Measuring Light with HOBO Data Loggers

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Version 1

Note: this protocol is taken directly from the protocol that Elly Overton sent to me on Oct. 29, 2018. Jamie Becker also walked me through the steps of this protocol beforehand. All credit goes to them.
Note: the official protocol from Elly that also features images can be found printed out and taped into my lab notebook.

Background: This protocol describes how to use the HOBO data loggers to monitor temperature and/or light intensity in a given environment over a defined period of time.


• HOBO Pendant Temperature/Light Data Logger (UA-002-xx) found in the sterile culture tubes cabinet, under the microscopes.

o User manual/website page

• Optic USB Base Station (Base-U-1) found plugged into the computer or in the sterile tubes cabinet

• Beast computer with HOBOware software in the Whalen lab on the third floor of Sharpless #.


1. Plug the USB Base Station into the computer via USB connection on the back of the Whalen Lab computer. Log into the computer using the Whalen Student credentials are found on the shelf above the computer; open HOBOware located on the desktop.

2. Slide the HOBO logger into the base station ensuring that the ridge on the logger fits into the groove on the base station

a. Avoid touching the clear plastic logger case as smudges could interfere with its light sensing ability. Instead, handle it by the black loop on the top

3. Click on the “Launch Device”, icon

a. A screen ... will pop up
b. Under the Sensors subheading in this window you can indicate using check marks if you want to log temperature and or light intensity
c. If you want to add filters to the data being collected (average, maximum or minimum values collected over your designated time period) see step 4
d. Under the Deployment subheading, you are able to set your logging interval (either seconds, minutes, hours or days depending on the memory of the HOBO Logger and what you are trying to measure) and how long you want to log for and then adjust when you want the logger to start logging (could be now or you can set your own starting time point)
e. Press Start to initiate the recording based on your specifications, then disconnect the logger and place it in desired location

4. Filters are used if you also want to capture and display the minimum, maximum or average of the readings you acquire

a. To add filters: click on the filters button and a screen like the one shown in Figure 2 will appear
b. Under select channel to filter, choose either temperature or light, choose the filter you want the logger to capture (i.e. maximum, minimum or average), and then press create new series
c. Add as many series as you want and then press done

5. Once the logger is in the desired location, make sure that the sensors are facing the light source - the writing on the HOBO logger should be facing toward the light source to be measured.

a. When logging, the device should have a red light blinking every 1-4 seconds

6. When the desired logging duration ends, login to the computer, open up HOBOware and plug the logger back into the base station to retrieve your data.

7. Press stop device (Figure 4.) and then press Readout Device (Figure 5.), which is the icon with the green arrow pointing to the left.

8. Save your file in your Student Folder on Pacific with the proper labels including dates, your initials, and information indicating the experiment. The suffix for the file will be “.HOBO”. After this a screen will pop up that says plot setup, see Figure 6.

a. Chose the series you want to plot with desired units, then chose what internal logger events to plot and then press plot

9. A plot will appear, if you want to zoom in on it, click the magnifying glass (Figure 7) and drag it around your area of interest to zoom in. Save your graph, unplug the HOBO logger and place it back in its box in the sterile culture tubes cabinet.