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Gossen Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

provided for review by
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  Introduction:
Gossen Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter is high precision, high accuracy and high quality light meter with conformance to DIN 5032-7 and CIE 69 standards. MAVOLUX 5032 B has an initial sensitivity of 0.01 lx which allows measuring extremely low light levels. MAVOLUX 5032 B can also measure high light intensities as high as direct sunlight. With such wide range of light measurement with accuracy, MAVOLUX 5032 B USB is perfectly suitable for certification and official inspections.

Apart from high accuracy & precision, one of the best feature of MAVOLUX 5032 B USB is it's ability to use standard AA sized battery, while most of the low end and mid range light meters use difficult to find 9V battery. Mavolux 5032 B USB light meter comes packaged in strong Aluminium briefcase. There are two main components of the light meter; the Mavolux 5032 measuring unit and Mavolux 5032 measuring probe. The measuring unit and probe are connected by means of a special cable. MAVOLUX 5032 B USB measuring probe has special photo diode with V (λ) filtering to match human eye response. Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit has clear 3 1/2 digit LCD display. Automatic LCD backlight when hold is activated. Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit has internal memory to store up to 100 light measurements in its internal memory As it's name suggests, it can easily connect to computer for advanced light measurements, data logging and data transfer via USB. A host of optional acessories are available including Luminance Attachment and Adapter disk for luminance contact measurement.

Mavolux 5032 Features: (ref: www.gossen-photo.de)
  • Meets Standards DIN 5032-7 and CIE no. 69
  • Illuminance can be measured in Lux or Footcandle
  • Luminance can be measured in candles per square meter (cd/m²) or Footlambert (fL) with optional luminance attachments
  • Wide measuring ranges
  • High resolution
  • Silicon photo diode, colour corrected, i.e. its spectral responsitivity is matched to the spectral phototic vision of the human eye V(λ). The accuracy of that V(λ) matching is the main difference between the two MAVOLUX types C and B.
  • Cosine correction for oblique inciding light
  • USB 1.1 Interface
  • CD Rom with software for processing the values measured and regulating the meter
  • Rugged instrument design, easy operation
  • Ever-ready case, USB-cable included
Technical Specifications Mavolux 5032 C / B USB:
Technical Specifications: Table below lists technical specifications for Mavolux 5032 C USB and Mavolux 5032 B USB as per the available data sheets at the time of review. The notable difference between Mavolux 5032 B USB and Mavolux 5032 B USB is basically their compliance with DIN 5032-7 Class C and DIN 5032-7 Class B standards of Standard Specifications DIN 5032, Part 7. (CIE 69). The Mavolux 5032 B USB has more precision, more accuracy and more flexibility. Mavolux 5032 B USB also has back light display illumination.
Model
Mavolux 5032 C USB
Mavolux 5032 B USB
Type Illuminance meter for measuring light
Accuracy Class C acc. DIN 5032-7 Class B acc. DIN 5032-7
LCD Display 3 1/2 digits 3 1/2 digits,
with backlight display illumination
Light Sensor Silicon photo diode with V (λ) filtering
Measuring Unit Lux or footcandle (fc) and with Luminance Attachment cd/m² or foot Lambert(fL) 
Measuring Ranges Automatic and manual measuring range selection
0.1 lx to 199 900 lx and
1 cd/m² to 1 999 000 cd/m² in
4 ranges (with Luminance Attachment)
0.01 lx to 199 900 lx and
0.1 cd/m² to 1 999 000 cd/m² in
5 ranges (with Luminance Attachment) 
Data Memory 100 individual measuring values
Measuring Rate 2 measurements per second
USB Port USB 1.1
Operating Temperature 0° C to 50° C
According EN 61010-1:2001, cl. 1.4.1
Storage Temperature -20°C to +70° C
Power Supply 1 x 1.5 V, size AA Battery,
when meter is connected to PC, power will be supplied via USB cable
Software gLux Software and additional applications
Connection Cable 1.5 m cable, firmly attached 1.5 m cable (plugged in)
Weight  200 g without battery
Standard Accessories Lightmeter in transport case, gLux Software including meter driver,
USB cable, battery & instruction manual.
Optional Accessories Luminance Attachment (measuring angle 20°),
Adapter disk for luminance contact measurement
(eliminating light incident from the sides)

Mavolux 5032 C / B USB Light Meter Accuracy: The maximum error margin for any of the parameter for both the meters is well under the admissible error margins as specified in Standard Specifications DIN 5032, Part 7. (CIE 69). And, although both the variants of Mavolux 5032 are highly accurate; the Mavolux 5032 B USB is the edge over Mavolux 5032 C USB. Most notably Mavolux 5032 B USB has linearity within 1% of the actual values which is exceptionally good.
Mavolux 5032 C / B USB Light Meter Accuracy
Characteristics Admissible Error
DIN 5032 Class C
Maximum Error
Mavolux 5032 C USB
  Admissible Error
DIN 5032 Class B
Maximum Error
Mavolux 5032 B USB
V(λ) - Matching (f1) 9% ≤ 7.5%   6% ≤ 3.0%
True Cosine Evaluation (f2) 6% ≤ 2.0%   3% ≤ 2.0%
Linearity (f3) 5% ≤ 1.5%   2% ≤ 1.0%
Adjustment Error (f11) 2% ≤ 1.0%   1% ≤ 0.8%
Total Error (fges) 20% ≤ 15%   10% ≤ 8.0%

Did you notice the V(λ) - Matching values for Mavolux 5032 B USB? They are within 3% of the actual value as perceived by human eye. How is this so significant? The V(λ) function, used in photometry, is an average action spectrum for the visual response of the human eye, and the matching of the spectral responsivity of photometers to V(λ) is the most important criterion of photometers. The V(λ) is actual eye sensitivity function in the photopic vision regime. What this means is that the meter will accurately mimic eye sensitivity within 3%. What is Photopic? Photopic is vision in bright light that is mediated by the cones of the retina (inside eye).
In-Depth Review & Pictures:
Mavolux 5032 B USB Package: Mavolux 5032 B USB comes packaged in secure, strong and well built Aluminium brief case. Comparing size with AA battery placed in front, the AA battery appears to be very small. For the size of light meter, the case is considerably big. The main reason to have such a big case is to protect the meter. Mavolux 5032 B USB is a professional tool and may be used at challenging environments. Gossen, by providing a strong case ensure that Mavolux 5032 B USB is safe and secure inside.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Briefcase Standing
The contents inside Mavolux 5032 B USB case are secure with twin locking latches. Let's open the case and see what's inside.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Briefcase Flat

Inside, first you will notice a document folder. The folder has important documents relating to the Mavolux 5032 B USB light meter. The documents include user manual, product literature and other products brochure.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Briefcase Opened

The briefcase base compartment is filled with foam cut to accommodate various components and accessories. Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit placed securely in foam cut in shape to accommodate the meter. In center is cable attached to light sensing measuring probe placed at the right. On extreme right is AA battery, yes it's a AA battery based meter; we will discuss more on this further in this review. The upper compartment has a sleeve where you will find USB cable (shown placed in front of sleeve) and Software CD (picture also shows user manual). The upper compartment has enough room in to keep additional documents and cables etc. This is handy for on-site visits for those who need to keep documents securely. They need not carry any thing additional.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Briefcase Contents
The included CD has Drivers, Software as well as User Manual included along with host of other utilities. User Manual is has two languages. The contents of user manual are simple and easy to understand.

Mavolux 5032 B USB Lightmeter: The Mavolux 5032 B USB light meter consist of two main components. Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit and Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring probe. The cable connecting the unit and probe is fixed at measuring probe end. The Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit has the female socket to accept the incoming cable. The picture shows of measuring unit with probe. The cable is not attached but just placed below the Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Mavolux 5032 B USB Measuring Unit Size Comparison: Here is a size comparison with AA battery. Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit is little over twice AA battery size in length. More specifically, about 105 mm in Length and 65 mm in Width. The overall dimensions of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit are very similar Apple iPhone (115 mm Length x 62 mm Width). As you can see, in comparison with the carry case, the Mavolux 5032 B USB lightmeter is considerably small.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter Size Comparison with AA Cell

The thickness of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit about 19 mm.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter Size Comparison with AA Cell Another View

Mavolux 5032 B USB Measuring Unit Display and Controls: The Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit has large 3 1/2 digits LCD display with backlight display illumination. There are 6 keys arranged three in a row with two rows layout. The first row has power ON/OFF switch, in center is Auto range selection key and on right is lux / footcandle selection key. The second row has hold key, manual range selection key and a memory key. Interestingly, when hold is activated, the backlight automatically switches on.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Mavolux 5032 B USB Measuring Unit Ports: On top of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit, there is a 5 pin female secure type socket to accept the connection from the light sensing probe.

Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

The unique part begins here. Mavolux 5032 B USB is one of the first light meters that has USB V 1.1 port. USB adds flexibility and convenience. What's more is that when light meter is connected to PC through USB port, the light meter is powered by USB port. This is one of the reason why there is no additional power port. One of the advantage of using USB port is that we do not have to worry about battery running down any more, especially when you are logging light levels for long duration.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

So what powers such a master piece instrument? Nothing fancy! Really! Single Standard AA battery is sufficient to power this unit. Use of AA battery means incorporating of additional circuitry to ensure all internal components are supplied with power correctly. Using 9V battery means simpler design for engineers but difficult for users who use the light meters. You don't want to be hunting for the 9V battery when it runs down on a important mission do you? Where as in case of a circuital mission for Mavolux 5032 B USB, you can fetch a AA battery from any of the devices such as a remote or even a wall clock. While most manufacturers opt for difficult to find fancy 9V battery, Gossen has done an excellent job in selecting power source for Mavolux 5032 B USB. Hats off to German Engineering on this aspect.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Here is a glow shot of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit. To activate the backlight you have to activate hold by press the hold key once. The glow shot taken here is over exposed for demonstration purposes. In practice the screen will not be as bright as it appears in picture, but it is definitely readable without any strain on eyes and has sufficient illumination. The LCD uses electro luminescent (EL) type backlight LCD illumination.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Mavolux 5032 B USB Measuring Probe Size Comparison & Details: Comparing size of measuring probe with AA Battery. The overall dimensions of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring probe are 105 mm Length x 31 mm Width x 30 mm Depth.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

The Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring probe has color corrected high sensitivity silicon diode light sensor installed. The white colored filter is placed over the silicon diode. The filter ensures even illumination to silicon diode sensor. The area surrounding light sensor has threaded ring that facilitates attachment of optional accessories. There is a micro switch just outside the ring. This switch is activated when the illuminance attachment accessory is screwed down completely. The light meter mode changes accordingly to measure cd/m²(Candela per square meter) or fL (foot Lambert).
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

At the back side of Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring probe, there is arrangement to attach standard camera stand screw.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter
Mavolux 5032 B USB in Action:
Measuring high light intensities with Mavolux 5032 B USB: The picture shows 2.81 x 1000 lux reading on the LCD. This is maximum illumination at which we could take the picture without overexposing. The maximum range for Mavolux 5032 B USB is well above this. In fact, its of the order of 199900 lux.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Measuring low light intensities with Mavolux 5032 B USB: Here is a demonstration of how low light levels can be measured. If you notice, the Mavolux 5032 B USB Lightmeter reads 0.03 lux. The picture surrounding is almost completely dark. Even the camera with overexposure of 2 seconds is not able to pick up the light but the Mavolux 5032 B USB meter picks up lowest of light illumination.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Mavolux 5032 B USB Gossen Photometer Utility: PC Interface and gLux Software
Mavolux 5032 B USB Driver Installation: When using the Mavolux 5032 B USB for the first time, you need to install the USB driver for the USB light meter. It's a simple one step process. Before beginning, ensure that supplied software CD is placed in optical disk drive of the PC. Connect the USB cable in between PC and light meter. Windows automatically detects the light meter. You need to choose driver from custom installation path for drivers located on CD. Once the driver is installed, you are ready to install the gLux Lux meter tool of Gossen Photometer Utility.

gLux Lux meter Tool: The gLux Lux meter tool is available as installable file accompanying the software CD. Here again, the installation is a simple one step process. gLux photometer utility from Gossen is a simple but very effective software tool that provides PC interface to Mavolux 5032 B USB light meter. On first start, the gLux tool auto detects the connected light meter and selects specific options automatically as shown in this screen shot.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter
gLux offers 4 language interface options and is a common software that can be used for other Gossen photometric products such as Mavo-Monitor and Mavo-Spot 2 USB. Click on measure button to proceed.

Once you click on measure button, you are presented with the screen as shown next. Here you have an option to select type of light measurement weather continuous or individual measurements, you can select metering units as well as range. Basically, you can perform all the operations that are possible through the physical buttons on the Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit. Over and above, you can also do a continuous light measurement for data logging purposes, read and delete entries in stored memory of measuring unit. Clicking on "display measuring value" shows the current lux reading. You can click the display measuring value multiple times and each time the value is logged and stored. The log of readings is displayed in center section of the gLux Screen along with the time of measured value.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter
On right side of the screen you have an option to read Mavolux 5032 B USB measuring unit's memory as well as delete the memory. There is an option to save list as standard CSV file.

gLux Lux meter Tool as Light Data Logger: Now, Let's turn our attention to the data logging features of gLux light meter tool. For this, you first have to decide on a few things before beginning. Click on the settings button to configure the logger properties. The popup box as shown here allows you to select rating factor and measuring interval. There are predefined intervals to select ranging from 0.5 seconds to 60 seconds. You also have an option to choose the interval between individual readings manually. For the review, we used 1 second interval. Click OK to continue.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

Clicking on Continuous mode button begins the logging session. All readings are displayed at the center of the screen where as the current reading is displayed in bigger font on left side of the screen.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter
There are two options to display the data log. One is the list and second is the chart option.

Here is the screen shot of gLux Photometer Utility showing chart mode. Chart mode is very helpful and gives easy to understand visual indication of logged readings.
Mavolux 5032 B USB Light Meter

The Verdict:
Mavolux 5032 B USB is one of the ultimate and the very best USB light meter available in its class. Conformance to CIE 69 and DIN 5032-7 Class B standards means accurate, reliable and high precision light measurements. Usage of standard AA battery in Mavolux 5032 B USB is truly ingenious. Mavolux 5032 B USB is one of the smallest and most portable high precision photometer available in the market. We highly recommend it for all light measurements. With wide range of light measurement accurately, MAVOLUX 5032 B USB is perfectly suitable for certification and official inspections. Mavolux 5032 B USB can be used by professionals as well as enthusiasts.

Reviewed: 2008-08-05
Updated: 2008-08-05


Buy Mavolux 5032 B USB at www.gossen-photo.de
 
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