Well just got one for the right price. What can I do with this that will help me understand lighting for my SPS corals? I know a par meter is better but any info is good. I had no intentions to buy one of these it just fell in my lap.
I'd hit the wikipedia first to understand the nomenclature of lighting. Lux is defined as a unit of measure of (1)lumen/square meter. There is 10.764 footcandles in a lux.
I have a chart that I calculated for as many different bulbs as I could find. I think, and would like to see, the hobby start using spectral output with footcandles as the defining means for correct choices of bulbs. I have submitted an article on the calculations and criteria of given bulbs for publishing in some of the hobby magazines. I have not received any notification as to the press date. I am currently gathering data on the lighting requirements of different species of plants, corals, and such to make better use of the chart. Slow going. It took almost four months to do the calculations and obtain data to do so.
I am currently working with a number of aquatic and marine biology and marine biotopic specialist and schools to obtain data for the flora and fauna of underwater life and their lighting requirements. I hope to have enough information by the end of the year to begin matching bulbs to tanks. That may be an aggressive timeline, though.
My reason for wanting to use footcandles is that I am able to calculate the amount of footcandles at the work plane(tank depth) for the various tanks. Much easier to decipher, for me at least. But, we must remember, that proper spectrum, as well as intensity, is key. You cannot have a healthy biosphere with just one of these elements. Both must be supplied in order for the aquatic life to flourish. And you must provide the proper lighting cycle, on/off.
I hope you didn't pay too much for that meter.
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