Less than a week after discovering that Apogee is working on a USB PAR sensor we’ve spotted this very device under the BioTek Marine brand over on Aquarium Specialty’s website. As we suspected the USB PAR sensor will retail for under two bills at $195 and this device’s 15 foot, 3 meter cord will make it rather easy to plug into a laptop somewhere near your aquarium.
We presume that the initial supply of these USB PAR sensors made for BioTek Marine will be very limited and who knows where either respective companies is at with the development of the software to run the device. Hopefully the BioTek USB PAR sensor will be compatible with both windows and mac software at launch, and while we can only expect it to give basic PAR readings at first, and to log them in a linear fashion, we can imagine an interesting future where colorful 3D PAR graphs of light in an aquarium volume will be easy to produce.
Sure the more progressive marine aquarium LED companies already offer their own 3D graphs of maximum light output and even some on-the-fly information about how your light settings are calculated to change within the aquarium but won’t it be nice to place a USB PAR sensor next to a coral and quantify exactly how much PAR it is receiving over the course of a day?
The exciting part of the USB PAR sensor is not so much how the overall price will drop by half for us to accurately measure meaningful light intensity. More-so is what the pairing of PAR sensor and a powerful computer can mean for us to unlock new and creative applications for our light-dependent aquariums. [Aquarium Specialty]