light pen



  • noun a type of electronic pen that directs a beam of light which, when passed over a bar code, can read it and send information back to a computer



  • A handheld computer input device in the shape of a pen, which is utilized to directly change the information presented on a monitor. The tip of a light pen is sensitive to light, and objects on the screen can be drawn, selected, moved, and the like, by pressing it onto the outer surface of the display screen, or by pressing a clip or button on the pen when pointed where desired. Also spelled lightpen.

Information & Library Science

  • noun
    (written as light-pen)
    a stylus with a light sensor used to scan barcodes


  • noun a pen with a tip which is sensitive to light and can ‘read’ lines or images and transfer them to a computer, used to read bar codes on products