Lux Meter App Review, & The Danger Of Using An App For Lighting Audits

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On an energy efficiency kick and want to do a lighting audit? Think you’re set because you just found an awesome new app on your smartphone to help you do it? Maybe not….

I’m in the midst of gathering together some top products for helping to improve the energy efficiency of your home. I found the Android app “Lux Meter” and thought it would make the whole lighting audit process even simpler and easier. But, you know, you have to check these things.

I went ahead and compared the app to a professional light meter. The downloaded app is absolutely terrible, and anyone using it to adjust the lighting in their work/life environment will end up using about 6x too much light.

Image Credit: Scott Cooney / Important Media
Image Credit: Scott Cooney / Important Media (click to enlarge it)

The pic above isn’t excellent, but you can see that the app is showing almost no light (0 foot candles), compared to 97 lux (or about 8-9 foot candles) on the professional meter.

In other words, stick with the professional light meter!

I haven’t run across other such apps, but if you know of any that you think are more accurate, I’d be happy to check it (or them) out. Drop us a note!


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Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur focused on making the world a better place for all its residents. Scott is the founder of CleanTechnica and was just smart enough to hire someone smarter than him to run it. He then started Pono Home, a service that greens homes, which has performed efficiency retrofits on more than 16,000 homes and small businesses, reducing carbon pollution by more than 27 million pounds a year and saving customers more than $6.3 million a year on their utilities. In a previous life, Scott was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill) , and Green Living Ideas.

Scott Cooney has 131 posts and counting. See all posts by Scott Cooney

5 thoughts on “Lux Meter App Review, & The Danger Of Using An App For Lighting Audits

  • Critical reporting! Good. Keep it up. All that glistens is not green.

  • It was probably using the rear camera, which, since it’s against the table, is of course not seeing any light.

    • Good point. If it only uses the front camera that makes it kind of useless for setting a work space’s light levels. Maybe if it spoke it could call out the light level when it’s upside down.

    • Of course the phone uses rear camera, the most technically advanced on it. Auto-exposure allows some light-level measurement. It is limited when used as Lux Meter, as it cannnot be calibrated. So it only reports ball-park figures for Lux.
      Still the app is useful for comparative readings around a premises.

  • Um, Wouldn’t the app take its reading from the camera on the back of the phone, which in the picture is sitting next to the table and is not receiving much light at all?

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