"What's the Best Temperature Sensor?"
The Classic Top 10 List: We've all seen (and heard) top 10 lists, and these lists can be both informative and misleading. The attempt to categorize any product or collection of people into a "top" list can be useful for outsiders or uninformed audiences, but overall, these lists tend to be rash generalizations supplanted by one particular perspective.
"The Best Temperature Sensor" In the world of Temperature Sensors and environmental monitors, many people look for a sacred 'list' of Best Temperature Sensors, or some sort of "top 5" reference point that leads to an informed decision. In truth, many prospective buyers are unfamiliar with the sensor market, and are depending on this type of neutral resource to guide them on a path to some sort of "purchaser enlightenment". Unfortunately, this resource does not exist in the natural internet environment, and users rely on technical forums (SpiceWorks) and raw customer feedback (Amazon Reviews, etc). If you're using these resources, there is one important detail to keep in mind when scanning these scattered sources of information.
What is that Detail? Application or industry. This is the most important indicator to consider when browsing for 'best temperature sensors'. Not all sensors are created equal, and we can use of our own products as a simple example. Our USB device is primarily utilized by IT clients that are looking to monitor the temperature of their server rooms, and for this purpose, the USB edition is our first recommendation for any prospect with this exact need. With that said, the USB edition has little or no value to the commercial refrigeration industry (for instance), wherein a computer is not typically in close proximity to a walk-in fridge or freezer. Even if this is the case, the device is primarily designed for the IT industry, and suggestions to use the USB product for other applications outside of IT are, well, misleading. In the larger picture, there are specialized sensors that are designated for particular industries, and it's very rare to find a product that is infinitely flexible, or can be used in every industry. Take recommendations from your peers in your industry, and don't rely on reviews or outsider suggestions if you aren't sure of their application.
Or take this example. In restaurants and commercial refrigeration, power outages can lead to serious issues. The loss of cooling (from refrigerators or freezers) can cause temperatures to rise dramatically, and as we've discussed in other blog posts, exposure to these high temperatures can lead to bacterial infestation. Put another way, in the case of ice cream, the rising temperatures can lead to thousands of dollars in melted deliciousness. In this particular instance, suggesting any kind of temperature sensor or monitoring solution without a backup battery would be pointless. If the device solely relies on AC-power, the power outage would disable the reading capability of the device. Even if a vendor boasts reliability, dependability, or any other relevant buzzword, the absence of a backup power source is a serious hole. The purchase of this device would be a major oversight, and in fact, would not meet the complete set of needs for a commercial refrigeration client.
If you're looking for a list of best temperature sensors, remember that the 'best' is in the eye of the beholder, and in this type of situation, the beholder will make suggestions from their industry perspective, which may or may not be relevant to your search. Search with an open ear, and remember that the voice of reason in "temperature sensors" is highly dependent on the specific application. There are companies that specialize in sensors for the IT industry, and while they may be reputable vendors, they may not have the best solution for your needs. Listen to your industry voices!