Microplate Reader & Luminometer Selection Guide

The GloMax® line includes high-performance plate readers with a range of detection options. From advanced multimode luminescence, fluorescence, absorbance, BRET and FRET capabilities to dedicated microplate or single-tube luminometers, there is a GloMax® system for every lab and throughput need.

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What Are Microplate Readers?

Many biological assays use bioluminescent, fluorescent or colorimetric reactions to generate a light signal, which must be quantified to interpret the experimental result. If the assay is conducted in a microwell plate, the light output from these assays is measured using a microplate reader (or plate reader). Microplate readers are commonly used in life science laboratories.

Microplate readers may include the ability to detect a single type of light signal, such as fluorescence or luminescence, or may provide more sophisticated capabilities allowing detection of multiple types of signal. Microplate readers capable of detecting multiple signals (such as fluorescence, luminescence and absorbance) are known as multimode readers.

GloMax® instruments are highly sensitive, easy-to-use microplate readers with luminescence, fluorescence and absorbance detection capabilities. These high-performance instruments are offered in a choice of configurations to suit varying detection needs, from dedicated luminometer to advanced microplate reader functionality.


All GloMax® microplate readers are designed to work seamlessly with Promega luminescence- and fluorescence-based assays:

  • GloMax® Discover is a microplate reader with luminescence, fluorescence, BRET/FRET and UV-Visible absorbance detection capabilities.
  • GloMax® Explorer microplate reader is available with luminescence, fluorescence and absorbance detection capabilities, or with luminescence and fluorescence only.
  • GloMax® Navigator is a dedicated plate-reading luminometer. 

Microplate Reader Performance

Preloaded Protocols for Faster, Easier, Data Analysis

GloMax® instruments come preloaded with protocols designed to work seamlessly with a wide variety of Promega luminescent and fluorescence-based assays at the touch of a button.
See All Instrument Protocols

Easy to Use
Over 50 Protocols


Superior Sensitivity
Low cross-talk in wells


IQ/OQ Service Available

Have Confidence In Signal Accuracy Recorded From Each Well

GloMax® plate readers have high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, so you can detect high and low signals on the same plate.

Read More About Sensitivity

GloMax® Application Notes

No need to reinvent the wheel—we've already used GloMax for many applications from BRET to monitoring protein degradation. Search our Application Notes collection for examples using GloMax® instruments with a wide range of bioluminescence- and fluorescence-based assays.

Search GloMax® Application Notes

What GloMax® Users Are Saying


In our lab, the Promega GloMax® Navigator Luminometer Microplate Reader is the most popular instrument. The Navigator produced data for all the publications from our lab.

Yang Yang-Hartwich, PhD
Yale School of Medicine


Compare GloMax® Microplate Reader and Luminometer Features

GloMax® Discover
GloMax® Explorer
GloMax® Navigator
Application Research Use Only Research Use Only
Research Use Only
Catalog Number GM3000 GM3500, GM3510 GM2000, GM2010
Luminescence Yes 
Fluorescence Yes Yes No
BRET/FRET Yes Optional No
Absorbance (Visible) Yes Preinstalled on GM3500
Optional for GM3510
Absorbance (UV-Visible) Yes Optional No
Detection Limit 3 × 10-21 moles luciferase 3 × 10-21 moles luciferase 1.5 × 10-21 moles luciferase
Dynamic Range 9 logs 9 logs 9 logs
Crosstalk < 3 × 10-5 < 3 × 10-5 < 3 × 10-5
Heating Ambient to 45°C Ambient to 45°C No
Shaking Linear or orbital Linear or orbital No
Automation Compatible Yes Yes No
21CFR, Part 11 Compliance​ Yes Yes Yes
Injectors Available Separately Available Separately Preinstalled on GM2010
Optional for GM2000
Format(s) 6 to 384-well plates 6 to 384-well plates 96-well plates
Detector Head-on photon counting photomultiplier tube (PMT) Head-on photon counting photomultiplier tube (PMT) Head-on photon counting photomultiplier tube (PMT)
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See How A GloMax® Instrument Works For You

We offer live virtual demos and options for onsite evaluation for any GloMax® instrument, including time to ask all your questions, totally free.

Contact us to discuss your needs and get your questions answered.

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One Call Supports It All

We supply both the reagents and the instrument, so one call to Promega answers any questions you may have about assay chemistries or instrument performance.

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Ensure Minimal Instrument Downtime


  • Service Packages
  • IQ and OQ Packages

Warranty and Service Agreements


  • Backed by a one-year warranty
  • Additional warranty and service agreements are available
  • For more information, contact Promega Technical Services