Basics about LED Illumination – Lumen, Lux, PAR and Photosynthesis

Light is Not Just Light – The Basics of Mitras® LED Illumination by GHL

Benefit from our many years of experience since 2002, we offer dimmable led lights for application in aquatics.

Photosynthetic Efficiency with Mitras Luminaires

With the help of light energy from CO2 and water, coral symbionts and plants build carbohydrates and and discard oxygen; this process is called photosynthesis. In charge of this energy production is the plant pigment chlorophyll (a + b and carotene).

Light beams can be understood as electromagnetic waves, which are made of energy particles called photons. The energy of the so-called Photon is dependent on its wavelength (nm) and its frequency (THz). Different wavelengths of light we see as color. The visible light by humans covers only a certain segment of the electromagnetic spectrum which moves in the range of 380-750 nm.

As you can see – For the intended use, a suitable light spectrum and light intensity are crucial for the photosynthetic activity of coral symbiont and plants. The higher the photosynthesis rate is, the stronger and healthier growth could be achieved.

Lumen, LUX and PAR – Optimal Conditions with Mitras

LUX (lm / m2) is the unit of illuminance, indicating which luminous flux (lumens) falls on a defined area. The light output lumens (lm) as a measure of the brightness is normalized to the human visual sensitivity. Because humans perceive blue or red light less intense than the green light, the lumen decreases though contstantly high radiation levels the more blue or red the light is.

This is why, the specified lumens at our Mitras Daylight  for example, are much higher than in the Mitras Actinic, though the wattage is almost identical.

The qualification of a luminaire only on the basis of lumens / watt (light output per electrical power) is not always appropriate as nothing is said about the photosynthetic efficiency of light

It is quite so that a luminaire with high lumens but unfavorable spectrum of photosynthesis is less beneficial than a luminaire with slightly less lumens but therefor optimum range.

More meaningful is the so-called PAR value (Photosynthetic Active Radiation), which describes the available radiation for photosynthesis.

All this offers the high-power Mitras LED illumination in perfection. Mitras Luminaires achieve above-average PAR values and thus ensures healthy growth in your aquarium.

More Facts why Mitras Luminaires are Your Best Choice

When comparing our Mitras Luminaires with others, you should note the following points:

  • Our electric power includes also the consumption of the control electronics, not only the consumption of the LEDs.
  • The light performance indicated by us includes also the performance of the LEDs which contribute less to the creation of lumen but which optimize the spectrum.
  • Furthermore, we indicate the actually remaining lumen after deducting the losses through the glass and temperature increase.
  • Contrary to the commonly used practice to use cheap series resistors for LED-current limiting, in our luminaires the current of LEDs is precisely controlled by electronics. This reduces the current consumption and waste heat.
  • We truly believe that we could utilize the maximum out of LED-technology – the best LEDs, an extremely transparent protector plate, a massive cooling and an electronic control. More is hardly possible. If you find elsewhere better performance data, then you should question this critically.
  • We don’t indicate any ideal theoretic values, but the performance data which can be reached in practice after deduction of all losses.

Photosynthesis with Mitras Lightbar Daylight in freshwater aquarium