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Below is our top recommendations for LED lights and devices used in measuring light intensity to maintain optimal coral growth and coloration. These recommendations are based on products we personally have used and narrowed down a few of our favorites over the years. We have been very satisfied overall with pricing, quality, growth and coloration. We prefer lighting that have a lower energy usage, lower heat output and are more user friendly.

What Is PAR and Why Is It Important?

PAR stands for Photosynthetic Available (Active) Radiation. It is used to describe the intensity of light and helps with coral placement in your tank. Corals can either thrive in a certain par level or can get irritated and potential die. That is why It makes a huge difference when placing corals in a spot that gives it its best chance at living. Measuring PAR helps us achieve that rather than it being a guessing game. While many species have proven to handle much more light intensity than most manmade lighting puts out, most people stick to ranges between 80-250.

You can measure the intensity with a PAR meter. We also suggest creating a map of your tanks PAR. Please note that adjusting your light settings, moving/replacing lights or moving/replacing rockwork may affect par levels. 

Example Of Mapping PAR

 By choosing to map the PAR on your tank, you can avoid bleaching or stunting the corals growth or even killing your coral from too much or too little light. However, even PAR meters are only 75% accurate as they measure all active radiation, not just usable. But these will give us a better idea of the light intensity since it is impossible to detect this with the naked eye. Rather than buying one, most Local Reef Stores (LFS) have a meter that can be rented to map out your tank once it is scaped, filled with water, and lights installed. 

Our Recommendations For PAR Meters


  1. MQ-510 is more precise than the 210x.

  2. Most recommended.

  3. The company is local to the US, based out of Logan, UT. 

  4. Easy to use, but generally suggest finding a place to rent over buying this. 


SENEYE Reef Aquarium Monitor and PAR Meter

  1. Not only measures PAR but also temperature, ammonia, pH, water level, LUX, and Kelvin. However, we had pH and ammonia read inaccurately so just be aware.

  2. Best cost for a PAR meter that we have found.

  3. Requires subscription service in order to access all features it offers. 

  4. In our opinion, this is only worth renting for temporary PAR measurement. 

Our Recommendations For LED Lights


  1. Easy to use app and easy to program.

  2. Create your own lighting schedule or download one of the schedules from their website's signature series.

  3. Same app as the Nero powerhead.

  4. Great lighting coverage for all tank sizes.

  5. Low energy usage.

  6. Hasn't overheated so far.

  7. Amazing growth and color from all our corals 

  8. These are what are used on our own grow outs here at K&P.

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