Power Meters FAQ's

Laser Power Meters

StarBright & StarLite



Select the range that contains your wavelength. The sensors have coatings on them that have been characterized and for any wavelength within that range the sensor will be within calibration tolderance including variations in sensitivity within that range. When there is a difference in sensitivity that exceeds the allowable tolerances, a new wavelength range is created and a calibrated for.


Think of it like a voltmeter or ammeter, these have to be recertified/recalibrated as well like most other pieces of test equipment. In general, our instruments are unlikely to drift or fail over time like a sensor might that is constantly exposed to laser energy. But the possibility exists. So the general practice in our industry is to have Power and Energy Meterss recalibrated and recertified as well. ISO standards and FDA, as well as other agencies, require both be recalibrated and recertified.


If the firmware programming procedure doesn’t complete, you should be able to recover and reprogram the StarLite firmware.

  • Make sure to completely power down the StarLite, as is mentioned in the StarLite Upgrade Tool screen instructions (long press On/Off button).
  • If unsure that StarLite has really shut down, it’s advisable to try disconnecting the USB cable and then power down the StarLite.
  • Reconnect the USB cable.

Then proceed (again) with the StarLite Field Upgrade Tool: Turn StarLite on in the special ‘burn-in’ mode by pressing the two button combination as detailed in the onscreen instructions, (you should hear from the PC speakers the ‘ding dong’ tone associated with a device being connected to the PC), and then continue the steps as prompted. If problems continue, please contact Ophir-Spiricon Service at service@us.ophiropt.com.


The analog output of the meter - using the mating connector provided – gives a voltage signal proportional to the actual reading (it is in fact just a D/A translation of what is being displayed), so it represents a fully calibrated reading. The full scale value is a function of the meter being used and the power range it is on. With the StarBright, Vega and Nova II, for example, the user can select full scale analog output voltage ranges of 1v, 2v, 5v or 10v, and the 100% level of the chosen power scale is scaled to the full scale voltage. For example: if you choose 5V full scale analog voltage range, and your sensor is set to a 50W full scale power range, then you will have 5V = 50W or 0.1 V/W. It will vary according to the chosen power range and chosen full scale voltage range. The electrical accuracy is stated in the specification (see the User manual) as ±0.2% (of reading) ±0.3% of full scale volts (in addition to the calibration accuracy of the sensor’s reading itself).


All Ophir meters use a 12 bit A-to-D, however the output range given is about 10% above the 100% level and also 10% below the zero level. In actuality this give 11.5 bits resolution between 0% and 100%.


  Vega Nova II Nova Laserstar StarBright StarLite
resolution 11.5 bit 11.5 bit 11.5 bit 11.5 bit 11.5 bit 11.5 bit
update rate/s 15 15 15 15, 25/s for pyro sensors 15 15



The choice of meter depends on what range of functionality you need (unlike the choice of sensor, which depends on the technical, physical parameters of the laser). Just to give a quick general idea:

  • For just basic measurements, no graphics or analysis, and/or when budget is tight, the StarLite is a good choice.
    • If you might want to connect your StarLite to a PC, getting the StarLite with the USB Enabling added will allow you to connect to a PC with the "StarLab" laser measurement application running.
  • For a solid set of functions, perhaps onboard logging, things like Density, Limits etc, then Vega
  • For higher capabilities, combined functions, graphic display options, etc, then StarBright
  • For working only connected to a PC (as opposed to also working stand-alone), a PC interface such as Juno

You may find our Meter Finder very helpful - a detailed comparison table of features and capabilities of the various Ophir instruments. And, needless to say – feel free to ask Ophir for help!


The latest firmware for all meters except the Nova includes the ability to automatically read different sensor information, when it is connected, without the requirement to power the meter Off an On again.

Some of the older software versions require you to turn the meter off and on to register the new sensor.

The latest firmware for the upgrading the meters is available at;



The sensors with a continual response curve such as the ones listed above come with preset "favorite" wavelengths. If these "favorite" wavelengths do not match the application wavelength you are using they can be changed by performing the instructions below, which are for the Vega meter. For your specific meter, please see the User Manual.

  • While the Vega is off, plug in the head. Switch on the Vega.
  • From the main measurement screen, press "Laser" to select the correct laser wavelength. If you want to save this new wavelength as the startup default, press "Save" before exiting. If the wavelength you want is not among the wavelengths in the six wavelengths listed and you want to change or add a wavelength, see the next step
  • Changing Chosen Wavelengths:
    • From the power measurement screen select "Laser" and enter. Move to the wavelength you wish to change or add. Press the right navigation key.
    • Using the up/down keys to change each number and the right/left keys to move to the next number, key in the desired wavelength. Press the Enter key to exit. If you wish to save this new wavelength as one of the 6 favorite wavelengths, press "Save".

Note: Saving the new wavelength in the Modify screen will not set this wavelength as the default startup wavelength. To do so, you must follow the instructions in Step 2 above.


In all Ophir instruments, all adjustments, including zeroing internal circuits, are done from the software. This ensures simple and accurate realignment. The zeroing process helps eliminate internal biases in the unit which could affect accuracy of measurements. It is recommended to re-zero the instrument every 2 months for best performance. Specific instructions for doing this are found in the relevant User Manual for each instrument.


For the best accuracy and repeatability, each Ophir meter should be zeroed with no sensor connected periodically. It would not hurt to zero the meter each time it is used, but we recommend to zero the meter at least once a month. See your meter User Guide for the zeroing procedure particular to your meter. To view or download a copy of the meter User Guides, follow this link: https://www.ophiropt.com/laser-measurement-instruments/laser-power-energy-meters/services/manuals.



Ophir hand held displays are shipped with a 2-conducter 2.5mm mono audio jack connector that you can plug into the top of the display to get the analog signal out of the display. You will need to solder your own cable onto the connector.



They are related, but not exactly the same. “Raw” is one of two options for setting the Analog Output. Basically, the Analog Output can be set by the user in 2 ways:

  • The source of the Analog Output is the processed (Digital) reading, in which case the Analog Output voltage represents the calibrated laser power (this is what is normally meant by “Analog Output”);
  • The source of the Analog Output is the unprocessed sensor input (Raw). In this case, the analog output voltage is a continuous non-digitized output. It is derived directly from the amplified sensor input signal, with little conditioning. The ‘Raw’ analog output option can be useful for analyzing the temporal shape of fast laser pulses.

Vega & Nova II


The Power and Energy Meter's software can be upgraded by the customer using Ophir's StarLab PC application available for download from the Ophir website.

1. Attach the Power and Energy Meters to your PC with the USB cable provided with the Power and Energy Meters.

2. Go to the bottom of the StarLab page and download the firmware for your Power and Energy Meters

3. Run the StarLab application

4. Select your Power and Energy Meters device and press Diagnostics

5. Select your meter and press the Upgrade button

6. Follow all the on-screen instructions to successfully reprogram the display.


These instructions, including screen captures, can be found at https://www.ophiropt.com/laser-measurement-instruments/laser-power-energy-meters/software/upgrade-firmware


If the field-upgrade process fails (example, unplug of the USB cable during the upgrade), the Power and Energy Meters will not function properly. Therefore, when turning on the Power and Energy Meters the user gets a blank screen. Note: The Power and Energy Meters can still communicate with the PC. Try to reinstall the Power and Energy Meters software as described above.


All Ophir meters (except the Nova and Laserstar) have a momentary push button switch to both turn them on and turn them off. The push button action to turn them on is a press-and-release-quickly action. The push button action to turn them off is a press-and-hold action, until the meter turns off. A short press when the meter is on will turn on the backlight.


This can sometimes happen when the battery of the Power and Energy Meters is completely discharged and then the charger is plugged in. The Power and Energy Meters is powered up but the contrast voltage on the LCD is not functioning, so it looks as though it is off; and usually the backlight switches on and off normally.

The solution is to first switch OFF the Power and Energy Meters properly by pressing the On/Off button for 4-5 seconds, and then switching it back ON by momentarily pressing the On/Off button, as normal.

The Power and Energy Meters will also fail to operate if you attempted to download a software upgrade and there was a malfunction in the download, see the question "Can I upgrade?" below.


You can try our Nova II demo online. It can be found here. You can use this demo to connect to different sensor styles and check the meter’s and sensor’s functionality. You can also simulate a laser by imputing exposure levels. This simulator does not allow you to try every sensor, but it can give you an idea how the meters work and how sensors interface with the meter.



Offset is entered for each sensor separately. You choose "Active Sensor: A", then set offset for sensor A in the usual manner, then go back and choose "Active Sensor: B" and repeat. This also makes the most sense, since each sensor might in fact need a separate offset.

Please note: After activating “OFFSET” for each sensor separately, when you then work in “BOTH” mode, you no longer see “OFFSET” shown on the screen; nevertheless, the “OFFSET” function is still in fact working.