Recently, I had a Level I student ask me a question I’d never heard before. He asked why there were so many palette choices on his infrared camera. Often I’m asked which palette works best, or which my personal preference is. I’d never had anyone ask me why there are so many choices. He went on to say that he had trouble picking which one to use. That’s actually kind of a nice problem to have!
By and large, which palette you apply to your images, either while inspecting or when generating a report, is a matter of personal choice. Your inspection program might dictate such things, but often they don’t, so the thermographer is given free rein to pick as they like. As sweet a deal as this is, there are some points to consider when exercising this freedom.
- Most importantly, what might your customer want? The “WOW” factor of a multicolor palette goes a long way with some folks, while others like to keep it simple.
- Another point, how intuitive are the colors you choose? Your report loses impact when the end user has to try and decipher which color or shade corresponds with which range of apparent temperatures.
- Are you delivering the data accurately? Beyond impressing your customer with brilliant images, your chief goal is to deliver useful data. Sometimes the color palette matters in that regard.
Whichever you choose, make sure you explain to your customer which colors denote which ranges of temperature to reduce confusion. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing in the thermal world, just makes sure you use it wisely.
The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner