What is PAR, PPF, and PPFD for growing plants with LED Grow Lights?
PAR – Photosynthetically Active Radiation are the wavelengths of light within the visible range of 400 to 700 nanometers (nm) that are critical for photosynthesis. PAR is typically measured as Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) which has units of μMol/m2/s. (micromoles per meter squared per second). Although PAR covers all of the colors of visible light, PAR is most effective in the blue, violet and red portions of the visible light spectrum, with secondary peaks in the yellow and orange portions. Ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light are outside the visible range of light and not measured by the PAR value of light. However, UV and IR play a critical role in increased trichome formation and cell quality and positively affect the growth of plants.
Although PAR is an excellent metric for measuring the growing strength of an LED light, it is not the end-all for measuring how well a grow light will perform. Other critical factors are the diode formulation, diode chip size, diode density and the power draw of the light. G8LED grow lights have high PAR values and are some of the best lights available for growing plants indoors. G8LEDs are also designed with the ideal 3watt chip diodes, with a dense network of diodes and are very efficient, wasting almost no energy.
PPFD – Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density μMol/m2/s. PPFD measures the amount of PAR light (photons) that arrive at the plant’s surface each second. The PPFD is measured at various distances with a Full-spectrum Quantum Sensor, also known as a PAR meter. Natural sunlight has a PAR value of 900-1500μMol/m2/s when the sun is directly overhead. For a grow light to be effective, it should have PAR values of 500-1500 μMol/m2/s.
PPF – Photosynthetic Photon Flux μMol/s. PPF measures the total amount of PAR that is produced by a lighting system each second. Although PPF does not tell how many of the light photons land on the plant, it is an important metric for lighting efficiency.