Apogee MQ-500: PAR Meter with Telescopic Sensor Wand


FOR SCIENTISTS & SERIOUS GROWERS – The MQ-500 full-spectrum quantum meter is the premium tool of choice among leading scientists and serious growers for accurately measuring the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) from all light sources. An accurate quantum light meter is critical for measuring the intensity of light used in the precision growing of plants and other photosynthetic organisms in greenhouses, growth chambers, farms, gardens, aquariums, and other agricultural systems.

ChilLED’s preferred PAR sensor for gathering the most accurate PPFD readings.

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Apogee MQ-500

QUANTUM LIGHT METER – Unlike commonly available LUX or footcandle meters used for measuring light for human vision, our meters feature a laboratory-grade PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density), or “quantum,” optical detector precisely calibrated to measure the light intensity in µmol m-2 s-1 of the specific color wavelengths emitted by LEDs, HPS, MH, sunlight and other light sources that are utilized by plants for photosynthesis.

RUGGED & EASY TO USE – Quantum sensor uses a precision silicon photodiode detector, a custom optical filter, and an acrylic diffuser all housed in a self-cleaning, dome-shaped, anodized aluminum sensor head.  The sensor head is potted solid with epoxy for years of use in harsh environments, including underwater. The handheld meter is attached by a cable and displays real-time readings, records samples, and logs average intensity and daily light integral (DLI) measurements. Unlike the sensor head, the handheld meter is not waterproof.

EXTREMELY ACCURATE & STABLE – Precisely measures and combines the intensity of all photons between 400 and 700 nm to give a single PAR reading in µmol m-2 s-1 within 5 % uncertainty. Unlike hobby-grade PAR meters, our meter has a stable, accurate calibration with an accuracy drift rate of less than 2 % per year.

THREE MEASUREMENT MODES – The meter has a spot measurement, sample, and log mode and will record an integrated daily total in mol m-2 s-1. Sample mode will record up to 99 manual measurements and log mode will power the meter on and off to make a measurement every 30 seconds. Every 30 minutes, the meter will average the sixty 30 second measurements and record the averaged value to memory, up to 99 averages. Once full, it will overwrite the oldest measurements with new ones. A daily light integral will be recorded from the 48 averaged measurements for a day’s worth of readings and is downloadable via Apogee AC-100 cable.

MADE IN THE USA – All meters are designed, built, and calibrated at our headquarters in Logan, Utah, USA. Apogee Instruments has been creating research-grade instruments for scientists and serious growers for over 25 years. All meters are backed by our industry leading four-year warranty and supported by our world-class, US-based customer support team.


• Product Manual

• Specification Sheet

• Technical Drawing

How is the MQ-500 different from previous Apogee quantum sensors?

The MQ-500 is a full spectrum quantum sensor with an optimized, highly accurate spectral measurement range of 400-700 nm, which can be seen compared to our older “original” quantum sensor in the graph below. The improved spectral response of this new meter greatly increases the accuracy of LED measurements when compared to our previous “original” models.

SQ-500 & SQ-100 Spectral Response


Apogee AM – 310 Telescopic Sensor Wand

AM-310 TELESCOPIC SENSOR WAND – This telescopic wand contains a mounting fixture with two mounting holes to accommodate both Apogee Instruments’ narrower and wider diameter sensors. The wand is extendable from 8.5 to 33 inches (84 cm), allowing the user to measure photons of light in hard-to-reach places, such as over plant canopies and in corners of growth chambers, using Apogee sensors.

MEASURING PAR IS CRITICAL – Measuring the PAR levels of your grow lights is one of the most critical measurements in the precision growing of plants and other photosynthetic organisms in greenhouses, growth chambers, farms, gardens, and aquariums. Knowing the amount of PAR received affects decisions about all other growing parameters like water requirements, temperature, nutrient levels, CO2 levels, and more. The AM-310 wand makes measuring your PAR levels much easier.

ALTERNATE WAND – For taking measurements in freshwater or saltwater, we recommend our AM-320 water-submersible sensor wand to avoid corrosion.

MADE IN THE USA – All products are designed and built at our headquarters in Logan, Utah, USA. Apogee Instruments has been creating research-grade instruments for scientists and serious growers for over 25 years. All products are supported by our world-class, US-based customer support team.

Calibration Uncertainty – ± 5 %

Measurement Range – 0 to 4000 µmol mˉ² sˉ¹

Measurement Repeatability – Less than 0.5 %

Long-term Drift (Non-stability) – Less than 2 % per year

Non-linearity – Less than 1 % (up to 4000 µmol mˉ² sˉ¹)

Response Time – Less than 1 ms

Field of View – 180 ˚

Spectral Range – 389 to 692 nm ± 5 nm (wavelengths where response is greater than 50 % of maximum)

Spectral Selectivity – Less than 10 % from 412 to 682 nm ± 5 nm

Directional (Cosine) Response – ± 5 % at 75 ˚ zenith angle

Azimuth Error – Less than 0.5 %

Tilt Error – Less than 0.5 %

Temperature Response – -0.11 ± 0.03 % Cˉ¹

Uncertainty in Daily Total – Less than 5 %

Detector – Blue-enhance silicon photodiodeHousingAnodized aluminum body with acrylic diffuser

IP Rating – IP68

Operating Environment – 0 to 50 C, less than 90 % non-condensing relative humidity up to 30 C, less than 70 % non-condensing relative humidity from 30 to 50 C, separate sensors can be submerged in water up to depth of 30 m

Meter Dimensions – 126 mm length, 70 mm width, 24 mm height

Sensor Dimensions – 24 mm diameter, 37 mm height

Mass – 100 g (with 5 m of lead wire)

Cable – 2 m of two conductor, shielded, twisted-pair wire; additional cable available; TPR jacket

Warranty – 4 years against defects in materials and workmanship

Manufactured – Made in the USA


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