How to use a PAR Meter the RIGHT way! This is your 5-Minute Guide to PAR Meters
Choosing Your PAR Meter
For tuning your reef aquarium LED light output, the Apogee MQ-510 Full-Spectrum Underwater LED PAR Meter is the ideal solution because it is tuned specifically for underwater use with LED lights. We also offer a generous extended 60-day return policy because once you tune your LED lights, you won't really ever need to tune them again. This policy is available for both the brand new MQ-510 and OPEN BOX MQ-510
Apogee MQ-510 Return Policy: Measure your lights PAR with an Apogee MQ-510 PAR Meter. When you are done, return the meter back to us within 60 days from the purchase date for a refund, even if you have used it. If you do not need the PAR meter after tuning your lights, and just as long as the meter is functional, send it back to us for a refund minus an 18.5% restocking fee. The restocking fee calculates to $80 for the open box unit and $100 for the brand new one.
For those of you looking to invest in a PAR meter of your own, we do have some additional options.
- Apogee MQ-210X Quantum Meter is more appropriate for use with T5 and Metal Halide lighting.
- Apogee PQ-510 microCache Bluetooth LED PAR Meter is for use with the ApogeeConnect app available for both Android and iOS smart devices. The sensor connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
- Apogee SQ-520 Full Spectrum Smart Quantum LED PAR Sensor is made to connect via USB to any PC or MAC.
Using a PAR meter to set up your LED lights will benefit you in three major ways.
1. Ensures Maximum Performance of Your Reef Aquarium Lights
Let's face it, quality LED lighting is not cheap and it is safe to assume all of us want to get the best performance possible. By guessing or relying on others you are leaving room for error and essentially wasting all of the money you spent on high-end LED lights for your reef tank.
You could buy the most expensive car on the market but if you don’t know how to drive it, what good is it? The same could be said for LED lights.
The human eye is a terrible judge of brightness, especially when it comes to light intensity over a reef tank. Our eyes naturally auto-compensate for brightness and will take into account unusable light spectrums such as green. The wrong tool for the job never ends well.
By setting a PAR goal and then measuring for it using a PAR meter you are walking the best path to success and taking full advantage of your LEDs output and performance capabilities for your particular reef tank.
2. Ensures Your Corals Are Getting The RIGHT Amount of Light
With modern LEDs, over-lighting or setting the intensity too high is one of the number one reasons why corals are stunted or slowly die. The easy control options of controllable LED lights makes it easy to simply set the output too high.
You really have no other way of knowing if the PAR values are appropriate and your corals are getting the right amount of light for proper metabolic function without using a PAR meter.
3. Provides Peace Of Mind!
A hundred things can go wrong with a reef tank. By establishing a solid list of things you know with 100% certainty are not the problem, you are 10 steps ahead and can steer clear of very common mistakes.
Set the lights up correctly from the beginning and you can gain the peace of mind that lighting will never be your issue.
We recently released a video on how to set the intensity and schedule of your LED lights and if you are setting up LED lights for the first time or simply want to learn more, we highly recommend you watch this video.
We are also posting up brand new video content with accompanying articles each and every week right on our homepage and we welcome you to stop by anytime to get your daily dose of reefing knowledge.