Free PAR meter? Photone App.

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diver22

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Another way to put this is, they're doing a test without all the variables in order to give people at least SOME extra information, and most of the time I see the PAR tests, it's not about "This is how much PAR you can achieve" (though I have seen that once or twice) it's more about achieving the best spread to get rid of center hotspots and find the proper mounting height. Don't get me wrong, I am not the biggest BRS fan, and they are indeed trying to sell you stuff, especially Apex gear, but their light information is at least reasonably well thought out if you use it for its intended purposes and not a "How much par will I get" purpose.
Yes I agree, to be honest I never play Numbers game not even in my water levels becuase I feel that everyones tank is different and needs different setting. So you are right on the Money.
 
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LeftyReefer

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Another way to put this is, they're doing a test without all the variables
How so?

Their tests still have variables, just different variables. is tank size a variable? how about glass cleanness? how about the type of glass used in the test tank? how about water clarity? flow? all those are variables in an in-tank test is it not?

In tank testing will have its own variables, just like open-air testing will... still have variables, just different variables.

BRS methods are fine, but just be aware that they too have their own variables. All the testers have different methods so their results can't always be compared, or shouldn't be compared. All the various methods of testing are great for us reefers... they all help us make better decisions in the end. I wouldn't say one way is the right way or the wrong way, but they are all different and all valuable.

I don't dislike BRS's testing, but it is what it is... testing designed around selling stuff. They make everything seem better than it is. They sell a lot of stuff, so it seems to work for them. haha.

For instance, they used to just measure PAR and wattage based on running a light at 100% all channels.
Well how many people run their lights with all channels at 100%? not many. Other testers like Telegraham and others have since started testing PAR output and wattage with the light set to run the proper coral growing SPECTRUM.... which is how most of us run our lights... Now they give PAR and wattage data while the light is putting out the proper SPECTRUM, which is a good way to compare lights used to grow corals and will give results closer to real world than just giving data of a light set to 100% which few people run.... PAR and wattage, AT SPECTRUM will paint a different picture than one done at all channels 100%. Both ways are fine as long as you know the difference.

BRS light tests are great, but so are Dana's and Jim's. They are all valuable, but different, and its important to know how they are different because they can all help make the picture a little more clear. If only BRS was testing lights, we wouldn't have the complete picture, the same goes for Dana or Jim or anybody else testing reefing equipment for us. The more people we have testing stuff using different methods, is better for us in the end. More data is better than less data.
 

LeftyReefer

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I'm really digging this app now. Even if the numbers aren't totally accurate, it is still handy to play around with.

While I was playing with the Photone app tonight, moving my phone around my tank, I noticed a distinct difference between the Left and Right ends of my tank. after investigating, I realized my (2) lights were not perfectly aligned. I just put the second light up a couple weeks ago. So I took the time to align them both perfectly tonight. They weren't level earlier... one had a slight tilt forward and the other had a slight tilt back.. now after aligning them perfectly level and all centered up, I gained 67 PAR at the center of the tank, at the water surface.

my numbers went from 644 PAR in the middle of the tank, to now getting 711 PAR there.
Screenshot_20220127-191358_Photone.jpg


Same settings, just took the time to align my lights better. They weren't converging evenly before. Now they are. I would have never noticed this since I don't have access to a real PAR meter. This app worked well enough to notice this, which I didn't by the naked eye.... So I'm already a big fan of this app. being free on Android is just awesome.
 

Jeffbear

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I played around with the app last night. I went into settings and turned on the pro settings Advanced Readings and Position Indicator. I also bumped the setting of my light up about 5%. With the advanced readings holding the peak value for me I was able to verify 211 PAR 4" below the surface (at the level of my Monti's) and an almost stead drop to the 115-90 range in the mid level of the tank. The sand ranged from 65-90 depending on how close to the edge and back wall I could get the phone.
I think this app can only get better seeing how involved the developer is with R2R! Thanks for the heads up on this @diver22!
 

diver22

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I played around with the app last night. I went into settings and turned on the pro settings Advanced Readings and Position Indicator. I also bumped the setting of my light up about 5%. With the advanced readings holding the peak value for me I was able to verify 211 PAR 4" below the surface (at the level of my Monti's) and an almost stead drop to the 115-90 range in the mid level of the tank. The sand ranged from 65-90 depending on how close to the edge and back wall I could get the phone.
I think this app can only get better seeing how involved the developer is with R2R! Thanks for the heads up on this @diver22!
That is awesome, yes I agree the development team is really involved getting the tweaked I think it will move us to the next step in App world. Today I will test with my iPhone and compare with readings I got from 5 months ago using a Apogee Meter. I will share once I’m done.
I have Vipraspectra lights in case anyone is using them.
 
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Koh23

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Did u switch from dli to ppfd?

I think that android version first start with dli readings....

In meanyime, i thinking of doing some diy "case" for phone, to be waterproof... Kinda have low trust in zip-bags......

Thinking about buildin glass case, like mini tank, with some way of attaching top piece to be waterproof.....

Am i overthink this, is standard zip bag enough? ;)
 

JNalley

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Did u switch from dli to ppfd?

I think that android version first start with dli readings....

In meanyime, i thinking of doing some diy "case" for phone, to be waterproof... Kinda have low trust in zip-bags......

Thinking about buildin glass case, like mini tank, with some way of attaching top piece to be waterproof.....

Am i overthink this, is standard zip bag enough? ;)
yes, I'm on ppfd, still giving me readings of like 2-4, when I went to the "calibration" section it said "Photone is not yet factory calibrated for your device model" and then shows me how to calibrate using a par meter.
 

LeftyReefer

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Did u switch from dli to ppfd?

I think that android version first start with dli readings....

In meanyime, i thinking of doing some diy "case" for phone, to be waterproof... Kinda have low trust in zip-bags......

Thinking about buildin glass case, like mini tank, with some way of attaching top piece to be waterproof.....

Am i overthink this, is standard zip bag enough? ;)

I'm planning on using my (food) vacuum sealer to seal my phone in a bag. The process of vacuum sealing it will also check for any leaks obviously.
 

OutColdCoral

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I have been trying on full spectrum. I know my nanobox light is only set to about 56% blues and 15% whites but I’m getting like 40-50 par just under the water. It’s a lagoon that’s only 12 inches deep. Surprised it would be that low. Maybe I should buy the blue/white spectrum option and see how that reads.
 
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diver22

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I have been trying on full spectrum. I know my nanobox light is only set to about 56% blues and 15% whites but I’m getting like 40-50 par just under the water. It’s a lagoon that’s only 12 inches deep. Surprised it would be that low. Maybe I should buy the blue/white spectrum option and see how that reads.
Have you tried B/W this is more aligned to the Reef Community lights.
 

diver22

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yes, I'm on ppfd, still giving me readings of like 2-4, when I went to the "calibration" section it said "Photone is not yet factory calibrated for your device model" and then shows me how to calibrate using a par meter.
Also make sure you have selected LUX not FC option. It does the calculations in the back end.

IMG_1557.PNG
 

Danroo

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I tried this app in the morning for r24 lights on my iPhone. Closest to the lights I’m getting 2000 par reduced if it’s in a zip lock bad on b/w setting. Once it reaches the water the par on my top rock 8inch from the light show 300 on top of it but is drastically reduced to 60-70 once I reach middle area of the tank.
 

diver22

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I tried this app in the morning for r24 lights on my iPhone. Closest to the lights I’m getting 2000 par reduced if it’s in a zip lock bad on b/w setting. Once it reaches the water the par on my top rock 8inch from the light show 300 on top of it but is drastically reduced to 60-70 once I reach middle area of the tank.
Did you do the calibration for both the Bag and the Water immersion ? If you do not Calibrate things will be off.
 

diver22

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You can calibrate with the free version, I do recommend the B/W spectrum for Reef Lights versus full spectrum.

Guys a disclaimer I do not work for them, I'm just trying to help them adjust to the reefing community which will benefit all of us. They have great support and hopefully they listen and make adjustments.

I have a video I can share which they sent me.



Here is a Link that helps you...

 

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diver22

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I’m wondering if I am reading lower because I have a waterproof case on my iPhone XS as well as put a ziplock bag on it.
Good concern, is it clear ? If it is then remove it from the case do the 1st step of the calibration and then put it back in the case and resume the calibration steps.

also remember to make sure is super clean the case and the front camera. But make sure your select Lux and not FC in the settings.
 

OutColdCoral

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Good concern, is it clear ? If it is then remove it from the case do the 1st step of the calibration and then put it back in the case and resume the calibration steps.

also remember to make sure is super clean the case and the front camera. But make sure your select Lux and not FC in the settings.
I hit went back into it and I wasn’t set to Lux. But also the calibration only shows me comparing it with a light chart or par meter?
 

LeftyReefer

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I tried this app in the morning for r24 lights on my iPhone. Closest to the lights I’m getting 2000 par reduced if it’s in a zip lock bad on b/w setting. Once it reaches the water the par on my top rock 8inch from the light show 300 on top of it but is drastically reduced to 60-70 once I reach middle area of the tank.

That sounds about right. My readings have been taken about 8" below my light and I'm getting around 700 PAR now. If I hold my phone up right under the light, it shoots up to like 2000 PAR. I have not taken any underwater readings, so I can't tell you how fast my PAR will drop in the water yet.
 
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