrophotometers

You should consider the advantages of a UV-visible spectrophotometer before deciding to purchase a visible unit.

  1. It has quick and easy analysis ability.
  2. It can provide rich and accurate information on astronomical objects.
  3. High-tech spectral analysis is possible with this unit.
  4. It is a good companion in the research sector.
  5. For forensic analysis, medicine, or pharmacy analysis, is a reliable choice.

Is there any disadvantage of UV-visible spectrophotometers

Yes, there are some disadvantages of UV-visible spectrophotometer units, which a buyer also needs to know before making any final decision.

  1. The stray light could influence the spectra measurement and ultimately affect the accuracy.
  2. Stray light can decrease the linearity range and reduce the absorbency.
  3. Electronic circuit design and quality will affect the measurement signal noise.
  4. It can reduce the accuracy and sensitivity of the testing sample.

FAQs

1. Which is better, spectrophotometer or colorimeter?

Ans: A spectrophotometer has precise and increased functionality that enables it to analyze complex samples, which makes it better than a colorimeter.

2. What are the main components of a spectrophotometer?

Ans: There are three main components of a spectrophotometer, light source, optics to collect & deliver the light, and a detector.

3. In which sectors spectrophotometers are used?

Ans: Spectrophotometers are used in chemistry, biochemistry, f food industry, clinical purpose, medicine, environmental purpose, etc.

4. Why is spectrophotometer also known as a photometer?

Ans: A spectrophotometer uses a photometer to take the measurement of a particular sample through a light beam.

5. Is there any difference between UV and a visible spectrophotometer?

Ans: UV emits light from a double light source and has a better wavelength range compared to visible units. However, a visible unit emits light from a single source.

It doesn't matter whether you need a spectrophotometer in your chemistry lab, or biology lab, or any physics purpose; it is going to come in handy. Before buying make sure for what purpose you are buying this and make the right choice.

Last Updated on June 22, 2022 by Tufail

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