100W vs 160W bulb for basking?

ive been having a little trouble deciding which to use for my dragon. for most of his life, hes basked under 160W MVB bulbs, even since we rescued him. recently, i switched him to a 100W bulb just to see what would happen, and he is not liking it at all. dark most of the day, not flattening his body as much. my houses standard temp also changes a lot, and i worry the 100W isnt enough to keep him at 100 deg consitently thoughout the day. though my concern on the subject comes from other reccomendations - he is housed in a 60 gallon tank, but many reccomend 100W as a standard. people say 160 can "cook" a dragon or blind them, but i keep him at the appropriate distance and hes a very large guy - he loves his 160W and the heat! should i just stick with the 160W or bite the bullet and go for a slightly cooler 100W? his behaviors been changing under 100W too, which i do not like :(

another question i have is the brand- im changing the setup of his MVB for something different. when i got him last year, the store gave us a Flukers Sunspot and its what we've been using ever since. though ive had issues with my poor guy recently and have been told the Sunspot is probably not the best for him. ive been looking into a Megaray 160W for him, but im not sure how different they will be and if he will even like it. ive heard so many great things about the Megaray that i really want to try it, but id love to see some other reccomendations from those using different MVBs in here before i go ahead and try out the Megaray.

thanks in advance!
 

CooperDragon

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The main difference is going to be the distance at which you mount the bulb. You need to mount an MVB at a distance that produces appropriate UVB. That's a greater distance for a 160w than a 100w. The 100w bulbs I've used tend to be just about right at 12'' or so. A 160w would be better at probably around 18-20'' or so (educated guess). This also varies quite a bit between brands. A lot of people prefer to use a T5 tube for UVB and then use a separate (usually halogen or incandescent) flood light for heat. That allows you to adjust the heat independently which is nice.

I've used the MegaRay MVBs before and they are good, but tend to have a strong output right in the center of the bulb with a steep dropoff to the sides. It helps to have a Solarmeter to check the output of each bulb, but those are relatively expensive. My favorite MVB so far is the UK version of the Arcadia. LightYourReptiles sells them as a kit with a voltage converter to match UK output off of US outlets. I would probably go with that if you want to use a MVB. I would consider using a T5 and separate heat light too, but that's up to you.
 

manticorebug

Member
Original Poster
The main difference is going to be the distance at which you mount the bulb. You need to mount an MVB at a distance that produces appropriate UVB. That's a greater distance for a 160w than a 100w. The 100w bulbs I've used tend to be just about right at 12'' or so. A 160w would be better at probably around 18-20'' or so (educated guess). This also varies quite a bit between brands. A lot of people prefer to use a T5 tube for UVB and then use a separate (usually halogen or incandescent) flood light for heat. That allows you to adjust the heat independently which is nice.

I've used the MegaRay MVBs before and they are good, but tend to have a strong output right in the center of the bulb with a steep dropoff to the sides. It helps to have a Solarmeter to check the output of each bulb, but those are relatively expensive. My favorite MVB so far is the UK version of the Arcadia. LightYourReptiles sells them as a kit with a voltage converter to match UK output off of US outlets. I would probably go with that if you want to use a MVB. I would consider using a T5 and separate heat light too, but that's up to you.
cool :) i saw a lot of people on here talking about the arcadia, so i think ill see about that, too. another i was looking at was the powersun, which is very nice as it seems to last a while longer than some MVBs and is easily locally acessible to me. i was planning on setting up a separate UVB tube to keep up with the UVB degredation of the MVB, though the prospect of a sepatate UVB tube and flood light for heat is very appealing, especially when you look into prices! ill look into both options and decide. i keep my MVBs at correct distance for wattage, i guess my only concern is my houses own consistent temp and my boys happiness in the end.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I've tested a 100w PowerSun and I like the wide beam it produces, however I was disappointed by the relatively dim visible light output and found that the UVB output decreased pretty rapidly. Due to this, I don't recommend them any longer, although they are OK in a pinch if that's what you have available. The MegaRay is quite a bit brighter and the UVB output is more consistent over time - they just have a narrower beam which may not allow for an adult to bask evenly. If you can get the UK Arcadia, it's worth the price IMO. The one I have has excellent UVB output and is very bright, even after a year+ of use. Another budget option I've tested is a 100w Lucky Herp. The one I tested worked surprisingly well and has minimal output degredation over time. I still use one as a travel bulb. After initial break-in, they do need to sit about 10-12'' or so in order to provide enough UVB. I also can't speak to the quality control between bulbs since I only tested 1.
Otherwise if you go with a T5 tube, I also recommend an Arcadia 12% set at around 12'' above the main basking area. I've used one of these for years and it continues to produce excellent amounts of UVB.
 

manticorebug

Member
Original Poster
I've tested a 100w PowerSun and I like the wide beam it produces, however I was disappointed by the relatively dim visible light output and found that the UVB output decreased pretty rapidly. Due to this, I don't recommend them any longer, although they are OK in a pinch if that's what you have available. The MegaRay is quite a bit brighter and the UVB output is more consistent over time - they just have a narrower beam which may not allow for an adult to bask evenly. If you can get the UK Arcadia, it's worth the price IMO. The one I have has excellent UVB output and is very bright, even after a year+ of use. Another budget option I've tested is a 100w Lucky Herp. The one I tested worked surprisingly well and has minimal output degredation over time. I still use one as a travel bulb. After initial break-in, they do need to sit about 10-12'' or so in order to provide enough UVB. I also can't speak to the quality control between bulbs since I only tested 1.
Otherwise if you go with a T5 tube, I also recommend an Arcadia 12% set at around 12'' above the main basking area. I've used one of these for years and it continues to produce excellent amounts of UVB.
awesome! i found the arcadia you were talking about and was actually surprised by the price, as its not that bad at all, especially if they last as long as you say! if i were to pair it with a T5 tube from the start would it be alright?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
The whole kit is around $170 or so which isn't bad for what you get. The T5 combo is cheaper, but they both last a pretty long time (and you only need to replace the bulb when needed rather than the whole setup and those aren't much more expensive than the ones you'd find at the chain stores). I probably wouldn't pair the two because that could create too much UVB. I like using MVBs for travel and for basking spots outside of the enclosure. I use the T5 for the enclosure paired with an incandescent BR40 bulb for heat ($10 for two at the local hardware store). If you are getting proper temps with an MVB you could use it in the enclosure on its own, that just comes down to your surface temp readings when the bulb is set at the appropriate distance.
 

manticorebug

Member
Original Poster
The whole kit is around $170 or so which isn't bad for what you get. The T5 combo is cheaper, but they both last a pretty long time (and you only need to replace the bulb when needed rather than the whole setup and those aren't much more expensive than the ones you'd find at the chain stores). I probably wouldn't pair the two because that could create too much UVB. I like using MVBs for travel and for basking spots outside of the enclosure. I use the T5 for the enclosure paired with an incandescent BR40 bulb for heat ($10 for two at the local hardware store). If you are getting proper temps with an MVB you could use it in the enclosure on its own, that just comes down to your surface temp readings when the bulb is set at the appropriate distance.
alrighty. i like what you said about the T5 and heat bulb a lot, i was trying my hardest to figure out which heat bulbs you could pair with a T5 and i was having a hard time. if you could send possible links to what you use for that kind of set up, thatd be super neat :) i've been using MVBs for a while and this whole convo and lots of research is helping me realize maybe a T5 and heat bulb may be a cheaper option with more benefits. he is housed in a 60 gal tank by the way!
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
This is similar to (Same bulb, different fixture) what I have for UVB in my enclosure. Arcadia PRO t5 Fixture 12% Bulb 35" SALE

For basking, I have rotated quite a lot, testing different bulbs. I've used GE PAR38 halogen bulbs for years. They are good, but heavy, and the glass used can cause some hot spots. I have also used Bulbrite halogen bulbs which are nice and bright, produce a good amount of heat, but they don't have built in reflectors (require a dome fixture) and are prone to cracking. https://www.amazon.com/Bulbrite-Q100CL-EDT-120-Volt-100-Watt/dp/B002JJXY5I/ I also have several of these on hand which are cheap and work well but aren't incredibly bright (which is OK when paired with a good T5) and they are large due to the built in bulge reflector Westinghouse 125 W R40 Heat Lamp Incandescent Light Bulb Medium Base Clear 2 pk - Ace Hardware
 

manticorebug

Member
Original Poster
This is similar to (Same bulb, different fixture) what I have for UVB in my enclosure. Arcadia PRO t5 Fixture 12% Bulb 35" SALE

For basking, I have rotated quite a lot, testing different bulbs. I've used GE PAR38 halogen bulbs for years. They are good, but heavy, and the glass used can cause some hot spots. I have also used Bulbrite halogen bulbs which are nice and bright, produce a good amount of heat, but they don't have built in reflectors (require a dome fixture) and are prone to cracking. https://www.amazon.com/Bulbrite-Q100CL-EDT-120-Volt-100-Watt/dp/B002JJXY5I/ I also have several of these on hand which are cheap and work well but aren't incredibly bright (which is OK when paired with a good T5) and they are large due to the built in bulge reflector Westinghouse 125 W R40 Heat Lamp Incandescent Light Bulb Medium Base Clear 2 pk - Ace Hardware
thank you so much for all your suggestions!!
 

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