Top-notch par meter for indoor plants, a must-have grow light accessory.
[lwptoc]

Are you looking for the best PAR meter? If so, you've come to the right place. This article will discuss everything you need to know about PAR meters, including what they are, how to use them, and more. We'll also provide a few tips on how to choose the best PAR meter for your needs. So read on for all the information you need!

Overview of the best PAR meter

Best For LEDs

Quantum PAR Meter - High Precision, Grow Light meter

  • High Precision
  • Rechargeable
  • Measure radiation flux in wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700 nm
  • Measures up to 10,000 μmol/s compared with 2,000 μmol/s for other meters on the market

Compact Size / Remote Sensor

Sun System PAR Meter With Remote Sensor Measure

  • PAR Meter with remote sensor
  • This is a rebranded Apogee MQ-200
  • Simple to use; Assembly not required
  • Battery Powered

Budget Friendly

BTMETER Digital Illuminance/Light Meter | Par Meter Luxmeter for Plants

  • Measure Lights 0.01~300,000 Lux (0.01~30,000 FC) Foot Candles
  • Display:3999 Counts
  • Range: 0.01 to 400,000Lux
  • Temperature Accuracy: +/- 0.1%
  • Battery Powered

What is a PAR meter and what does it do?

A PAR meter is a device that is used to measure the level of light in a given area. Using this information, you can optimize your indoor growing environment and ensure your plants get the right light for optimal growth and development. A PAR meter can be particularly useful for anyone growing plants indoors, such as hobbyists, commercial growers, or anyone who wants to optimize their home lighting setup.

PAR stands for photosynthetically active radiation, the part of the light spectrum plants need to thrive. This includes visible light between 400nm and 700nm and some UV and infrared wavelengths. Thus, the PAR meter is a device that measures the different wavelengths of light within this range and provides a numerical value that indicates how much photosynthetically active radiation is present in a given area.

Why lumens and lux aren't the best way to measure grow light?

Lumen meters are often used to measure light intensity, but they only measure the amount of visible light. Lumen is an outdated measurement that does not consider the full spectrum of light needed for plant growth and development. For example, lumens cannot tell you how much UV or infrared radiation is present in a given area.

Lux meters, on the other hand, are often used to measure the amount of light falling on a given area. However, lux measurements only tell you how much light is present in a given area without considering the intensity or quality of that light. Therefore, using lux to measure grow light is not an accurate or reliable way to assess your plants' needs.

Both lumens and lux measurements have their limitations when measuring grow lights for indoor plants. It is best to use a PAR meter for a more accurate and comprehensive measurement of the light that your plants need. This device can provide detailed information about the photosynthetically active radiation in your grow area, allowing you to optimize your lighting setup for optimal growth and development.

Benefits of using PAR meter:

there are many benefits to using a PAR meter when growing plants indoors. These includes:

Improved plant health and growth: The PAR meter can help you better understand your plants' light needs, allowing you to provide them with the right spectrum of light for optimal growth and development. Also, PAR meters can help you identify any problems with your lighting setup and adjust as needed.

Reduced energy costs: A PAR meter allows you to optimize your lighting setup, which can help you to save energy by using less electricity without sacrificing the health and quality of your plants. Using a PAR meter can also help you to avoid wasting electricity by using the right amount of light for your plants' needs.

Better control over the growing environment: By measuring PAR levels, you can gain more control over your indoor growing environment, allowing you to create the ideal conditions for your plants at any time. This can be especially useful for commercial growers who need to optimize their lighting setup for different crops or plant varieties.

Ease of use: A PAR meter is generally quite straightforward, and many PAR meters available can be easily integrated into your existing lighting setup. Whether you are a hobbyist or commercial grower, using a par meter can help improve your plants' quality while making it easier to manage the growth process.

Increased yields: Ultimately, PAR meters can help you produce higher yields by ensuring that your plants get the right light for optimal growth and development. Whether you want to grow a few small plants or a large commercial operation, PAR meters can help you achieve better results with less effort.

The best PAR meter review

Here are the best PAR meter available in the market:

1. Quantum PAR Meter - high precision grow light meter (best for LEDs)

Quantum PAR Meter - High Precision, Grow Light meter

Features:

  • High Precision
  • Rechargeable
  • Measure radiation flux in wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700 nm
  • Measures up to 10,000 μmol/s compared with 2,000 μmol/s for other meters on the market

2. Sun system PAR meter with remote sensor measure (compact size with remote sensor)

Sun System PAR Meter With Remote Sensor Measure

Features:

  • PAR Meter with remote sensor
  • This is a rebranded Apogee MQ-200
  • Simple to use; Assembly not required
  • Battery Powered

3. BTMETER digital illuminance/light meter

BTMETER Digital Illuminance/Light Meter

Features:

  • Measure Lights 0.01~300,000 Lux (0.01~30,000 FC) Foot Candles
  • Display:3999 Counts
  • Range: 0.01 to 400,000Lux
  • Temperature Accuracy: +/- 0.1%
  • Sampling time: 2~3 times per second
  • Accuracy: ±4% ± 0.5% f.s (0-20000 Lux); ±5% ± 10 (20000 Lux-400000 Lux)
  • Battery Powered

How to use a PAR meter?

Now that you know what a PAR meter is and why it's important, let's look at how to use one.

-First, you'll need to find a place to put the meter. The best place to do this is in the direct path of the grow light; however, you can also measure PAR near the top or bottom of the plant canopy.

-Once your PAR meter is in place, you'll need to turn it on and set the appropriate units.

-Next, you should take a few readings from different areas of your growing environment to accurately measure PAR levels. Try to take measurements at different times throughout the day or as the lighting conditions change, as this will help you to get an accurate picture of PAR levels in your grow setup. Ideally, your PAR meter reading should be as close to 1000 as possible. However, lower numbers are still acceptable if your plants are healthy and growing properly.

-After taking your readings, you can use the data to adjust your lighting setup or growing environment as needed. This could include changing the height or positioning of lights to achieve the best light distance from plants, adding more reflective surfaces, or adjusting watering and feeding schedules.

indoor-plants-grow-lights

Download our complete guide to choose the best grow lights for indoor plants

Types of PAR Meters

There are several different types of PAR meters available today. These include:

Handheld PAR meters: These are the most common PAR meters and are designed to be portable so you can easily take measurements in different areas of your grow setup. These PAR meters often come with a digital display, so you can easily see your PAR readings and adjust them as needed. Also, many handheld par meters are affordable and easy to use, making them a good choice for hobbyist growers.

Reflective PAR meters: These are designed to be placed directly above your plants to provide an accurate reading of PAR light in your grow environment. They typically come with sensors that measure reflected PAR light instead of using direct measurements from the light source. These PAR meters are ideal for commercial growers who must closely monitor large growing areas' PAR levels.

Spectrum PAR meters: These PAR meters are designed to measure the grow light spectrum rather than just PAR levels. This can help you determine if your grow light provides a balanced spectrum of colored wavelengths or if any gaps need to be addressed. While these PAR meters are more expensive than other types, they can provide valuable insights into the health of your plants and the efficiency of your lighting setup. Check our in-depth blog article on grow light spectrum to learn more.

In-line PAR meters: These PAR meters are also known as photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) meters and are used by many commercial growers to optimize PAR levels in their grow setups. They are typically placed between the light source and your plants, so they measure PAR light before it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted by your plants. These PAR meters are usually fairly expensive and require technical knowledge to use effectively, but they can provide more detailed information about PAR light than other PAR meters.

Fixed PAR meters: For growers who don't need to regularly measure PAR levels in different areas of their growing environment, a fixed PAR meter may be the best option. These PAR meters are typically mounted directly to your grow light, providing accurate PAR readings without the need for additional equipment. However, since they can't be moved around your grow room, these par meters may not provide an accurate reading if your growing environment changes over time.

Ambient PAR meters: These PAR meters use reflectance sensors to measure PAR light on a surface and provide readings that are not affected by other growing conditions. They are also typically more affordable than other types of PAR meters. However, since they measure ambient PAR light rather than PAR light transmitted by the grow lights, these PAR meters may not provide an accurate reading in an indoor growing environment.

Near-infrared PAR meters: These PAR meters are similar to handheld PAR meters, but they also use Near-infrared sensors to accurately measure PAR light in your growing environment. They typically come with a digital display, allowing you to view readings without needing additional equipment or technical knowledge. Also, since PAR meters that measure near-infrared light are typically more expensive, they may not be the best option for hobbyist growers.

How to choose the best PAR meter for your needs?

When choosing a PAR meter, there are several factors to consider. These includes:

Type of PAR meter: There are several different types of PAR meters available, such as reflective PAR meters, spectrum par meters, in-line par meters, fixed PAR meters, and ambient PAR meters. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider your needs before choosing a par meter.

Price: PAR meters typically range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the type and features of the PAR meter. If you are a hobbyist grower who wants a basic PAR meter for occasional use, you may be able to find an affordable model that meets your needs. However, suppose you are a commercial grower who needs regular PAR readings in different areas of your growing environment. In that case, you may need to invest in a more advanced PAR meter that provides more detailed information.

Ease of use: Many PAR meters require technical knowledge or additional equipment to provide accurate PAR readings. For example, an inline PAR meter requires a third-party device to measure PAR light in the space between your light and your plants. If you are a beginner grower, you may consider choosing a PAR meter that is easy to use, such as a fixed or ambient PAR meter.

Accuracy: While PAR meters vary in accuracy and features, choosing a PAR meter that provides reliable, consistent PAR readings is important. Additionally, suppose you are using PAR readings as a component of more complex growing strategies. In that case, you may want to invest in a PAR meter that can provide highly detailed measurements for your specific use case.

Support: Finally, it is important to consider how you will use PAR meters in your growing environment and the support available from different PAR meter manufacturers. For example, suppose you are a commercial grower who needs regular PAR readings in different areas of your growing environment and relies on PAR data for complex strategies. In that case, you may choose a PAR meter supported by a company with technical expertise in PAR measurement.

What is a good PAR reading for growing plants?

PAR, or Photosynthetically Active Radiation, the output is essential for healthy plants. As a grower, you'll need to consider what stage your plants are in and your growing goals to determine how good your PAR output is.

Seedling and young plants: In the early stages of growth, your plants will need a PAR reading between 100-300. This is because young plants require lots of energy to grow and develop their leaves, stems, and roots.

Vegetative plants: As your plants mature, their energy needs will change. A good PAR reading for plants in the vegetative stage is between 300-600. This provides adequate light for photosynthesis and healthy growth without wasting energy on unnecessary processes like budding or flowering.

Flowering plants: During the final stages of growth, your PAR meter should register a PAR reading of 600-800. This amount of light is ideal for triggering the flowering or budding process in your plants.

Mature plants: As your plants mature, they will need less energy to continue growing and developing. Therefore, you can adjust your PAR reading accordingly, aiming for somewhere between 150-400. CO2 can be effective in boosting the PAR output of your plants during this stage, so you may also want to consider investing in a par meter that is compatible with CO2 measurement.

Plants under stress: If your plants are growing under stressful conditions, such as battling disease or pests or experiencing nutrient deficiencies, you may need to boost the PAR output to support the plant's recovery and growth. In this case, a PAR reading of 400-600 or higher may be necessary.

Outdoor growing: If you are growing outdoors, the PAR output will depend on several factors, such as the climate and natural light conditions. Generally, outdoor PAR readings should be around 100-500.

Growing with supplemental lighting: If you are growing your plants indoors and using PAR-boosting grow lights, such as LEDs or HID lamps, it is important to consider this when measuring PAR output. Typically, indoor PAR readings range from 400 to 700, depending on the light source.

Generally speaking, readings between 200-400 PPFD (PAR measurements) are great for seedlings, clones, and mother plants.

There is no one "good" PAR reading that will be appropriate for all plants and growing environments. The ideal PAR level will depend on a number of factors, including the type of plant being grown, the stage of growth, and other environmental conditions. Generally speaking. However, most plants thrive in areas with PAR levels between 600-800 mic

Tips on using a PAR meter effectively

1. Start by identifying the PAR range that your plants need for healthy growth and development. Different plants have different requirements, so it is important to do your research to provide the right par light for each plant variety.

2. Consider the size of your grow space and how you measure PAR light. Larger spaces may require PAR meters that can measure light from multiple angles and across a larger area, while smaller spaces may require PAR meters that provide highly accurate readings over a smaller area.

3. Make sure you understand how to properly use your PAR meter for the best results. For example, PAR meters with digital displays often have settings or calibration options to help ensure that you get the most accurate PAR readings possible.

4. Experiment with different PAR meter settings and strategies to find the best combination of light, temperature, humidity, plant variety, and other environmental factors for optimal PAR light and healthy plant growth.

5. Work with an experienced grower or PAR measurement specialist if you are new to PAR meters and indoor growing. They can help you choose the right PAR meter for your needs and provide guidance on how best to use PAR readings in your indoor growing environment.

Final thoughts

At the heart of successful indoor gardening is proper PAR light measurement. A PAR meter is a tool that allows growers to monitor and control PAR light levels in their greenhouses or indoor growing spaces, making it a critical tool for any grower looking to optimize their crop yields and production efficiency. Whether you are a hobbyist grower or a commercial grower, PAR meters are a valuable resource for maintaining healthy plants and achieving your growing goals. With the right PAR meter and knowledge, you can take control of your plants’ light environment and achieve success in your indoor garden.

FAQs

How do you measure PAR with LED lights?

There are various ways to measure PAR light with LED lights, depending on the type and size of your grow space. One common approach is to use an inline PAR meter, which measures PAR light as it passes through a space between your plants and your LED grow lights. Other methods may involve specialized measuring devices or sensors that can be mounted directly on your LED grow lights.

What should my PAR meter read?

No universal PAR reading will work for every indoor growing setup or plant variety. Most plants do well in PAR ranges between 400 and 700 nm. However, the specific PAR range that your plants need will depend on several factors, such as the type of plant, its stage of development, and the environmental conditions of your grow space. To determine what PAR reading is right for your plants, it is best to consult an expert or research PAR light ranges for your specific plant variety.

How can I increase my PAR reading?

Several factors can affect PAR light, including the placement and design of your LED grow lights, the temperature and humidity levels in your grow space, and other environmental conditions. There is no single approach to increasing PAR light; in many cases, it may be necessary to adjust to multiple factors simultaneously. Some common tactics for increasing PAR light include improving the reflectivity of your grow space, adjusting the height of your LED lights, or ensuring maximum coverage.

Can you convert LUX to PAR?

There is no standardized conversion between LUX and PAR, as PAR readings vary depending on several factors, including the type of light source (such as LED vs. incandescent), the distance between the light source and your plants, and other environmental conditions in your growing space. For this reason, PAR measurements are often taken directly with a PAR meter rather than relying on conversion formulas. However, some online PAR conversion calculators may be useful for determining general PAR levels in your space.

Do PAR meters have any limitations?

Yes, PAR meters have limitations and should not be used solely to measure light intensity in your grow space. For example, PAR meters cannot tell you the spectral quality of your light - that is, they will not be able to distinguish between different colors in your lights and how those may affect photosynthesis. PAR meters are also less accurate when measuring large light sources at close range or small light sources from a distance. Additionally, PAR meters do not consider light reflected from walls, floors, or other surfaces in your grow space. As such, PAR meters are best used as one tool among several for measuring and managing PAR light levels for optimum plant growth.

hydroponics-ebook-bundles

Learn everything about hydroponics, from the basics to advanced techniques.

Written by

agfunnel
At AgFunnel, we're passionate about giving you the best possible farming and gardening advice. We only share information that meets our high standards for quality, research, and transparency, so you can be confident you're getting the best guidance.

Trending Now

Three Women Posing In Front Of A White Brick Wall.
Join Our List

Get access to exclusive tips, strategies and case studies that we don't share anywhere else.

Related Posts

18 best tips for stress free hydroponics.
18 Common Problems Associated with Hydroponics & How to Solve?
How to grow plants without soil?.
Indoor Gardening Without Soil is Hot and Here’s Why?
11 proven steps to control hydroponic pests.
11 Proven Steps For Hydroponic Pest Control

My Bag ()

Your Cart Is Empty

Shop All Products
$0 - Checkout View Bag