Lighting Help for Newbies (:

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

Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby whitehotdragons » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:02 pm

BadCon wrote:
What meters do you use to test?


I use a uW/cm2 UVB digital UV radiometer.
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby BadCon » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:39 pm

whitehotdragons wrote:
BadCon wrote:
What meters do you use to test?


I use a uW/cm2 UVB digital UV radiometer.



Well, to get the complete picture of a bulb you need a UV Index meter. UVB meters measure anything from 280-320nm....as these wavelengths are all UVB. The problem is that the shorter the wavelength, the more energy it has, and its these high energy short wavelengths that cause eye and skin issues. So while a bulb may look acceptable using a UVB meter, it may actually be emitting far too much short wavelength UVB. To put it another way, 50 microwatts of 280nm UVB will simply be displayed as 50 microwatts on the UVB meter. In reality, a bulb emitting 50 microwatts of say, 300nm UVB, would be the superior bulb as this form of UVB is safer for the animal. Things get more complicated when you start talking about UVB in the sense of vitamin D3 production, but for the sake of clarity I'll leave that for another post.
So why is a UV-I meter a good idea? Because the shorter the wavelength, the more its weighted during the UV Index calculation. So a bulb emitting 50 microwatts of 280nm UVB will have a significantly higher UVI then a bulb emitting 50 microwatts of 300nm UVB. The higher UV Index is an indicator of a troublesome bulb. Historically, Zilla bulbs have been known to have extremely (read dangerously) high UVI's.
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby jamesxo » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:39 am

Thanks and another question lol what size reptisub 10 tube should I get for a 40 gallon tank 18' or 24' ?
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby Jess » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:47 am

24" is best. :)
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby jamesxo » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:24 pm

Jess4921 wrote:24" is best. :)

awsome just order it, it should be here by next week! in the mean while i'm taking them outside for a while but i think they get spooked because they'll just open their mouths lol its not that hot outside its 76-80
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby Katiedud » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:31 am

Thanks for this post. I'm a month or two away from getting my beardie, and frankly, this lighting thing is confusing and intimidating! I'm doing as much research as I can before I pick one up, and this post(as well as a few other sources) has really helped. :D
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby Jess » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:33 am

You're welcome, let me know if you have any questions! :)
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby Katiedud » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:18 am

I'm sure I have a ton. But I work 3rd shift and I've been up for a while now. So my brain isn't functioning at all right now. LOL.
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby rhondau » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:14 pm

I agree with katiedud...this is getting very confusing...I was all set to get the 160 watt powersun uvb lamp with the under tank heater...now I am confused... Would it be better to get a Reptisun UVB 10.0 bulb, with a regular household 75 watt for heat and then another bulb for nighttime heat, if so what one would I then get? By no means am I a "handywoman" so how do I hook up the uvb light without buying one of those expensive hood thingy's... I am trying to put together a somewhat simplistic set up for my son. He has been saving his money for over a year to buy a bearded dragon and I have been researching for months, so even though the most important thing is to do what is best for the dragon...we also are on a bit of a budget...I have read so much on here that I now feel brain dead :shock: Our tank is 40 gallon, could anyone help guide me to make the best decision? Thanks so much, and even though I may be thoroughly confused, I have found this forum to be extremely helpful!
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby RioReptiles » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:16 pm

What is wrong with using a 160w powersun? That should be all you need with a deep dome on a 40 gallon breeder. I've been using them for over a year now with no problems and they meter fine with both Solartech meters, uvb and index.

Or you could use a 24" Reptisun, but I would use a basking spot instead of a household bulb. Basking spots focus the energy in a tighter beam so you can use a lower wattage and get a smaller area hotter. This helps keep the tank from over heating and makes a better thermal gradient.

I actually made these brackets to hang a fixture in a tank and will custom bend them at the bottom to fit any light at any distance. I also have reflectors for the 24" linear fluorescents which almost double the uvb output.
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby Jess » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:30 pm

I've always used the ReptiSuns, so I don't have any experience with the MVBs. Where the Powersuns one of the lights that were experiencing problems before, or have they always been good?

Personally, I prefer normal lights as opposed to basking lights. The basking lights get too hot for my viv, even at 50 watts. So they are too concentrated for me. If I need a hotter light, I like the halogens because they don't blow out nearly as easily as the basking lights do (From my experience, at least!).

If you do choose to go with a ReptiSun, you don't need an expensive hood and you don't do anything special to hook it up... Just put it in the light fixture, plug it in, and switch it on. :wink:
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby rhondau » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:33 pm

RioReptiles wrote:What is wrong with using a 160w powersun? That should be all you need with a deep dome on a 40 gallon breeder. I've been using them for over a year now with no problems and they meter fine with both Solartech meters, uvb and index.

Or you could use a 24" Reptisun, but I would use a basking spot instead of a household bulb. Basking spots focus the energy in a tighter beam so you can use a lower wattage and get a smaller area hotter. This helps keep the tank from over heating and makes a better thermal gradient.

I actually made these brackets to hang a fixture in a tank and will custom bend them at the bottom to fit any light at any distance. I also have reflectors for the 24" linear fluorescents which almost double the uvb output.
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I think I just started worrying that it wouldn't be good enough after reading about the problems with the 100 watt...I would rather go with the powersun, it think it would be better for my son to have less "stuff". So, we live in Maine and it does get cold here but inside our house never goes below 65 degrees, do you think we would need a heater maybe for the colder months and maybe not right now? Maybe the Powersun all by itself will be effective until late fall? Thanks for your input, I just want to make sure we do this right for him. He is 7 1/2 infatuated with bearded dragons and has saved all Christmas, birthday and chore money to buy this little guy! Thanks again!
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby canadamel » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:08 am

I currently have a solar glo 125W MVB sitting on top of my 50g tank (36"x18"x18"). If I hang the reptisun 10.0 inside the cage as recommended-just in the under the counter fixture- is it 'safe' for my kid's (the human variety) eyes? They are essentially eye level where the light hangs.
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby lilacdragon » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:49 am

Yes, it's very safe.
If they are looking at it through the tank sides or front glass, that blocks the UVB 100%.
And even if they could look at it directly, with nothing between the tube and their eyes, it will not give out any more UVB, even as close as 12" away, than their eyes get naturally every day when walking down the road on a sunny day just looking at sunlit grass, trees and blue sky.

From the point of view of UV, they can also look at the Solar Glo bulb through the tank glass with no fear of harm to the eyes because the glass blocks the UV... although the intense bright visible white light is bad for the eyes, so staring at any bright light is not to be recommended.
However, the UVB from the Solar Glo is a lot stronger than from the tube, and concentrated below the bulb (in the bright part of the beam.) If they stared right up into the bulb from underneath, with no glass between their eyes and the lamp, at close range - say less than 12"- this UV could also be a bit risky. In theory it could cause something like the painful, temporary "snow blindness" that skiers get on sunlit snow if they don't wear goggles.
But hey, that would be a very unpleasant glare and I can't imagine anyone trying it, your instinct would make you look away quickly.

If when you've installed the tube in the under-the-counter fixture, it makes your set-up hard to look into because of the glare from the tube at human eye-level, see if you can find a clip-on aluminum strip reflector or something like that, to act as a "shade" for the human eyes and at the same time, direct the UV and visible light from the back of the tube down towards the beardie.
I don't know what's available like that in the USA but I'm sure folks on this forum will know.

best wishes,
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Re: Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Postby z71 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:12 pm

I'm new here and am doing some initial research. I'm confused - in another thread, I read where you don't need to supplement with D3 if you use the mercury vapor UVB lights, but you do if you use any other UVB lights.

I really don't care whether or not I have to supplement D3, but I would like to get a UVB light for my viv. I'm just trying to decide which is best.

Are the mercury vapor light safe? Why choose the florescent over the mercury vapor?

Thanks for all the help, this is an awesome forum!
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