How to Use a Temperature Laser Gun

Infrared guns are used to measure an object's temperature from a distance.
••• infrared thermometer image by Vladimir Titov from

Infrared thermometers (temperature laser guns) give you a means to take the temperature of objects that are too difficult or dangerous to access otherwise, by using an infrared beam to collect the amount of transmitted, reflected and emitted energy off an object. Electronic sensors in the temperature gun convert these values into a measurement of the heat energy from the object (temperature). Aim one at a barbecue pit to determine the temperature of the coals, or point the temperature laser gun at a buffet to ensure the correct storage conditions. A temperature gun can even tell you if the sidewalk really can fry an egg. Once you learn how to use a temperature laser gun, you will find many more uses for assessing temperature at a distance.

    Look for a Celsius/Fahrenheit (C/F) toggle switch or button on your temperature gun to change the readout from one temperature unit to another. Flip the switch to the desired unit of measurement.

    Turn the temperature laser gun on with the power button, if your model has one. Some units come on only when you depress the trigger.

    Aim the laser on the temperature gun to the place where you want to measure a temperature. Stand as closely as possible to the object for the most accurate temperature.

    Pull the trigger to view the temperature reading on the digital display on the infrared thermometer.


    • Do not point at magnetic objects, or those with highly reflective or shiny surfaces.

      Do not point the laser through smoke or glass. The infrared thermometer laser gun will measure the temperature of the smoke or glass instead of objects beyond.

      Avoid using the infrared thermometer next to areas of extreme heat or cold different from that which you measure. For instance, avoid using the temperature gun in a freezer to determine the temperature of an oven.