Thermal imaging vs Infrared thermometer

Thermal imaging vs Infrared thermometer. These two types of names are something I’m pretty sure you have come across before in places like shopping malls and offices before especially now with the worldwide pandemic that is taking place as it used almost everwhere you go! But what actually is the difference and which one is better?  

What is Thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging helps you to see an object heat signature through the use of infrared radiation of itself to form an image for us humans to see. Thermal imaging cameras are the ones commonly used to record down the temperature of various objects in the specific place, and then assign each temperature a shade of a color, this will let you see how much heat is actually radiating in comparison to the objects surrounding it. There is two types of temperature to take note based on the color. Cold temperature normally is a range of blue, purple, or green, while warm temperatures are identified with red, orange, or yellow colors instead.

Vue Tech Thermal Camera TE-W300

What about Infrared thermometer?

Infrared thermometer has a simillar concept where it is also an electromagnetic radiation in which heatwaves are emitted by the object at a specific area. However,the difference will be the wavelengths in fix intervals. Unlike infrared which is defined in fix intervals, Thermal radiation depends on absolute temperature and thus, infrared tends to be short wavelengths while thermal imaging tends to fall under medium to longer wavelengths. IR or also called laser thermometer consists of a lens to pick up infrared energy to the detector which in return, will help converts it to display in units of temperature that is readable for us to understand. The problem with this is that is less accurate due to the distance of the object while also requires a lot of time if you are dealing with multiple objects at once compared to a thermal imaging which detects at a futher distance while maintaing high accuracy and process speed.

infrared thermometer_edited

So which one is better for temperature screening?

After talking about Thermal imaging vs Infrared thermometer in regards to the difference, the winner seems like is Thermal imaging right? However, it really depends on the purpose and the budget you have. Let’s give an example in this pandemic period that you are a manager of a big shopping mall and got multiple entry and exit spots to maintain. The better choice for you will be the Thermal imaging cameras as it helps to manage all the people coming in out easily and quickly while maintaining the accuracy.As an additional bonus, it helps with documentations needed for you to take note of in the future. Another example will be that you are managing customers coming in with a one way path where entry and exit is the same and you are tight on budget, for this instance Infrared/laser thermometer will suit your needs despite it being a bit slower and less accurate while no documentation is being recorded down.

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