Ask a Question forum: Would it be wise to get a lux meter?

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Maryland
Alexp08
May 7, 2017 7:41 PM CST
So I'm pretty new to house plants like 3 months into it. I'm curious as to whether it would be wise to get a lux meter as everything I am growing is 100% artifical light. I do understand the lux, foot candle and lumens are very different from PAR but a par meter is upwards of 150$ where I can get a pretty accurate lux meter for about 20$. Thanks
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 7, 2017 8:26 PM CST
You can also get a free App from the Google Playstore to use on your phone or tablet. I don't remember which one I ended up with but I tried a couple before I found one I liked.



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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
May 8, 2017 2:26 AM CST

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It depends on how accurately you need to know the level of illumination. Phone apps are handy, but it comes down to the accuracy of the sensor in the phone (some can be quite coarse; often they cannot measure variations in low-light well, either).
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 8, 2017 8:40 AM CST
A simple light meter like this one ($20) ought to give you a reasonably accurate answer. It covers a wide range of intensity.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...

Maryland
Alexp08
May 8, 2017 8:50 PM CST
Right right, but would it be pertinent to have one?
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 8, 2017 8:55 PM CST
I have one, and it is useful, indoors and out.

I have found it more useful in a relative sense, not an absolute one. In other words, I'm not so much interested in the total lux but how various types of filtered light differ from direct sun. The meter tells me that my brightest outdoor shade position for certain plants receives 20% the intensity of direct midday sun. It confirms the effect of the 70% and 50% shade cloth I use. It tells me that the regular window glass by my balcony cuts about 10-15% of the light. Stuff like that. Those numbers are quite reproducible from one day to the next using this cheap meter.

You have to aim it right, and adjust the knob to keep the range where it can be read, but otherwise it's pretty easy to use.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 8, 2017 8:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 8, 2017 9:27 PM CST
Or...

If you put your hand at plant level and the shadow (of your hand) is crisp, you have bright light. If the shadow is soft, you have intermediate light. If there is no shadow, you are standing in the shade.

Not very scientific but cheap (and I always have my hand with me. Smiling )
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 9, 2017 7:37 AM CST
I have a moisture/PH meter that has a lite meter on it. Cost me $ 12.99
Most garden sections in stores have them.
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 9, 2017 11:26 AM CST
I have never tried the combo meters but would be very suspicious of their accuracy for measuring anything but moisture. They are nearly useless for pH measurement (not something you can easily measure without a dedicated meter, drops, or litmus paper) and lack the range/accuracy of a dedicated light meter.

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