The Public Lab Store Starter kits for DIY environmental science

Desktop Spectrometry Kit 3.0

$47 (Bulk Discounts Available in Dropdown Menu)


International customers please leave a phone number at checkout! If your item is returned by customs and you did not leave a phone number, Public Lab is not responsible for shipping charges!


We are currently experimenting with an adjustment of the desktop spectrometer. It is experimental but may be an option for international buyers to save substantial shipping costs. Please view it here


The Public Lab Desktop Spectrometry Kit 3.0 includes all the parts for a compact, simple, experimental tool -- a visible/near-infrared spectrometer, also known as a spectroscope or spectrophotometer. In less than 30 minutes of assembly, you can plug it into your computer with a USB cable and begin using the free software and website to collect spectra -- the "fingerprint" of a material. The kit includes:

  • a diffraction grating (you cut from a DVD-R)
  • an acetate collimation slit
  • a durable, ultra-black, papercraft enclosure 
  • rigid and adjustable mounting board 
  • printed instructions and online documentation
  • webcam and USB cable
  • wooden mounting block
  • 1 roll of double-sided super tape
Always in development by Public Lab contributors like you, this open source instrument is capable of better than 3 nanometer spectral resolution and can record light from ~390 to ~900nm. We need you to contribute by improving the hardware and find new applications, activities and experiments! Assembly instructions can be found here, and you can try calibrating your deviceright after you've assembled it try calibrating it with this introductory activity


For more information on this upgraded version please visit our website and recent research notes.

For a smaller, very low cost spectrometer you can fold out of black card paper and attach to your smartphone, see the Foldable Mini-Spectrometer

If you previously purchased a Desktop Spectrometer version 2.0 with electrical conduit box, we are offering upgrades for $19.99. The upgrade will include all the listed components, minus the webcam with cable, and wooden mounting block.


Actual webcam model may vary. Please allow 3 business days for processing. All Public Lab content is CC-BY-SA and CERN OHL 1.1

Please note: We do not guarantee arrival of the items once shipped, as that is the responsibility of the post office. If you are concerned about your local mail service and are an international buyer, please select the DHL shipping option. For American customers, the only guaranteed method of delivery is priority mail EXPRESS (which is different from priority mail).  



Want to carry our kits in your own store? Order wholesale! Contact the kits team.

Community Science Forum: Frac Sand

Our quarterly print publication has a new name, and a wider scope. It's now called the Community Science Forum. This issue is focused on frac sand, and in particular on the work being done in western Wisconsin by community groups concerned about air and water quality impacts of mining operations there.

Usually $5, we're offering the new issue at an experimental price of $2 plus shipping.

Event Packs

Do you have an event planned and would like to introduce Public Lab to your community? Order a $10 Event Pack with GMF and foldout maps!


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