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Data Loggers Explained by the Science Squad

Sep 10,2021 by Edulab

Scientists use a huge range of equipment in order to do their jobs efficiently. One of the most common pieces of kit that is used in a laboratory is a data logger. These devices are crucial for accurate data collection and analysis and make it easier than ever for technicians to log and record data from experiments.

In this guide, we are explaining everything you need to know about data loggers, including what they are, how they work and the various types available.

What Is A Data Logger And What Do They Do?

A data logger is an electronic device that is usually found in a laboratory or other science environment. They work by automatically recording and monitoring parameters over a set period of time. These parameters are usually environmental and allow these conditions to be accurately documented, measured, analysed, and validated.

This process of collating and storing data is known as data logging and it is commonly taught in school laboratories.

There are various types of data logger available, and we will explain more about these later. Generally, data loggers are battery powered devices with sensor inputs which sample and save the data. Some devices have wireless transmitters to send the collected information directly to a computer in real time.

Many scientists and technicians choose to use data loggers in a situation where they need to record conditions over a set period of time. Common applications include tracking wind speeds, temperature fluctuations and flow rates. Usually, the device is left in place for the duration of the logging, and then retrieved for analysis.

Data loggers with wireless transmitters don’t need to be collected before the data can be analysed because it is sent in real time.

Are Sensors Often Used When Data Logging?

Data loggers use sensors to collect the information, and there are various types of sensors available. Depending on the logging device, you might be able to connect just one sensor or multiple different ones. Simple data loggers have one sensor input, and can collect just one set of data, such as temperature. Some more complex data loggers have multiple sensor ports and so you can configure a range of options.

Essentially, this kind of equipment can be set up in any way you require using sensors to log various metrics.

There are sensors available for logging a huge range of parameters, so you can set up your data logger to work exactly how you want. For example, you can choose a blood pressure sensor, a GPS position sensor, a pH logger sensor and loads more.

Generally, you will need to have a different sensor for each set of data that you want to collect and monitor.

Types Of Data Loggers

As we’ve mentioned already, there are various types of data loggers available, and it is essential you choose the right option for your application. This kind of kit is often used in everyday activities and equipment, so you have likely come across various types of data logger in the past.

Remote weather stations measuring temperature, track and lap timers and black box flight monitors are all examples of data loggers used in real world situations every day. The data being logged within these devices will depend on the type of sensors used with the data logger, but there are various type of loggers to consider as well:

  • USB: USB loggers are the original type of data logger, and they are used for historical tracking. The data must be manually offloaded from the device after the monitoring period has ended. These work by tracking over a period and then being removed and plugged into a PC to see the results.
  • Bluetooth: Some data loggers are Bluetooth enabled, which means they can offload their data without having to be manually plugged in. They work similarly to USB devices as they offer historical logging.
  • Wireless: For real-time access to the data, you will need a wireless data logger. These are constantly connected and offer constant monitoring as well as alarm notifications. With this kind of device, you can set parameters which will alert you if something changes on your data logger, for example, if a temperature drops below a certain level.

How To Use A Data Logger?

How you use a data logger ultimately depends on the type of data you need to monitor and the type of device you have. You will need to set up your sensors to collect the necessary information from your test environment, and set out a plan for the duration of the monitoring. If you have a wireless logger, you can log continuously and see the results as you go; however, if you have a USB logger, you will need to remove the device and upload the data.


So, there you have it. Our science squad has explained all. Start browsing our exclusive range now. However, if you require further technical assistance, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team, who will be more than happy to help!