LED Par Reading For Ai Prime, Kessil, And Current Marine

  • #1
Just a quick write-up to share my PAR readings with you all.

I was luckily enough to borrow my local reef club's PAR meter called Apogee with the Full-Spectrum Sensor. I spent about an hour and to collect some data, so hopefully this will give you all a bit more information on some popular LED lights.
A quick note before we start, there are many different species/strands of corals, some like higher lighting than others. Some corals have been slowly acclimated to higher intensity light. If you are ever unsure of the lighting and intensity of your newly purchased corals, always acclimate them to your lighting.

Now that we have that out of the way... let's go!

The LED lights tested were:
AI Prime HD
Kessil A160WE
Current Marine Orbit 24-36"

Here's the data:
*instructions on how to read it is below



Lets try to make some sense of the data and how to read it if you are confused.
Within each data set you'll see the tank type, lights used, and the distance the light was mounted above the water surface.
Height of measurement means the height the PAR sensor was from the bottom of the tank.
You'll see columns labeled "top mid", "top side 11", "Mid Mid", etc... that's pretty much where my hand was in the tank holding the sensor.

For example, if you look at the data set "Tank = IM25"
Look for "140" within the intensity row @ 50% in the Mid-Mid column.
This means, the sensor was at the middle of the tank measuring about 5.5 inches high from the bottom of the tank. At the intensity of 50%, the PAR reading was 140.
Now, look over to the column right of the 140.. you'll see "77" and the column it's in reads Mid - Side 11" This means, within the middle of the tank at 5.5 inches high and about 11 inches to either side, at an intensity of 50% the PAR reading is 77.

So, the Top Mid, Bottom Mid, Bottom Side 11", etc... is pretty self explanatory. Essentially it's where and how far the PAR reading was taken from the tank. You will notice I skipped some of the intensity settings simply because my wife and I figured out that every time we increased the intensity by 10% the PAR also increased by a few points. And since we aren't measuring to the exact n'th degree just take the difference and the PAR reading is somewhere in between. It was pretty time consuming and tiresome I must say... especially after a day on the gun-range. Pew pew!

Okay, now that I've got the standard data set out of the way...
You are probably curious of my tank's reading with my AI Prime HD's at it's daily peak settings.
So, during my lights peak intensity at 1PM.. UV/V(Purples) @ 50%, RY/B(Blues) @ 75%, G/R(Green/Red) @ 5%, and CW(White) @ 50% here are my numbers:


Here's how the numbers are in relations to the corals in my tank.
Basically, I set the sensor right next to the corals to see what PAR it's been getting.
*Note: Readings were done without a screen top. I usually have my screen top on 99% of the time, so subtract about 20 PAR to each coral to get a more accurate value.


Here are just reference pictures of the tanks, lights, and mounts I have to give you an idea of the distance I have everything at.

Innovative Marine 10:


DIY 10 Gallon AIO (old picture):


Innovative Marine 25 Lagoon (old picture):


Also, I took it a step further to see if a screen top or glass top affects the PAR reading.
The answer is, yes. A screen top and glass top lowers the PAR reading.
With my screen top with holes of 1/8"or so... reduces the PAR by about 20.
With the glass top with no condensation.. reduces the PAR by about 20 as well. With condensation the PAR reduced varied between 20-40.

*Note: all the PAR numbers I have recorded has been adjusted per Apogee's "Underwater PAR Measurements" by multiplying by 1.32
Underwater PAR Measurements

That's all for now. Hope this helps.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Tanks and Plants
  • #2
Wow Ben your 1 tank looks like it’s slowy growing some other tanks. And darn you got a nice Kessil light!
Also in your honest please honest opinion how do you like the media that I sent? Did you notice if it made a difference or nothing at all and did you get a chance to use those gel balls?

Thanks Ben and GREAT GREAT looking tanks!
  • #3
Thank you so much!! This is really useful. Can a mod sticky this?

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