Luminometry. While a commonplace term to some, it is daunting at best to others. But it is an important concept to understand because of its wide-range of applications across dozens of industries. So, simply put, Luminometry is the process of measuring light. Luminometers are the instruments that do the measuring. They can be fundamentally defined as machines that detect very low light levels. However, the way they work can be a bit difficult to visualize. The following example may help to illustrate the concept.
Imagine having a shoe box, a firefly and a lot of tape. The firefly is placed inside the shoe box, which is then thoroughly covered in tape, preventing any light from penetrating or exiting the box. The end result is a small light source in the midst of an extremely dark space. The question now is; how much light is the firefly creating inside of the box?
A luminometer’s goal is to answer this very question. The pitch-black environment inside of the shoe box is a near-perfect visualization of the inside of a luminometer. The only piece of the puzzle missing from the previous example is something that can measure the amount of light that the firefly is producing, or, rather, to sense the level of light emission and quantify it.
In order to measure this, the machine detects the amount of light and translates it into an electrical current. This current is then read by the luminometer’s software and the end result is a measurement of total light inside (given in RLUs, or Relative Light Units).
This entire process – from secluding a light source in a sealed, dark enclosure to the measurement of the emitted light – is luminometry.
Unbeknownst to many, luminometry is already being applied in many diverse industries, such as human clinical diagnostics, veterinary diagnostics, food safety, biomedical research and environmental hygiene monitoring. It is an up and coming testing method that is proving to be crucial across all of the aforementioned industries, and therefore, it can definitely be considered a platform to satisfy numerous testing needs.