Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Discuss substrates, lighting, heating, enclosure building ideas, share enclosure photos, and talk about any other enclosure-related topics.

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby diamc » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:01 pm

I certainly agree with Vicky, this is very concerning. I had used the T-Rex in the past and never had any issues until recently when one of their bulbs got too hot and was actually defective. It caused a brown hard substance to form on the lower part of the bulb and actually caused a deep indentation in the bulb itself. I contacted the place where I bought it and sent pictures of it, I received a free replacement but my female beardie is still keeping her eyes closed quite often while in the basking spot. On Saturday, I replaced the T-Rex with a household bulb but her eyes still seem irritated at times. So, I'm not sure if the defective bulb could have caused this eye problem or the new T-Rex's are different than they used to be and have the similar problems that the Megarays have now. Any info you can share Frances would be helpful.
Tracie, perhaps you have something to share.
Image
User avatar
diamc
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 28153
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Upstate N.Y.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby fresnowitte » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:47 pm

Frances as you know I use or was using the Exo-terra Solar Glo, but recently we have noticed a big decline in the heat that this bulb is putting out it isn't bubbling and peeling like some of the others megaray and T-rex but I'm not getting the results from this bulb as I did in the past. And my beardies are not happily basking as they have in the past...all my Solar Glo's were under 2 months of age....Have you heard of them making any changes recently?

As gung ho as I've always been on the MVB's we converted all viv's to reptisuns this weekend an all my beardies are acting much happier.

I know this isn't about compact bulbs but I figured if the mods could go off topic so could I. :lol:
Barbara
Slave to...
Lola, Gus, Roux, Flame, Blaze, Itty Bitty, Checkers,
Ms. Tiggs, Zak-n-Wheezie, 3 cats, & 1 box turtle
Zak-n-Wheezie ~ 2-Headed Bearded Dragon(s)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79821&start=0
User avatar
fresnowitte
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 14459
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:19 am
Location: Fresno, CA.

Re: T-Rex ActiveUV Heat and Solar Glo mercury vapour lamps

Postby lilacdragon » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:37 am

Hello, everyone.

Unfortunately I don't have any definite information about either the T-Rex Active UV Heat OR the ExoTerra Solar Glo mercury vapour lamps. I wish I did....

When the problem first appeared with the ReptileUV MegaRays, I sent an email to the Director of Research at T-Rex, and also to the owner of Komodo Reptile Products in the UK, whose mercury vapour bulb is also a Westron bulb, asking for information; neither of them have replied.
I then emailed Westron directly and asked them directly, whether their other mercury vapour lamps (which appear to be absolutely identical to the MegaRays) were affected. Again, I have received no reply.

However, I have been told by ReptileUV that the white external "overspray" was something specific to ReptileUV; an extra, protective measure carried out after a double-check of the UV readings led them to believe some lamps were coming off the production line with too high a reading.
As far as I know, no "overspray" has been applied to any T-Rex or Komodo lamps; or if it has, no-one has mentioned it that I'm aware of.

I've only ever seen one single report (on this forum, in fact) of a T-Rex lamp causing what sounds like photo-kerato-conjunctivitis. (PKC)
Soooo... and THIS IS JUST A GUESS I'm afraid .... maybe these lamps are lower-UVB output anyway? So even if the glass was the same, there is a lower risk of eye problems developing? As I say, this is just a guess. If I hear from anyone with any facts, I'll post something here.
It's very clear from the continuing saga with the compact lamps, that if a lamp is placed far enough away from the reptile, or the output of the wavelengths causing PKC is low enough at normal basking distances, then PKC is avoided. Reducing the overall output from the compact lamps reaching the reptile, by (a) burning them for 150 hours before leaving the factory and (b) setting a greater minimum distance from the lamps on the instruction leaflet virtually eliminated cases of PKC from ZooMed's compact Reptisun lamps....

I have always maintained that this is not an ideal approach because the unwanted wavelengths are still in the light ... just too weak to cause acute eye problems. I think most people agree with me on this and that is why ZooMed are slowly replacing their stock with lamps having the new phosphor.

But it is certainly worth bearing in mind that of the hundreds, maybe thousands of ReptileUV and T-Rex lamps sold since October, this forum is the only place on the internet where I've picked up information about a problem (try Googling combinations like "eye problem, MegaRay") and so far I've counted 42 possible cases. (I say "possible" not because I doubt anyone's word, but because scientifically-speaking, these cases haven't been confirmed as definitely PKC caused by the lamp; actually, scientific proof is rarely possible in clinical veterinary medicine, let alone on a hobbyists' forum.)
Of course, that's 42 too many. ReptileUV have acknowledged this and seem to be working day and night to solve it. I understand they are researching a coating which selectively blocks more of the shorter-wavelength light.

But it is possible that some cases are occurring because ReptileUV have always pioneered "sunlight" levels of UVB, ie. with UV Index higher than many other brands (e.g., ZooMed Powersun info leaflets used to say that their UVB output was equivalent to the light in outdoor shade) and as a result, if a problem like this glass crops up, the first PKC will occur in lizards basking really close to the most high-output lamps.
I have noticed that in some of the reports, the MegaRay has been at the absolute minimum safe distance or even closer.... If you have a lamp 12" from the basking shelf an adult dragon's head could be only 9" from the lamp... I think the recommended distance is about 14" above the reptile's head? I guess in the past, having them too close has not been an issue. But now, it is.

Now...About the ExoTerra Solar Glo mercury vapour lamps.
Again, I don't have a definite answer here. I have only ever received four sample lamps, and one arrived broken, so my testing of these is limited to only three lamps.
ExoTerra seem to change the specs on their products very often - if their tubes and compact lamps are anything to go by - so without testing some more, I can't say what's "out there" right now...

The UVB output of two of the lamps (the first 125W and a 160W, tested back in October - November 2007) was about the same; they both gave a UV Index of about 5.0 at 30cm distance, falling to about 4.0 after 100hours use. This is a good UVB output, for sun-loving basking species such as bearded dragons. The difference between the two lamps was that the higher wattage lamp gave out more visible light and more heat.
The spectral analysis showed that the UVB output was in the correct range of wavelengths for vitamin D3 synthesis with no dangerous low wavelength light. The beam was not very wide; when newly burned-in, the 125W made a "footprint" of UVB with a UV Index of 1.0 or more, in a circle of diameter just under 20cm.

I tried to put the 160W on long-term testing but when I put it in a dome, to go over a vivarium, it kept cutting out - I think it was overheating, but I'm not sure.
I used the 125W instead, and had no problems with it. After 1,000 hours, (3 months) the 125W on longterm test decayed to UVI 3.8; after 2,000 hrs (6 months) it was still UVI 3.4. I think that's really quite good...

The second 125W lamp I received was in March 2009, and the result was disappointing, however. It started with a UV Index of 3.6 at 30cm, which seemed a bit low compared to the other two, but still ok; but after only 100 hours this had fallen to only 2.2. That is a very significant decay and a much lower output than before; you can get that with a ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 tube fitted with a reflector. I have not put that lamp on long-term testing.

I don't have any way of knowing which of the two 125W lamps is more typical; or whether they are now different again. Maybe they are all very variable; it's a common situation with mercury vapour lamps. I ought to test some new ExoTerra Solar Glo samples, but I don't have a budget to do that I'm afraid.

But I hope that helps...

Frances
User avatar
lilacdragon
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:39 am

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby GoFast » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:14 pm

Well, I think it is safe to say that something is wrong with the T-Rex too; at least mine. Elliott is back at it again. Day 4, just like the megaray, he started with the closing of his eyes. I disconnected it and have my chameleons reptisun 5 on him until I get back from Houston. Now, I need to figure out what petmountain is like for returns since I got the trex from them.
Fishing fan? Check out my 2011 fishing blog! My Fishing Blog
User avatar
GoFast
Gray-bearded Poster
 
Posts: 2339
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:50 am
Location: Chicago 'burbs

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby diamc » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:47 pm

Sorry Nick to hear that your beardie is experiencing more eye problems. Did he have a break from the UVB before putting in the T-Rex?

Frances, thanks for your info. Another member on this forum seems to be having a problem with eye issues from the T-Rex Active UV. Could you take a look at this picture that was sent to me to see if you think it is PKC? The eyes are closed almost continuously.
Image
Here's a picture of the bulb that WAS being used, I recommended it be removed and the company contacted immediately. My damaged bulb had the same brown crusty substance and was actually even worse. I would imagine a bulb leaking like this could cause all sorts of problems, am I correct? This is just SO scary!
Image
Image
User avatar
diamc
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 28153
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Upstate N.Y.

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby GoFast » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:18 pm

Hey Diane,

Yes he did have a break. There was 7 days under no UV before the new T-Rex was put in. I am very hopeful for this megaray fix that is on the horizon. I still have the old megaray so I may just trade it in for another new one and hope for the best.
Fishing fan? Check out my 2011 fishing blog! My Fishing Blog
User avatar
GoFast
Gray-bearded Poster
 
Posts: 2339
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:50 am
Location: Chicago 'burbs

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby lilacdragon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:54 am

Hi, everyone.

diamc wrote:Frances, thanks for your info. Another member on this forum seems to be having a problem with eye issues from the T-Rex Active UV. Could you take a look at this picture that was sent to me to see if you think it is PKC? The eyes are closed almost continuously.


Beardies don't normally sit up, wide awake, looking completely healthy but with their eyes closed. A lot of other things could cause a reptile to keep one or both eyes closed - like an eye infection, but often there's swelling and a weepy discharge, or a history of one eye being injured, etc., - or general sickness, or brumation - but these don't usually start really suddenly, within 3 or 4 days of putting a new bulb over a healthy animal. So yes, I'd certainly think it could be PKC. If it disappears completely within 3 or 4 days of removing the lamp, I'd say that's pretty conclusive.
I think you've done the right thing, to send the bulb back.
T-Rex bulbs come from the same production line as the ReptileUV bulbs, from a Canadian company called Westron. If other Westron lamps are causing probs, they need to know.

My only question would be, how close was the bottom of the lamp to the top of his head? Even a good lamp could in theory cause problems at very short range. Like heat, UVB gets much, much stronger the closer you get to the bulb. The 12 inches so often quoted as the "manufacturer's recommended minimum distance" really is a minimum, the optimum is probably slightly further away and means the distance to the reptile, not to the basking shelf. I don't think this is something we emphasise enough. Too much heat and bright visible light can also hurt the eyes if the lamp is too close, something else we often don't think much about.

diamc wrote:Here's a picture of the bulb that WAS being used, I recommended it be removed and the company contacted immediately. My damaged bulb had the same brown crusty substance and was actually even worse. I would imagine a bulb leaking like this could cause all sorts of problems, am I correct? This is just SO scary!


Please don't be scared by that, I'm sure John from ReptileUV can reassure us on this but all that looks like, is the harmless sealant or glue or whatever it is they use to attach the glass to the brass. It looks like a bit too much was used, and it squidged out. You have to have a completely airtight seal or the lamp blows at once. I know because I had one "go" when I put it up for testing, only last week. As soon as the lamp warms up for the first time (about 5-10 mins) the brass expands with the heat and pip! air gets through into the lamp and it dies, with a characteristic puff of white powder inside as one of the coatings oxidises.

The "leak" that is causing the eye problems isn't a leak of a poisonous liquid like from a leaky old battery, so don't worry.... It's just tiny amounts of UV light of the wrong wavelength (think, "light of an invisible color") that shines through the extra-transparent glass. The "fix" will be a fine coating or extra layer on the outside of the glass which absorbs this light but lets the rest through. (Think along the lines of "UV-protective sunglasses" which let the right wavelengths through, but block the harmful ones.)
The first "fix" they tried was, I believe, the white overspray, but this proved to be not as effective as was first thought.

Hope this helps.
Frances
User avatar
lilacdragon
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:39 am

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby Drache613 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:29 pm

Hello!

Thanks for the information Frances! :D We all appreciate it.


Tracie
User avatar
Drache613
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 38231
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: May, Texas
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby diamc » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:43 pm

Frances, thanks for the detailed response, it is very much appreciated. Also wanted to thank you for answering my email regarding my defective T-Rex bulb. I will answer you back and certainly will give you permission to share the pictures and the info with the the Director of Research at T-Rex. I did find out that the owner of the beardie that I posted here did have the T-Rex placed only 12" from the basking spot, not from the beardie itself so I have given further recommendations on the distance. She also said that the place where she bought the bulb didn't give her much satisfaction so she contacted T-Rex, they were very helpful and are sending a replacement. Right now, she is using a standard household bulb. He is eating pretty well, acts lazy and still is closing his eyes. I will keep you updated. Thanks again Frances.
Image
User avatar
diamc
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 28153
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Upstate N.Y.

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby vickson420 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:15 pm

Hi
Frances thank you for all the info.I do have some info to add as well.I have not turned off my TRex lights and yes to some extent they are all shutting their eyes which they never did with the Megaray yet they all appear to be in goof health otherwise.My bulbs from their head in a standing position while basking to the bulb face are as follows: 14 inches for Drago ,15 inches for Jaba and Apophis and 16 inches for Phoenic.Phoenix is the only one whose bulb is also not placed on a screen thus the reason for the 16 inch distance.I dont see any signs of infection in any of them in regards to their eyes and in my case it seems to be happening a bit less.Is it possible that burn in time for these bulbs in longer then previously thought? I know you dont have these answers at the moment but could you also possibly ask the rep at TRex if you get the chance to speak with them since they have yet to respond to any of my emails.I can say personally I know something isnt quite right here with these bulbs I am just not sure what the solution is and I am hoping to figure out that it really is only something that requires a simple fix.
There is one other thing that I want to point.I ordered all 4 bulbs at the same time.Two of the bulbs have open (intentional) holes cut into the base of the mettal where the bulb and the fixture meets the glass and the other 2 have silver sodder covering those holes.Just to give you an idea at what I am seeing I took 4 pics(1 of each) just now as they were basking:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
R.I.P Jaba 7/26/10 Mommy will always love you!
User avatar
vickson420
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 8956
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: Long Island NY

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby gulfbrzdawn » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:33 am

Hello Frances,

I had read in one of your earlier posts that you have not been able to do enough testing on the Solar Glo mvb's, due to funding. I actually have a few of these bulbs that I purchased from a local pet store last year that was going out of business. I was able to get them fairly cheap. I would be more than happy to send them to you, if it will help you further with your research.
I have one 125W and one 160W that I could send you. The 125W has never been used. The 160W had been used for no more than a few weeks, at the most. I was not able to get enough heat from 160W, due to the large enclosure I was using it in, so switched to a Megaray.
If you are at all interested in these bulbs just send me a pm and let me know.
~Dawn~
Image
User avatar
gulfbrzdawn
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9257
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:18 am
Location: Florida

T-Rex Active UV Heat MV lamps - possible problem now too?

Postby lilacdragon » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:47 am

Hi, Gulfbrzdawn, Vickson420 and Diamc.

Vickson420.. you're right, Drago, Jaba, Apophis and Phoenix all look very unhappy. Your lamps are at what should be ideal distances for 100W lamps. If they are all sitting around looking grey and miserable and their eyelids are closed or swollen... please, follow your instincts and turn off those lamps. You'll know in 3 or 4 days whether those lamps were the problem... with some cases of PKC, some people say they know it was the lamp, the very next day.

This goes for anyone concerned about any brand of mercury vapor lamp - well, actually, any new UVB lamp of any sort - that seems to have caused something to happen to a beardie's eyes within 3 or 4 days of putting it in.

Don't worry about lack of UVB while you work out what to do. The sun doesn't shine every day in Australia. Especially in winter.
But watch that you make up the heat and light difference with ordinary basking lamps; it sounds obvious but I think some people might forget that reducing the light and warmth is a cue for a beardie to become lethargic and sleep all day, which could look like he isn't recovering from the PKC.

If you have just replaced an old MegaRay or old T-Rex lamp that was, say, one year old and you never had a problem with it, then as soon as your beardie's eyes are better, use that again. Many old Westron lamps keep quite a good UVB output for several years, and are not going to be in the least harmful, so these would be a good standby and the light and temperature will be what the beardies are used to.

Vickson420, you asked about the burn-in time... the Westron lamps are very unusual in that a high percentage of them hardly burn-in at all. I've tested some that lost no UVB at ALL over the first 100 hours of use. Others lost maybe only 10 or 15%. This is very different to most tubes, compacts and some other brands of MVB lamps, which usually show a drop of up to 20% or more in the first 100 hours or so. So burning-in is not always going to make a lot of difference to these lamps' output.

I just had a look at several of the bulbs and I see what you mean about the solder. The hole is where the electrical wire conducting the electricity from the outer "screw" part of the bulb goes through the brass collar. After it's gone through there, inside the top of the lamp, it goes through an airtight seal (which you can't see)into the glass part of the bulb.
The solder blob at the top is the electrical connection between the wire and the brass collar; some of mine also have a blob of solder over the hole, others don't. I can't see that the blob over the hole serves any function except maybe to protect the wire a little more, as it goes into the hole. No worries, I think....

Diamc; unfortunately, I had a reply from my contact at T-Rex, only he apologised and said that he could not help, as he was no longer Director of Research at T-Rex, he left the company a year ago (although they haven't updated their website). He told me that he'd forwarded my email to one of the owners of the company. So hopefully, someone will reply soon. I'll keep you posted.

Gulfbrzdawn - thanks for your very generous offer! I'll pm you right now.

All the best

Frances
User avatar
lilacdragon
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:39 am

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby vickson420 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:51 am

Frances thank you for the quick response. I was pretty sure of what I was seeing but being as they are my beardies and I am overly protective and sensitive I didnt want to jump the gun and make assumptions. I know I can speak for all of us here when I say that your assisstance and hard work does not go unnoticed and warrants nothing less then our highest gratitude.Thank you again for all of your input and hard work.
Image
R.I.P Jaba 7/26/10 Mommy will always love you!
User avatar
vickson420
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 8956
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: Long Island NY

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby wildlife » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:28 pm

Hi,
Just wanted to start off by saying thank you for the Brain Food!!

I have a few quick Qs about the zoo med reptisun 10.0 tube and compacts. Where might I be able to purchase a decent uvb meter that won't break the bank b/c I want to make sure I am at the proper distance before and after the initial burn in.

I have a 55 gal w/ a 24" reptisun 10.0 tube in a hood w/ the white reflector finish at 16" from the highest point in the enclosure, closest to the basking side.

I purchased a zoo med reptisun compact uvb desert as a just in case back-up but after reading the article twice on here and the link to the uk guide i'm embarrassed to admit i'm a bit lost still.

Is this compact ok at a certain distance when compared to the repti glo compacts? It sounds like repti-glo is sub-par compared to reptisun....

Is it better/safer to use the compacts in a lamp fixture w/ a collar or use in a multi fixture hood?

Also, the zoo med reptisun 5.0 20 watt 24" T12, it sounds like this tube is sub-par. Is that Correct? As well as the R-zilla 30" desert series 50 T5 low profile double bulb fixture? I have both of these that I bought on clearance but do not use them currently. Were they on clearance for a reason? lol

One more Q: What uvb fixture would be appropriate for hatchlings? It would seem to me that a large uvb footprint for extended period of time, at a lower wavelength, would be easier on their eyes/body? But i'm just not sure. I have no hatchlings yet, but want to be prepared.

Will there ever be a day when we can trust the manufacturers??!! Shame on them!
User avatar
wildlife
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:06 am

Re: Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Postby Drache613 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:38 pm

Hello,

The lighting IS a confusing thing especially now with all of these problems happening.
The Zoomed Reptisun 10 compact/coil light has caused a lot of problems in the past with the eyes & overall health. IF you mount it far enough away alongside a bright white basking light, most of the times it is fine. However, keep in mind that they do put out low wavelength of UVB which is not really desirable to have your dragon underneath of any low wavelength of UVB for any amount of time no matter how far the light is from them.
At the moment, the Reptisun 10 tube bulb is a great one, the Powersun mercury vapor bulb or the Solar Glo mercury vapor bulb.

Keep asking questions, we are all here to help.

Tracie
User avatar
Drache613
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 38231
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: May, Texas
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

PreviousNext

Return to Enclosures

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot]