A photo light meter is a famous device used by most professional photographers to measure the light being reflected by a scene so that it can be photographed. These meters measure the amount of light falling over the subject of the photographer, and work by being held in front of their subject, while aiming at the source of light. These handheld meters aid in exposure for photographers and are extremely accurate in their measures.


A handheld meter is very helpful for expert photography, as unlike a built-in camera, these meters cannot be deceived by contrast backlighting, flash, snow, or side lighting. The meter inside cameras tend to get confused, leading to poor exposure in photography. Therefore, with a handheld meter, the results are perfect due to the precision and versatility to read the ambient light that falls on a scene or subject.


If you have trouble in finding the right photo light meter, learn that it is a lot like choosing a camera, which means it is based on what features you are looking for. The light meter you choose should have these modes of exposure measurement:

  • Incident (measuring the light that falls on a subject with a lens covered with a white dome)
  • Reflected (reads the light that bounces off of the subject)
  • Subject (correctly reads the brief burst of light from a flash or studio strobe)


You should also check if the light meter has the ability to read the light from a 1 degree angle, as this will give you control over the exposure from any distance of the subject. Even in dark backgrounds, you can capture he subject at a far distance this way.

If your camera has a flash, choose one with an ability to fire a studio strobe. The meter should also record multiple pops from the strobe units, and calculate the right amount of light falling over the subject that way. You should also choose a meter with a reading displayer at the viewfinder with an external LCD player to make the light readings be taken faster. If you shoot interiors, then look for meters which display the amount of flash used.