Enclosure Lighting Help

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Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby ArcaneVirus » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:05 pm

I’m sorry that this post is going to be kind of long and I will try my best to keep each of my questions as organized as possible, but after reading several articles on this site for days on end, I still find myself somewhat confused on what kind of lights I need to buy for my enclosure in particular. The enclosure is a 48” long x 18” wide x 21” high tank with a hinged screen on top. Your expertise would be much appreciated as I’m such a newb at this!
What length UVB bulb should I get? What kind of fixture? Where should I mount?
What I know so far is that I need a UVB bulb preferably with an under-cabinet fixture since I’ve read that placing the bulb in a fixture on top of the screen will block a lot of the UVB waves. Since my tank is 4ft long I wasn’t really sure what length the UVB light should be. I was looking at buying the “Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Lamp”, I’ve read that the T5 is better than the T8, but I wasn’t sure what length to get for my tank. I also wanted to know if there were any particular fixtures that were easy to install and if it were best that I mount the bulb on the side of my tank as I’ve seen with many tanks, or if I should try to mount it under the screen so that the light is facing down onto the basking spot.
What kind of basking light should I get? What wattage?
With the basking spot, I know that I need to emit heat and have a bright light. I recently read that halogen lights are great because they do both which would save me some space as I’m not trying to having a million light fixtures on my screen. However, I know little about which are the best brands to get. Before knowing this, I was going to get a light that emits heat such as the “Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot Lamp”. It comes in a variety of wattages and since I haven’t seen many tanks with the same dimensions as mine I am concerned with getting the right wattage that will emit enough heat for my tank. In addition to this I was going to get a bright light to sit next to the basking light. I was looking at flood lights at the store because they seemed to be the only ones labeled as daylight bulbs as daylight bulbs usually fall into the range of 4000K-5000K, except I started to get really confused because most bulbs were measured in lumens and when reading how lumens related to Kelvin….well let’s just say I’m lost in that department. :?
CHE Bulb wattage?
Another bulb on my list was a CHE, since it gets pretty cold at night where the tank will be kept. I wanted to still provide heat without a light being on. I know that a ceramic socketed fixture is needed for that, thankfully I have plenty of those. I also read it was a good idea to get a thermostat controller with that one since it can produce a lot of heat. I guess my question is, is all of that necessary and what kind of wattage should I get since it produces so much heat. I know I’ll be getting a thermostat controller with it, but I still don’t want to get anything that would be overboard.
General Lighting Questions
Is there anything that I am missing or have overlooked? Or is there anything that would be a better option than what I have already mentioned as something I would like to get? I know UVB bulbs should be changed about every 6 months, are there any other bulbs I need to change out at certain times? I definitely feel like I’ve left out a question I had so hopefully someone suggests something I forgot.
A Few Non-lighting Related Questions
I created a list of things I needed to get to make sure this enclosure had everything it needed because I’m kind of an organization freak when it comes to things like this. I want to make sure I have everything that is needed to give the healthiest and happiest life for my bearded dragon. I read that it’s a good idea to have multiple levels for a bearded dragon to bask on. I planned on using a half log as it provides a hideaway as well as an area to bask on. I was wondering if something like a large piece of driftwood would also do well to provide differing levels? I also read it’s nice to have a timer on the different lights, what lights would most benefit from being on a timer? I was also going to put a large corner bowl full of water to help with shedding, but if I’m going to be giving baths during that time anyway is the bowl of water really necessary? I know most bearded dragons don’t drink from it either way and it could also potentially raise the humidity too much, so I was just wondering if maybe that would be a waste. Also, since the tank is pretty large, I’m kind of lost on what to decorate it with, since there will be plenty of empty space. I’ve seen posts where people make their own false rocks which I think look absolutely gorgeous, but I’m not too sure I have the skill to make that.

Thank you so much to anyone who finds the time to read and respond to this post! I know it’s quite long, but I’m new at all this and would love the wisdom from those who have been doing this for many years. I’ve been creeping around this website for probably a month now and figured I’d try and see what you guys had to say. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated whether it has to do with lighting or anything else! Also don’t worry about going into details because I love to be well informed with all the technicalities. :study:
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:47 pm

I will do my best to address your questions in order.

What length UVB bulb should I get? What kind of fixture? Where should I mount?
I suggest using a T5 22'' tube (24'' fixture). Either an Arcadia 12% or ReptiSun 10.0 are good choices. This is a good combo kit that can sit right on top of the tank about 10-12'' above the main basking area http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/

What kind of basking light should I get? What wattage?
The reptile specific lights are usually OK as long as you avoid the neodymium coated ones. I like the halogen flood lights because they are durable and dimmable. I use a 90w PAR38 GE bulb that is 1790 lumens. It's nice and bright but the wattage you need will vary. You may need to test a few wattages (checking surface temps) before you find a good fit for your enclosure. It varies a lot between setups so it's something you'll have to play around with a bit. Once you have it down though, you can just keep stocking the same bulb and just make some fine adjustments as needed seasonally.


CHE Bulb wattage?
I like this one http://www.reptileuv.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=196 it doesn't get nearly as hot to the touch as a CHE does but still produces a very good amount of heat overnight. You just need enough to bump the temps into the low 70s on cold nights. I have mine on a pulse thermostat but an on/off thermostat would work for it too. If you get one like the Herpstat 2 you can set your basking light and CHE up to it and control them independently. I have my basking light on dimming thermostat setting and the CHE is set at pulse thermostat and only turns on at night when needed. You don't necessarily need a thermostat at all though. Just test the temps out and see how it goes at first.

General Lighting Questions
Just make sure to invest in a good UVB light. It makes a huge difference. With a T5 bulb you only need to replace it yearly. If you have a Solarmeter to test the output you can just change it as needed based on the readings you get but those are an expensive luxury item.


A Few Non-lighting Related Questions
Climbing areas are important for them to have as are hides. There are a lot of good options though. I like the habba hut half logs and use one. I also use flat driftwood pieces to provide basking/climbing spots and hides. It's good to make as much use of space as you can. It's OK to have some empty space too though. As far as water dishes go, some dragons use them, some don't. You can put one in the tank if you want to and I wouldn't worry about humidity much unless the house is especially humid. You want to offer variety. Have some nice flat areas for basking, some dark areas for hides, some shade, etc. Same with lighting. Have an area with high heat and UVB levels and other areas with lower heat and little to no UVB so they can move around and choose what they want at any given time. The more space you have the easier this is to do.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and I'll be happy to help as much as I can.
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby ArcaneVirus » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:16 pm

CooperDragon wrote:
Please let me know if you have any further questions and I'll be happy to help as much as I can.


Thank you so much for not only a quick reply, but for all the information you have provided. I have read many replies from you in other posts and it's nice to see how active you are in this community. I do have two questions. I have seen a couple of people use reflectors for their ReptiSun. Is this a good idea to use or is it more of a luxury item? Also with the under cabinet fixture and bulb combo you posted I see that they use a 24in fixture with a 22in bulb, is this possible with other fixtures?
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:10 am

A reflector is a good idea in most cases. It makes the bulbs more intense by directing more of the light downward. If you don't use a reflector, the effective range is less. Here is a lighting guide that Taterbug made that might help illustrate the difference in output when you use a reflector vs no reflector and the differences between bulbs. https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides

The fixture in the combo I linked to is a grow light fixture rather than an under counter fixture. Much better quality (worth it). It is quite common for the fixture to be an inch or two longer than the bulb because of the end caps on the fixture. With a T5 a 24'' fixture goes with a 22'' bulb and a 36'' fixture goes with a 34'' bulb etc.
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:02 am

This viewtopic.php?f=34&t=235611
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will help you.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby lizardmom25 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:31 am

Another thing to consider is distance from the UVB. If you go with t5, I would get the reptisun 10.0 and the hood that goes with it, and place it on top of your screen. I found it to be the easiest arrangement with a screen top. If you don't already have it, I suggest getting the screen lid with the hinge that runs the length of the tank. With the fixture on top, the highest basking sopt needs to be about 10 inches from the light. In a 21 inch tall tank that means you will need something at lest 11 inches tall that he can get on top of to bask.
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby ArcaneVirus » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:47 pm

CooperDragon, thank you for that information, I'm definitely going to get a reflector now.

kingofnobbys, thank you so much for that picture, it really helps so I know how to arrange my lights.

lizardmom25, it totally slipped my mind that I would need a basking spot so high, are there any safe items you would suggest that can reach 11 inches? I was thinking of putting a slanted piece of flat driftwood.

As always thank you all for your replies, I'm definitely going to be editing my shopping list now.
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby ArcaneVirus » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Ok so here is the revised list I have amassed after much searching. I feel like this would be an easier way for you guys to tell me if what I'm getting is good or if I need to add something to the list. Also I feel like it could help future people find things easier. If there are any other places with better prices than what I have found, I would greatly appreciate the suggestions.

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Lamp, 39 Watts, 34in ($30)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AQU8HKO/?c ... _lig_dp_it

Reptile T5 HO 34" Standard Fixture & Reflector ($47)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B209YQC/?c ... _lig_dp_it

Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot Lamp, 150 Watt ($8)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002AR3PI/?c ... _lig_dp_it

GE Lighting 66282 Energy-Efficient Halogen 90-Watt (120-watt replacement) 1790-Lumen PAR38 Floodlight Bulb with Medium Base, 2-Pack ($20)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007V92OHK/?c ... _lig_dp_it

150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter (CHE) Brooder Coop Pet Infrared Lamp Bulb ($12)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFNZ59Q/?c ... _lig_dp_it

iPower 40-108°F Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller for Seed Germination, Reptiles and Brewing ($19)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E9IO6N0/?c ... _lig_dp_it

Century Indoor 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer, 3 Prong, 2-Pack ($11)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LPSGBZS/?c ... _lig_dp_it

AcuRite 01130M Digital Hygrometer and Thermometer, Black ($7)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075RX8GG3/?c ... _lig_dp_it

Qooltek Digital LCD Thermometer Temperature Gauge Aquarium Thermometer with Probe ($10)
https://www.amazon.com/Qooltek-Thermome ... probe&th=1

I decided to go with a longer UVB tube since I've seen multiple times that it's good to have the length of the tube to be between 1/2-2/3 of the length of the enclosure. I wasn't exactly sure if the floodlight was supposed to also emit heat so I added a basking bulb to the list and figured I'd test out the temps to see what worked. I did take a look at the Mega-ray HP 60, but from the pictures I looked at online I wasn't sure if it emitted light or not and I want something that emits heat but not light for the night. Since CHEs can get hot I also added a thermostat controller to the list to keep it at the right temperature. I have 2 timers on the list, not really sure if I am going to be able to keep the CHE on a controller as well as a timer, but I guess I will find that out myself. I also thought timers were nice in case I got home at an odd hour, that way the lights turn on and off at appropriate times. Finally, a digital thermometer and a thermometer with a probe. The probe to get accurate temperatures and the digital thermometer to be kept at the other end of the enclosure.

Total: $164

This is what I have so far for the lighting section of my list, hope this makes it easier to see what I had in mind and what my set-up will look like.
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Re: Enclosure Lighting Help

Postby lizardmom25 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:02 am

I built a rock formation for my guy. a large piece of driftwood, or a hammock with large openings would also work.
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