UVB Lighting.....

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UVB Lighting.....

Postby Dave47164 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:15 pm

New to Bearded Dragons here... I am getting ready to build a new enclosure within the next few weeks and the lighting is starting to work my nerves. I know what I want to use but finding what I am looking for seems next to impossible.

The Enclosure is going to be roughly 48"x24"x24" for plenty of room to move about. so I was looking at a 30" to 36" light preferably t-5 but I cannot find the fixtures locally anywhere. everything has gone LED it seems even in aquatic lighting. And all the stores locally seem to just carry incandescent heat and CFL's. They carry tubes but nothing in way of fixtures it seems.

Has there been any studies done on the new lighting technology? And the effects on reptiles? Or are still relying on data from 2011?
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Re: UVB Lighting.....

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:38 pm

I would recommend not to get the UVB full length of tank -- you want him to be able to escape those rays w/ out having to go into his hide--- you can find T 5's on www.pangeareptile.com - chewy.com not sure of the sizes they carry --- www.lightyourreptiles.com although they are spendy--
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Re: UVB Lighting.....

Postby claudiusx » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Hi there,

I use the 34inch versions in my 4x2x2s. I would recommend going on amazon. It's cheaper their anyways. Sunblaster makes a great fixture and you can get it with or without the reflector.

I would definitely go with the t5 for that size tank. Either the reptisun 10.0 or the arcadia 12% or 14%.

Dave47164 wrote:Has there been any studies done on the new lighting technology? And the effects on reptiles? Or are still relying on data from 2011?

Can you elaborate on what you're asking exactly?

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Re: UVB Lighting.....

Postby Dave47164 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:00 pm

I do a lot of research on things and tend to overthink things on occasion and this may be one of those times. I get the different wavelengths of light and some are more beneficial than others. However, the original article was written in 2011, while I am not expressing that the data is outdated and no longer valid,but has it been revisited? I ask this because I used to be able to get t-5 fixtures EVERYWHERE, Home Depot, Lowes, PetSmart, Menards, and even the local owned ACE Hardware, but now everything and I mean everything seems to be LED. The Closest thing I found was a T-8 fixture but it was 4ft long and not what I am looking for.

If the t-5 is best lighting why is it not readily available? I cannot find a true t-5 fixture locally, sure amazon is an option but I prefer to support local shops when I can as I am a small business owner myself. I can find bulbs all day long but they are useless without the fixture, OR I find a fixture online and have to buy a replacement bulb right away because it sips with the wrong bulb....

Also in reference to CFL's made specifically for UVB due they still putting off spurious emissions of "bad" light causing the lizards to need a seeing eye frog?? Or has this just been accepted as the first ones was bad and they have not improved in 8 years? If thaty have not why are they still being marketed? Why is it every pet store seems to ONLY sell dome fixtures or T-8, when t-5 seems to be in demand? Is the whole market misguided or is there data backing the newer bulbs are not harmful anymore.

Has this been revisited and I have not seen the info yet? I have not yet read through all 61 pages of the original lighting discussion.


I have seen LED hoods with a t-5 slots for a UVB bulb in them. What are the thoughts on these? Are LEDs doing similar as the CFL's
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Re: UVB Lighting.....

Postby claudiusx » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:25 pm

Dave47164 wrote:However, the original article was written in 2011,

I'm still slightly confused. Are you referring to the Newbies lighting guide?

Dave47164 wrote:I used to be able to get t-5 fixtures EVERYWHERE, Home Depot, Lowes, PetSmart, Menards, and even the local owned ACE Hardware, but now everything and I mean everything seems to be LED.

This is simply because those home improvement stores weren't selling them to reptile owners, they were selling them to people who needed lights. And now that LED's are the new efficient thing, it makes sense that they have been replaced. I still find t5 reptile fixtures at my local petstores, but they are double the price of what I can find online.

Dave47164 wrote:If the t-5 is best lighting why is it not readily available?

Once again, you're comparing two separate worlds here. the T5's are not the most efficient in regards to energy consumption to light output. LED's are and that's why these stores are selling those. Not very often someone walks into a homedepot looking for reptile specific lighting. So they sell what people come in there for, efficient lighting.

Dave47164 wrote:OR I find a fixture online and have to buy a replacement bulb right away because it sips with the wrong bulb....

Nothing wrong with that. The sunblaster fixture also isn't made for reptiles. It comes with a grow light bulb. But you'd be buying a reptile specific bulb anyways, and still buying the fixture with the included bulb ends up still being 20 bucks cheaper than buying the reptile specific fixture.

Dave47164 wrote:Also in reference to CFL's made specifically for UVB due they still putting off spurious emissions of "bad" light causing the lizards to need a seeing eye frog?? Or has this just been accepted as the first ones was bad and they have not improved in 8 years?


The first batches of them put out did cause eye issues. That has been fixed for the most part though. However, besides a very select few, the CFL's still aren't very suitable as their output greatly diminishes with distance. They have to be very close to the dragon for the dragon to get adequate exposure. Arcadia makes a CFL that seems to work pretty well. But once again, when compared to a tube, the output isn't as widespread.

Dave47164 wrote:Why is it every pet store seems to ONLY sell dome fixtures

Well remember, dragons aren't the only creatures around :wink: I'm not well versed in other creatures, but i'd imagine the CFL's do put out enough uv for other creatures. Maybe. But it's also a convenience thing. The goal is to make money, not necessarily provide what is perfect. And to most people, a bulb that screws into a regular socket like they are accustomed to is much less daunting and much more likely to encourage someone to buy it.

And, t5's really aren't any "better" than t8s depending on how you use them. They both put out the wavelengths of the UV spectrum that promotes vit D3 synthesis. The difference between the two is how far away they stay effective.

A t5 is good for bigger taller tanks as most likely the dragon will be further away from the bulb than it would be in say a 20g tank.
On the other hand, if you had a 20g tank, a t5 would likely be too strong, and a t8 would be "better" than the t5 in that case.

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