Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color change)

This forum is for advanced discussions on Lighting and Enclosures. Advanced discussions are those that are not necessarily for the general hobbyist, contains practices that should not be applied by those lacking experience, or may be for theoretical discussions that we do not want to have confused with recommended care.

Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color change)

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 9:34 am

[TOPIC AUTO-LOCKED DUE TO INACTIVITY]

So I might have stumbled on something with my bearded dragons behavior and lighting or I could just be bumbling and rambling, idk you guys be the judge and let me know what you think. Extremely long post I know but hopefully you guys read it to the end.

So to start, my dragon is 10 months old and I bought her at 4 months. With the weather recently warming up we brought her outside for the first time to get some natural sunlight. She turned a vibrant bright green/yellow that I've never seen before afer a short period and I could tell she loved it.

So rewind back to when I first recieved her.

I started out with just a halogen bulb and a reptisun 10.0 t5 in a large enclosure I built measuring 5feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. Due to my own bad husbandry and lack of knowledge she became somewhat sickly. I caught it in time due to admins on here responding to my questions.

First thing I did was get a megaray mvb and install it in her enclosure. I also purchased a solarmeter 6.5 and a solarmeter 6.2 to make sure she was getting proper uvb.

With the 6.2 I was able to get accurate readings of her uvb with both the reptisun and megaray in her enclosure keeping it in the safe sub 200's.

So at this point I had a megaray, a halogen flood and a reptisun uvb flourescent. She basked under the uvb and almost immediately I seen her health improve. I added a small wattage halogen bulb on the cold side for more light and heat and she did great.

Eventually I started tweeking things more. I bought a thermostat to regulate heat in her viv. It's a herpstat 2 which has 2 probes. So I switched the small wattage basking bulb for a che bulb on the cold side and hooked one of the probes up to it, essentially regulating the heat but taking away some light.

Almost immediately after I took that low wattage light on her cold side out she went almost into a semi brumation. Sleeping alot, sometimes most of the day. Staying in the dark side of her tank and not basking as much and I had suspicion it was due to me taking away that light on her cold side.

Even so ever since getting her uvb corrected her colors got better and she was definately in alot better health. The semi brumation didn't bother me so much as erk me a little. I knew she was fine and healthy but why was she sleeping so much? Is what I would ask myself.

With the dark side being so dark in such a big cage I figured I'd add another light... again...lol. I decided on a 4 foot (which span the majority of my cage) led 5000k daylight bulb. So there's no extra heat and no extra uvb. Just bright white light, that I ran from 11am to 4pm to simulate bright mid day sun, and lengthened the time I had the reptisun on.

So low and behold when she started to bask under her uvb bulbs, with the 5000k led light on, I saw her change to the same bright yellowish green that I saw under direct sunlight. She also stopped sleeping in so much. Now I know, no artificial light is the same as sunlight. But I think I may have tricked her into thinking she was? Guesses as to why? Maybe the color change is her showing she likes the lighting? We've all seen are dragons change to a darker color and it's thought that they do this maybe to absorb more heat in the morning and before lights out. Darker color absorb warmth and in turn brighter colors reflect light and heat. Maybe they change brighter colors in brighter light as a natural reaction to deflect heat as it isn't as needed? One can only guess.

What I do think is significant is that by adding the 5000k light across her viv, not changing any of the pre existing uvb levels or heat levels, I saw a significant change in color and behavior fairly quickly, actually that same day. So what does it mean? To me it means that the way they see light is more complicated then I thought and it means alot to there overall health. Uvb plays a role but if we can trick them (which is what we're doing with artificial light) I think we'd have alot happier dragons!
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 10:06 am

Continuing on lol... bearded dragons see in full color just like we do. Our eyes use 3 colors to see all colors of the rainbow. Red, blue and green, so in theory, the red light comes from your halogen bulb, the blue light from a 5000k flourescent, and the green from a mvb, allowing your lizard to see much as it would in daylight under the sun.
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Taterbug » Wed May 18, 2016 1:40 pm

I figure I'll respond to your other posts here as its more on topic :)
I see that was a interesting read, a little confusing but interesting. So the solarmeter 6.5 is the more efficient way to judge proper lighting for d3 synthesis.

Basically. Both tools are useful, and they can be used together to estimate the balance of UVA (visible to reptiles) and UVB (For D3 Synthesis). I only have the 6.5 though, so I'm not so savy on that technique.

That being said your right about most artificial light is made for humans and not reptiles. So wouldn't you still want to provide the 3 color spectrums with the 3 differnce bulbs? Halogen for red, mvb for green and flourescent for blue? I guess it doesn't have to be a mvb but idk of any other safe greenish tinted lights. I would think it would make the health of your lizard better. Maybe not contribute to d3 synthesis but probably in other ways.

The catch is that its a bit more complicated. Looking at the spectrum of the lights, you can sort of guess at filling in the gaps, like you say but they aren't going to line up so well and match sunlight. For most of us that's probably as close as we can get. But does it really work, and end up looking 'natural' to them? Who knows.

This is another sort of heavy read but it is explaining the 'color space' and how different lamps compare to actually being "white" based on the biology of reptile eyes. It also explains why the lighting metrics (including the 5000K/6500K and such) aren't especially useful since they are designed around human eyes. http://uvguide.co.uk/VISquality.htm

If you would really like to improve to a more 'sunlike' light, Metal Halides are probably the best available currently. They are high voltage and can be expensive, but are the most accurate to natural sunlight including a sun-like balance of UVA. Considering the investments you've already made and your interest in lighting it might be worth looking into. I've not worked up the nerve to get into it, but if there was something I would do for my enclosure at this point it would be an IWASAKI EYE Color Arc lamp.

In the end, I think you have a pretty good lighting setup but I would think your dragon is responding to the brightness more than the color quality. Dragons are sun-worshipers from a very very sunny habitat. For the size of enclosure you have, and depending on how bright the LED is you could experiment with more lights. I've a 4x2x4 setup with a 22" T5 reptisun 10, a 36" T5 "daylight", 3 halogen floods and a LED flood - its still not nearly as bright as a typical day outside here in Ohio.
User avatar
Taterbug
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 5760
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:13 am
Location: Central Ohio

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 2:00 pm

I've looked into the metal halides and am really interested in them. My question would be, should I use other lights to supplement with it and if so which? Should I still use the long 5000k led or take it out?

I've never heard of the other one you mentioned I'm going to look it up right now
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 2:13 pm

So the IWASAKI arc metal hallide looks like it would be for the coloring right? It says it has a uv blocking coating on the bulbs that I'm guessing blocks uvb from escaping? I didn't read to much just glanced at it.

What about megarays new metal hallide? It would provide uvb and from what I read on there website would still closely resemble sunlight. Plus it's specifically designed for herps. I was really thinking about getting it down the line I just would like to see some more research on it.
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Taterbug » Wed May 18, 2016 6:20 pm

Is the MR released yet? Last time j looked they were still in development, but I've been looking forward to those. It may be an good alternative to the cost and hassle of wiring something. The UV coating on the iwasaki is for UVB and UVA, I believe. personally I would use it as a basking lamp.

There is a group "reptile lighting" on Facebook that has lots of good info and some helpful diagrams as well.
User avatar
Taterbug
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 5760
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:13 am
Location: Central Ohio

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 6:29 pm

I spoke to Bob mac briefly and he said he would be having some coming in, that was a month or 2 ago. That's what I was thinking with the IWASAKI using it as a basking light replacing my halogen. With either bulb I'd still like to know what bulbs I should/could use along with it. If the megaray puts off sunlike light then I'd assume you should use it for mid day lighting, supplementing the other hours with other lights
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby CooperDragon » Wed May 18, 2016 6:35 pm

I looked into getting one of the Iwasaki Color Arc bulbs but haven't been able to find them. They would make a great daylight bulb from what I've read. I've also been waiting for the MegaRay MH bulb to come out. The wider beam Bob was talking about would make it a lot more useful than others I've seen. I agree with you that (depending on it's actual output) it may be best to throw it into a rotation with some other bulbs and have that be the mid-day bulb. Maybe keep the halogen on a dimmer and bring that up to simulate sunrise, switch on a T5 after an hour or two, then switch on the MH for a few hours in the middle of the day and then ramp it back down. Would need to play around with it quite a bit and take some readings though.
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26220
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 7:08 pm

Yea ima wait until my 6.5 gets fixed then give Bob mac a call, ask a few questions and inquire about his metal hallide
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby CooperDragon » Wed May 18, 2016 7:19 pm

Sounds good. Did you get one in the bad batch that Frances was talking about?
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26220
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Ed707 » Wed May 18, 2016 7:20 pm

Yea sucks... gotta send it in and wait for them to fix it
Ed707
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby CooperDragon » Wed May 18, 2016 7:22 pm

Bummer. Hopefully they aren't too backed up and you'll get it back quickly.
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26220
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Taterbug » Thu May 19, 2016 3:39 am

Cooper, I found them at https://www.frontierlighting.com but for $118.00 a bulb and another hundred or so for the ballast.... I don't have the nerve yet. Looking forward to MRs bulbs though, that I may pick up
User avatar
Taterbug
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 5760
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:13 am
Location: Central Ohio

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby CooperDragon » Thu May 19, 2016 1:22 pm

Ah great! Thanks for the link. Quite pricey to justify going for it when the current system works pretty well. Will keep it in the back of my mind though. If I get that kind of cash free I'll probably get the Solarmeter 6.2 first.
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26220
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA

Re: Artificial light and direct sunlight (behavior/color cha

Postby Taterbug » Mon May 23, 2016 9:48 am

CooperDragon wrote:Ah great! Thanks for the link. Quite pricey to justify going for it when the current system works pretty well. Will keep it in the back of my mind though. If I get that kind of cash free I'll probably get the Solarmeter 6.2 first.


That's been my feeling. If it wasn't so intimidating to wire I might be a bit more willing.... So I'm hoping the MR bulbs are comparable quality!
User avatar
Taterbug
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 5760
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:13 am
Location: Central Ohio
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Next

Return to Lighting/Enclosures

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users