Our History

In this 2012 photo, Ocean Optics employees past and present gathered at Ocean’s original headquarters to mark the company’s 20th anniversary.

Building the Foundation

Ocean Optics started in the late ‘80s, seeded by a federal grant for a marine pH sensor. As part of their work, the Ocean team needed a compact spectrometer to fit into a small, underwater housing, and were surprised to discover none existed. So, they made their own.

By 1992, the “world’s first miniature spectrometer” ushered in a new way of utilizing spectroscopy. Today, under the parent brand of Ocean Insight, we now provide optical sensing solutions through three industry-leading brands: Ocean Optics, which continues to deliver innovative spectral sensing solutions to researchers, OEMs and industrial customers; International Light, which supplies light measurement solutions and calibration services; and Ocean Applied, which designs and builds spectral systems for industries from consumer electronics to waste recycling. 


1989: Ocean Optics, Inc. founded by university researchers in Florida, USA

1992: Commercial release of “world’s first miniature spectrometer”

1999: Precision optics division established

2000: Opened first office in Europe

2004: Acquired by Halma plc, a global group of life-saving technology companies

2006: Acquired Mikropack GmbH, a developer and supplier of spectroscopy accessories

2006: Opened first office in People’s Republic of China

2016: Consolidated the multispectral imaging products of PIXELTEQ into the Ocean portfolio

2016: Established sales and support presence in India

2018: Launched Lab Services, offering basic feasibility studies, experimental design, machine learning and consultancy

2019: Consolidated the color and imaging offerings of FluxData, Inc. into the Ocean portfolio

2019: Rebranded Ocean Optics as Ocean Insight, the applied spectral knowledge company

2020: Developed the Ocean 150 Strategic Plan

2021: Opened new 52,000-square-foot facility in high-tech corridor of Orlando, Florida

2021: Established sales support in Southeast Asia

2022: Acquired International Light Technologies, Inc., a technical lighting and light measurement company

2022: Acquired handheld LIBS technology from Rigaku Analytical Devices for the purpose of assessing scrap aluminum for recycling

2023: Under the lead brand of Ocean Insight, announced restoration of the iconic Ocean Optics spectrometer brand and introduced Ocean Applied (industrial-grade photonics systems) and International Light (light assemblies and calibration) as separate sub-brands.

2023: In Memoriam: Roy Walters, Ph.D. – one of the founders of Ocean Optics and a key contributor to the development of the company’s pioneering compact spectrometers died on March 30, 2023.

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