Frequently Asked Questions
Model 6.4 Vitamin D Meter
Q. How can the Vitamin D meter (Model 6.4) best be utilized?
A. The meter can measure outdoor solar or indoor UV lamp irradiance and readout the estimated quantity of Vitamin D3 IU proportional to the amount of MEDs (minimal erythemal dose) exposure. The display is in IU per minute for type 2 untanned skin at 10% body surface area (typically face and lower arms). An Excel software utility is provided with the meter to allow entering meter reading, percent body exposure, skin type, percent tan, age, and SPF if any to determine approximate IU for particular individuals.
Q. Can I convert UV Index to Vitamin D3 IU/min.?
A. Yes. The Model 6.5 UV Index Meter Reading x 7.1 = the Model 6.4 D3 Meter’s Reading. For example, UVI of 10.0 x 7.1 = 71 IU/min D3. Please note this is for human Type 2 skin ONLY, not for reptiles!
Model 6.5 UV Index Meter
Q: The news today reported that the UV Index is X, but my Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter reads differently. What causes this?
A: Different news organizations and data sources use different scales and measurement methodology from each other. Several factors cause these discrepancies we see, including location and cosine response of their measuring devices, weather models they use for forecasts, measuring discipline (UV Index is defined by a measurement straight up regardless of sun position, but many people point directly to the sun), buildings in the way, local cloud cover, etc. We are confident in the accuracy of our meter, but if you have a specific forecast source that you trust, you could always measure the discrepancy between the forecast and the Solarmeter, and use the offset to augment your Solarmeter readings (e.g., the Solarmeter may consistently read 1.4 lower than your forecast of choice, so keep that in mind when making measurements to interpret the data however you’d like).
Q. How can I calculate the UV Index using a UVA, UVB, or UVA+B Meter?
A. The only relevant model for outdoor UVI is Model 6.5. The UVA or UVB meters don’t have an erythema filter (so they can never give a UV Index reading.) Because UV Index is measured using the Erythemal Action Spectrum, there is no conversion table possible to give an accurate reading. So to summarize, if you need to measure UV Index, you need a Model 6.5.
Q. What is the purpose of Model 6.5 outdoor UV index (UVI), and does it relate to indoor UV lamps?
A. The primary usage of UVI meter Model 6.5 is to monitor outdoor erythemal UVR, as defined by the EPA/NWS/NOAA/WMO. It is very useful for Sunwise School programs, and vacationers interested in UV intensity readings, to help prevent sunburn.It can also measure UVI from tanning lamps.
Q. What’s the difference between the Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter and less expensive UVI meters?
A. The Solarmeter 6.5 UV Index meter is affordable, but not the cheapest meter on the market. The difference boils down to quality and accuracy. So-called “budget UV index meters” rarely advertise a spectral response graph, either because the manufacturer does not have the capability to measure their product spectrally, or the manufacturer is unwilling to display their attempt at an erythemally weighted UV Index curve due to its large error margin. If a user purchases a “budget UV index meter” without spectral data, he/she is essentially trusting that the company producing the meter can get a complicated spectral curve correct, and for some reason has decided not to tout their achievement. Clearly an unlikely scenario! For applications involving determination of proper UV dose for reptiles, Solarmeter UV Index meters respond to UVB, whereas immitation or budget meters often respond mainly to UVA, used as a “proxy” for UVB, which is useless for artificial UVB lighting applications. These reasons and more are why the Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter remains the most trusted UV Index Meter in the world!
Model 7.0 MED Meter
Q. What is the purpose of a MED meter?
A. The Model 7.0 MED meter utilizes the same detector spectral response as the Model 6.5 UV Index Meter. The difference is that this meter is calibrated to read in MED/hour and can be used to estimate the time it will take to reach 4.0 MED (Te) which is the maximum exposure time that a sunbed is allowed to deliver, and the time it takes to reach 0.75 MED which is the initial session time. These values can also be used to help monitor sunbed compliance in the tanning salon and to help develop skin type (subtype) based exposure schedules that neither overexpose, nor underexpose the clients of indoor tanning salons to UVR. The meter is not intended to extend Te time beyond FDA labeled maximum… rather the lamps should be renewed as MED/hr falls ~30% from new readings.
Model 8.0 UVC Meter
Q. What is the UVC meter designed for?
A. Model 8.0 UVC meter is for measuring germicidal lamps in the purification industry. Eye and skin protection is mandatory when using this meter.
Model 9.4 Blue Light Meter and Model 9.6 Red Light Meter
Q. How can the visible light meters be used?
A. These breakthrough radiometers offer direct irradiance measurements of both LED and lamp output in the Visible light bandwidths. For the first time, users can readout mW/cm² of Blue Light ( Model 9.4) or Red Light (Model 9.6) from various phototherapy light sources.
Q. What are mW/cm² units measured by Solarmeters and other UV radiometers?
A. Industry standard quantification of UV or Visible irradiance in output intensity per unit of area.
Q. When measuring UV lamps, what should the reading be?
A. 100W flourescent UV tanning lamps typically emit between 15-25 mW/cm² total UV, and 0.30 – 1.60 mW/cm² UVB. 160W+ lamps 25-50+, and high pressure UV lamps emit 80-150 or more total UV. Lamps need to be measured when new to determine what they “should” read in OEM equipment.
Q. If my lamps are not new, how will I know what they should read?
A. Replace two adjacent lamps with new ones of same kind. Compare new to old lamps to determine relative difference.
Q. When should lamps be replaced?
A. When readings fall 30% (to 70% of new values). Eg: 15.0 new x 0.7 = 10.5 mW/cm².
Q. How can the Model 6.0 UVB meter help?
A. Two ways: Determine % UVB and check acrylic transmission. You will need both Model 5.0 (total UV) and Model 6.0 (UVB) to calculate % UVB. Eg: Model 5.0 reads 17.3 – Model 6.0 reads 1.30. Percent UVB = 1.30 / 17.3 = 0.075 = 7.5%. To check acrylic transmission, take UVB reading w/out acrylic and with acrylic. Most UVB should pass thru acrylic, or it needs replacement. As acrylic ages, it blocks/absorbs UVB quickly vs. UVA.
Q. What is your Cancellation Policy?
A. You may cancel your order any time before it ships from our manufacturing facility. We will refund the price of goods in full. To cancel an order, the request for factory approval must be made in writing.