How to measure with infrared thermometer


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I just got this thing and just not entirely sure the best way to measure with it. Like if it shoots out (but there's no like red dot or whatever to tell what it's picking) then I can't really measure like the space where the chameleon's head or back would be if he was sitting in his basking spot, because if I aim at that blank spot, it might actually be aiming back to the far wall screen, you know what I mean?
So I guess I'd have to pick a solid object to measure? Like a vine? But then that vine is a couple inches farther away than his back would be, so not totally accurate.
Measure the cham itself... When you see it basking, reach into the cage and click it! They hate this but hey... accurate measurements! lol Yesterday my two carpets were 86 & 84 while basking. Cheers!
Oh, he hated it alright. Lol. But then I guess, how long he's been in the basking spot makes a difference too right?
What temp am I aiming for themselves to be then? I've got an adult and a 5 month old panther.
I don't know exactly but I would think the mid 80's would be close. I'm kinda curious too. Cheers!
I just got this thing and just not entirely sure the best way to measure with it...


Depending on which model infrared temp meter you have determines how large of a surface you are measuring at any given distance. These meters have a distance-to-spot ratio specification (D:S). Some are only 1:1 while others have specs like 6:1 or 8:1 and so-on. An 8:1 D:S spec means if you are 8" away then you are looking at a 1" spot. Move closer and you are looking at a smaller spot etc. As you can see, the closer you are, the smaller the surface area that's being measured and that's likely to give a better measurement result of a chameleon's skin temp. I would think that not any closer than 1/2" would be a good idea as other effects may come into play if you get much closer. I have an 8:1 unit and I often measure at 2" to 6" away from skin depending on the size of the chameleon.

Here's a little more info:

Here's a 1:1 unit:

Here's a 6:1 unit:

For those who are looking into tempguns; if you can afford a little more money to invest, go with a 6:1 or higher D:S spec.
The one I got is the Zilla digital infrared thermometer. It doesn't list any ratios on the packaging i kept, which i imagine would be more detailed than the outer front packaging that I threw away.
My boss was making an order so I had him grow this on there too cause I wanted one and didnt see any on sale on the local home improvement stores websites. I don't order stuff online too often, but man I have GOT to start thinking of that first. That last gun looks so much better and cheaper than my boss's COST price on this thing.
You americans have it made for shopping man, I swear. Blows my mind sometimes, really.
Thanks for the info on that, now I'll know what to be looking for when i get a new one.
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