I was curious to see how strong the light is so I was able to borrow a PAR meter from Greggz and after several modifications I was able to narrow things down to an ok setting.
Originally the light was set up 18 inches from the substrate and the bars were spaced only 4 inches apart from each other
I took 7 readings across the 36 inches of the tank, back, middle, and front, and then 3 heights at bottom of tank, middle of tank, and top of the tank.
I got a strong beam in the middle but bad distribution on the edges. So I moved the bars slightly further apart and I was able to get some of the corners better lit. Now the entire light is 19 inches from the substrate and the two outside bars are 8 inches apart.
I think overall this puts me in high light which is what I wanted but one thing I am thrown off by is the spectrum/PUR/and temperature of the lights. At the bottom, center of the tank, I see it's strong but I notice the peak barely has any blue spectrum and strong middle which is not useful for the plants.
So this has me questioning. I show high PAR in the middle which is what I want but is the spectrum not going to be useful to getting the right colors to come out on the plants?
I still have another driver, should I go out and buy some blue LEDs and try and incorporate them into the bars? or just test it out for a while and see how the plants turn out?
I have 10 cool white LEDs and 6 warm LEDs and the tank doesn't look too yellow but I am a fan of cooler running lights so maybe having some blues might change that.
The next post I'll make a complete summary of all the purchases I've done. I want to see how much this light has cost compared to going out and buying a fancy Twinstar or Fluval or Kessil fixture. They're expensive for the 36" light and I wonder if I would have the customization with the controller going the DIY or just waiting until these lights came out.
The new LED lights have the sunrise/day/sunset setting built in and even expand on it using bluetooth but they're much more expensive.