So I recently and accidentally destroyed my old par meter and needed to replace it.
My original meter was from Hydro Farm but I found one that is identical. So here is a Quantum Sun par meter unboxing.
Quantum Sun Quantum Par Meter Unboxing
I admit to ruining my old PAR meter by yanking out the sensor cable. It was a dumb mistake and I was not looking when I did it.
I thought I had grabbed the USB cable instead. It was a dumb and costly mistake. But I need to measure my PAR levels.
This Quantum Par Meter is identical to my old meter but I bought my old one years ago so I knew replacing it was going to be more expensive.
My old one cost me about $100 and this one was about $190 but luckily I found a coupon for $28 off.
What Is PAR?
PAR, or Photosynthetically Active Radiation, is a measurement of the amount of sunlight that is available for plants to photosynthesize.
This is important because photosynthesis is how plants convert light into energy, which they use to grow and develop.
PAR includes all wavelengths of visible light, from 400 to 700 nanometers.
This range of wavelengths is what gives plants their green color, as they reflect most other colors in the visible spectrum.
Plants also use some of the energy from PAR to produce heat, which helps them regulate their internal temperature.
Because of this, PAR is a key factor in determining the optimum temperature for photosynthesis.
In general, the higher the PAR, the higher the rate of photosynthesis. However, there are many other factors that can affect photosynthesis, such as the intensity of light, the type of plant, and the CO2 levels in the air.
As a result, PAR is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding how plants grow and develop.
Do You Need A PAR Meter?
You might want the Quantum Sun Quantum Par Meter if you use LED grow lights.
I grow plants in multiple locations in my home. I have different-sized LED lights in them.
LED light is more intense inside a closed space like a grow tent. The walls reflect light back unlike in an open environment where light diffuses across the room.
LED grow lights are powerful. You won’t get leaf burn from them like when HPS(High Pressure Sodium) or metal halide grow lights are too close.
You can get bleaching or even stunted leaves from too much LED light. There really is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Without CO2 enrichment (and I know most vegetable gardeners don’t use it) plants can only handle 400-600 micromoles of light.
It is very easy to go above this level and if you know what your light levels are you can dim your light or raise it up.
If you don’t have a starting point to measure you are just guessing. Lighting levels are a lot like fertilizing where less is more.
PAR Meter Alternatives
If you look around you can find apps for your cell phone. I have found them to not be as accurate as a PAR meter so for me they were not a good option.
However, if you don’t want to buy a PAR meter they are better than nothing and I suggest you use them.
Quantum Sun Quantum Par Meter Final Thoughts
If you are using hydroponic growing systems and lighting it is important to be able to measure your inputs.
You want to measure the ppms and pH of your nutrient solution and you want to be able to measure your light levels too.
The Quantum Sun PAR meter may seem expensive but compared to more expensive commercial par meters from Apogee which cost over $500 it is relatively cheap and accurate enough for my purposes.