Measuring light is a key factor in general and horticultural lighting that is often overlooked. It has great importance because it is the only way to know if the lighting fixtures are performing as expected. Whenever a light plan is applied, light measurements should always be performed in order to know if the lighting fixtures are under or over performing. In other words, light measuring is a must do both in general and horticultural lighting.
There are many light measuring equipments in the market nowadays. Depending on what, where and why you are performing light measurements will determine what device you should be using.
We will explain with little detail the meters that are fundamental to perform the correct light measurements. PARmeter, LUXmeter and Spectrometer are the most important meters to be used in measuring light properly.
A PARmeter, also known as Quantum meter, is used to measure photosynthetic photon flux density, commonly referred to as PPFD. It provides measuring in the PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) region (from 400nm to 700nm).
A Luxmeter is used to measure illuminance. Illuminance is the luminous flux incident on unit area of a surface and it is measured in lux. The lux meter also provides measuring in the region from 400nm to 700nm.
Last and most important, a Spectrometer measures both illuminance, PPFD, PBAR (Photobiological Active Radiation from 280nm to 750 nm) and spectral characteristics. Using spectrometer is fundamental because they provide a lot more information than the previous light meters. Also, a spectrometer is able to perform measurements in wider ranges of spectrum than the other meters.
Suitable lighting is not easy to achieve without proper measurements and careful planning. BemStudio can help you in both ways, either before you build your lighting environment or by analysing your space and providing careful reports about light conditions and how to improve them.
Here are some links that you can visit in order to expand your knowledge regarding light measurements and it’s importance:
International Society for Horticultural Science
Illuminating Engineering Society
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers