The 10 Best UV Testers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. There are many reasons one might need a UV meter to test the strength of the sun's rays or the amount of radiation LEDs and other light bulbs emit. Whether you want a compact option to take with you when you go beach or a more accurate model for checking the lamps in your reptile's cage, you can find what you are looking for here. We've even included some with NIST certifications for lab use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 12, 2021:
The decision of which models to keep and which to remove during this update was somewhat in conflict. Ideally, I would have liked to have added more sensitive testers, and those with sensors detached from their bodies, like the Sper Scientific 850009 and Amtast UVA365, though, at the same time, I felt it important to keep budget-friendly and compact options as well as those which are marketed toward the beachgoer, like the Stressmarket.com UV84 – which is what I’ve ultimately done, replacing only two selections, instead of four. Options which measure UVC rays like the Solarmeter Model 8.0 are typically more expensive than those which measure UVA and UVB rays - 95% of (natural) sunlight UV is UV-A.
Another example is the General Tools UV513AB which offers models with both UVA/UVB or UVC measurements, with the latter costing somewhat more. Some testers like the SunKnown Portable and Santacary iU2 display measurements in the form of a UV-index, and this is a good sign that they’re marketed for outdoor applications and not so-much for professional manufacturing, printing, or laboratory/radiography purposes.
January 27, 2019:
We wanted to include UV testers suitable for the home consumer, as well as options that you might find in laboratory settings. For that reason, you'll find both models that cost hundreds of bucks and some that are in the 10- to 20-buck range. We did our best to verify the accuracy and ease of use of every item on this list.
Gowe Digital Industry Portable If you want something a little more sophisticated for radiometry and laboratory-based applications, then Gowe makes some excellent options, like the Digital Industry Portable, which can measure ultraviolet light across the whole spectrum from 220 to 400 nanometers, and saves you from having to get separate models for different frequency bands. In terms of accuracy and illumination range, it isn’t too different from mid-range models on the market, though it does have a sampling rate of only 0.3 seconds, and it displays both high and low measurements, and includes 20 points of memory. gowegroup.com