Lumens vs PAR

Lumens are measured for human vision while PAR is a measurement for plant growth (photosynthetically active radiation). Here is why that's important. 
Lumens vs PAR

The SpotOn Quantum PAR Meter Displays PAR in umols/ms. 

How Lumens Compare to PAR.

Lumens are for humans and PAR is for plants. The two don't have much to do with one another.

We made this short video that explains the differences. Or, read plese on...

Lumen is a measurement of human eyes ability to perceive the brightness emitted by any light source, and its measured in foot candles or LUX. 

By contrast, PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) is light energy measured in quantum photon flux which plants "see" to photosynthesize.

Because PAR is a quantum measurement and it cannot be easily converted to LUX.  Different color wavelengths of light travel at very slightly different speeds, so a complex quantum equation is applied to each wavelength to provide us with PAR. 

PAR is the total amount of energy in 400-700nm wavelengths of energy emitted by the sun, which is associated with optimal plant photosynthesis.

LUX is the total brightness of a light source, which is associated with what our eyes perceive. They are each their own interpretation of the photons of light. One for plants and one for us. The higher the LUX level the brighter the light source is to our eyes.

PAR is the spectrum that plants absorb or perceive. The higher the PAR the more intense the light source is for the plants. 

Can LUX meters be used to measure PAR? The short answer is no. They can be used for an approximate measurement of full-spectrum white light and a simple equation can be applied to give you a general comparison to PAR. However lights that contain more blue energy or more red energy will throw off this calculation significantly. 

See the SpotOn Quantum PAR meter 

PAR is measured with a specialized quantum sensor. Companies like Everfine, Licor, Apogee Instruments and Innoquest SpotOn all produce high quality quantum PAR meters and sensors.  

These sensors display PAR in PPFD or photosynthetic photon flux density. When you hear that someone grows at 1000 umols/ms this means their PAR level is 1000 PPFD. 

PAR levels change over distance from artificial sunlight being measured. If you increase the distance from the light fixture, PPFD will drop dramatically and exponentially. This is because an artificial light source produces a limited amount of photons as compared to the sun. PAR typically drops by 50% for every 12" of distance away from an artificial light source. And there is no standard that grow light makers use to measure PAR.

There is a standard used in lighting laboratory measurements called PPF (photosynthetic photon flux ) which is the total amount of photosynthetic energy a light outputs. But this measurement does not accurately predict PAR levels at the distance where your plants are from the grow light. This is because of the size of the light and how close all the diodes are to one-another. A 600 watt grow light that is 4’ x 4’ in size as compared to a 600 watt grow light that us 5’ long by 6” wide will have very different PAR measurements over different distances from the light, but could have the same rated PPF output. 

Plants in the flowering stage of growth do best between 800-1000 PPFD, and can be succesful up to 1500 PPFD depending on the grow environment and available CO2 levels. If supplemental C02 is added to the grow area plants can tolerate higher levels of PAR. Veg plants on the other hand prefer light levels between 250-400 PPFD. And clones and baby seedlings can't tolerate much more than 100 PPFD. 

An additional consideration in lighting layout for grow is what is called crossover. This is the area between two light sources where the light from each source crosses over. These are the photons that shoot at an angle and are still beneficial to the plants. Crossover is an important consideration and can significantly improve PPFD levels. Lighting layout that considers the distance between fixtures based on the amount of PPFD each light can produce allows light loss to be recaptured creating less wasted photons and more beneficial light for your plants. 

There are many different types of grow lights in the market today. Some are better than others at distributing energy evenly. 

As always, any questions you have about this or any other blog you see here, please contact us at shop@forevergreenindoors.com and we are happy to help you!

 

 

 

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Forever Green Indoors
FGI CTB-6 660-720W Uniformity Pro F-Type. Professional LED Grow Light. $ 995.00 $ 1,195.00
The FGI CTB-6 F-Type (full spectrum) is the best grow light we've ever sold. It outperforms all others in its class. So good it’s our Gen III Uniformity Pro model; a long line of top performing commercial grade LEDs from Forever Green Indoors.  Premium built LED grow lighting designed by CABA Tech, experienced grow light electrical engineers here in Washington. Tested extensively in the field by experienced growers. (See installs on the YouTube link below). Built to last with premium quality components. They don't build them like this anymore. Full five year warranty.  We purchased the entire production run and have over 1000 in stock. Exclusively available from Forever Green Indoors.     Product Unboxing Video    Build Quality The CTB-6 660W commercial grow light is constructed to ensure long term performance in any environment.   Heavy duty aluminum enclosure for drivers and controls. Aluminum tube frame that folds open.  Multiple 277 watt solid state drivers power three different LED diode colors. Drivers are digitally programmed to output our patented grow spectrum. Warm white, cool white and red LEDs are tuned perfectly for plant growth indoors. All electrical connections are sealed and epoxied to prevent moisture from affecting the light long term. Diodes are sealed with multiple conformal coatings to protect from VOC's in the grow space.  Photometric tests downloads are below. We're so confident that you'll love this LED that we are extending a 12 month money back guarantee for all units purchased online, here on our site. Volume purchase pricing available. Contact us for a quote. This product comes with a 12 month, no questions asked, money back guarantee.   Control Options Any 0-10V controller. Dims to off. FGI dimming controller - requires wiring harness.  TrolMaster Hydro X Recommended bundle; TrolMaster Hydro X plus LMA-14 Lighting Adapter. Controls up to 60 CTB-6 grow lights. Or add a second LMA-14 on the second channel to control 60 more. All available here on our shopping site (see below).  Highlights 720W Boost Mode Variable dimming knob.  Latest in Lumiled 3535 and Osram long life diodes 1617 PPF @2.58 umols/j (1640 in boost mode) Lifud solid state digital drivers.  Patented grow spectrum controlled by multiple drivers Folds open for easy install Includes rope hangers and heavy duty cable connectors.  110-277 VAC - includes 120V and 240V plug adapters. No special wiring required. Power cord included.  PAR MAP at 24" (Best Uniformity) The CTB-6 demonstrates the most uniform light spread of any multibar LED. At 24" the uniformity is perfect over 16sf of canopy. At 18" PAR increases to 1100 umols/ms.    Isoline view demonstrates light uniformity across bands of PPFD (created in AGI32 by Lighting  Analysts) 800-1100 umols/ms   Spectrum This light is offered in two custom spectrum formulas. Full Spectrum and Bloom Spectrum. Bloom spectrum has 24% additional red and far red output.  Spectrum Our Full Spectrum version produces a balanced 400-700nm output, and less red energy in comparison to the B-Type model. This is accomplished by supplying balanced power to the three independent LED drivers. Our F-Type model produces 1640 PPF for very high intensity PAR on canopy applications.  DLC listed for commercial lighting rebates. We provide rebate program management to maximize your money back. Contact us to learn more.    View More Content On YouTube     Spec Sheet Download  Tear Sheet Download  Photometric Test Reports  (Boost mode, 50% and 100% power) Specifications: DLC Model: CTB6-660W-R1-SH-FS ID: H-CS84WU 5 year warranty.  Diodes: Lumiled & Osram Full Spectrum, Top Bin Long Life  CCT: 3850 CRI: 86 Drivers: Lifud 277W (3 per light) Tuning: Locked in patented light recipe. Bloom and Full Spectrum Versions. Wattage: 660w-720w boost mode output  Voltage: 100-277V AC Autoswitching Plugs: 220-240V Nema Plug. 110-120V Accessory Plugs Included Coverage: 4x4 with CO2. 5x5 No CO2 Dimensions: 47" x 43" x 4"  Hanging Hardware: Rope hangers & Steel V hangers included. Bars: 6 LED bars, conformal coatings.  Cooling: Fanless passive heavy duty design Weight: 37 lbs Controller: Optional   

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