A spectrophotometer is a color measurement device used to capture and evaluate color. As part of a color control program, brand owners and designers use spectrophotometers to specify and communicate color, and manufacturers use them to monitor color accuracy throughout production.
Spectrophotometers can measure just about anything, including liquids, plastics, paper, metal and fabrics, and help ensure that color remains consistent from conception to delivery
The spectral reflectance curve provided by a spectrophotometer is commonly known as the color’s “fingerprint”.
There are three primary types of spectrophotometers. Your selection depends on application, desired functionality, and portability. Spectrophotometers come in a range of sizes, from portable devices to large benchtop instruments.
The most common spectrophotometer, this instrument measures light reflected at a fixed angle to the sample, usually 45˚, and can exclude gloss to most closely replicate how the human eye sees color. These spectros are commonly used for measuring color on smooth or matte surfaces.
Spherical spectrophotometers can measure light reflected at all angles to calculate color measurements that closely match what a human eye would see. They are commonly used for measuring color that has been applied to textured surfaces such as textiles, carpets and plastics, as well as shiny or mirror-like surfaces, including metallic inks, printing over foil, and other highly glossy surfaces.
A multi-angle spectrophotometer views the color of a sample as if it is being moved back and forth, just as you would twist a sample to see the color at various angles. Today’s multi-angle instruments are used for specially coated pigments and special effect colors with additives such as mica and pearlescents, such as nail polish and automotive coatings.
Spectrophotometers are used in every industry that requires accurate color. From cardboard packaging to laundry soap to carpeting and small plastic parts, these devices help ensure that the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified the first time, every time, reducing waste and saving you time and money.
“We consider X-Rite to be an important partner in our ability to grow and to continue to exceed customer expectations. Our past experience with X-Rite and GretagMcBeth products has been excellent, and the new Ci7800 is no exception. Having this next-generation instrument as an integral part of our operation is vital to our ability to continue to move our color critical business forward.” - Jim Walsh, Technical Director at Penn Color
As the global leader in color trends, science and technology, we offer a full range of solutions that control color consistently and accurately from inspiration to final delivery. Whether you’re looking to specify, communicate, formulate, and measure color, we’ll help you get it right the first time, every time.
From a simple densitometer to a highly advanced spectral measurement instrument, for use with paper, film or other substrates, the X-Rite eXact family is the most accurate and consistent color measurement instrument on the market.
The Ci7000 series of benchtop sphere spectrophotometers sets a new standard for measuring, managing and communicating color with unprecedented audit trails and repeatable performance.
X-Rite’s multi-angle spectrophotometers set a new industry standard for measurement of special effect finishes, ensuring consistent color and color harmony across a global supply chain.