not for iPhone or iPad.
Understand your lighting.
ITC Reefculture was born out of a desire to create unique and functional tools for all levels of aquarist. Tools and accessories to help us all keep our aquariums and the inhabitants in better shape. Livestock welfare is at the core of our business whether that be helping to produce tools for those who wish to spawn corals, frag them, or stop pests! PARwise is our latest tool which ends the questions of what setting should my lights be on, whether that be brightness, colour (spectrum) or photoperiod. PARwise empowers you to make the right decisions over your lighting settings and to share and discuss lighting in great depth with the aquatics community, with accuracy – whether your organism is aquatic or not!
What is it?
PARwise is a unique light meter with the ability to measure spectrum. It can be used underwater and in air. It gives you all of the relevant lighting measurements required to make informed decisions.
What it measures?
PARwise measures ‘PAR’ (PPFD – Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density µMol/m2/s), Kelvin (Colour temperature), LUX, Spectrum, DLI (Daily Light Integral), Peak Wavelength, Hue (as colour)
How it works?
PARwise uses our proprietary, in-house made and designed optical engine, nestled underneath a user replaceable cosine corrector to ‘read’ the spectral content and quantity of light that hits it. We then determine the results on-board within PARwise and send that over USB to your device to display. Our web based app automatically downloads to your device (pc, mac, android) the first time you use it to give you full offline use. We include a free USB-C adaptor to fit into android smart phones, tablets and modern computers who don’t have a full size USB port. Please note, we don’t yet work with iOS or iPadOS due to apple not allowing USB OTG on their mobile devices.
How to use?
Follow the user instructions to get your PARwise up and running – then simply place the sensor next to your photosynthetic organism such as a coral or plant to then take a reading. Use the on screen pause button to capture the reading in that position and reference your spectrum against a known spectral response curve, or other light setting you want to copy or tune to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I want one?
Humans don’t judge colour and intensity well – it’s a fact of human evolution that our eyes have evolved to see in all light levels.
Therefore – when we set our artificial lights up we actually set them to what we like to see – not that’s biologically best for the coral or plant. This means we’re likely wasting energy on parts of the spectrum we don’t need and not delivering what the corals need at the same time which means lower health, less growth and repair. Then of course, there is the amount of time and the amount of light they get too . 3 Things are needed for success, the right spectrum, the light amount of light and for the right amount of time.
How does it work?
PARwise connects to your mobile device or laptop/computer and via our webapp – you put the sensor into the aquarium at different points and levels, record the numbers and position then you can build up a picture of what your light settings are doing. You can then refer to published data and/or our website to get an idea of what you can do to improve on it.
Is it just a PAR meter?
No! We measure the 3 key things you need to know to successfully provide light to your photosynthetic tank inhabitants. Quantity of Light, Spectrum and Length of time. No PAR meter can do this – but PARwise can. We called it PARwise because a lot of people recognise that term.. But now you’re wiser!
We also hope that as hobbyists we can all start sharing spectrums and photoperiods (DLI) as well as par data to start really getting the best out of the things we want to grow. Because PAR means nothing without spectrum or a photoperiod (DLI). You can have 500 PAR but if the spectrum’s in the wrong place – your organism won’t be able to use much of it
Is it full spectrum?
Full spectrum is a bit of a misnomer.. Do we start down at 0nm upto what wavelength?! No – there is always an operational range but In terms of full human visible spectrum yes, we see all of it and we also see into UV and Infrared too. We see and measure more than just PAR.
How can I learn more about lighting terminology and how its relevant to my tank
There are lots of great articles on the internet but we’re building a lighting library on our PARwise website. We hope it to be a useful resource for aquarists and beyond.
Will it match my Apogee or other meters like Seneye Reef?
Which Apogee!? We have many and they all give us different results! For valid reasons too. Every sensor has a set range of operation and within that range there will be points that it’s more sensitive at. Apogee sensors aren’t ‘smart’ - they have a set range they are sensitive to and cannot ignore various parts of the spectrum. Some models add near-uv into their PAR readings whereas they shouldn’t, technically because it’s not a part of the PAR range. Because PARwise can see spectrum, we can effectively ignore the parts of the spectrum that don’t belong within the scientific definition of that measurement. This makes for a far more accurate and true reading. Seneye Reef has a basic light meter built in and was never designed to be a light meter – it’s great for indicatory use but it’s main job and all of its core engineering and science is in protecting fish.
Why doesn’t it have a domed lens?
PARwise uses a true scientific-grade cosine correction material. Historically manufactures have tried to produce cheap lenses to refocus light onto the collector but efficiency is poor. The performance of a true scientific cosine corrector is far superior at collecting off-axis light from things like reflections or multiple emission sources aimed to overlap at the same target.
Cosine correction is not essential for aquarium use but as PARwise has applications outside aquatics it was a must have item.
As with any optical lens it does need to be kept clean, the cosine material is made from low surface energy polymer so it doesn’t foul quickly. The PARwise cosine lens is replacable.
Can it work underwater?
Absolutely – in fact it can work underwater and out of water, accurately thanks to a special software switch in the webapp that will allow you to select between air, underwater, saltwater AND freshwater – because believe it not – the calibrations are different for all of these and there are differences thanks to diffraction and dissolved minerals/organics.
How deep can It work?
The cable length is 2.5 meters from sensor to plug – which is not waterproof even if your PARwise is! So realistically it can go nearly as deep as that!
Will it work on iOS products (iPhone & iPad)?
Not yet – The reason being is that Apple don’t allow USB OTG on their phones and tablets. It’s completely compatible with macOS so if you have a desktop Mac or a MacBook – you’re fine. We hope that when Apple move entirely over to USB-C on their mobile devices, they’ll activate it. But they don’t allow it as yet.. Whereas nearly every other mobile device manufacturer does. If you’re really stuck you can get an Amazon kindle fire 7 which are quite inexpensive to use it with – and get a cool little tablet out of it – still for far much less than buying a single parameter light meter from other manufacturers.
Will it work on MAC?
Why I need an adapter?
The free included USB-C adaptor is so you can plug it into a range of old and new devices from computer to phone.
Why it run only in chrome & edge?
It will run on any ‘Chromium’ based browser, including Amazon Silk – for the kindle owners out there. By doing this we can deliver updates to your device and software very quickly an easily. It’s a really cool technology meaning there is only one app to work on a whole range of devices.
Can I use it for my own application?
If it’s measuring light in air or a liquid – it’ll work. Just ensure that liquid isnt a horrible chemical..! If anyone has any special commercial applications please get in touch with us at Support@itcreefculture.com and we can advise specifically.
How do I get the latest software?
By logging onto the webapp with your device connected to the internet, our site will check to see if you have the latest version of webapp and firmware for your device and advise of any upgrades.