The Best PAR Meters for LED Grow Lights: Maximizing Your Plant Growth
If you’re a passionate indoor gardener, you know that proper lighting is essential for plant growth. Choosing the right grow light is one thing, but determining the light intensity and duration is another. This is where PAR meters come in. PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation, which refers to the light energy that plants need for photosynthesis. A PAR meter measures the amount of PAR emitted by grow lights, allowing growers to adjust the light intensity and duration for optimal plant growth.
Why You Need a PAR Meter
Without a PAR meter, you’re essentially guessing the light intensity and duration, which may result in stunted growth, poor yields, and wasted electricity. By using a PAR meter, you can measure the amount of PAR your plants are receiving, and adjust the light settings accordingly. This can help you avoid over- or under-lighting your plants, and allow you to save energy by using only the amount of light you need.
The Best PAR Meters for LED Grow Lights
With so many PAR meters on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. Here are some of the best PAR meters for LED grow lights:
|Brand and Model||Measurement Range||Accuracy||Price|
|Apogee Instruments MQ-500||0-2500 µmol m-2 s-1||+/- 5%||$549|
|Dr. Meter 1332B||0-2000 µmol m-2 s-1||+/- 5%||$91.99|
|Luster Leaf Rapitest||N/A||+/- 10%||$129|
|Urceri Light Meter||0-200,000 Lux||+/- 3%||$29.99|
Apogee Instruments MQ-500
The Apogee Instruments MQ-500 is a high-end PAR meter that offers accurate measurements and a wide range of applications. It can measure both natural and electric light, and has a measurement range of 0-2500 µmol m-2 s-1. The MQ-500 has a spectral range of 389-692 nm, which covers all photosynthetically active wavelengths. It also features a data logger that can store up to 99 measurements, making it ideal for research or large-scale operations.
Dr. Meter 1332B
The Dr. Meter 1332B is a budget-friendly PAR meter that offers reliable measurements and ease of use. It has a measurement range of 0-2000 µmol m-2 s-1, and an accuracy of +/- 5%. The 1332B has a spectral range of 400-700 nm, which covers the entire visible light spectrum. It features an easy-to-read LCD screen, and a compact design that makes it ideal for home growers.
Luster Leaf Rapitest
The Luster Leaf Rapitest is a 3-in-1 meter that measures soil pH, moisture, and light intensity. It has a light sensor that measures PAR, although the measurement range is not specified. The Rapitest has an accuracy of +/- 10%, which is lower than other PAR meters on the market. However, it offers the added benefit of measuring soil conditions, making it ideal for multi-purpose use.
Urceri Light Meter
The Urceri Light Meter is a digital lux meter that measures the intensity of visible light. While it doesn’t measure PAR directly, it can be used to estimate PAR by converting lux to µmol m-2 s-1. The Urceri has a measurement range of 0-200,000 Lux, and an accuracy of +/- 3%. It features a backlit LCD screen, and a compact design that makes it easy to use in tight spaces.
If you’re serious about indoor gardening, a PAR meter is a must-have tool for maximizing your plant growth. Whether you choose a high-end PAR meter like the Apogee Instruments MQ-500, or a budget-friendly option like the Dr. Meter 1332B, you’ll be able to measure the amount of PAR your plants are receiving, and adjust your grow light accordingly. Investing in a PAR meter can help you save energy, avoid stunted growth, and achieve higher yields from your indoor garden.