Ophir Photonics Blog
Laser Power & Energy Meters

Which Laser Power Meter is Right for You?

Getting the right laser power or energy meter is like anything else.  Take pens, for example.

Sometimes, I just want a simple pen.

Why does the salesman keep trying to offer me the deluxe pen-knife, complete with compass, GPS and calculator?  I just want the pen to write with.

I’m sure you’ve all said something like this about one product or another.  I for one had a very similar experience with too-fancy phones that break too easily.  But that’s another story for another day.

Today, I want to discuss laser power meters.

From Left: Vega, Nova II, Laserstar, Nova, StarLite

We know that sometimes people really do want the all-in-one pen with compass et al, but other times they really just want the basic product.  Before StarLite came around, you had two main options for a laser power meter.  You could go down the Vega / Nova II route: top-of-the-line meters that can do pretty much anything you can think of doing with your laser power measurement.  Then there’s the more basic meters (Nova / Laserstar), which still have some functionality, but are more affordable options for whomever doesn’t need the ultimate laser power meter.

The only snag is there’s a small gap – what if you want the basic meter, but you’re using one of our newer sensors that are only compatible with the Vega / Nova II.  Before StarLite, you’d need to pay for one of these top power and energy meters just to be able to use BeamTrack or Pyro-C, even though you didn’t want any of the additional functionality.  Essentially, you’d be paying for lots of features you don’t need, only to get the compatibility of a “new meter”.  So we realized that we need a basic meter that is also a new meter.

In short, the StarLite laser power meter looks and feels like a newer Nova II or Vega, but keeps the features simple.  So if you don’t anticipate needing the more advanced functions, I definitely recommend saving money on this laser power meter.

What does this mean for you?

The flow chart below might help you see which camp you fall into – but of course, there are many other considerations, so you should contact an Ophir representative for more details.


You might also like to read: Ophir Rocks Photonics West


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