Finding the best light meter is a vital step toward taking your cinematography or photography to the next level.

Light meters are important tools that can help you capture perfect exposures every time, regardless of what your camera says.

Digital cameras have built-in light meters, but these aren’t always accurate, which is why a properly calibrated light meter can give you more precise exposure readings.

Light meters are used in many other fields besides photography, including:

  • cinematography,
  • architecture, and
  • stage lighting.

In addition to measuring ambient light, they can also measure flashlight exposure from strobes and speedlights.

If you’re just starting out with photography or cinematography and want to get the best photos and videos possible, then you should definitely consider buying a good-quality exposure meter.

Best Light Meter

What Is A light meter for photography And filmmaking?

A light meter is a tool which measures the amount of light in a given environment.

Trying to decide what shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings to use when shooting in a certain situation can be difficult, especially when working with something like natural light.

A light meter is an invaluable tool for any cinematographer or filmmaker, as it gives them all the information they need to make the right decisions.

A light meter will tell you exactly what settings you should be using for any scenario, depending on where your subject is standing.

There are two main types of light meters available: reflective and incident meters.

The difference between the two is that one measures how much light is coming from a source and the other measures how much light is hitting your subject.



Good Light Meter For Photography

What is a good light meter for photography? 

Different types of light meters have different features, and they are useful in different situations. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of light meters used by photographers.

A hand-held incident meter is used when the photographer wants to take a pre-visualization photo, or needs to measure the quality of light outside in order to control it.

An incident meter aims to capture the same amount of light as is actually entering the lens of your camera. This type of meter is very useful when shooting in difficult lighting conditions like back-lighting or side lighting.

A hand-held reflective meter captures reflected light, which is useful for quick spot metering when photographing a subject with strong backlight or side lighting. A reflective meter measures from the subject, rather than from an area outside the subject like an incident meter.

Best Light Meter

The best light meters are accurate, reliable, and easy to use.They allow you to take control of your cinematography or photography.


These are the best light meters for photographers on the market today:

1. Sekonic L-308X Flashmate Light Meter

The Sekonic L-308X Flashmate Light Meter is a basic, easy-to-use light meter. It is an affordable alternative for photographers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a light meter.

The Sekonic L-308X Flashmate Light Meter has the ability to measure ambient light, flash light, and incident light.

It can also calculate flash power settings with the correct EI and film speed settings factored in.

This light meter allows you to do metering with any aperture and any shutter speed. It can be used in horizontal or vertical format positions.

The Sekonic L-308X Flashmate Light Meter measures reflected ambient light and incident light with a digital display that provides reliable measurements.

This device features a long battery life with the ability to measure up to 1/1000th of a full second on its X1 setting while using alkaline batteries or 1/250th of a second on its X10 setting while using lithium batteries.

The Sekonic L-308X Flashmate Light Meter also allows you to measure flash power settings from 1/4 power all the way up to full power for TTL controlled flashes as well as manual flashes.

Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter (401-305) with Deluxe case
  • Portable and versatile meter offers dedicated functions for photography, cinematography and HD...
  • Sliding lumisphere measures incident or reflected light via a lens with a 40° reception angle
  • Wide metering range from 0 to 19.9 EV at ISO 100, works with exposure times starting as low as...
  • Broad flash range from f/1.0 to f/90.9 at ISO 100, customizable backlit LCD display, Photo, Cine,...

2. Gossen Digisix 2 Light Meter

The Gossen Digisix 2 Light Meter is a hand-held light meter that can help you take better pictures. It features a built-in calculator, making it easy to calculate the correct exposure settings for your camera. 

This light meter includes a memory function so you can track multiple exposures, as well as a built-in tripod mount. The Digisix 2 Light Meter is lightweight, compact, and easy to use.

Tired of trying to figure out how to expose your camera properly? With the Gossen Digisix 2 Light Meter, all you have to do is point and shoot.

The Digisix 2 Light Meter is simple to operate. Just press the button and hold it up to your subject. The light meter will immediately display the proper film speed (ISO) or aperture setting required for the right exposure.

If you’re having trouble seeing the meter display in direct sunlight, no problem. A rotating filter allows you to rotate 180 degrees for easier viewing when photographing outdoors. This filter also helps reduce glare on the meter’s display for more accurate readings.

The Gossen Digisix 2 Light Meter is great for any photographer who wants to get professional results without spending hours in front of his or her computer screen. 

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3. Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate Light Meter

The Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate is a simple and easy to use light meter designed for photographers who are looking to take control of their photography.


 You have to point it at the subject you want to measure, so it’s not ideal for studio work. However this is an excellent tool for shooting outdoors or in any situation where you don’t have total control of the lighting.

By pointing the Sekonic L-208 directly at the subject you can get an instant reading that tells you the correct settings for shutter speed and f/stop.

The Sekonic L-208 has two different metering modes, averaging and center weighted. 

The averaging mode takes an average reading of a scene and displays the average luminance value.

The center weighted mode meters from a 9% central area of the viewfinder and ignores the left and right sides of the scene.

The Sekonic L-208 has an ISO range from 3 to 6400 with a 1/3 stop increment, which is just about perfect for most work. It also offers spot metering and a hyperfocal distance scale.

The Sekonic L-208 comes with a protective carrying case, neck strap, wrist strap and instruction manual.

Sekonic 401-208 Twin Mate Light Meter (Black/White)
  • Instant reading of aperture /shutter combinations with dial ring
  • Shoe Mounting on Camera
  • One Hand Operation
  • Selection of reflected or incident light measurement at one touch of sliding the lumisphere
  • Great for street film photography

4. Sekonic L-858D Speedmaster Light Meter

If you’ve never used a light meter before, you may not know the power it can provide. The Sekonic L-858D Speedmaster is a perfect entry-level device.

It’s not just for photographers. Videographers and filmmakers also use this tool to get the right lighting for their shots.

This particular model is very easy to operate. You can either attach it directly to your camera or use the included hand-held remote option.

This gives you more flexibility to get the right reading, especially if you’re in a tricky spot where direct access isn’t possible.

The Sekonic L-858D has five different modes based on your needs: 

  • Incident mode, which measures reflected light; 
  • Spot mode, which measures a specific area; 
  • and Three distance modes for flash photography and other work with strobes and flashes.

All of these modes are preprogrammed into the device so there’s no confusion about how to use them.

There are multiple settings that help make all of these modes even more flexible and accurate, including exposure compensation and metering sensitivity adjustment. The power source is two AA batteries or an external AC adapter that plugs into the jack.

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5. Lumu Power 2 Light Meter

Smartphone cameras have come a long way. They can take decent photos in challenging situations, but there’s still no substitute for good lighting.

The Lumu Power 2 Light Meter measures ambient light, flash and color temperature to help you achieve the ideal exposure for your shot. With these measurements, you can set your camera to the appropriate manual settings and shoot with confidence.

You don’t need any special training to use a light meter. The Lumu Power 2 is easy to operate, and it works with any digital or film camera that has an ISO setting. 

Just point the sensor at the subject, hold it steady, and the app will display the correct exposure settings for your environment.

The Lumu app uses a database of over 1 million light readings taken from real-world locations to give you accurate readings anywhere.

The database is constantly updated as more readings are added by users around the world. You’ll be able to take consistent exposures from location to location without needing to adjust any settings on your camera.

The Lumu Power 2 comes with a magnetic ring that lets you attach it directly to a lens or hot shoe mount on top of your camera body (it’s not compatible with DSLRs). This lets you keep both hands free for taking the best shot.

Reed Instruments Reed LM-81LX Compact Light Meter, 20,000 Lux/2,000 Foot Candles (Fc) (LM-81LX)
  • Sold as 1 Each.
  • Easy to operate, compact design. Min/Max and data hold functions. Blue. Powered by a single 9V...
  • 5-digit LCD display. Zero adjustment button. Resolution of 1, 10 lux ( 0.1, 1 fc).
  • Auto ranging. Over range and low battery indicators. Accuracy of + or -5% of reading.
  • User selectable Lux / Foot-candle measurements. 6"H x 2.4"W x 1.3"D. Sampling time of one second.

6. Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478D Light Meter

If you’re looking to purchase a good light meter, the Sekonic L-478D is a good choice. 

It’s an easy to use light meter that comes at a very reasonable price of $169. However, don’t expect any bells and whistles with the meter.

The Sekonic L-478D is a basic light meter that does what it’s supposed to, without any unnecessary features.

The L-478D measures incident and reflected light, in either spot or average mode. It also has an incident bright mode for measuring light sources that are behind a subject, such as a window.

The Sekonic L-478D also has a built in thermometer for measuring temperature and displays both degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit for the reading.

The LCD screen on the Sekonic L-478D is big enough to be able to read from different angles. The meter also has a built in flash diffuser that can diffuse flash from both hot shoe flashes and studio strobes.

The display rotates out of the way so you can lay the meter flat on its back if you need to measure something low to the ground or any other angle that doesn’t work with the display facing up.

The Sekonic L-478D has an ISO range of 5.

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7. Ikan Cv600 Digital Led Light Meter

The Ikan Cv600 Digital Light Meter is a compact, easy to use light meter designed for digital photography.

Light meters such as the Sekonic L-358 and Gossen Luna-Star are highly accurate and durable, but they are also very expensive.

The Ikan Cv600 is a lower cost alternative that measures reflected and incident light in footcandles (fc), lux (lx) or even illuminance (ft-c). It can be used in place of a hand-held incident meter for flash exposures, or for ambient readings with a flash attached.

The Cv600 has been recommended by many professional photographers, including Joe McNally and Eric Kim who appreciate it’s compact size, ease of use and portability.

The Cv600 has two 1/4″ 20 mounting threads on the bottom, so it can be mounted on a tripod, placed on a flat surface or clamped to a pipe. It runs on two AA batteries which are supplied. A battery test button is provided so you know when it’s time to change them.

The front panel has all the controls you need to make the necessary readings. 

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8. Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Light Meter

Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Light Meter is easy to read, has an infrared mode and is priced right. I use it for product photography and found that it works perfectly.

The KFM-1100 features a dual sensor mode that measures incident and reflective light simultaneously.

With the push of a button, the user can switch between reflective and incident modes which allows capture the light intensity of an object or the surrounding environment (infrared mode).

The KFM-1100 combines the functions of a light meter, color meter and flash meter in one unit. The reflective mode measures the amount of light falling on a scene or object as well as the color temperature of the ambient light (color temperature range: 2000K to 15000K).

In this mode, the reading obtained is equivalent to that produced by a dedicated hand-held color meter, like those made by Gossen or Sekonic.

The incident mode measures reflected light from a scene or object for calculating exposure levels required for capturing a subject in optimal detail (metering range: EV 0 – EV 19).

Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter - Light Meter for Flash and Ambient Light
  • Simple and easy-to-use ambient/flash meter
  • Accurate and full featured
  • Analyze function for mixed lighting
  • Flash-ambient ratio calculations
  • Cord or cordless operation

9. Sekonic L-398A Light Meter Studio Deluxe III Light Meter

Sekonic L-398A Light Meter Studio Deluxe III Light Meter>>> 

Sekonic L-398A Light Meter Studio Deluxe III Light Meter The Sekonic L-398A is a classic handheld meter with the addition of Bluetooth capability.

This allows you to connect the meter wirelessly to your mobile device via the Sekonic L-508 app. You can then use it to make adjustments from your phone or tablet. These include changing exposure settings and checking the progress of test shots.

The meter itself is 3 1/2″ x 4 1/4″, which makes for easy carrying in your camera bag or pocket. It has a rugged metal body and is covered with rubber bumpers to protect against drops and bumps.

It also has an IP54 rating, meaning that it can survive being splashed with water and operate in dusty conditions without any issues. This makes it ideal for outdoor photography that requires you to be near water or other potentially dangerous conditions.

It’s worth noting because it’s something that you can now measure light at night using this model, thanks to its inclusion of an infrared censor. This feature was specifically requested by many photographers.

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Best Light Meter For Digital Photography

I would like to share my experience regarding the best light meter for digital photography. I’m sure that many of you have already used a light meter before, but if you’re new to the field, you might find this helpful.

In the past it was very difficult to take shots in dark conditions. You had to depend on flash and hope for the best. 

This is when the use of a light meter came in handy.

A light meter is a device that measures the amount of light available in a photograph. This information can be used by photographers to make adjustments to their camera settings to capture an image correctly exposed without the need for guessing.

In order to achieve correct exposure, you must set your camera’s exposure settings (such as shutter speed, f-stop and ISO). The most important factor to consider is the exposure value (EV). 

This is determined using a handheld light meter.

There is a belief that you need to spend a lot of money to get good light meters.

Totally false!

It does NOT have to be expensive.

With the right knowledge, you can get one for $20-$30 and it will do just fine.

The most important thing to remember is that Light Meters are calibrated to the film speed of your camera and what you want is the f/stop reading.

Best Value Light Meter

Light meters are a great tool to add to your camera bag. They’re relatively cheap and incredibly useful. In this post, I’ll take you through five of the best value light meters and explain why they are worth every penny.

The Sekonic L-158 

This handheld meter measures reflected light from a scene. It’s an analogue device that uses a needle in a circular dial to indicate the exposure level based on the values set on the dials.

There are very few buttons, making it easy to use, but does require some explanation before you can get accurate results with it.

Camera manufacturers have spent decades refining in-camera light meters by using computer chips and algorithms, so if you want an accurate reading there is no substitute for getting your light reading from your camera.

Global Light Meter – Sekonic L-478DR+

The L-478DR+ is Sekonic’s top of the line meter. 

It was released in 2009 as an upgrade to the previous model – the L-478DR.

The old model was very popular with professionals who prefered it for its ruggedness and excellent features (full details here). 

Best Light Meter Under $100

Are you looking for a good, affordable light meter? 

If you’re a beginner looking for the best light meter under $100, then look no further.

There are many reasons people take pictures. Some like to capture their memories and others want to make money by selling their pictures.

Whatever your needs, you can never have enough accessories that will help you take high-quality pictures.

There are various types of meters available in the market, ranging from the analog type to digital ones.

However, if you are still new to meters, it’s wise to opt for a simpler one that will help you achieve great results without having to spend too much time figuring things out.

The Sekonic L-308S Light Meter is the best light meter under $100 because of the following:

This light meter measures the intensity of the light using reflected readings that are convenient and easy to understand.

It doesn’t require batteries, saving on your bills every month. Its size makes it portable so you can carry it around easily without feeling burdened. It has a simple, yet attractive design that makes it desirable.

Best Light Meter App

Light meters have been around for a long time, and they’re great for getting a reading of your subject’s exposure. However, they’re not always the most convenient device to carry around. 

Luxi is a free light meter app, which works exactly like an old-fashioned light meter. You hold your phone up to the scene you want to capture and Luxi will tell you how bright it is. Luxi can also be used as a light field meter.

Luxi has three different modes: Spot Meter, Center Weighted Average, or Full Screen Average. These modes affect how luxi reads the exposure of your subject.

The Spot Meter mode tells you the exposure of an area that is about 3% of the frame, so it is a good way to measure small areas in high contrast scenes like snow against dark trees or a face in front of a bright sky.

The Center Weighted Average mode provides an average exposure reading from about 73% of the frame. This is useful for scenes with average lighting like landscapes or portraits with even lighting on both the subject and background. 

The Full Screen Average mode gives an average reading from about 95% of the frame, so it is good for measuring overall light available.

Final Thoughts

If you’re serious about photography, you will definitely need an external light meter. I hope this guide sheds some light on the subject and helps you make an informed decision.

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