Infrared technology has all kinds of different applications, from its use in military circles for night-vision goggles, to meteorology, climatology and the weather. Infrared thermometers, however, are particularly used by fire departments to detect the heat inside a structure before making entry, or by police to search for heat signatures in the dark or in a dense area. Infrared thermometers are also used by scientists and others.

What Does An Infrared Thermometer Do?

The function of an infrared thermometer is to measure temperature. Every object that has atoms that move within it emits a radioactive signal. It’s known as infrared radiation. An infrared thermometer uses sensors to pick up that radiation and relay to the operator through a small screen.

What are the Different Types of Infrared Thermometers?

There are three different types of infrared thermometers – the first is known as a fresnel lens thermometer. This type of thermometer is most often used in the food industry, to check the temperature of food, to see if it is cooked thoroughly. While most at-home chefs wouldn’t use this, professional kitchens and restaurants often do. It provides the most accurate read-out of food temperature.

The second type of IR thermometer is called a mica lens thermometer. This lens is mostly used in industrial and/or medical settings – where a higher degree of accuracy is called than can traditionally be managed by a Fresnel lens thermometer. You might find these in your doctor’s office.

Mica lens thermometers tend to be far more expensive than their Fresnel counterparts. This is because they are superiorly engineered, designed to provide a far more accurate read-out than Fresnel lens thermometers – if improperly calibrated – Fresnel lens thermometers can be ‘off’ by five or six degrees in their measurement.

Mica lens thermometers are also much more susceptible to damage and breakage if dropped, and far more expensive to replace as a result.


There is also a no-lens thermometer, which is the cheapest of the bunch and does not provide a visual readout of temperature by thermal imaging, instead it simply provides a temperature readout. These thermometers tend to be the best bet in cold spaces, as they provide the most accurate readouts of the bunch. They also tend to be easier to handle than their counterparts.

Most IR thermometers, no matter their type, come as handheld devices, allowing the operator to scan their target accurately.

How Can Infrared Thermometers Help You?

Infrared technology has a multitude of uses. If you work in the kitchens of a professional restaurant, you’ll likely need to familiarise yourself with an infrared thermometer to allow you to accurately measure the temperature of a dish.

IR thermometers can also help in emergency situations like search-and-rescue in a mine, or hostage negotiations in policing. Firefighters also make use of thermal imaging to see how hot a fire is, before going inside – this helps them gauge danger levels.

Infrared thermometers are useful in all sorts of ways and can even help save lives. Whether you work in the kitchens or in emergency services, making sure you that you have the right thermometers for your needs is crucial and making them a part of your arsenal could make a huge difference.

Looking for high-quality infrared thermometers? Visit RS Online, and shop the range!

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