PAR meter rental: Setting your reef tank LED lighting schedule - Reef FAQs

There is almost no other area in reefing where $50 can have as big of an impact on your tank as renting a PAR meter. Now that BRS offers a PAR rental service, you can get all of the benefits of setting up your LED lights with a PAR meter for a reasonable cost.

For LED lights, the Apogee MQ-510 Full Spectrum Par Meter is the ideal option because it is tuned specifically for underwater use with LED light. The Apogee MQ-210 Quantum Meter is more appropriate for use with T5 and Metal Halide lighting.

Using a PAR meter to set up your LED lights will benefit you in three major ways.

Randy using a PAR meter at WWC

1. Ensure you are getting maximum performance from your high-end aquarium LED lights.

Lets 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.

Graph of PAR results after testing Red Sea ReefLED light for BRStv

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. Ensure 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.

Healthy corals in LED lit reef tank at BRS office

3. Peace of mind

A hundred things can go wrong with a reef tank. Simply establishing a solid list of things you know with 100% certainty are not the problem, you are 10 steps ahead.

Set the lights up correctly from the beginning and you can gain the peace of mind that lighting will never be your issue in the event you experience a problem.

Using Kessil App to program LED lights on a tablet

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.

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