Products: LightField Scientific Imaging & Spectroscopy Software

image of LightField Scientific Imaging & Spectroscopy Software

The Future of Imaging & Spectroscopy Software!

At Princeton Instruments, we believe true innovation comes from a deep understanding of what's important to researchers. LightField is our vision for the future of scientific imaging and spectroscopy software. Combined with our award-winning spectroscopy and imaging products, LightField is a game-changer, destined to become the benchmark for scientific software. Whether you're involved in Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence, combustion, quantum imaging, astronomy, or x-ray imaging, you'll appreciate LightField's power and flexibility.

NEW LightField 6 launched with Windows 10 support! 

  • Complete control of PI cameras and spectrographs
  • Powerful built-in math engine
  • Integration with LabVIEW and MATLAB
  • Smart Search function
  • Export to your favorite file formats
  • Email notification of experiment status
  • Supports IntelliCal wavelength and intensity spectral calibration
  • Synchronized view provides quick comparison to the same region or peak in two or more data sets



Learn more about LightField by viewing these videos.

LightField Introduction


View other LightField feature-specific videos:

Setup, Acquire, Analyze, Export Designed for Researchers
Using LightField with PI-MAX4 ICCD Cameras The Power of Math
Integration with LabVIEW and MATLAB  
Introduction with Chinese Subtitles Introduction with Japanese Subtitles


Setup, Acquire, Analyze, Export



Designed for Researchers


Using LightField with PI-MAX4 ICCD Cameras


The Power of Math


Integration with LabVIEW and MATLAB


Introduction with Chinese subtitles



Introduction with Japanese subtitles

NEW Version 6.0 launched with Windows 10 support! 

Get up and go

LightField is smart. Just connect your Princeton Instruments camera or spectrograph, launch LightField, and you're ready to start capturing data. It's that simple! LightField gives you control of key functions right from the photo-realistic graphical interface — an unparalleled user experience!

New in LightField: The improved "smart search" function quickly directs you to the controls you want as you are typing. You can even build your own custom settings dock to access frequently used settings.

Smart Search in action — Click image to enlarge

Peace of mind

We understand how important your data is. LightField automatically saves every acquisition to your chosen folder and keeps track of all experiment settings in the file header. It even saves your raw data when the post-processing feature is applied.

New in LightField:
LightField can automatically export data into your favorite file format as you acquire it... TIFF, FITS, ASCII, AVI, IGOR, and Origin, just to name a few!

Save data in your favorite file format — Click image to enlarge

The power of math

New in LightField:
LightField includes a powerful built-in math engine to analyze image and spectral data in real-time. Simple math functions to complex Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) can be applied to live or post-acquisition data. The math engine even includes out-of-the-box measurements such as absorption, reflectance, and transmission, as well as an easy-to-use editor to create your own formulas.

Click image to enlarge

LightField knows you

New in LightField: Often, Princeton Instruments cameras and spectrographs are used by multiple researchers in the same lab. LightField provides an easy "experiment setup" save/load function that quickly loads your experiment settings for you. Simply bring up the data file to apply the same system settings that were used previously.

Repeating experiments could not be easier!

Click image to enlarge

The power of spectral calibration — IntelliCal

LightField fully supports our patented IntelliCal® spectral calibration system. Utilizing compact wavelength reference and NIST-traceable radiometric reference light sources, and easy to use work flow in LightField, you can achieve up to 10x more wavelength accuracy and intensity calibration that is free of instrument/optics bias.

Traditional spectral calibration approaches can be plagued by a host of spectral artifacts. Our intensity calibration routine automatically corrects these artifacts for the broadest spectral range.

Click image to enlarge

Friend of LabVIEW® and MATLAB®

New in LightField:
Does your lab rely on LabVIEW or MATLAB to control and coordinate various pieces of experiment hardware?

LightField allows seamless integration of hardware controls and direct data acquisition into National Instruments' LabVIEW and MathWorks' MATLAB. No need to master the complexity of hardware control. LightField comes with easy-to-use examples that you can utilize right away!

Intensified CCD cameras and LightField — a match made in heaven

When users first encounter LightField's ICCD camera interface — inspired by a simple "oscilloscope" display — the reaction is nothing short of amazement.

Simply drag and adjust the gating width/delay or design entire time-resolved experiments graphically.

Click image to enlarge

Streams of data in many formats — even when you're not there

Thanks to its native 64-bit architecture, LightField is not only able to utilize all the memory (RAM) available on your computer, it can stream multi-gigabyte pixel data directly onto the hard drive — all without missing a beat.

New in LightField: LightField can automatically export data as you acquire into your favorite format automatically: TIFF, FITS, ASCII, AVI, IGOR, and Origin, just to name a few!

New in LightField: LightField can send you periodic email updates — very useful if you are running an unattended extended experiment.

Compare and contrast

LightField takes data review to a new level. With intuitive controls for spectral overlay, peak find, view, and playback, it is now easier than ever to look back at your data.

New in LightField: When you need to review multitudes of images or spectra, a "synchronized" view allows you to quickly compare the same region or peak in two or more datasets.

Click image to enlarge

Powerful, yet easy to use

No marketing hyperbole here.

LightField allows complete control of Princeton Instruments cameras and spectrographs.

All available readout modes are supported: frame transfer, kinetics, spectra kinetics (microsecond time resolution), and custom chip (>10 kHz frame rates).

Click image to enlarge



“We have used the Princeton Instruments LightField software for all acquisitions with our PI-MAX4 cameras. The ease of use, to get up and going quickly, was essential for our project ‘Cherenkoscopy based radiation therapy’, and this tool was exactly the right fit for our research”.
- Prof. Brian Pogue, Dartmouth College, USA

"We have been using the Princeton Instruments LightField software for all acquisitions with our PI-MAX4 cameras. Its intuitive interface and embedded analytical functions allows us to get up and going quickly, and do image processing on-the-fly. Overall this tool has been essential for our research on fast X-ray imaging of dynamic compression processes.”
- Dr. Dan Eakins, Imperial College, UK

"Our research group uses imaging spectrographs from Princeton Instruments to acquire Fourier-resolved photoluminescence data from lanthanide ions, organic molecules, and semiconductor quantum dots. Using LightField and its new IntelliCal feature, we have been able to rapidly shift between different detectors and grating sets to work over a broad spectral range. LightField's novel interface allows each user to customize his or her experiments, and the automated IntelliCal routine provides an easy and accurate way to perform both wavelength and intensity calibration in just a few minutes."
- Prof. Rashid Zia - Brown University, USA

“LightField integrated with LabVIEW allows the Van Duyne Group to easily collect spectra and synchronize data collection with other instrumentation. In addition, using LightField enables 1kHz frame rates from a PIXIS 100B camera to maximize signal to noise for Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy (FSRS).”
- Jon A. Dieringer, Northwestern University, USA

"We are using the PIXIS camera and an Acton Spectrograph to analyze gases in the atmosphere though UV/Visible spectroscopy. Measurements are made for many hours at a time so we use an Add-In to the LightField software for our data acquisition which allows us to easily start our experiment and save the data to multiple files without user intervention."
– Dr. Louisa Kramer, Michigan Tech University, USA

“Unsere Fachgruppe am LTTT beschäftigt sich mit der Weiterentwicklung und Applikation von optischen (Laser-) Messtechniken mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf der Analyse und Optimierung der gesamten motorischen Wirkkette. Die intuitive Bedienbarkeit und die individuelle Anpassungsmöglichkeit der Software Lightfield erlaubt uns eine schnelle und einfache Datenaufnahme an unseren vielfältigen Experimenten. In der Kombination mit PI-MAX4-Kameras profitieren wir dabei besonders vom [PI-MAX4] SuperSynchro timing-Generator, so dass eine sehr präzise zeitliche Steuerung mittels Lightfield möglich ist.”

Our specialist group on LTTT deals with the development and Application of optical (laser) measurement techniques with particular emphasis on the analysis and optimization of the engine operation. With its intuitive operation, Light Field allows us to data acquisition in various experiments quickly and easily. In combination with PI MAX4 cameras we benefit particularly from [PI-MAX4] SuperSynchro timing generator interface, which makes very precise timing possible, using LightField.
- Dr. Sebastian Lehmann, University of Bayreuth, Germany

“We use the Princeton Instruments Lightfield software to control our PI-MAX and PIXIS cameras and an Acton spectrometer. These are used for optical spectroscopy with the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at our synchrotron beamline. For this application we need to control Lightfield from the EPICS beamline control system, which has worked very well.” -Mark Rivers, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratories, USA

Filter by:  

Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
TERS - Tip-Enhanced Raman spectroscopy

X-Ray Plasma Diagnostics
Hot and dense plasmas are of enormous interest in basic physics research because of the multitude of interesting phenomena that arise from them.

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
LIBS is considered one of the most convenient and efficient analytical techniques for trace elemental analysis in gases, solids, and liquids. LIBS spectra obtained by the Mars Curiosity Rover have confirmed that our sister planet could have harbored life

Absorbance, Reflectance and Transmission
A measure of the amount of light absorbed by a sample as a beam of light passes through it.

Fluorescence, Phosphorescence, and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy
Fluorescence, phosphorescence and photoluminescence occur when a sample is excited by absorbing photons and then emits them with a decay time that is characteristic of the sample environment.

Coherent X-Ray Diffraction
X-ray diffraction is a technique for studying the characteristics of matter such as macromolecules, crystals, powders, polymers, and fibers.

Small Animal Imaging
For small-animal imaging in the NIR II / SWIR range, Princeton Instruments recommends the NIRvana:640 camera. We designed this 16-bit camera specifically for scientific research applications that require superb linearity and excellent near-infrared sensitivity.

Astronomical Imaging
Astronomical imaging can be broadly divided into two categories: (1) steady-state imaging, in which long exposures are required to capture ultra-low-light-level objects, and (2) time-resolved photometry, in which integration times range from milliseconds to a few seconds.

General Raman
The most common application of Raman spectroscopy involves the vibrational energy levels of a molecule. Incident laser light in the UV, visible or NIR, is scattered from molecular vibrational modes.

Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
SERS - Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Bose-Einstein Condensate
Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) can be regarded as matter made from matter waves. It is formed when a gas composed of a certain kind of particles, referred to as “bosonic” particles, is cooled very close to absolute zero.

Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy
Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) a type of non-linear Raman spectroscopy. Instead of the traditional single laser, two very strong collinear lasers irradiate a sample.

Soft X-Ray Microscopy
Soft X-ray Microscopy is used for imaging and researching the elemental composition and structure of biological samples and more.

Singlet Oxygen Imaging
Singlet oxygen, the first excited state of molecular oxygen, is a highly reactive species that plays an important role in a wide range of biological processes, including cell signaling, immune response, macromolecule degradation, and elimination of neoplastic tissue during photodynamic therapy.

Combustion researchers rely on laser-based optical diagnostic techniques as essential tools in understanding and improving the combustion process.

Nanotechnology helps scientists and engineers create faster electronics as well as ultrastrong and extremely light structural materials.

EUV Lithography
EUV lithography is gaining popularity because it retains the look and feel of the traditional optical lithography process (i.e., utilizes the 13.5 nm wavelength) and uses the same basic design tools.

FLIM - Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy
FLIM encompasses several techniques for mapping the spatial distribution of excited-state lifetimes of emitting molecular species with nanosecond and microsecond temporal resolution.

Dynamic Neutron Radiography
Neutron radiography offers an excellent complement to x-ray imaging for a diverse range of nondestructive investigations

Plasma Emission Spectroscopy
The different types of plasma emission spectroscopy can be categorized by how the plasma is generated. Spectra of nuclear fusion plasmas are used to ascertain the chemical species present and other properties.

Resonance Raman Spectroscopy
Instead of fluorescence, some types of colored molecules produce strong Raman scattering at certain conditions. This effect was called Resonance Raman.

X-Ray Spectroscopy
X-ray absorption spectroscopy is an element-specific probe of the local structure of elements in a material.

Stimulated Raman Scattering
Stimulated Raman scattering takes place when an excess of Stokes photons that were previously generated by normal Raman scattering are present or are deliberately added to the excitation beam.

Streak Tube Readout
Streak tube readout is commonly used to obtain intensity vs. spatial or spectral information over time periods of picoseconds to nanoseconds.

Micro-Computed Tomography
Micro Computer Tomography is a unique technique for the noninvasive, nondestructive 3D characterization of materials down to a micrometer scale.


G. Borstad,J. Ciezak-Jenkins
Hydrogen-Bonding Modification in Biuret Under Pressure
An IsoPlane SCT320 spectrograph with an air-cooled PIXIS 400BR eXcelon CCD and the LightField software (Princeton Instruments) were used to collect the Raman spectra
A. Graf, J. Zaumseil et al.
Near-infrared exciton-polaritons in strongly coupled single-walled carbon nanotube microcavities
Research teams from Germany and the UK use Fourier Plane spectroscopy to show strong coupling of Carbon Nanotubes in microcavities. This research could lead to electrically pumped electron-polariton lasers.
K. Bagnall, E. Wang et al.
Electric field dependence of optical phonon frequencies in wurtzite GaN observed in GaN high electron mobility transistors
This research uses sensitive micro-Raman measurements to characterize the temperature of GaN transistors.

Application Notes

Advanced CCD Cameras and Imaging Spectrographs Facilitate Acquisition of Novel Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy Data To Improve SERS Biosensors
Accurate characterization of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) biosensors, fluorescent dye molecules that hold great promise for in vivo bioanalyte detection, can often be quite difficult as the overwhelming isoenergetic fluorescence signal typically makes it challenging to measure resonance Raman cross-sections for the molecules. To overcome this obstacle, researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis recently utilized etalonbased femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS), a technique designed to acquire a stimulated Raman signal without strong fluorescence or interference from signals resulting from other four-wave mixing pathway

Ultrafast ICCD Cameras Enable New Three-Pulse Ballistic Imaging Technique for Studying Temporal Evolution of Turbulent, Steady Sprays
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden demonstrated a threepulse configuration for time-gated ballistic imaging (BI) applied to a turbulent, steady spray; this technique, which utilizes a pair of ultrafast scientific ICCD cameras, permits the acquisition of time-correlated image data.

Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS)
Researchers: Samuel Berweger and Prof. Markus Raschke – Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, and JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder used Princeton Instruments' camera and spectrograph for their research.


LightField 5 brochure
Learn about the multitude of features in LightField - the future of scientific imaging and spectroscopy software.


LightField 64-bit software - trial download
Download a 45-day free trial of Princeton Instruments' Revolutionary 64-bit data acquisition package for spectroscopy and imaging.

Tech Notes

IntelliCal-Automated wavelength and intensity calibration routines significantly improve accuracy of recorded spectra
Automated wavelength and intensity calibration routines significantly improve accuracy of recorded spectra.

Fully automated wavelength calibration method optimizes data accuracy
Currently offered as a LightField package option, patent-pending IntelliCal® technology from Princeton Instruments enables fast, reliable wavelength calibration with minimal user input.

Tips & Tricks

Automating Acquisition with MATLAB as Camera Temperature Changes
This document will show you how to automate data acquisition in respect to changing camera temperature using MathWorks’ popular MATLAB software.

LightField Tips and Tricks
These tips and tricks focus on LightField features to enhance the user experience when operating Princeton Instruments spectroscopy systems.



ProEM EMCCD Cameras

ProEM EMCCD Cameras

EMCCD cameras for ultra-low light, read noise-limited applications.

NIRvana SWIR InGaAs Cameras

NIRvana SWIR InGaAs Cameras

Scientific grade, cooled InGaAs focal plane array cameras for demanding SWIR imaging and spectroscopy

IsoPlane Imaging Spectrographs

IsoPlane Imaging Spectrographs

Award-winning imaging spectrographs with superior performance over Czerny-Turner traditional designs, available with 203 mm and 320 mm focal length designs.

PIXIS-XF Indirect Detection

PIXIS-XF Indirect Detection

Fiber-coupled cameras for 4 keV to >50 keV imaging with up to 2Kx2K pixel resolution

PIXIS CCD Cameras for Imaging & Spectroscopy

PIXIS CCD Cameras for Imaging & Spectroscopy

PIXIS CCD cameras play a key role in revolutionary research performed in leading labs around the world.

SpectraPro Spectrometers

SpectraPro Spectrometers

High value, dependable industry standard series of spectrographs and monochromators for a variety of applications.



The reference standard of ICCD cameras. Single photon sensitivity and ultra-fast, <500psec gating

PyLoN Cameras for Imaging & Spectroscopy

PyLoN Cameras for Imaging & Spectroscopy

PyLoN high-resolution front-illuminated, back-illuminated, & back-illuminated deep-depletion imaging & spectroscopy CCDs.

PIXIS-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

PIXIS-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

X-ray open nose (XO) cameras designed for direct detection of deep UV and X-rays in the <30 eV to 20 keV range

PIXIS-XB Direct Detection

PIXIS-XB Direct Detection

Direct detection x-ray cameras with integrated Be window for 3keV to 20keV detection range.

PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

PI's smallest, in-vacuum cameras for direct detection of soft X-rays in the energy range from <30 eV to ~20 KeV

Quad-RO Indirect Detection

Quad-RO Indirect Detection

Thermoelectrically cooled Quad-RO cameras for indirect detection of X-ray imaging

PyLoN-IR Linear InGaAs Cameras

PyLoN-IR Linear InGaAs Cameras

This InGaAs detector offers 16-bit digitization and leads the industry with the fastest spectral rate and lowest system read noise.

IntelliCal Spectral Calibration System

IntelliCal Spectral Calibration System

Fully automated, spectral calibration system - for up to 10x more wavelength accuracy and instrument independent results

Princeton Instruments