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Apogee par meter vs Grow Sensor, a comparison

Lucy Starley
March 14, 2024
8 min read
A grower holding the Apogee par meter.
A grower holding the Apogee par meter.
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Indoor growers know light's vital role in nurturing healthy plants. Precise measurement of Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) is essential to ensure optimal growth. 

In this post, we'll compare two leading PAR sensors: the renowned Apogee quantum PAR meter and our product, the innovative Grow Sensor. 

While both devices excel in measuring PAR, they differ in functionality, convenience, and affordability. Through these differences, we aim to help growers informed decisions to and grow better plants

Disclaimer: Any information given on this site is for educational purposes only. Please ensure if you’re growing cannabis, you’re doing so in accordance with the law and subject to appropriate permissions and licenses of the applicable country.

The Apogee par meter and hand held meter

Accuracy and functionality

When it comes to accuracy, both the Apogee PAR meter and the Grow Sensor boast extremely accurate quantum PAR/PPF measurements. Both are considered a premium tool in the light meters market.

The Apogee meter is renowned for its high level of accuracy and reliability, providing growers with precise readings to optimise their cultivation environment - unlike hobby grade PAR meters.

The Grow Sensor is a formidable contender, standing alongside and offering comparable accuracy while introducing additional modern conveniences. 

Unlike the Apogee meter's mains powered design requiring a lead wire, the Grow Sensor operates wirelessly and precisely measures allowing PAR levels continuously without the hassle of cables. 

The Grow App displays real time readings. This level of accessibility empowers serious growers to make immediate adjustments to their lighting setups, ensuring optimal conditions in their growth chambers for plant growth at all times. 

Both sensors accurately measure the extended photosynthetically active radiation (ePAR) range from 400 to 750 nanometers. This range includes far-red photons crucial for plant development. 

Unlike traditional PAR meters, both PAR meters captures these essential wavelengths with precision.

Both meters feature a laboratory-grade ePPFD optical detector, meticulously calibrated to measure light intensity in micromoles per square meter per second (µmol m⁻² s⁻¹). 

This means accurate readings of the specific wavelengths emitted by various light sources, including LEDs, HPS, MH, and sunlight. With its precision silicon photodiode detector and custom optical filter, the Grow Sensor ensures reliable measurements every time.

Accuracy and stability are non-negotiable when it comes to measuring light intensity. Whilst both sensors excel here, the Grow Sensor's wireless functionality adds a layer of convenience that aligns with the dynamic needs of modern indoor growing.

The Apogee par meter being held by a grower over some cannabis plants to measure PPF.

Apogee par meter vs Grow Sensor, a comparison

Integrated features

Beyond their primary function of PAR measurement, the Apogee PAR meter and the Grow Sensor offer additional features that cater to the diverse needs of growers. 

Both grow light meters measure incoming PPFD measurements whilst measuring photosynthetically active radiation. The Grow sensor also measures Daily Light Integral DLI. 

The Apogee meter, known for its precision, focuses solely on PAR measurement, requiring separate additional tools for spectral analysis. 

In contrast, the Grow Sensor stands out by combining PAR measurement and spectral analysis into a single, multifunctional device. 

This integration eliminates the need for growers to invest in multiple tools, streamlining their monitoring process and enhancing efficiency. 

Additionally, the Grow Sensor's inclusion of Wi-Fi connectivity allows for seamless data transmission to smartphones. This enables growers to access comprehensive insights into their cultivation environment from anywhere at any time. 

We also have a desktop app in development so in future you can send data to a computer.

Additional Grow Sensor features

Here’s a lit of the additional features and benefits of the Grow Sensor:

  • Precision and innovation combined for optimal growth.
  • Accurate monitoring of temperature and humidity.
  • Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD) tracking.
  • Integrated CO2 monitoring.
  • Continuous measurement of PPFD and full spectrum PAR sensors for light assessment.
  • DLI (daily light integral) measurement capability.
  • Sensing of leaf surface temperature (LST).
  • Monitoring of dew point.
  • Compatibility with the Grow soil probe, enabling measurement of EC, soil moisture, dry backs, and soil temperature at the root system.
  • Equipped for implementing crop steering with detailed data.
  • Ability to set day and night photoperiods.
  • Availability of iOS, Android, and forthcoming desktop app.
  • Built to withstand durability challenges.
  • Offline data logging for seamless crop registration.
  • Flexible connectivity options with long-range Wi-Fi.
  • Large battery capacity with USB power option.
  • Customizable alerts and trend tracking.
  • Sleek and user-friendly dark skin app interface.

By offering a comprehensive solution that combines PAR measurement, spectral analysis, and wireless connectivity alongside the features listed above the Grow Sensor sets a new standard for convenience and functionality in indoor growing.

An image of the Grow Sensor.

Convenience and ease of use

Both the Apogee PAR meter and the Grow Sensor offer distinct advantages in terms of convenience and ease of use. 

The Apogee meter's handheld display provides growers with immediate access to PAR readings, allowing for quick adjustments to lighting conditions. However, its wired design may limit mobility and require growers to be in close proximity to the sensor during operation. 

On the other hand, the Grow Sensor's wireless functionality offers unparalleled convenience, allowing growers to monitor PAR levels remotely via Wi-Fi connectivity.

This means growers can access real-time data from their smartphones or computers, providing greater flexibility and freedom in managing their cultivation environment. 

Additionally, the Grow Sensor's continuous monitoring capability ensures that growers stay informed about changes in PAR levels 24/7 without the need for manual intervention. 

Overall, the Grow Sensor's wireless design and remote monitoring capabilities enhance convenience and ease of use, making it a practical choice for serious indoor growers.

Cost and accessibility

When considering cost and accessibility, the Apogee PAR meter and the Grow Sensor present different options for growers. 

While known for its precision and reliability, the Apogee PAR meter comes with a significant price tag, typically ranging from £500 to £700 in the UK. 

Additionally, growers may need to purchase an additional handheld meter for convenient access to PAR readings, increasing the overall cost. 

In contrast, the Grow Sensor offers a more affordable alternative to the Apogee par meter in the UK without compromising on accuracy or functionality. We plan the cost of the Grow Sensor to be around £500 when we launch.

With competitive pricing and integrated features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and continuous monitoring, the Grow Sensor provides excellent value for money. Especially when you consider all the additional features.

Moreover, being based in the UK, the Grow Sensor offers local accessibility to growers, reducing shipping times and costs compared to international purchases. 

Overall, the Grow Sensor's affordability and accessibility make it an attractive option for growers seeking a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality or performance.

Takeaways

The comparison between Apogee instruments’ PAR meter and the Grow Sensor reveals distinct differences in functionality, convenience, and cost. 

While both devices excel in measuring PAR/PPF with precision, the Grow Sensor offers an additional suite of monitoring features plus Wi-Fi connectivity and continuous monitoring a single device. 

This combination of functionality, along with its competitive pricing and UK-based availability, positions the Grow Sensor as a versatile and accessible solution for growers in search of top-of-the-line tools for their growing environments.

Whether prioritising precision, convenience, or affordability, growers can make an informed decision based on their unique needs. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two sensors depends on individual preferences, budget constraints, and specific requirements. 

Explore the options, weigh the pros and cons, and choose the sensor that best aligns with your goals for successful indoor cultivation.

Happy growing!

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FAQs

What does PAR stand for in PAR meter?

PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation in a PAR meter.

Do I need a PAR meter?

Whether you need a PAR meter depends on your specific goals and the type of plants you are growing. If you are cultivating light-sensitive plants or striving for optimal growth conditions, a PAR meter can be a valuable tool for measuring the intensity and quality of light in your growing environment. 

It helps you ensure that your plants receive the right amount of light for photosynthesis, ultimately leading to healthier and more vigorous growth. 

However, a PAR meter may not be necessary if you are growing low-light tolerant plants or are not overly concerned with maximising growth rates. 

Consider your gardening objectives and the light requirements of your plants to determine if investing in a PAR meter is worthwhile for you.

What’s the difference between the Apogee MQ 500 PAR meter and the MQ 610

The main difference between the Apogee MQ 500 PAR meter and the MQ 610 lies in their spectral range coverage. The MQ 500 measures PAR in the 389 to 692 nanometers range, while the MQ 610 extends the range from 400 to 750 nanometers. 

The Apogee MQ 500 is not a full spectrum quantum sensor. The MQ 610 covers a broader spectrum of light than previous Apogee quantum sensors. Including more red and far-red wavelengths, which are crucial for plant growth and development.

What does a quantum meter measure?

A quantum meter measures the quantity of photons within a specific range of wavelengths, typically in the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) spectrum.

How does a PAR meter work?

A PAR meter works by using sensors to detect and measure the intensity of light within the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) spectrum. These sensors capture the photons emitted by light sources and convert them into electrical signals. 

The meter then interprets these signals to provide light intensity readings, allowing growers to assess the suitability of their lighting setup for plant growth.

Is a lux meter the same as a PAR meter?

No, a lux meter and a PAR meter are not the same. While both meters measure light, they do so in different ways. 

A lux meter measures illuminance, which is the amount of visible light reaching a surface, typically measured in lux. 

On the other hand, a PAR meter measures Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), which includes the wavelengths of light used by plants for photosynthesis, typically measured in micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m²/s).

What is the difference between PAR meter and PPFD meter?

A PAR meter measures Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), which includes all wavelengths of light between 400 and 700 nanometers used by plants for photosynthesis. 

PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) meter measures the intensity of PAR light at a specific point in a given area, typically expressed in micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m²/s). In summary, while a PAR meter measures the total amount of PAR light, a PPFD meter measures the intensity of PAR light at a specific location.

What is a good PAR for a grow light?

A good PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) level for a grow light typically falls within the range of 200 to 1000 micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m²/s), depending on the stage of plant growth and the specific light requirements of the plants being cultivated. 

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Lucy Starley
March 14, 2024
8 min read

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