All About Gloss Meters

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Gloss meters, surprisingly enough, are devices that measure the gloss factor of various surfaces. Things such as how much reflection that a particular surface gives off and how light is reflected, spread and scattered across various surfaces.
In basic terms, gloss is a facet of visual perception in various objects and surfaces. The interaction of light with the physical characteristics of a surface is what creates gloss. Materials that are smooth and shiny appear to be very glossy, while rough objects appear to have little to no gloss at all.
What a gloss meter does is measure the light that is reflected by a light source at a specific angle, called a specular reflection. In simple terms, you shine a specific amount of light onto a surface and measure the reflection that is being generated. Now, when measuring gloss, you can't just shine any old light in any old way onto a surface. It is a very exact and specific science to properly measure gloss.
So, why would someone want to measure gloss with a gloss meter? Well, humans tend to gravitate and act more favorably towards glossy or shiny objects versus dull-looking items. So, it's important that an object that is supposed to look glossy actually does look glossy. A gloss meter can measure and detect if there are any defects with a product or item.
Being able to create a consistent gloss factor is very important. If you are producing a large number of the same item, then you want to make sure that all those products meet certain standards, and that includes gloss. If one object is significantly glossier than another object, then there may be something wrong with the material or workmanship. A gloss meter, by measuring the specular reflection, can provide that information that otherwise the naked eye would miss.
There are many different types of gloss meters, and many different ways to measure gloss. The standard practices is that an object with a reading of about 85 is considered to be low gloss. Something with a reading of 60 is labelled as semi-gloss and 20 is considered to be high gloss.
Measuring gloss is a unique combination of angles, math, light, science and craftsmanship. If you are building a table, the rough finish will not be glossy. Therefore, you would have to polish or finish the table in order to get an acceptable gloss reading. Not enough gloss and the table will look to dull and rough, and if it's too glossy, it may be unappealing. So, how can you tell when the table is just right in terms of gloss? With a gloss meter, of course!


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