ioLight portable microscope at Innovate 2016

ioLight portable microscope at Innovate 2016


ioLight is exhibiting its new portable high resolution microscope at the Innoavate 2016 trade show at Manchester Central on 2nd and 3rd of November. Please come along and see us! We will have 2 of our digital microscopes and a range of samples for you to try.

We exhibited a prototype at last year’s show and it was a great event with a diverse range of technology companies exhibiting and interesting talks from industry and government.

If you are in Manchester on the 2nd of Nov and would like to see the ioLight pocket microscope, but don’t want to register for the Innovate 2016 show, then please let us know ( and we might be able to arrange an event in the evening of the 2nd.

ioLight at the e-Luminate Light Lab, Cambridge

ioLight at the e-Luminate Light Lab


Come and see the ioLight portable microscope at the e-Luminate Light Lab at the Angela Ruskin University, Cambridge on Sat 29th Oct.

There will be ioLight microscopes for visitors to use with a wide range of samples to look at and Richard will be giving a brief talk at 1.30pm.

The link to the event is here:

Win a free ioLight Microscope!!!

Can you identify the image and win a microscope?

Win an ioLight microscope if you can!!


Does this image look familiar to you? Something you have around your house, or on your person perhaps?

Our friends at LabNews are giving away an ioLight high resolution portable microscope to anyone who can identify a series of images published on their website.

If you want to win an ioLight microscope, co straight to where you can also find out what last month’s image was!


ioLight wins the golden ticket and visits EnJoy! Raw Chocolate

Chocolate crystals viewed under the ioLight microscope

EnJoy Raw Chocolate has a fabulous new production facility in Andover close to ioLight HQ. They make a truly delicious product and best of all it is organic, vegan and free from the yucky additives of mass produced confectionery. So of course we had to think of an excuse to visit Chris and Steph.


enJoy! Raw chocolate is made using Raw Peruvian Criollo Cacao, known as the “Queen of Cacao”, and sweetened naturally with coconut blossom sugar, with a Glycemic Index (GI) of 35. It’s raw because the cacao is never processed above 42 degrees Celsius, allowing the nutrients to remain intact. The result is a luxurious raw dark chocolate with a great texture and a taste to savour!

Chris showed us round their wonderful process and explained that the secret to that texture is controlling the size of those crystals to below 20μm.

We gently softened the EnJoy! Intense over a cup of espresso before putting it on the microscope. The sample is quite thick so we lit it from above using ioLight’s top illuminator. The background on this image is quite dark compared with most of our other images because the bottom illuminator is switched off. The top illuminator has picked out the edges of the chocolate crystals quite nicely. We like this image because it shows off our top illuminator instead of the bottom illuminator we normally use on translucent samples.

The image shows that Enjoy has successfully reached that 20μm target. Perhaps that partly explains why this is the best chocolate we have tasted.

Thanks to Chris for showing us around. You can find out more and buy EnJoy Raw Chocolate on line at

It seems that we have eaten all the samples. Please may we have some more, purely for research of course?

ioLight portable microscope vs laboratory microscope shootout

Has the ioLight pocket microscope met its match with the laboratory microscope?

At ioLight we claim that our digital microscope is “comparable” with a laboratory microscope. What does that mean?

The Quekett Microscopical Club’s invited ioLight to it’s annual exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum. The catch? A direct head to head comparison with a professional grade laboratory microscope!

We admit to being rather nervous about the shootout. The laboratory microscope in question is a real beauty: Alan Wood’s trinocular Olympus CH-2 with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera. Alan turned up with several large cases and camera bags. We thought of challenging him to a race on public transport to Kew Gardens, but that would have been unfair! Mike Smith made six microscope slides in three sets of almost identical pairs for us to compare on the two microscopes.

Alan confidently turned away leaving us nervously placing Mike’s immaculately mounted slides onto the stages of the two microscopes. So how did we get on?

Well on size, weight, price and convenience the ioLight pocket microscope wins easily.

On image quality, we have to admit that the images from Alan’s Olympus are beautiful. They show great colour fidelity, evenness of illumination and flatness of field.

So we are happy with our claim that images from the ioLight portable microscope are “comparable” with those from the laboratory microscope.

ioLight Daffodil Ovary compared with Laboratory microscope

ioLight image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin


Laboratory microscope image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin

Olympus image of a daffodil ovary stained with astra blue and safranin

Both images are edited on Photoshop elements. You can see the originals and Alan’s

We are hugely grateful to Alan Wood, Mike Smith and the Quekett Microscopical Club for making us so welcome and for their hard work and experimental method in setting up this test.

Thank you.

ioLight stops for coffee

ioLight loves great coffee: It doesn’t get much better than Mokoko Coffee and Bakery in Bath!

Richard and Andrew stopped for coffee and a customer meeting at Mokoko opposite Bath Spa Station. The barista spotted the microscope and asked for an impromptu presentation. We soon had an ioLight microscope set up on the table outside the coffee shop with an image of Mokoko’s best freshly ground. I bet that that is the first time anyone has displayed 1 micron resolution images of arabica on a wobbly table in a busy shopping street. However, that’s what the ioLight microscope does best. We love it when someone produces an unexpected sample that we can look at and images. Much more exciting than ‘let’s take that back to the lab and see what it looks like’!

ioLight is looking for great new subjects from your town or home. Please contact us with new suggestions, particularly if they connect to current news stories. You could even write a news story for us to publish on our website!


The images show evenly sized grounds, but we spotted one smaller fine on this image. Our barista says that these small grounds can lead to a bitter flavour in the coffee. Mokoko is working hard on their grinding to ensure a good even result. This image was taken using a combination of  backside illumination to give good contrast and top illumination to show features in the top surface of the grounds.

If the coffee is anything to go by Mokoko is doing a great job. No bitter flavour there at all and a relaxing and convenient spot to sit in the sun and nibble on a croissant.

Thanks to Mokoko for the sample. A fascinating insight into the hard work of baristas.

More details on Mokoko at

Demonstration video: Using a high resolution microscope in the field

Video demonstration by ioLight co-founder Andrew Monk of just how easy it is to use the microscope. Andrew dips into the ponds of the beautiful Millennium Meadow in Whitchurch, and finds some interesting pond life. He shows just how simple it is to set up the microscope and capture images and videos of microscopic protozoa directly onto an iPad. With a resolution of 1 micron, the microscope captures even the smallest of pond life.

The full specifications and pricing of the microscope are available at .

Thanks for watching – please share.

Microscopy and Analysis features ioLight

Microscopy and Analysis, the well respected professional magazine, recently featured an editorial on the ioLight microscope. Microscopy and Analysis is the leading international journal for microscopists, with over 46,000 subscribers and 120,000 readers worldwide.

Microscopy and Analysis says

“UK-based start up, ioLight, has launched what is described as the first high resolution pocket digital microscope.

According to the company, the instrument displays beautiful images on an iPad for sharing and pasting into reports.
For the first time scientists of all ages can capture and share professional quality images in the field instead of bringing samples back to the lab.”

First ioLight portable microscopes dispatched

Today ioLight dispatched the first batch portable microscopes.

14th July 2016 is a momentous day for ioLight as the culmination of three years of painstaking product development and manufacturing planning. For the first time students and scientists can achieve 1 micron resolution from a pocket microscope. That’s one thousandth of a millimeter!

The ioLight Microscope App displays beautiful high resolution images on an iPad and saves images and videos onto the camera roll for sharing and pasting into documents. No wonder that the first batch of ioLight microscopes has already been sold to a wide range of users including teachers; universities; electronics companies; bio-engineering experts and vets. More are being built in our manufacturing facilities in Hampshire UK.

Founder Andrew Monk says “Richard and I are delighted to see microscopes coming off the production line into packing boxes at last. The trial units have performed well with customers for 6 months and we are looking forward to seeing their images and videos from the production units.”