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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
05015278001 1 instrument (96-well)
Product No. Pack Size
05015243001 1 instrument (384-well)

To order these products, please contact your Roche order management team.

Keywords: Instruments

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.



  • LightCycler® 480 Instrument, 96- or 384-well
  • LightCycler® 480 Block Cycler Unit, 96- or 384-well
  • LightCycler® 480 Software*
  • LightCycler® 480 Instrument Operator’s Manual
  • LightCycler® 480 LED Lamp (Spare Lamp)
  • LightCycler® 480 Multiwell Plates, 96- or 384-well, white
  • 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.