Cheapest Spectrometer that is usable for CRI/Tint measurement?

Now that I long since stepped into High CRI territory, it would be ideal for me to have a decent spectrometer as soon as I can afford it.

The problem is most of the spectrometers are $1000+ which I can’t really afford in the foreseeable future.

I’m currently eyeing ThunderOptics SMA which is sold for $170. But I then wonder if this is good enough and worth the money.

I would love a usable spectrometer below $300 because any more than that and I will have to make more than a year of savings.

Xrite i1 Pro is probably your best bet as it is reasonably priced and very compatible

Check out the Public Lab Lego Spectrometer.

I think you run into calibration problems with the Public Lab spectrometers. For accurate CCT and CRI numbers, the wavelength scale must be correct within the nanometer over the whole range, and the power levels for each wavelength must be correctly calibrated. It produces recognisable spectra that can be very insightful but can not produce the finetuned numbers needed to evaluate white light sources.

My setup was $250 used:

One or two other members use this too

Have you considered a rental? At least here in the US you can rent a Sekonic C-800 for $19/day from Try Googling “Rent Sekonic C-800” and see what’s available in Asia.