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Picture of LightCycler<sup>&reg;</sup> 480 Instrument II

LightCycler® 480 Instrument II

Rapid high-throughput, plate-based real-time PCR amplification and detection instrument.

For life science research only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Product No. Pack Size
1 instrument (96-well)

Product No. Pack Size
1 instrument (384-well)

The LightCycler® 480 System is a high-performance, medium- to high-throughput PCR platform (96- or 384-well plates) that provides various methods for gene detection, gene expression analysis, genetic variation analysis, and array data validation. The system features the LightCycler® 480 Instrument, a versatile, plate-based real-time PCR device that supports mono- or multicolor applications, as well as multiplex protocols. The benchtop instrument is easily customizable to meet changing user requirements, and can be integrated into everyday use as a robotically controlled, automated high-throughput solution. The LightCycler® 480 Instrument is designed for general laboratory use and is not intended for use in diagnostic procedures.

  • Obtain fast, highly sensitive, and reproducible results for qualitative and quantitative detection of nucleic acids, mutation scanning, and SNP analysis. Use basic and advanced methods for gene expression and genotyping based on endpoint analysis or melting curves.
  • Benefit from cutting-edge thermal block and optical technology that leads to excellent well-to-well homogeneity and maximized detection sensitivity.
  • Use a wide range of probe formats (e.g., FRET or HybProbe probes, SimpleProbe probes, hydrolysis probes) and fluorescent dyes (e.g., SYBR Green I, ResoLight Dye, FAM, HEX, Cy5, LightCycler® Red 610, LightCycler® Red 640, and LightCycler® CYAN 500).
  • Choose the optimal type of multiwell plate (white or clear) to best fit your assay format, application, and workflow. Use the available adapter plate to also work with LightCycler® tube strips.
  • Build a modular real-time PCR platform to meet your particular needs. Flexibly switch between plate formats and thermal block cyclers in just a few minutes with no recalibration time, and benefit from additional user-friendly software modules.
  • Extract meaningful results via the state-of-the-art data analysis methods, in line with MIQE guidelines. Analyze true raw data without the need for passive reference dyes or normalization plates.
  • Protect your data using a system compatible with 21 CFR part 11 requirements.
  • Integrate the LightCycler® 480 System as part of a LIMS in combination with robotic pipetting and plate loading.


  1. LightCycler® 480 Instrument, 96- or 384-well
  2. LightCycler® 480 Block Cycler Unit, 96- or 384-well
  3. LightCycler® 480 Software*
  4. LightCycler® 480 Instrument Operator’s Manual
  5. LightCycler® 480 LED Lamp (Spare Lamp)
  6. LightCycler® 480 Multiwell Plates, 96- or 384-well, white
  7. Pentium Desktop PC

** including absolute quantification, Tm calling, relative quantification, melting-curve-based genotyping, and endpoint genotyping

Use the LightCycler® 480 System to perform:

  • Gene Quantification
    • Gene detection
    • Absolute quantification
    • Relative quantification/gene expression analysis
  • Genetic Variation Analysis
    • Melt-curve genotyping with labeled probes
    • Endpoint genotyping
    • High-Resolution Melting (HRM)
  • Multiple Plate Analysis

The LightCycler® 480 Instrument shows outstanding performance in terms of:

  • High-performance hardware
  • Innovative software
  • Specially designed disposables
  • Application-optimized reagents for a variety of experiments

Click here to learn more about the LightCycler® 480 System Performance.

Based on a comprehensive improvement of the Peltier-based technology, using heat-equalizing Therma-Base Technology incorporated into a silver block, the LightCycler® 480 Instrument provides extraordinary well-to-well temperature homogeneity and maximized inter-well, inter-cycle reproducibility. The special arrangement of optical components ensures the uniform collection of signals across the plate and makes analysis independent of the sample position on the plate. Channels and filters can be combined in different ways to allow flexibility in monocolor as well as multiplex assays.

Instrument Specifications

Dimensions (without computer) 60 cm x 60 cm x 54.5 cm (24 in x 24 in x 21.5 in)
(W x D x H)
Weight Approximately 55 kg (121 lbs)
Computer Windows 7
Sample Number 96 or 384
Reaction Vessel 96-well PCR plate, 384-well PCR plate
Reaction Volume 96-well PCR plate: 10 - 100 μL; 384-well PCR plate: 5 - 20 μL
Excitation Source Broad-spectrum, high-intensity LED (390 – 710 nm)
Excitation Filters 440, 465, 498, 533, 618 nm (System II)
Detection CCD camera
Detection Filters 488, 510, 580, 610,640, 660 nm (System II)
Measuring Mode Real-time, online (continuous display of readings)
Temperature Control Peltier-based heating/cooling
Run Time <40 minutes (384-well PCR plate)

For more information about the LightCycler® 480 Instrument Technology, click here.

Assay Formats

The LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System can be used with:

  • Universal ProbeLibrary
  • SYBR Green I
  • HybProbe Probes
  • Hydrolysis Probes
  • SimpleProbe Probes

For detailed information, visit Assay Formats for Use in Real-Time PCR.

Detection Formats

Due to its highly flexible selection of excitation and emission wavelengths, the LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System is compatible with most currently available dyes and assay formats, yet is also adaptable to new and future applications.

A summary of LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System detection formats is provided in the table below.

The LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System consists of a variety of components that ensure maximum accuracy, versatility, and speed in quantitative real-time PCR and genotyping.

LightCycler® 480 Block Kits

The LightCycler® 480 Block Kits consist of a block cycler unit for 96- or 384-well PCR plates, a corresponding block lid, and a storage box for both accessories. The user can quickly and easily exchange the thermal block cycler unit and the block lid. The new thermal block cycler unit and block lid are automatically detected and calibrated by the LightCycler® 480 Instrument after the instrument is turned on. No additional time-consuming calibrations are necessary.

LightCycler® 480 Software

The LightCycler® 480 Software uses unique Roche algorithms for highly accurate and robust automated data analysis. It enables users to quickly customize the system to meet different application requirements, from basic manual analysis, a wide choice of flexible quantification methods in line with MIQE guidelines, to tools for multiple plate analysis.

LightCycler® 480 Consumables

The LightCycler® 480 Multiwell Plates have been adapted to the special rapid cycling environment of the LightCycler® Thermal Block. LightCycler® 480 Multiwell Plates are available in clear or white. White plates provide maximized sensitivity, especially with HybProbe Probe-based assays. For assays using hydrolysis probes or SYBR Green, clear plates provide an alternative for easier monitoring of PCR setup.

LightCycler® 480 Reagents

The LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System includes generic master mixes tailor-made for each key application in genomics research (gene identification, gene quantification, variation screening, and genotyping).
Click here to compare the LightCycler® 480 Kits & Reagents.

Prevalidated Probes
The Universal ProbeLibrary (UPL) combines the flexibility, availability, and convenience of SYBR Green I assays with the specificity of hydrolysis probe assays. The unique combination of online assay design software and only 165 pre-tested, real-time PCR probes allows quantification of virtually any transcript in the transcriptome of a large number of organisms.

Product No: 05015278001
Product No: 05015243001

Genotyping using digital PCR with the LightCycler® 1536 System to detect the IDH1 mutationin plasma samples

Article (PDF)

Endpoint Genotyping with the LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System

Gene Quantification on the LightCycler® 480 System

Genotyping using the LightCycler® 480 System

LightCycler® 480 Detection Formats

LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System in Human Genetics

LightCycler® 480 System - High Resolution Melting and Gene Scanning

LightCycler® 480 System - Multiple Plate Analysis

LightCycler® 480 System Performance Data

LightCycler® 480 System Reagents

LightCycler® 480 System Technology

Multiple Plate Gene Expression Analysis with the LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System

Relative Quantification with the LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System

Analysis of the DNA Methylation Patterns at the BRCA1 CpG Island

Article (PDF)

Comparison of Automated MagNA Pure 96 and Manual PAXgene RNA Isolation from Stabilized Peripheral Blood Samples

Article (PDF)

Expression Analysis of ABC Transporters in Lung Cancer Cell Lines Using a RealTime ready qPCR Focus Panel

Article (PDF)

Fast qRT-PCR with LightCycler® 480 RNA Master Hydrolysis Probes

Article (PDF)

First Steps in Relative Quantification Analysis of Multi-Plate Gene Expression Experiments

Article (PDF)

Genotypes in Smokers: Correlation with Smoking Behavior

Article (PDF)

High Resolution Melting: Optimization Strategies

Article (PDF)

High-Throughput and Complex Gene Expression Validation Using the Universal ProbeLibrary and the LightCycler® 480 System

Article (PDF)

LightCycler® Probe Design Software, Version 2.0

Article (PDF)

LightCycler® 480 and 1536 Real-Time PCR Systems - Powerful Solutions for Different Throughput Levels

Article (PDF)

LightCycler® 480 Instrument: High-throughput Genotyping for TLR-8 SNPs

Article (PDF)

LightCycler® 480 Real-Time PCR System: Innovative Solutions for Relative Quantification

Article (PDF)

LightCycler® 480 System: High-throughput Gene Expression and Genotyping Analysis - A Performance Study

Article (PDF)

Microsatellite Analysis of Grapevine Varieties by High-Resolution Amplicon Melting Analysis

Article (PDF)

Mutation Scanning Using High Resolution Melting or dHPLC: a Performance Comparison Study

Article (PDF)

New Application for the LightCycler® 480 System: qPCR-based microRNA-Profiling

Article (PDF)

Performance Efficient Extraction of Viral DNA and RNA from a Variety of Human Sample Materials

Article (PDF)

qPCR Identification of Genes Involved in Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Regulation

Article (PDF)

Quantitative Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Using the LightCycler® 480 System

Article (PDF)

Rapid and Reliable Methylation Detection in Archival Tissue Samples using High-Resolution Melting Analysis

Article (PDF)

Rapid High-Throughput Methylation Analysis Using the LightCycler® 480 System

Article (PDF)

Real-Time Multiplex PCR of five Different DNA Targets Using the LightCycler® 480 System

Article (PDF)

RealTime ready RT-qPCR Assay Development and Qualification

Article (PDF)

Relative Quantification of miRNA Target mRNAs by Real-Time qPCR

Article (PDF)

Relative Quantification of Multiple mRNA Targets and Reference Genes in Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Article (PDF)

Step-by-Step Workflow for Small Sample Quantitative Real-Time PCR Confirmation of Microarray Results

Article (PDF)

The E-Method: a highly accurate technique for gene-expression analysis

Article (PDF)

The LightCycler® 480 System - Unleash the Potential of Real-Time PCR

Article (PDF)

Transfering PCRs to HRM-assays on the LightCycler® 480 System- Examples for BRCA1

Article (PDF)

Use of MagNA Pure 96 and LightCycler® Systems for High-Throughput Testing of Nail Samples for Dermatophytes Detection

Article (PDF)

Utility of the MagNA Pure 96 and LightCycler® 480 System for the Detection of Respiratory Pathogens

Article (PDF)

Versatile RNA isolation tools for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections

Article (PDF)

Monitoring Gene Expression Changes in Human Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells using RealTime ready Assays

Article (PDF)

E. coli (EHEC) Extraction and Detection in Stool Samples through Use of MagNA Pure 96 System and LightCycler® Instrument

Article (PDF)

Quantitative Detection of Legionella pneumophila in Water Samples: Assay Transfer to the LightCycler® 480 System

Article (PDF)

Utility of the MagNA Pure 96 and LightCycler® 480 Systems for Testing of Stool Samples for Toxin-producing C. Difficile

Article (PDF)