The HotSpotterTM and IR thermometers: A comparison

Both products work by measuring the intensity of Infrared radiation being emitted by a remote object. However the two products serve two quite different purposes: The HotSpotterTM Is designed to find and locate an unknown area where the temperature is hotter than its surroundings. While the IR Thermometer is designed to measure the actual temperature of a known remote point. See below for more detail.

IR Thermometer The HotSpotterTM
Main Purpose To measure the temperature of a remote fixed small spot at a distance using Infrared To locate relative hot spots at a distance using Infrared by scanning a surface such as a wall or ceiling etc.
Output Digits on LCD display Varying frequency sound and coloured LED display
Infrared field of view (Angle of view from axis) Approximately 1 degree cone. Good for measuring a known remote spot. Approximately 7 degrees cone. Good for scanning a larger surface looking for a hot spot.
Housing Usually ordinary plastic. Not particularly tough. Rugged polycarbonate
Watertight? No Yes
Can be dropped (1 metre drop test) No Yes
Easy to scan even in smoke or dark No Yes
Measure precise temperature at a distance Yes No

If one is trying to find a spot that is hotter than the surroundings, such as a smouldering beam behind a plaster wall (as you would after putting out a fire) then the HotSpotterTM is what is needed. It is also much better suited to everyday use by a fire-fighter who does not need to be worried about damaging the product in normal use.

The actual temperature being measured is usually irrelevant. After a fire has been put out you would expect the building to be hotter than usual. What one really wants to know is if there are any hidden areas where there is extra heat that might signify something still burning, or ready to burn.