Searching for the best budget light meter? Here’s all you need to know about the light meter. So to start let’s make it clear for all those readers who don’t know what is a light meter.
A light meter is a device used for testing the range of the camera. It also offers excellent contrast ratios when you are filming around different areas.
Now if trying to buy a light meter then in this blog you will get every detail about that. In this blog, we have mentioned some best light meters with a buying guide and questions asked related to the same.
- 1 Best Budget Light Meter Comparison Table of 2021 (Updated)
- 2 What Is The Best Budget Light Meter?
- 3 Why We Chose Dr.Meter LX1330B as The Best Budget Light Meter?
- 4 What are The Aspects that Make Dr.Meter LX1330B One of The Best Light Meter?
- 5 Good Accuracy
- 6 Fine Display
- 7 Easy to Handle
- 8 Battery Life
- 9 Functioning
- 10 How To Choose The Best Budget Light Meter
- 11 Quality
- 12 Importance and Speciation
- 13 Size and Operation
- 14 Value of Money
- 15 Body of the Meter
- 16 Top 10 Best Budget Light Meter Reviews & Buying Guide
- 17 01. Dr.meter LX1330B Digital Light Meter – Best Light Meter For Photography (Affordable)
- 18 02. Extech LT40 LED Light Meter – Best Light Meter For Cinematography
- 19 03. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter – Best Compact and Flexible Light Meter
- 20 04. URCERI Light Meter Digital Illuminance Meter
- 21 05. Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate – Best Portable and Light Weight Light Meter
- 22 06. BTMETER 935994 Light Meter
- 23 07. SmartSensor lux Light Meter
- 24 08. Dr.meter Professional LED Light Meter
- 25 09. Sekonic 401-474 Light Meter – Touch Screen Experience
- 26 10. Kenko KFM-1100 Light Meter
- 27 Buying Considerations of Best Budget Light Meter
- 28 1. Type of the Meter
- 29 2. Digital or Analog Display
- 30 3. Size and Grip
- 31 4. Incident Light Measuring
- 32 5. Flash Metering System
- 33 6. Efficient Spot Metering
- 34 7. Cine Mode
- 35 8. Shutter and Aperture Priority Modes
- 36 WH Questions About Best Budget Light Meter
- 37 What are handheld light meters?
- 38 What is the difference between reflected and incidental light meters?
- 39 How to Use a Handheld Light Meter
- 40 What is the dynamic range?
- 41 Which one is more preferable between the digital and analog light meter?
- 42 How to Test The Light Meter?
- 43 Conclusion
Best Budget Light Meter Comparison Table of 2021 (Updated)
|Dr.Meter 1330B-V 0-200,000 Lux|
|URCERI Light Meter|
What Is The Best Budget Light Meter?
Although all products in the below-mentioned list are excellent, the highly recommended amongst them is the Dr. meter LZX1330B light meter.
This one is the most effective and efficient and offers elegant features that none of the others have in the same segment.
Why We Chose Dr.Meter LX1330B as The Best Budget Light Meter?
The reason behind choosing Dr.meter LX1330B as the perfect budget light meter is the features it offers.
The best feature of this light meter is that it gives 100% accuracy with an EZ read display.
Also, the life of the battery is reliable and lasts for a long time. Performance-wise this light is durable and consistent throughout its life.
What are The Aspects that Make Dr.Meter LX1330B One of The Best Light Meter?
The below mentioned are some aspects that make this a suitable budget light meter:
The light meter by Dr. Meter gives perfect accuracy in terms of response. This is also well known for its quick and precise responses.
The advanced technology features of this light meter make it the most popular and effective one so far.
If we talk about the display, then it has bright light with big font. The display is fully HD with a LED light on the screen.
One can easily read the figures and texts appearing on the screen without any discomfort.
Easy to Handle
The good thing about this product is that the same is easy to handle. This product is made up of premium quality material which gives a decent grip while handling. One can use it single-handedly without any discomfort.
The light meter is travel-friendly which means it has enough battery backup. The battery is fast charging and runs for a longer period. Along with battery it also gives the feature of storing data.
The functioning is so simple that even if you haven’t operated it in your entire life, then also it can be easily used.
This one is bundled with a manual guide which one should read properly before using it.
How To Choose The Best Budget Light Meter
The following are a few factors which one should consider before buying a light meter.
The first and the foremost thing that you must consider before buying the budget light meter is the quality.
If the light meters are of high quality then they will perform consistently throughout life. So you must consider the quality of the light meter before buying them.
Importance and Speciation
Before getting any light meter, it is important to check the features and specifications of a product. You can keep a few things under consideration.
It has brilliant photography features, which help you take some amazing shots. These lights are accurate and give an immediate response to things.
So if you are planning to get a good quality light meter, then this is the one for you.
Size and Operation
If we talk about light meters, they are small and pocket friendly in size. If we talk about the operation, they are so simple that a person who has never operated can also use it easily. The functioning is also smooth and hassle-free.
Value of Money
The light meters are pocket-friendly that one can easily afford it. Well if you go for a higher range, then definitely you will get some more features.
Light meters are affordable in price and can be purchased by anyone. In light meters of the higher price range, there is a lot of modification and applications available which eases the pain and gives extra smooth functioning.
Body of the Meter
Always get a light meter that is made up of premium quality material. The one which has a sturdy grip will result in easy handling as well as smooth functioning.
It is considered that one should have a light meter that he can use single-handedly. So always consider these facts and then get one yourself.
Top 10 Best Budget Light Meter Reviews & Buying Guide
01. Dr.meter LX1330B Digital Light Meter – Best Light Meter For Photography (Affordable)
- Have very convenient switches
- Gives 100% accuracy
- Embedded with an EZ read display
- Handy and easily movable
- Premium quality digital illuminance
- Long battery life
- Brand: Dr.meter
- Model: 1330B-V
- Weight: 1 pound
- Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 8 inches
This digital illuminance light meter possesses a 4 range setup, which is dynamic as far as ability is concerned. It gives 100% accurate results without any interference.
The equipment gives minimum to maximum reading. If we talk about the display, it gives a clear display in which brightness is adjustable.
It has a better hold on the data and peak data, which is convenient during recording and storing data. The best feature of the light meter is that it is light weighted and super handy while traveling.
The design is made up of premium quality material which makes it durable. The functioning is simple and not difficult to understand.
“The only drawback with this light meter is that at times the brightness issue occurs which can hamper your work speed.”
- Less complex functioning
- Best known for accurate results
- Durable and long-lasting lifespan
- Has a vibrant display
- Poor battery back up
- Brightness issues
02. Extech LT40 LED Light Meter – Best Light Meter For Cinematography
- Provides accurate monitoring on light levels
- Easy to read display
- Gives up to the maximum reading
- Specially designed according to professional purpose
- Superfast calibration
- Light-weighted and handy during traveling
- Brand: Extech Instruments
- Model: LT40
- Weight: 4.9 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.9 x 0.2 inches
This LED light meter by Extech has amazing results in measuring environmental light levels.
It offers a wide range which includes office buildings, manufacturing plants and warehouses, college, and university campuses.
Also, it offers better workplace lighting because the illumination should be adequate according to the tasks.
The light weighted meter is simple to operate and is super handy during traveling. It verifies regulatory compliance which gives local safety codes as well as ordinances.
Along with this, it has high LED lighting which measures standard light sources. This is made up of metal halide, and high-pressure sodium which is durable and gives high performance.
“One major drawback of this light meter is that it shows wrong measurements at times.”
- 100% user friendly
- Massive battery life
- Travel friendly
- Improper functioning of the meter after few days
- Gives wrong measurements
03. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter – Best Compact and Flexible Light Meter
- Complete photo mode
- Gives an HD cine mode
- Packet contains an electronic flashlight
- Cordless flash is changeable
- Brand: Sekonic
- Model: 401-305
- Weight: 3.52 ounces
- Dimensions: 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches
Sekonic has designed this amazing pocket-sized light meter which is very flexible to use. It has a brilliant photo mode and gives a complete HD cine mode.
The electronic Flashlight makes its visibility clear and efficient. L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter is designed with a theater-quality display feature.
In this product, the flashlight can be easily changed according to the convenience of the user.
The perfect DSLR mode and the mirrorless videography do not need much exposure and give simple functionality.
The display is bright and the fonts are big clear. It gives a massive battery life and backup.
“The only problem with this light meter is that it requires a lot of charging and can take a lot of time.”
- Not hard to use
- Bright display
- Made up of premium quality material
- Gives accurate results
- The body is not that durable
- Need a lot of charging
04. URCERI Light Meter Digital Illuminance Meter
- Gives maximum reading
- Provides indication when the battery is low
- Versatile to handle a wide range of application
- Has 4 digital LED screen
- Light-weighted and compact
- Works on ambient temperature as well
- Brand: URCERI
- Model: 4332004118
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions: 6.87 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches
This Digital Illuminance Meter detector by URCERI is convenient to use. It has some amazing features which include measuring luminosity from 0 to 2,000 lux in ambient weather as well.
The light meter gives accurate results without any changes. The 4 digital LED screen gives a vibrant display.
The reading comes from minimum to maximum. It holds data easily and has an auto power off.
When the battery is low, it indicates so that you can put them on charging immediately. The handy design makes it easy to use and operate, single-handedly.
It offers a wide range of applications, and the design is durable and goes on for years and years.
“One major drawback with this light meter is that the battery performance is not very reliable.”
- Quality of material used while manufacturing
- Gives 100% accurate results
- Super bright display
- User-friendly interface
- Poor battery performance
- Poor sensor performance
05. Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate – Best Portable and Light Weight Light Meter
- Compact and light-weighted
- Most appropriate for beginners
- Small and handy which can easily fit in the pocket
- Gives 100% accurate results
- Has a 33-degree acceptance angle
- Brand: Sekonic Corporation
- Model: SE L208
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 2.6 x 1.8 x 1 inches
This twin mate light meter by Sekonic is light weighted and compact. It is so convenient in operating that can be operated single-handedly.
It has a pre-attached hot shoe camera and stores the data as well. This is perfect for beginners as the operation is simple.
This travel-friendly meter is handy while traveling and fits into the person’s pocket. The accuracy ratio comes up to 100%. The 33-degree acceptance angle makes it comfortable to mold and move.
If we talk about battery life, then it has brilliant technology that comes with an increased battery. So the battery goes on and on.
“The problem with this light meter is that the results are not very accurate sometimes.”
- Travel friendly
- Commendable meter performance
- Good display view quality
- Poor quality control
- Results are not accurate
06. BTMETER 935994 Light Meter
- Excellent data holding
- Provides minimum and maximum test values
- Reminds when the battery is low
- Gives accurate reading
- The range gets managed automatically
- High quality LED lights
- Brand: BTMETER
- Model: 935994
- Weight: 8.1 ounces
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 4.2 x 1.8 inches
This 935994 light meter BTMETER offers a spectacular photography experience as well as is ideal for data holding.
Furthermore, this excellent light meter has a high quality LED lights that give perfect brightness. Also, this one is not difficult to use and the sensor can be rotated easily to measure the luminosity intensity.
Moreover, the display of the light meter is accurate and gives perfect results. The display also indicates when the battery is low.
Moreover, this product can help in reading 33 sets and Temp testing. Performance-wise it lasts for a long time if kept with proper care.
“The only drawback of this light meter is the performance of the battery that is not at all reliable.”
- Gives accurate measurements
- Simple and accurate functioning
- Good mobility
- Splendid display
- Poor battery life
- Performance starts degrading after some time
07. SmartSensor lux Light Meter
- Rapid response and accuracy
- High quality LED display
- Displays temperature on the screen
- Battery saver
- Strong grip while holding
- Brand: SmartSensor
- Model: AS803
- Weight: 4.3 ounces
- Dimensions: 8.11 x 4.88 x 1.22 inches
This AS803 lux light meter by SmartSensor can be used to measure the illumination intensity. It can be widely used in scenic design, Inspection of industry, and controlling illumination.
It has an in-built calibration sensor it takes very little time to fetch an accurate reading.
Moreover, it comes with a rotatable head that offers detection in multiple directions. It also has a large LCD and backlight.
Besides, the same it displays the temperature on the screen. This small-sized light meter is handy as it has a robust grip.
“The only drawback with this light meter is the accuracy with results. At times it fails to show correct results resulting in failure or hamper of your work.”
- Gives perfect measurements
- Offers enough light to the LED screen
- Handy device
- Handy while traveling
- Poor battery performance
- Results may fluctuate over time
08. Dr.meter Professional LED Light Meter
- 270-degree rotatable sensor
- Has a mountable tripod
- Fast response
- Brand: Dr.meter
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.3 x 2.2 inches
The DR.meter profession LED light meter is ideal for all those photographers, set designers out there. Also, this product is perfect for making proper light arrangement for clicking the photos of filming a video.
Besides, it has an in-built calibration sensor that measures the light level very fast.
Moreover, using the digital LED lights of this meter is less complex. After just pointing them towards the light source the display screen shows the reading.
Along with this, the optical detector can be rotated easily for detecting the light in multiple directions.
“The only issue with this light meter is that the functions are not very user-friendly.”
- LED light has great results
- Handy while traveling
- Performance starts degrading overtime
- Functioning is not that user friendly
09. Sekonic 401-474 Light Meter – Touch Screen Experience
- Less complex functionality
- Great LED display
- Gives 100% accurate results
- Mobile in nature
- Brand: Sekonic
- Model: 401-474
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 5 inches
This 401-474 light meter by Sekonic is the first touch screen operated light meter that consists of several excellent features. Moreover, it has a large LCD screen that displays accurate readings.
Settings of this meter can be easily changed by just touching the display screen and setting them according to the use.
Moreover, it has a cine flash. This product is excellent at giving the readings as it gives the most accurate results.
Along with this, the simple functioning of this product makes it convenient and handy while using.
“The only drawback with this light meter is that the quality of the material used does not suit the standards.”
- Great LED flash
- Great in the data holding
- Smooth grip
- No after-sales services
- Poor quality material used
10. Kenko KFM-1100 Light Meter
- Flash meter
- Gives accurate results
- Mixed lighting with analyzing functions
- Both cord and cordless operation
- Not hard to calculate the ambient ratio
- Brand: Kenko
- Model: KEB-KFM110
- Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.75 x 2.75 x 1.13 inches
This product by Kenko is made up of simple technology and is simple to use. The light is designed and has both ambient and flashlight.
This is handy and gives 100% reliable results. It has a large LED that shows clear and bright colors while viewing.
The response of the device is quick and accurate. It has both cord and cordless operating systems. The lighting has analyzing functions and has smooth functioning.
The device is very handy and the grip is great. The device gets easily accessible into the hand and can be used single-handedly.
“The only drawback with this light meter is that the battery backup is very poor.”
- Gives accurate results
- Simple to use
- Fully LED display
- Poor battery backup
- Made up of poor quality material
Buying Considerations of Best Budget Light Meter
There is an assorted range of light meters available in the market. Due to this, it has become quite tricky to get the ideal one.
However, the following are the buying considerations that would help you to select the best budget light meter.
1. Type of the Meter
There are two types of light meters such as in-camera exposure and handheld meter. The in-camera meters are suitable for tasks that do not need higher accuracy.
These meters are not much efficient in taking the flash or incident readings. On the other hand, the handheld meters are ideal for proving high accuracy range for best performance.
2. Digital or Analog Display
The light meters with the analog measuring dial comes with a pointer to indicate the measurement values. It shows the reading of potential shutter speed along with aperture permutations.
Besides, the meters that have a digital display would estimate the light intensity in the form of numerical value or EV. At times, it would also show the same in shutter speed and aperture groupings.
3. Size and Grip
The light meters are compact and small, so they can be carried anywhere with ease. Yet, you must not opt for the heavier light meters as they are inconvenient to use.
Instead, prefer the simplistic digital light meters that come with the standard readings and basic buttons.
4. Incident Light Measuring
The incident metering helps to determine the amount of light that is falling on the focused object. Due to this, the reading would be more accurate.
This one is best suitable for still photography as well as portraits. Furthermore, it is not much useful for filming purposes.
5. Flash Metering System
The camera flashes are very quick. Maintaining the light balance during such a speedy instance is necessary, especially in the case of still photography. For this, you would need a light meter with a good flash metering function.
6. Efficient Spot Metering
The spot metering plays a vital role in striking a balance between the background and the subject. It helps to enhance photography performance. So, make sure your handheld meter has a great spot metering system.
7. Cine Mode
The cine mode assists in delivering high-end performance for high-end cinematography purposes. This mode is mainly made for the shutter speeds as well as frame rates.
So if you are concerned about the balance of light in videos, then go for the handheld meters with highly functional cine modes.
8. Shutter and Aperture Priority Modes
The futuristic meters that have a digital display can match the aperture and shutter priority modes on the camera.
So, if you want to shoot at a specific aperture value, then the best budget light meter would recommend you the accurate shutter speed.
WH Questions About Best Budget Light Meter
What are handheld light meters?
The handheld light meters are devices that measure the ambient or incidental and reflective light. It consists of a photocell that responds to the light intensity.
For this, you have to set the ISO or the shutter speed to get the readings either in foot candles or f-stops. It assists you in adjusting the camera for precise and suitable exposure.
What is the difference between reflected and incidental light meters?
The incidental light meters are useful in measuring the amount of light that falls directly on the subject.
On the other hand, the reflected light meters are made to measure the light that reflects off the surface of an object.
The reflected light measures the reflective potentials of the surface that you are measuring.
The incidental light meters are efficient in measuring the accurate power of the source of light. Besides, it also helps to provide a better-quality reading.
How to Use a Handheld Light Meter
A handheld light meter is pretty much compact and convenient to use. The following are how you can operate the meter.
- The handheld meter usually consists of two attached namely Flat Disc and a half-sphere.
- The Flat-Disc is useful in reading the reflected light. All you need to is slide the disc on and hold directly the metering cell near the object.
- The half-sphere assists in measuring the incidental light. For this, you need to slide the half-sphere towards the metering cell.
- Then hold the meter in front of the object to measure the light that hits the object.
What is the dynamic range?
The dynamic range stands for the latitude. Most digital cameras consist of either 7 or 8 latitude f-stops. There are 4 stops above and 4 stops beneath the 18% of neutral grey.
The dynamic range is measurable in f-stops amongst the intense white and black balance of the scene that you are shooting. The dynamic range’s middle point will be 18% that is often considered as a benchmark for ideal exposure.
Which one is more preferable between the digital and analog light meter?
The selection of the best budget light meter would depend upon your requirements and budget. The digital meters are more preferable as they display accurate readings on the LCD screen.
The analog meters are less expensive than digital ones. Besides, they do not drain the batteries to deliver reliable performance. Also, they perform more swiftly than digital ones.
How to Test The Light Meter?
To evaluate the functioning of the light meter, follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Put the camera in manual mode and look for a series comprising either dots or vertical lines at the bottom side.
- Look at the bottom of the camera screen in the viewfinder.
- If the scale shows the zero in the midpoint, then your light meter is working well.
So by now, you have got an idea about how to buy the best budget light meter. You can either go through the product list or can choose accordingly after reading the buying guide.
All you need to check is the quality of the light meter, brightness, and how long it can work. All these factors will not only make photography easy but also joyful.