Shedding light of UVB tubes

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Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:32 pm

[TOPIC AUTO-LOCKED DUE TO INACTIVITY]

Proper lighting is a process, not a bulb.
-Henry Brames


Lighting is one of the most important and confusing aspects of husbandry. I've lost count of how many threads on here ask about it. I've put together some charts based on Dr. Baines lamp test reports and would like to build a guide for folks to use when designing the lighting aspect of their enclosures. I don't have the rest of the infographic style information done yet, but any input on what I have or what's worth including is welcome.

The basics are pretty straight forward. I've organized the UVI readings (and estimated the missing ones) from Dr. Baines reports according to strength.

It seems easiest to start with screen vs no screen so those are the two charts. They are then identified by reflector, bulb brand, bulb strength and also fixture. I've not added the fixture key to this set of images but will include it for reference next iteration. I'll also be creating images to describe the concept of a photogradient and how to go about providing one, using the same colors from the charts here. Similar to the ISO-irradiance charts.

It's striking the impact different configurations can make. Not all lights are suitable for all enclosures, but there are quite a few options now available as compaired to years past and it's not too much more investment of work to provide nice levels of exposure for our little ones. I'm hopeful to share this information to encourage more keepers to understand their setups and have confidence in them.

As points of reference, from past conversations on the UV meter group and correspondence with Dr. Baines the levels I've selected bracket according to wild type exposure levels.

Shade levels are just that, really low exposure similar to shade cover.
Low levels would be suitable for general warm areas or a secondary basking site
Moderate levels are the suggested range for a comfortable basking environment.
High levels are the upper end of the safe range, still seen by sun loving dragons basking at their natural times, in morning/evening but probaly not as suitable without other basking options of lower exposure. More isn't always better.
Very High are levels better avoided in captivity

UVB lights in general should not be positioned closer than 6" to the animal, regardless of the intensity of the emissions. Safety concerns aside, I'm sure it's not the greatest thing to live so close to a light bulb ;) especially when it's not necessary.


edit: since I cleaned out my photobucket the images that went with this post got lost. These are the latest ones. https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides

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Last edited by Taterbug on Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:32 pm

This is very helpful - to have this in one place. Looking through those reports from Dr. Baines has made me realize that the T8 tubes are really useless. I keep in mind the readings I've taken in their natural habitat and the bulbs are at the very edge of mid morning/late afternoon readings at 6''. I agree that closer than that is dangerous. I don't like the idea of using a screen unless there is something dangerous in the house. Even a T5 through a screen has a decent reading at only 8-10'' up. Keep in mind that is directly below the light and the exposure tapers off QUICKLY as you move to the side of the light. I like to have an average reading of 3-5 across the day considering spring day readings rang in from 1 in the am to 10 in the early pm down to 2 in the late pm. Having a spike in the middle of the day with lower readings early AM and late PM would likely be more ideal. I'm not sure how that will be achieved safely yet (keeping in mind possible skin damage from certain wavelengths). I think the best we can do at this point is push T5 lighting w/reflective fixtures 10-14'' up from the basking point for optimal UVB exposure.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:52 pm

Indeed. I'm not sure they are exactly useless, but as far as any thing approximating a wild-like experience for our critter they are more than dissapointing. I feel like a broken record some days, trying to discourage the under cabinet fixtures - but I can't really see them as acceptable considering the options that are out there these days.

Folks who do a light cycle like you describe often have many more lights than the average dragon owner. You touched on it in your Solarmeter thread. It comes down to various task specific lights and a timing sequence. Someone on here (I think) recently shared their viv that has a imitation of the east-west solar arc in the lighting sequence. Thought that was clever. Of course on the flip side the ability to self regulate is important, without providing that it's much safer to offer shaded levels.

It's interesting just how durable these guys are, all things considered. There have been a few folks who keep monitors and have extended some of those methods (soil substrates, higher options for basking temps) to their beardies with interesting results.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:55 pm

I put together a graph based on the UVI readings I took in Adelaide (Nov 2014). These are readings taken over the course of a week so should be averaged out (different cloud conditions). It gives a general look at what springtime UV exposure in their natural habitat looks like over the course of a day. Unfortunately I wasn't able to observe any dragons, but if the theory holds that they bask in the morning, hide, and then sometimes return for afternoon basking, then they expose themselves to the 2.5-6.0 range.

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:04 pm

Still pretty jealous of your trip ;) we were planning to go to Cairns and Melbourne last July, but plans changed :/ oh well, some day!

That pretty much lines up with the info I got from Dr. Baines and elsewhere. I swear I remeber a thread on another forum with pictures of solarmeters up with wild dragons too but can't for the life of me find it again. :banghead:
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:10 pm

You posted a pretty good graphic a while back that showed the UVI for different parts of Australia that also lined up with this. I guess the tough part is finding a safe artificial way of replicating what we're seeing. Maybe the best bet is to buy some of these lights and send them to Dr. Baines for testing. I'm guessing she has much more advanced equipment and definitely more experience to be able to analyze lighting. Every day I go up to Dundee and ask him "hey, what do you need? I'll get you whatever you want, just tell me!" I wish it were that simple.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:23 pm

Haha I know the feeling. I remind Pepper frequently that he obviously don't know how good he has it. He remains indignant though :/ if I weren't so paranoid of fireflies and cats he'd have a summer home in the yard.

It really is. We are getting closer though and that's really encouraging. In many cases space is also really limiting factor, we dont want to trap them with uncomfortable lights. Since it sounds like Dundee gets a good amount of outside time I wonder could try the higher power lights like the MVB or megaray MH if they become available and see if he seeks it out himself.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:47 pm

That's a thought. Put a metal halide in the living room and let him find it. Or set up a few lights and take note of where he plops down at different times of the day. Might be a better test with a healthy dragon though. He's still a bit off compared to what Coop was in terms of energy and curiosity.

I just checked Petsmart.com and they have the coil All Living Things bulb but they're out of the 18'' tube. I was hoping to pick up both and test them out but I may not be able to get the tube unless someone can find it in a local store. Granted, if it's unavailable then nobody will buy it and there's no point in testing it... Maybe I can find one matched with a fixture and test both at once.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Drache613 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:01 pm

Hello,

I just saw this thread, terrific information. I wish more people understood just how important lighting was.
The UVB meter group always has such great reports. Frances & Henry have done so much research & drawn up so many charts with the UVB/UVI readings.
Wow, you got to go to Adelaide? I would just love in general to go to Australia.

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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:34 am

Hi Tracie,
We've been trying to break down and transfer as much data as possible and spread it around here. I was able to get a hold of some of the Petsmart bulbs and found that the All Living Things tube is the Zilla Desert 50 bulb in a different box. They are identical and their output is identical. They were pretty good as far as T8 goes granted I was only able to measure UVI. The Nat Geo MVBs are pretty horrible from what I found. I posted the results in my Solarmeter thread https://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=210635&p=1682302&hilit=solarmeter#p1682302

Taterbug has also created an excellent chart based on Frances' data on the yahoo group which makes it easy to compare outputs and proper distances. She also has some really eye opening overlays using Pepper's enclosure that show how to create natural gradients for both heat and UVB https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides

I did get to go to Adelaide (really amazing town!) and took some UVI readings over the course of a week. I'd love to get over there during different seasons but I feel I got enough base info to back up the current thinking that 3-5 UVI is optimal as an average reflecting mid morning and late afternoon and that a gradual increase and then decrease in UV exposure over the course of the day reflects their natural habitat. Just the tip of the iceburg but I'll continue to learn and share info as time goes on. I'm hoping to get my hands on some of the Iwasaki Color Arc bulbs when I'm in England in a few weeks. It would be great to test those out as basking/natural daylight bulbs.
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Drache613 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:48 pm

Hello,

Wow, you sure get to travel a lot!
I have been awaiting Frances' new charts, but she doesn't have them up yet or it didn't look like she did anyway.
That does not surprise me in the least, that the All Living Things light is none other than the Zilla Desert 50, just unbelievable. What a scam that is. They were both cruddy lights anyway.
I have not seen the Nat Geo lights yet, maybe they are not in all areas yet.
I agree, 3-5 UVI is a good number to shoot for, nice & even while very safe, too. They do tend to go out in the earlier part of the day before it gets too hot while retreating during the hottest part of the day. Then coming back out later in the day to forage & warm up a bit before going to sleep for the night. They are quite instinctive!

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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:23 am

I was about to put an order in for one of the color arc bulbs (they are about $125 so I can only afford one) and have it shipped to where I'm staying in London (free shipping vs double cost sending it to the US) but I came across a page that shows a US address in Ohio for EYE lighting and a sales e-mail. I may be able to just get one directly from them when I'm home. I'd hate to waste the opportunity for free shipping but it would be less hassle overall just to pick one up later. http://www.eyelighting.com/_CE/pagecontent/Documents/Tech-Bulletins/Metal%20Halide/M70-P-36S-D.pdf
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby Taterbug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:25 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I was about to put an order in for one of the color arc bulbs (they are about $125 so I can only afford one) and have it shipped to where I'm staying in London (free shipping vs double cost sending it to the US) but I came across a page that shows a US address in Ohio for EYE lighting and a sales e-mail. I may be able to just get one directly from them when I'm home. I'd hate to waste the opportunity for free shipping but it would be less hassle overall just to pick one up later. http://www.eyelighting.com/_CE/pagecontent/Documents/Tech-Bulletins/Metal%20Halide/M70-P-36S-D.pdf


They will probably direct you to a nearby distributor - when I asked about vendors or if they directly offer sample quantities that's what they did for me - I have to call up and see what the local distributor has to offer.

Frontier Loghting sells them (have link on my computer. I'll post it when I'm home 101.80 + 11$ shipping or free local pickup in Florida) but not the ballast (looks like another $80+).
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Re: Shedding light of UVB tubes

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:45 pm

That's kind of what I'm thinking but I sent them an e-mail anyway to ask them about which products they have available in the US that would fit the bill. Haven't heard back yet but will update when I do. That may be a better route to take than to order one over here but I'm not sure.
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