I think you are in a good starting place for month 1... I might reduce the steps to a week at a time and just do smaller step ups and more step ups. It is a great feature that you can bump it up in very small increments to avoid drastic changes to the tank. I think with a single unit you might be ok to get a little higher than your month 3 goal, but SLOW and watching your coral will be the key.
If you can rent or buy a PAR meter, that is the best way. I should have done that off the bat. Even though PAR is a somewhat flawed way to measure output of an LED
, it still gives you a very good estimate of how much light is available to your coral.
And yes, I am still afraid... you gotta respect the optics. It won't look as bright as MHs but believe me, those optics and Crees definitely put out some ridiculous light. The shimmer is excellent as well, and very little honeycomb or spot lighting effect if you mount it at the right height.