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Old 04-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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Light Meter

The drs have this one:
Aquarium Lighting & Monitoring: Milwaukee Instruments Smart Lux Light Meter

Any suggestions on this unit or any other light meter.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
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I'm gald you asked. I've been looking at that item for a couple of months now and have wondering if it is worth getting or not.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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Ok, maybe I'm behind on some bit of knowledge here. What would be the point of measuring the 560nm output of an aquarium light?
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:58 PM   #4
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Some species of aquarium fauna (and flora for that matter) are extremely picky about the amount and wavelength of light they live in. Though I am not a saltie, I understand that some corals and things like that are especially picky.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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I also wanted to use it to test how long different bulbs will last.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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Ah okies, I stick with pairs of bulbs myself. Since I put them in 6 months apart I can always see when one gets dim and swap it out. Wouldn't work so well if they're all different types of bulbs though.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Yeah plus the spectrum will shift as they get older, but you really can't tell with the human eye.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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I'm not tracking with this light meter. Where does Lux fit in with PAR or are they interchangable? Also will the Lux value be interchangable with say 10,000k bulbs??? I'm guessing there is a chart or something that will provide conversions???
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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Lux
The intensity of light that impacts a surface is described by an international unit of measurement called a "lux." It is the metric measurement similar to a foot-candle: 1 foot-candle equals 10.7 lux. The level of intensity on a natural reef with clear water will average about 20,000 lux at a depth of 15 feet, and 10,000 lux at 30 feet. Knowing where an organism lives in nature will give you an idea of the light intensity that will be required to maintain that organism in an aquarium. Lux meters are available and are relatively inexpensive, and can be used to both check your lighting for the intensities that are required, and to determine when bulbs in the system need to be replaced.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:36 PM   #10
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Officially PAR is the 400-700nm range. Lux is supposed to be total radiation at a distance of one meter. Usually though it's calculated based on measuring some specific wavelength around 550-570nm since that's where the human eye is most sensitive, and assuming that the other wavelengths are putting out progressively more or less power.

Unfortunately modern light bulbs don't play by the rules. They put out varying amounts of light at defined wavelengths. Then of course when the spectrum shifts, it's hard if not impossible to tell by looking at it without some direct comparison. You can either use a lux or quantum sensor to compare a reading, or you can compare to a brand new bulb if your eyes are good enough.

Basically all of the light scales are work arounds to avoid having to copy down a spectrum graph. The same way decibels are used to describe volume without telling you pitch.

Basically they are trying to find a simple way to compare these with one number:
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