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PAR across the world

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Gerryd, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    So, it seems that:

    1. PAR is an established method of comparing light levels from different electrical lighting sources. T5, T12, CF, MH, etc,

    2. Many of us do NOT know the PAR values we are currently providing to our tanks and plants.

    3. Many of us WOULD like to know what these values are :)

    4. PAR meters are expensive and not everyone has one nor has easy access to one.

    5. There appears to be no data source that contains PAR values for various fixtures and configurations..

    So....my idea is this:

    I and several others have PAR meters.

    What if we build a contact list of folks who want to be involved (both meter owners and measurers) and simply ship the PAR meter from one person to the next. Each person in line would take measurements of whatever they could within say a max 5-7 day time frame, and then ship it to the NEXT person in line. If done sooner, ship it off sooner :)

    So, cost to each person would be shipping+insurance for the meter, plus time spent at the PO and measuring. Plus, they get to see what PAR they actually have...it makes a difference..

    For those where this cost can be an issue perhaps we could have a common shipping fund? I am happy to start that as well...times are tough out there..I think the shipping is not too much, but the insurance may be a few $ more...

    Each person could record quick and simple data such as:

    1. Fixture mfg, model, distance to water, etc.
    2. Tank dimensions.
    3. PAR at surface, mid-water, and substrate
    4. Bulb type, mfg, model #, temp (K rating), lumens, age, etc

    I have to think that at least 7-8 out of 10 folks will have a DIFFERENT setup or more than one and we can capture a good deal of data quickly...

    Any interested meter owner could become a 'hub' of sorts, with a unique contact list and we could really get some useful data quickly and it could be worldwide....

    That way time is saved if for example my 'hub' is the southern USA as I am starting in FL.

    I am happy to start it even if noone else wants to be involved as the meters are expensive and not all would be comfortable having them on loan.

    If interested, let me know, and we'll figure it out...

    I think that even a small matrix or table of this type would be very beneficial..

    I know that several folks have posted PAR data but it is scattered around the forum. Along with the meter, we could send along an excel spreadsheet where folks can simply enter the data and e-mail it on.....

    I think I can create a simple spreadsheet for our purposes... with help of course lol

    I like to think of this as 'Wiki-PAR'......

    As always, thanks for listening and appreciate any feedback.
     
    #1 Gerryd, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  2. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    I would definitely be interested in being a tester. I've wanted to test my PAR but couldn't justify buying a meter for occasional use on just one fish tank. I would be willing to put down a deposit to maybe a third party until I returned the meter.
     
  3. Gbark

    Gbark Guru Class Expert

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    I too would be interested, i could help make the spreadsheet as well if needs be. It only has to be a simple layout with the relavent info.

    If i was to borrow/lend a PAR meter in the way you suggest, i would be happier leaving a deposit until i returned it, as they are expensive.
     
  4. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    A minor deposit would be a good idea. Also, the 12$ flat rate shipping at the PO wouldn't be too bad to swallow, and insurance is probably not a great deal more so you'd be looking at 20$ tops for shipping ( at least within the USA ).

    Also needed would be instructions on how/where to measure. It does no good to measure this if somehow the probe is upside down or not measuring something properly. Plus I would not want to accidentally damage someone's meter because I didn't plug it in correctly or thought a part was waterproof when it wasn't. :(

    -
    S


     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the responses and suggestions..

    As far as usage and measurements.

    I thought that at MIN three measurements can be taken. Surface, mid-water, substrate taken directly under the light in the middle of the fixture as it were.

    This would be quick and easy. Of course we would HOPE that folks do a few more, but I don't see a need for that many as we are just creating a basic usage matrix for guidance.

    I can provide photos/video and post them here so folks can see how it is used. Not much too it. The sensor MUST face up and easy to see it is not :)

    Deposit is a nice idea but adds more complexity as the meter is transferred...

    Let me know if you want on my contact list. I would prefer to keep the unit in the USA if possible. I can start at any time shipping it out..
     
    #6 Gerryd, Jul 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2010
  7. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Can't wait to see the results..
    May i suggest that if someone has removable reflectors to measure with and without them , it would be interesting just how much those reflectors add...
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Ibanez...,

    I can tell you that. Adding a good quality reflector adds 50% more micromols of PAR at the substrate. That means if you already have them installed and remove them it's a 30% reduction.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  9. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Dutchy where are you from in the NL? Do you have a par meter? I would love to measure mine...
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gilles, I'm from Den Haag and yes, I have a PAR meter. I don't have any problem to help others with this equipment but there are a few conditions.

    - Personal pick up and return only.
    - Deposit is equivalent to the Dutch retail price.

    If you have a standard tank with fixture, I can also see if I can measure a comparable tank here and provide you with the data.
     
  11. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    After rethinking my options and usage, i just ordered my PAR meter with Omnia limited (UK). The price in germany is 450 euro, and Omnia ships thesame new model for 290 euro. After a tax deduction, i end up paying 240 euro's.. Not bad... Hope to have it within a few days.
     
  12. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    I can just imagine bringing home a 450 Euro PAR meter , my wife would divorce me :)
    Thanx Dutchy for the info!
     
  13. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Well she has horse riding which costs money, i have an aquarium.. although my aquarium costs a bit more nowadays :p
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Sometimes that's not a problem but a solution hahaha ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  15. joshvito

    joshvito Prolific Poster

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  16. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lux is a measure of how much light there is and it is useful for photographers, hence the lower price due to a larger market. PAR is photosynthetically Available Radiation ( or something like that ) and is a measure of how much light there is which falls in the color bands that the plants can use. While they are related in that more PAR will generally equal more LUX, you can have really bright lights that are fairly useless to plants and light which is intense for a plant that you can barely see with. Unfortunately there is not really a conversion factor or table you can use to figure out PAR from Lux although you might be able to get a ballpark number if someone happens to have the same bulb you use.

    For what we're after, a Lux meter is not very useful.
     
  17. jcardona1

    jcardona1 Junior Poster

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    i'm mostly a lurker here but I think it's a great idea! I'd definitely be interested in being a tester. I'm in the US, California :)
     
  18. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Short said, LUX is a unit of light based on human visible spectrum, PAR is based on plant usable spectrum ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  19. Oreo

    Oreo Guru Class Expert

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    Someone needs to make a cheap color filter that can be placed over the sensor of a LUX meter. 'Cause really that's what I think a PAR meter is. It's a crime that they cost as much as they do.
     
  20. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry, maybe have members contact their local aquatic plant association to see if they would be interested in lending it out to their association's membership. It might offer a little more security while collecting more data. I have talked to a few people in my area.
     
    #20 Tug, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
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