Solarmeters

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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:09 pm

The T8 bulbs were tested in the Slimline T8 fixture http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002QI86U/
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby diamc » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Very good testing. That Repti-Sun sure isn't putting out much at all. An extremely low reading with it being only about a month old. I wonder if the UVI is affected by the Slimline fixture.

Isn't it amazing what a big difference the screen makes? Those results sure prove the fact that the Arcadia T's are too strong to use without a screen or at least at the 12" minimum distance.

The Desert 50 readings surprised me. What I would be worried about is how fast those would decline. Would be some interesting testing after 5 to 6 months of use.

Thanks for posting those interesting results.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:34 pm

It may be the fixture affecting it, but I'd think that it would affect all 3 bulbs in that case (it has a reflector btw). The Zilla1 is after 6 months of use. The second Zilla is a bit newer so it shows the decline between maybe 2-3months of use and about 6 months of use. I got the ReptiSun back in February but stopped using it regularly at the end of March. I've used it once in the travel tank since then so it's old but hasn't had continuous use. Another thing to note is that these readings were taken directly under the bulb. Previous tests I've done in Dundee's tank showed that there is a significant dropoff in intensity as you move out from directly under the bulb. My next round of tests should include data at angles that represent the dimensions of a typical 40g breeder tank. I'll save that for another night though. My eyes caught the glare of the T5 a couple of times by accident and I'm still seeing stars :roll:
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby diamc » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:46 pm

Bet you ARE seeing stars. Guess we now know why it's important for the UVB to be overhead when they are basking rather than them staring directly at the bulbs.

Wow, there is even a reflector and you got such a low reading? :o Sure sounds like a defective bulb to me. Even though the Repti-Sun bulb is old but since you haven't been using it regularly, you should be getting a higher UVI reading than what you're getting it seems. Would be interesting to see what reading you would get from a Walmart fixture versus an Arcadia fixture or something similar.

I have noticed the significant dropoff as you move out from right under the bulb also. Perhaps they are made that way so they can get a break from the higher UVB output you suppose?

Angle results would be interesting. Nice that you're taking the time to share all this info on the forum.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:59 pm

That might be a good test too. I'll go pick up a walmart fixture and a new ReptiSun 10.0 when I have some free cash and see how that changes the readings. I think the dropoff at an angle has to do with the increased distance combined with the shape of the reflector. I'd guess that a bulb without a reflector would have a less drastic dropoff (and less output right under the bulb). I'll keep poking around and post what I find. Hopefully it will produce some good in house results so we can provide even better data to people so the dragons are happier.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby Taterbug » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:03 am

The intensity along the length drops off due to how the phosphors are distributed in the bulb, and how they are charged by the fixture. I see it in my 22" and my 36" bulbs - it's more noticeable in the T5 for sure. I think brightness/lux distributes the same.

The directional intensity is related to the reflector and the angle you the meter. Without a reflector the intensity is uniform out from the axis of the bulb. The reflector redirects some of the light based on its shape. I think UV guide UK has some diagrams. I only see the lateral variation, since I don't have a reflector.

If you get around to comparing the under cabinet fixtures that would really interesting. Particularly if they have a magnetic ballast.

I use the T5 without a reflector and am able to get safe readings. Not sure I would have set up that way without the meter, but I certainly wouldn't switch back to the T8.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:58 pm

While I was in Australia, I was wandering around Adelaide and the surrounding bush parks. I had my solarmeter with me so I took readings throughout the day. And re-applied sunscreen often... The readings were nearly double what I get in Iowa on a summer day. Here's what I recorded:

1030a sun 4.6
11:55a sun 6.5
1:22p sun 7.9sunny
1:50p sun 9.2
4:00p sun 2.3 overcast/haze

1132a mon 5.3 cloudy
1215p mon 9.2 sunny
126p mon 5.5 cloudy
210p mon 7.8 sunny

835a tue 1.5 cloudy
1040a tue 2.5 cloudy
12p. Tue 5.0 cloudy
1p tue 10.9 sunny
220p tue 8.7 sunny

820a thu .9 sunny
930a thu 2.5 sunny
1045a thu 5.7 sunny
245p thu 7.8 sunny

Averages: [Click image to enlarge]


I think the increased radiation is due to the hole in the ozone layer in that area, so I'm not sure that dragons have had time to really adapt to that kind of intense sunlight other than to take cover from it. I heard that they are most active in the mornings and evenings and tend to hide during the middle of the day. That's just was was reported to me by locals in one small area though. I'd love to go back and take some readings and observations in the outback.
Last edited by CooperDragon on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby Taterbug » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:25 pm

Thanks for bringing your meter and sharing! Did you happen to track the temperatures? :3 Bummer you didn't spot any wild dragons.

I thought UV intensity was due to how close to the equator it is and the reflective effect of the huge amounts of land?

As to behavior and habits, this paper comes to mind, you might find it interesting. It's a not the same species but still probably relevant. http://researchdirect.uws.edu.au/island ... t/uws:2371
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 pm

I didn't track the temperatures specifically, but it was in the high 60s and low 70s most days. Adelaide is about the same distance from the equator as Atlanta. The locals I spoke with said the ozone hole is right overhead and that is why the sun is so intense. A lot of people were wearing hats and they have very good sunblock which I was grateful for. I saw the same kind of intensity in New Zealand as well, but the weather was a bit cooler for the most part, and it was cloudier. I didn't keep detailed notes because it wasn't dragon country. Their native tuatara is a very cool lizard (reported to live between 100-300 years!) but doesn't require as much sunlight (and they are mainly nocturnal) Thanks for posting the article, I'll give that a read. Here are some photos I took of the bush areas (Morialta and Cleland conservation parks). I was hoping they would provide some ideas about making artificial habitats a bit more natural.

Video showing how hard packed the clay ground is:
View My Video

Trails in Morialta Park:
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This one shows a lot of the loose stone and clay that was all over:
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I saw quite a few of these little skinks running around:
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Slightly less barren habitat in Cleland Park:
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:48 am

I've decided to take the money I spent (and have back) on the new camera and put it towards some test lighting. I feel that if I can get some more data on these lights it may be most helpful. I plan on getting an under the counter fixture and a ReptiSun 10.0 T8 18'' bulb and see what the effective output range is for sure. I can then swap it into the Slimline fixture w/reflector and compare head to head. I'm debating on an MVB. I may get one of the Arcadia 100w 230v kits from LYR and test that out (especially to compare against the T5 I have). I'm also curious about the output from the MegaRay MVBs. This info is on the UVMeter group though so I don't want to be wasteful re-inventing the wheel. I may also pick up a ReptiSun coil bulb to see what's really going on with those. Any thoughts on what would be most useful to get some readings? I want to get bang for my buck in terms of testing the more popular lighting choices here so we have some more data to back up (or contradict) our suggestions.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:47 pm

I'd be keen to see what the petsmart house brand (all living things) is up too. Those seem to be turning up in kits and with new keepers.

Next on my list will probably me a UVA meter. It's my understanding that even the T5 bulbs are pretty low in that area and my next project lighting wise. It's also the bigger differentiation between floro vs MVB or MH lighting.

I think Frances data are from a limited number of bulbs, so more readings is never a bad thing.

Good luck! I'll be looking forward to your findings!
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:54 pm

That's a good thought. I don't have a Petsmart nearby but I'm sure I can order off their website and see what's going on with them. I may get another Zilla Desert 50 too. The two I have have really good output so I want to triple check that. I've been thinking along the same lines about the UVA. When I have Dundee out and he sees a sun spot on the floor coming through the window he runs to it and pancakes out with his back in the direction of the sun. He will move along with it. It makes me wonder if he needs more UVA - that's what got me thinking about picking up an MVB. I've looked through Frances data on the Yahoo site and it's pretty helpful. It shows that T8s without a reflector are next to useless and that even with a reflector 6'' is an outward limit on good exposure. The MegaRays seem to have a really narrow, intense band compared to the Arcadia and Powersun MVBs too - that was interesting. The T5s w/reflectors really kind of stole the show in my mind. Maybe this round I'll keep it simple and test out some house brands and what comes with kits. I'll think about it a little more and update with what I decide to test and what I find out. Suggestions always welcome, this is an ongoing process and I want to be as helpful as possible with available resources.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:05 pm

Pepper does that same thing. I'm doing my research to add a non-UVB metal halide to my arrangement for more UVA, I'm interested to see Pep's option of it. After all, they can see into UVA. Talking with folks, I'm still sold on the T5 for UVb, the beam pattern can't be beat, but that maybe an MVB or MH would also be a good addition to finish out the spectrum.

I've heard the arcadia are lower in UVB and UVA compaired to the megarays, would be interesting to see numbers.

I'll be posting a comparison chart about the tubes in the back room later tonight, maybe you can give me some feed back :)
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:15 pm

I'll gladly have a look at the charts. The data from Yahoo shows some really interesting patterns and depth differences with the MegaRays. I didn't see any Metal Halides but I recall reading a post from Bob about the metal halide being a mid day bulb and shouldn't be used all day (I believe you may have posted in that one, I can't remember) so I'd consider it as a compliment to existing lighting. Would be interesting to read some data on their output.
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Re: Solarmeters

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:57 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I'll gladly have a look at the charts. The data from Yahoo shows some really interesting patterns and depth differences with the MegaRays. I didn't see any Metal Halides but I recall reading a post from Bob about the metal halide being a mid day bulb and shouldn't be used all day (I believe you may have posted in that one, I can't remember) so I'd consider it as a compliment to existing lighting. Would be interesting to read some data on their output.


The lenses bulbs do seem best suited for direct basking sites and many of them require such great safe distances that it would be challenging even in "larger" setups.

If it was recent it would have been me :) The IWASAKI EYE color arc is the one I'm looking at, Frances recently posted a report on it. They aren't super easy to find and will take some wiring on my part but they seem to be well liked and offer a very natrual sunlight spectrum. My current understanding is that since it doesn't give UVB it can be more suitable for longer use. Again, still learning so may change my mind on that. even if it's only good for partial day use if it can help enrich the environment and have a possitive effect maybe that's enough.
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