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Different types of photometers

Photometers can differ in numerous characteristics and are therefore classified in various ways. For example, a distinction can be made between spectral and non-continuous photometers according to the type of light source . It is also possible to classify photometers according to their size, e.g. desktop, compact, handheld or pocket.

In addition, a differentiation can be made according to the type of analysis in transmission or reflection. Four important types of photometers that play a role as laboratory analysers are described below.

Reflection photometer

Reflectionphotometers are used to analyse chemical or biological substances, for example on test strips. For this purpose, light of a defined wavelength is irradiated and reflected by the surface of the material to be examined. The degree of reflection at the irradiated wavelength allows conclusions to be drawn about the substance and its concentration.

In addition, the wavelength can be selected according to the specific gel, and different wavelengths can often be set. The reflection photometer is often used for the detection of bilirubin or for the analysis of blood sugar levels in diabetes.

Filter photometer

Filter photometers work with defined wavelengths that are specified by suitable filters. In most cases, the measurement is carried out in transmission and the sample is placed in a cuvette. During the measurement, the light of the pre-filtered wavelength hits the sample. This excites the substance in the sample and brings it to a higher energy state, the light is absorbed.

By comparison with a blank cuvette, the absorbed wavelength and thus the substance to be identified can be deduced. Filter photometers are widely used in environmental laboratories, in electroplating, in chemical analysis and in drinking water testing.

Flame photometer

Flame photometers are special photometers for the detection of potassium and sodium, sometimes also lithium or calcium. A flame photometer is based on the so-called flame adsorption photometry.

This takes advantage of the fact that the outer electrons of the alkali and alkaline earth metals are easily excited by heat and enter a higher-energy state. They quickly leave this state again and emit light with an element-specific wavelength when they fall back to their original state. This is detected and can be assigned to the individual elements.

The areas of application range from analyses in the beverage industry, monitoring of limit values in foodstuffs, measurements in environmental analysis to quality control in chemical processes.


A spectrophotometer is a special form of photometer. The entire light spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet is often used. To do this, the spectrophotometer splits the spectrum through a prism or filter into a large number of light bands with a defined width. The bandwidth of each light band is in the lower nanometre range and each band is assigned to its own measuring channel.

By shining the light onto the sample, the light is reflected or adsorbed and the reflection or transmission is measured for each individual channel. By comparing this with a black and a white sample, the result is a characteristic spectrum that resembles a fingerprint and allows the material to be precisely identified.

Spectrophotometers are versatile and the all-rounders among photometers. Due to the large spectral bandwidth, they are suitable for a wide range of substances.

Buy Photometer Manufacturer and Assortment at

If you would like to buy a photometer, here is an overview of the relevant brand manufacturers at


The Latvian company offers innovative products for the field of genetic research and cell analysis in biological and medical laboratories. The modern products are characterised by attractive designs and are often developed in close contact with customers. At, for example, you can buy the BioSan microplate photometer HiPo MPP-96.


Krss is one of the leading manufacturers of laboratory analysis instruments and has been for more than 200 years. The innovative instruments with high quality standards are manufactured in Germany. The manufacturer also offers a comprehensive service and professional advice. At you can buy mainly flame photometers like the A.KRSS Optronic Flame Photometer FP8500.


Since 1911, the Drener company MACHEREY-NAGEL has developed into one of the world’s leading innovative providers of chemical and biomolecular analysis methods . The family-owned company employs more than 700 people and sells more than 25,000 products worldwide. One product example on is the MACHEREY-NAGEL QUANTOFIX Relax reflectance photometer.


WTW is the specialist for water analysis. Since 2011, WTW has been part of the Xylem Group and has been offering high-quality analytical instruments for water analysis for more than 70 years. Versatile innovative products with high safety and reliability set standards for laboratory instruments in many areas. At you can buy different types of photometers for the laboratory, such as the WTW filter photometer photoLab(R) S 12-A.

Buy accessories for photometers in the lab

At you can not only buy a photometer for the lab, but also a wide range of accessories. The most important accessories include, for example:

  • Cuvettes and measuring tubes including lids
  • Test strips
  • Spare filter
  • Cleaning agent for cuvette cleaning
  • Syringes for handling liquids
  • Filter cover
  • Standard liquids for calibration

Order laboratory photometer at

If you would like to buy a photometer for the laboratory, our experts will be happy to assist you. With competent advice we support you in the selection of the right instrument for you. You can reach us at +49 30 209 657 900 or via e-mail at [email protected]