PBAR VS. PAR - the vigor of IR light and UV light for plants

When indoor cultivators research LED grow lights, they tend to focus on measurements like Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). While this standard metric gives growers a glimpse into their grow light’s intensity, it can’t provide information on ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) lightwaves. True, not every LED grow light has UV and IR capabilities; however, as more cultivators recognize the benefits of UV and IR in plant development, it’s increasingly common to find these frequencies in grow tents.

To get a more accurate look into a grow light’s intensity, scientists have introduced a new measurement called “PBAR.” While it may take time for cultivators to adjust to PBAR scores, it may soon replace PAR thanks to its enhanced accuracy.

What Is PBAR & Why Should Indoor Cultivators Care?

The spectrum wavelength range difference between PBAR and PAR

The acronym “PBAR” means “Photobiologically Active Radiation.” The crucial distinction between PBAR and PAR is that the former can account for non-visible UV and IR rays. By contrast, PAR only looks into visible lightwaves directly involved in photosynthesis, which range from 400 nm - 700 nm.

Since PBAR is still relatively new, no clear definitions exist for its nanometer range. However, most cultivators believe the 280 nm - 800 nm range is suitable for most indoor plants.

The benefit of using PBAR over PAR is that it gives more detailed information on a grow light’s intensity. PBAR includesPAR in its measurement. On top of the PAR reading, PBAR will let growers know how much IR and UV concentration is in their grow light.

There’s mounting evidence that UV and IR significantly impact a plant’s growth rate, health, and yield. Therefore, it’s no surprise more growers want to include these light rays in their grow space — which means they’ll need an accurate way to account for these variables. Plus, UV and IR are far more accessible nowadays thanks to full-spectrum LED lights or dedicated UV/IR bars. Knowing how to calculate UV and IR will become increasingly significant for future indoor cultivators.


What’s So Significant About UV & IR For Plant Development?

The research into UV and IR for indoor cultivation is ongoing, but scientists have discovered these lightwaves significantly impact plant development. True, your plant will probably “survive” without a UV/IR bar, but it won’t “thrive.”

UV and IR provide many unique benefits that strengthen and enhance plant growth. Let’s briefly run through a few of the most common observed benefits UV and IR provide.

UV & IR light

What Does UV Do For Plant Development?

  • UV-A rays have been shown to stimulate plant growth and leaf size.
  • Strains grown under UV rays tend to have a higher dry weight than those without UV exposure.
  • UV stimulates flowering plants to produce more terpenes and flavonoids as a natural form of protection.
  • UV has natural anti-pest and anti-mold properties that can significantly reduce the odds of an infestation.

What Are The Key Benefits Of IR?

  • IR helps naturally boost plant yields by stimulating photosynthesis in a process known as the “Emerson Effect.”
  • IR rays can provide “top-to-bottom” plant development since they’re capable of reaching beneath a cultivator’s canopy.
  • Higher IR exposure helps promote healthy branching by influencing colas to reach upwards.
  • IR appears to help plants quickly transition between growth stages and sleep/wake cycles.


Discover The Power Of PBAR With Mars Hydro’s UR45 LED Grow Light

Mars Hydro is a big believer in the future of PBAR as a standard measure in the indoor cultivation space. Our team also firmly believes IR and UV supplementation provides growers with a superior ROI, regardless of what strain they’re cultivating indoors.

One of the simplest ways indoor cultivators could add UV and IR exposure to their indoor grow space is to install Mars Hydro’s highly-rated UR45 LED Grow Light. This easy-to-install LED bar provides impressive UV bands of 365 nm - 420 nm and IR bands of 730 nm - 745 nm. Adding these high-quality UV & IR diodes to your grow space could significantly affect the quality and quantity of plants by harvest time.

Please follow this link for more on how the UR45 LED Grow Light could boost your indoor gardening. You could also contact Mars Hydro for more info on our many LED products on this “Contact Us” page.

Mars Hydro has now launched a new LED supplementary light - Adlite series, explore it now.