Thermal imaging cameras come in all shapes and sizes. They’re designed to assist with visualizing temperature changes such as hot and cold spots. They have tons of applications such as locating water leaks, air leaks, electrical faults and more. You’ve probably seen them used as paranormal equipment to find ghosts, but they are actually one of the best tools you can have in your toolbox.
What Do Thermal Imaging Cameras Do?
Thermal imaging cameras are designed to detect infrared energy so that you can see it as an image. Infrared energy is heat that we cannot see so we need tools to detect and turn them into images. Think of a basic camera that’s able to capture what the human eye can see, whereas thermal imaging cameras are able to show us heat by turning it into an image.
Thermal imaging cameras accomplish this by capturing local infrared energy and creating an image that the human eye is able to recognize.
There are multiple uses for thermal imaging cameras and they’re extremely useful to have in your toolbox. They feature tons of useful applications that can save you a lot of headache. You can inspect areas using a built-in laser point to capture thermal images and discover mechanical issues.
You may think you need to rent a thermal imaging camera, but you can easily own one yourself. The price of a thermal imaging camera ranges depending on the features you need, but most of them are affordable. They even make thermal imaging cameras for smartphones.
Here are a few things you can use a thermal imaging camera for:
- Electric: locate electrical faults in buildings that you can’t see with the naked eye
- Auto Repair: provide thermal imaging of engines, air conditioning systems, brake system, etc.
- HVAC: locate and inspect leaks in pipes
- Home and business use to locate trouble spots
A quick Google search for the “Best thermal imaging cameras” will bring up thousands of products. We’ve done the research and compiled the best into an easy-to-read list.
Flir TG165-X Thermal Camera Imaging Tool
The Flir TG165-X is a great thermal imaging camera that has multiple options and configurations to choose from. This particular model is perfect for imaging hot and cold spots on your property or in buildings. It can find electrical faults as well as water leaks and air leaks. You can even use it on mechanical elements and it is perfect for property inspections. It can alert you to an overheating issue and can measure temperatures up to 300 degrees C/572 degrees F.
The 2.4” display is easy to read and provides live images. It comes equipped with a super-bright LED light that allows you to see in dark areas while working. You can locate trouble spots quickly and efficiently with this tool. The TG165-X handheld thermal imager can cut your inspection time in half by immediately showing you trouble spots that need to be noted.
We like the TG 165-X because it gives you 5 color palettes, a pinpoint laser and an easy-to-read screen that helps you detect problem areas in your home, property or business. We also like the fact that you can get the Flir in multiple configurations depending on what you need.
Hti-Xintai HT-18 Thermal Imaging Camera
The Hti-Xintai is a great thermal imaging camera that’s worth every single penny. This model is the most affordable thermal camera in the Hti-Series. It’s perfect for contractors that need to quickly inspect work done to residential and commercial buildings. You can use thermal imaging cameras to check work done by contractors to ensure you don’t have hotspots or other problem areas. Thermal imaging tools are also great for checking your insulation. They will quickly point out any issues so that you can fix them and save money through energy savings.
The Hti-Xintai handheld thermal imaging camera features high resolution images on a 3.2” full color screen. It’s easy to use and simple to read as you can choose from 5 palettes of color such as Iron Red, Cold Color, Rainbow, Black and White and White and Black. Having multiple color palettes to choose from is great to have depending on the type of job you must do. This thermal imaging camera also comes with a 3 GB built-in memory card that can store tons of images that you can later hook up to your laptop to view.
The “gun” shape and ergonomic handle makes this thermal imaging camera quick and fun to use. We like this model because it can be used by anyone and is great for all sorts of applications.
Flir C5 Thermal Imaging Camera with WiFi
The Flir C5 is a great compact thermal camera that allows you to locate and inspect problem areas. You can use it to document issues and send to your customers or it can be for personal use. It has a powerful 160 x 120 pixel thermal sensor that can target and capture issues, an LED flashlight and a 5-megapixel camera that excels at documenting.
You can measure temperatures ranging from -20C to 400C or -4F to 752F which gives you a wide range of options. This thermal imaging camera allows you to transfer important data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB-C and you can connect to the cloud. It’s good to have multiple ways to share information with your thermal imaging camera.
The Flir C5 is a 3-in-1 tool that includes a thermal imaging camera, powerful LED flashlight and high-quality digital camera that will assist you in finding problem areas.
Hti-Xintai HT-19 High-Resolution Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera
The HT-19 has improvements such as higher resolution with 300,000 pixels. It’s easier to view and has more accuracy than other models. Many professionals use this thermal imaging camera for contractors, property inspections, farm use, archeology and tons of other uses.
You get 5 color palettes with the HT-19 which can make your job easier by giving you multiple choices such as: Iron Red, Rainbow, Cold Color, White and Black and Black and White. You can change the settings to fit your particular job. The color display screen measures 3.2” and is the perfect size for quick jobs. You can grab it and go to the job site with ease.
The 3GB memory card is built-in and can easily transfer to your laptop or computer via a micro USB connection. The battery is robust and will give you approximately 2 – 3 hours if you use it continually without having to recharge. That’s enough for most jobs.
FLIR ONE Pro -iOS Thermal Camera for Smartphones
The Flir One Pro attaches to your iOS phone or tablet and will fit nearly all phone cases. It allows you to find invisible issues by using your phone as a thermal imager. You can capture details of the issue and ensure that you repaired the problem. It’s great for businesses that need to prove to clients they have fixed the problem thanks to the Flir One’s image processing.
This is a great tool to have handy if you need to inspect property, homes, businesses, vehicles, HVAC issues, electrical issues, locate water damage and more. We like the Flir One Pro because it fits right onto your iOS smartphone or table and can be used anywhere.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.