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Spectral Workbench

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What is Spectral Workbench? is a web based application to collect, archive, share, and analyze spectral data, for Public Lab DIY spectrometers and other spectrometers.

With it, you can:

  • connect your USB Desktop Spectrometry Kit
  • scan and save samples
  • wavelength calibrate your spectrometer
  • plot light intensity as a function of wavelength (average digital consumer cameras have a range of 400 to 700 nm)
  • create sets of multiple spectra to visually compare and analyze scans
  • download CSV data for offline analysis
  • view others' data and discuss
  • find similar data in a database of over 60k spectra

No download is required -- just a web connection. The Chrome browser works best, but most standard-compliant browsers are supported. It is possible to use from an Android smartphone, preferably with the Firefox browser which allows you to specify which camera to look through.


Intro video


Spectral Workbench should work on Chrome (in Windows/Mac/Linux/Android, but not iOS), Firefox (Windows/Mac/Linux/Android), or Opera (Android). It may work on other browsers and we are working on expanding coverage; read more on this page:


Do you code? The codebase of Spectral Workbench is available at The server is written in Ruby on Rails, with a lot of client side code in JavaScript. You can read about the JavaScript API here.

We really need more developers, so if you are interested, please get involved! A great place to start is the "plots-dev" mailing list for software developers:


We're collecting and working our way through a range of questions about Spectral Workbench -- if you can contribute your own questions, or answer others', please do!

Title Author Updated Likes
How do I select the back camera of the smartphone? @renatoianhez about 1 month ago
Sorry for asking such a elementary question, what does the intensity % means? Can it shows how strong the light source is? Is it in terms of lux? @willieong 2 months ago
Can you calibrate this? @jela0194 3 months ago
Is copy calibration on Spectral Workbench working? @microfibers 6 months ago
How do I get the webcam feed on Spectral Workbench? @KenSuke 6 months ago
How do I search for the spectra recorded by a specific user? @nnn16 7 months ago
Can detect the camara,but can't show image @JHYeh 9 months ago
Spectral Workbench 1.0 seems much more stable than 2.0 and works well for the basic analysis I am trying to do, can I get access to 1.0 without being pushed to 2.0? @B-winters 9 months ago
Instruction videos don't work! @aemilius89 9 months ago
changing default webcam @julietalemus 10 months ago
How can I connect my gopro to SpectralWorkbench software? Is there other open software that would? @CD3000 10 months ago
Only seeing part of color spectrum @msolomon 10 months ago
copying calibration issue @ceberndsen about 1 year ago
Standalone Spectrometry software & uploading JPG or PNG spectra @lach_myers about 1 year ago
My uploaded file will not process. @JadaBada about 1 year ago
How can I get the absorption spectra once I have calibrated my spectrometer data? @amenzel8 about 1 year ago
Why do raw RGB values differ from calibrated RGB values? I thought calibration just set pixels to wavelength (nm)? @troyb about 1 year ago
Bug : Impossible to calibrate this mercury vapour spectrum @SarahC over 1 year ago
Bug? My Spectrum loads then vanishes. @SarahC over 1 year ago
Amazon UK - Link for perfect CFL? All mine are wide spectrum phosphor! @SarahC over 1 year ago
Has anyone experienced difficulty to log in this site? I having the trouble since yesterday. Not just log in, but to save spectrum too (sometimes can log in but take a long loading). sorry for my bad english. @silvi_ap51 over 1 year ago
The spectrum gets vertical no matter how I upload the picture. @wangdydu over 1 year ago
comparison betweeen spectra made by manufacturer and spectralbench? @miramon over 1 year ago
How do I use SpectralWorkbench.js to auto-calibrate? @shenzj1994 over 1 year ago
Can you get color temperature from spectra @miramon over 1 year ago
Can I get a file of numbers instead of a graph from the foldable spectrometer software? @mountevans over 1 year ago
I can't enter a password when I try to login to Spectral Workbench. So I can't log in at all. @storacremu over 1 year ago
CSV files from spectra @Dr_Z over 1 year ago
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill over 1 year ago
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins (cow milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk) using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill over 1 year ago
How to use the API to export a constant stream of data? @Reallygeek almost 2 years ago
How do we confirm the current version of the software? @quencher almost 2 years ago
How should i go about converting svgs to jpgs or pngs @Flameytail almost 2 years ago
Does anyone know what image processing spectral workbench does to find intensity at wavelength/ where to find the coding for that? @Reallygeek almost 2 years ago
Calibaration or switching scale? @jayjay70 about 2 years ago
Delete my profile? @MEC08 about 2 years ago
Starlight Recorder KIC8462852 @LightWaveResearch8000 about 2 years ago
How To Make Time Lapse Spectrometer @LightWaveResearch8000 about 2 years ago
"Use or calibrate calibration" dont show my reference CFL already calibrated @JSAENZ about 2 years ago
Image is blue - First time @LightWaveResearch8000 about 2 years ago
Copying Calibration @Ridwane over 2 years ago
Suppression of background light @saeed957 over 2 years ago
Cannot find colour spectrum @SpencerH over 2 years ago
Fraunhofer Lines at higher resolutions? @stef over 2 years ago
What are the units on the X axis for the spectrum capture for the Desktop Spectrometry Kit 3.0 @Schoster over 2 years ago
Save and Download buttons -where does the file save or download to? @testtube over 2 years ago
How to get spectral data in excel or other formats @suha over 2 years ago
orientation of slit vs that of diffraction grating @wlkwong over 2 years ago
Spectral Workbench recording time? @dhale2 almost 3 years ago
Calibration of spectra fails @Paul_P almost 3 years ago
Why copy calibration does not apply? @aelobo almost 3 years ago
Intensity for spectra too low? @chuynh451 almost 3 years ago
Error on calibrating uploaded spectrum @sarahcm almost 3 years ago
how to delete my spectra on Spectral Workbench @redleon almost 3 years ago
Calibration Issues with larger images @Anmar about 3 years ago
Can i upload csv files on spectralworkbench for calibration and other purposes? @shubham about 3 years ago
Question: Using a webcam with a image resolution of 1920x1020 @seko about 3 years ago
How to rename a set on Spectral Workbench? @AndrewJamesLaplante over 3 years ago
Question: How do I get the calibration user interface? @PeterDH over 3 years ago
Question: Why average? And what happens to the second Green? @viechdokter over 3 years ago
Difference CFL and Tube light? @Joris over 3 years ago
Question: desktop spectrometer 3.0 light sensitivity @Joris over 3 years ago
Question: Why won't the spectrum plot show once the image has been uploaded? @litar over 3 years ago
Question: Focus on mobile phone @clownfish over 3 years ago
Question: ccd camera on metascop @leanr over 3 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 over 3 years ago
Automated captures? @viechdokter over 3 years ago
Question: total beginner problems @viechdokter over 3 years ago
Question: Spectrometer using photosensor @Abhay7417 over 3 years ago
Question: How do I save the calibration data? @mokeymark over 3 years ago
Question: Micro volume spectrometer using arduino and light detecting resistor. @Abhay7417 over 3 years ago
Question: can't save spectrum anymore @eigentuininhuis over 3 years ago
can't get the calibration right @eigentuininhuis over 3 years ago
What size (width and height) of the image to vertical upload (blue top) in SpectralWorkbench? @asasergio over 3 years ago
Question: How do I measure the absorption spectrum of a sample? @lucca_fabani over 3 years ago
Calibrating @daniel94 almost 4 years ago
Question: What does the vertical scale mean? @someHerrings almost 4 years ago
Question: Is there a way to delete a set of spectra from the spectral work bench? @ethanbass almost 4 years ago
Question: Help @porbe almost 4 years ago
Question: Why I can not upload images to calibrate @congminhqt about 4 years ago
Question: downloading spectrum @mebaumga about 4 years ago
Question: Stray light correction @SIMJEDI over 4 years ago
Question: Colorimetry using the desktop spectrometer @mattiecaroline1991 over 4 years ago
Question: deep UV @mebaumga over 4 years ago
Question: @edilberto over 4 years ago
Question: "live" compare to camera feed @wecapa over 4 years ago
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If you feel you've encountered a bug with the software -- very possible! Please look through existing issues listed here, file a new one if you don't see something similar, and help to add any observations to existing issues shown here.

Thanks for helping improve this open source software!

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