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AHBD Sicko
So it comes down to the batches that were sold that have red or gold ends. the ones with silver ends are good ?


Sub-Adult Member
I really don't know for sure. I wasn't really aware of a connection with the colored end capped bulbs till Fran made that statement. I didn't even know what color mine were till I looked today. I guess there were some people with gold capped bulbs that had low readings. I assume from Fran's statement that she tested those with gold/red caps in the past or maybe she's going off what others have said but I don't know for sure. I guess the new bulbs zoomed have put out are silver capped ends. Just want people to be aware and not run into issues due to their uvb output and be aware when they purchase new ones.

Taterbug Addict
I'm not sure why people are so threatened by "closed groups" but Fran's group on FB and before that on Yahoo! have always been easy to join and aren't some sort of conspiracy to hide information. I've seen more people kicked off this forum for not agreeing with mods than that one.

There is very little in the way of "peer reviewed" researching on these topics and aside from her work barely any vetting of lamps for quality and reliability. By the way, peer review doesn't mean commentary from the Internet self proclaimed experts; this forum is in absolutely no way a more reputable source than any group on FB just because it's not "closed". Citizen science is the best we have and going where the information is being discussed is a lot better than just claiming things aren't a problem because they weren't a problem before. For how much we promote "doing research" here it's shocking and disappointing to see how quickly people fall back on confirmation bias and "trust".

I don't want to wade into the Zoomed thing any further than the lamp I tested was 30% weaker than a used bulb, and I don't personally endorse them anymore. As far as Fran announcing publicly.... there are probably a number of reasons, though I would put money on conspiracy not being one of them.

That said the BUSINESS side of things isn't that hard to understand. Why would Zoomed issue a recall for products that aren't technically dangerous? People sure are quick to defend a company that actively sells so many harmful products and has in the past sold dangerous lights. Does anyone know of the UV-C emitting lights ever had a recall campaign, pretty sure they did not. Manufacturing situations are not so black and white that this sort of thing couldn't happen again.

Being critical of only information contrary to what you believe and not of what you already believe is foolish.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
I have only tested 1 and it has the gold caps. It showed decent output but was outperformed by an Arcadia equivalent. I would be interested to see results from a wider test field as well as a comparison between batches. I may run my bulb for a while to see if there is an issue with faster than normal degradation as I've only run it for an hour or so total.


Well, this is great. I bought a T5 10.0 bulb and hood because it was so highly recommended here. Now it isn't? It was also recommend by the reptile store I bought my beardie from. This store has a solarmeter and will check bulbs for free. I don't see why they would recommend it if they were getting less than ideal findings consistently.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
The issue doesn't appear to be across the board, but rather with a batch of them not producing as high of an output as normal. They are generally quite good though and I still recommend them. If the store has a Solarmeter and offers testing that's great. I'd have them test the UVI (assuming Solarmeter 6.5, otherwise uW/cm2 with a 6.2) and see what it is producing at about 12'' below the bulb. It should be somewhere between about 4-6 UVI or between about 150-200 uW/cm2. If their reading is much lower than that, then the bulb may be defective.


CooperDragon ~ Thank you for the input! I will definitely have my bulb checked out just to be safe. I'm sure that almost every large company has put out a batch of defective products accidentally at some point. Is it a common or rare occurance is what matters most to me. I don't believe it is common in this case, otherwise they wouldn't be so highly recommended for so long. So I will keep using Reptisun bulbs and just get their UVB output checked if I have concerns. My beardie is just a baby so having proper UVB is obviously quite critical to his future health.


Hatchling Member
Hi, guys.
Someone directed me to this thread (as sadly, I can't monitor all the forums I belong to, as I used to do)... I'm very sad to hear that some people regard the Facebook Reptile Lighting Group as somehow "covert" and imply that things discussed there are being "kept from the public eye", this is EXACTLY the opposite to what the group was set up for... to enable open discussion and make lamp test results widely available.
Every group I join requires registration and log-in, Bearded is no exception. So how can "joining" a Facebook group be any different? I'm a moderator on that group, and I check in four or five new members every day; as far as I know we have only ever "banned" two people, both of which were Chinese lighting salespeople simply advertising their products! We now have nearly 1,500 members, so we are hardly keeping secrets. My lamp test results are in the Files there. Anyone can join the group and read them.
I have not updated the UV Guide UK website for many years - I just don't have time. I removed ALL the lamp test results from there several years ago, because they were all out of date.
The Reptiles Magazine article belongs to Reptiles Magazine - I cannot update or edit it.

Now, let's clear up the situation regarding the ZooMed Reptisun tubes (both T5-HO and T8.)
Back in the spring, people with Solarmeters were starting to report low readings from these products. Previously, they had virtually identical output to the Arcadia T8 and T5-HO tubes. But now, people were reporting up to 50% lower from their replacement tubes.
Your own members Taterbug, Cooperdragon Kyleena29 and Drache613 reported this: way back in March.
Around that time, people had told me about it so I too investigated it, and came to the conclusion that the tubes they were testing not only had a lower output, they also looked different. I discovered that I was actually using some of these new ones myself, and they did have a lower output than previous ones I'd owned. I wondered if ZooMed had changed manufacturers. However, there was NO danger posed by these lamps. They were still perfectly safe, just more like some other lamps widely available from other brands, with lower outputs. There was never any reason to start alarming folks who had bought these lamps, and no need for a recall.
Of course, I contacted ZooMed and requested samples, though, to confirm that the lower output was not just from one batch, but was the result of different specs. I was told that they had become aware of a lower output with the current products and were remedying this. Instead of samples of the current lamps, they would be sending me new "improved" lamps to trial, along with a new improved reflective fixture.
The samples arrived in August, but I have been very busy with other work and so it is only now that I have started testing them. I can confirm that the output is now back to what it was from lamps before the change in appearance last year (and they now look like the original ones, too) but it will be several weeks before I can finish the testing and put the new test results up in the Reptile Lighting Files for everyone to see.

With best wishes,
Frances Baines

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
Thanks for the clarification and update! Always much appreciated. Are the gold colored caps the appropriate way to identify the lower output bulbs? As mentioned, they didn't appear harmful, just slightly less powerful than previously reported and than current Arcadia 12% bulbs (the couple that I tested anyway). The one I tested would still provide adequate UVB at about 6-12'' through a screen or about 8-14'' without a screen based on UVI readings.


Thank you for clearing all of that up, Frances. :notworthy:

I don't think people had a problem with registering or logging in. It's probably the fact that you cannot just read the information. You have to join first. To some people that can seem shady or like information is being kept hidden. Take this forum for example... You don't have to be a member to read threads or anything. People need to keep in mind it's a Facebook group though. You have members real names showing and such, so I can understand why the group content is hidden unless you join.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
CooperDragon":3gqvgoc9 said:
I have only tested 1 and it has the gold caps. It showed decent output but was outperformed by an Arcadia equivalent. I would be interested to see results from a wider test field as well as a comparison between batches. I may run my bulb for a while to see if there is an issue with faster than normal degradation as I've only run it for an hour or so total.
Personally , I WILL NOT USE FACE BOOK - period. I stopped using my acct at FB over 6 years ago and can't be bothered reactivating it.

So it seems something went wrong with the phosphor coating line when the batch of 10s which are identifyable by GOLD CAPS , but not the entire batch , that makes sense.

So the question is how many of the GOLD CAPPED tubes are dodgey and where in the production run they were ie
>> mid stream til the operator spotted the process was drifting outside the product / process specs ?
>> towards the end of the production run ?
and are they taking regular sample tubes from the process for performance testing in the laboratory ?
Are they measuring the phosphors performance / finished tubes performance in real time , and the chemistry of the phosphors in real time with regular sampling and automated analysis, and the thickness of the phosphors in realtime and tracking these parameters ?
Surely the manufacturer has a very good idea of the extent of the problem if they have adequate quality control and process control systems in place and their operators are properly trained and are on the ball.

Why aren't they requiring all distributers and retailers to remove the suspected dodgey Gold Caps from stock to be returned or destroyed ?


Hatchling Member
Hi, KingofNobbys.
Please read my post above; there was never a "bad batch", there was a different manufacturer.
All the tubes from this manufacturer over the last year or so, at least, appear to have been manufactured with a phosphor or glass or both, which did not produce as much UVB as those from the previous manufacturer.
There was never a need for a recall, because the lamps were never "bad", never likely to cause harm, just weaker than those previously. And once they were alerted to this ZooMed appear to have reverted to the original manufacturer, at least that's what it looks like... and so the way forward is for the newer bulbs to replace the older ones as stocks are replenished.
I don't have any insider info or input into exactly what tests, quality controls etc are done by ZooMed, but suppliers often do change specs mid-contract, too, and I know of one example from about 10 years ago when another company didn't even know what they were selling (a mercury vapour lamp) had suddenly got a completely different bulb shape as well as output!


Hatchling Member
Akire and Cooperdragon, thank you for your input.
Firstly, please be reassured - none of the ZooMed tubes, from older or newer batches, are "dodgy" as has been implied. They are perfectly good tubes. A few years ago we would all have got very excited over their high output; it's just that now, we expect even higher.
I have just tested a red-capped 5.0 and a silver-capped 5.0 and can confirm that the silver one has about 50% higher UVB than the red one. Both are good tubes but one is higher output than the other. I have no sample of gold-capped 10.0 tubes to compare, but I've seen enough readings from other people to say that I'm pretty sure the same applies, however.
The colour of the end caps does seem to reflect different manufacturers, red and gold earlier, all silver now. But there is also a difference in the batch number stamp. The new silver ones have a sequence of numbers in a light yellow-brown ink at the opposite end to the logo. The coloured-capped ones have numbers printed in black.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
That's pretty poor quality control , and sounds a bit like a case of passing the buck.

I've worked most my working life in quality control as an analytic chemist , then an process engineer, and the way things worked in my industry what you say is thought to have happened would fly without large penalties to the supplier. Suppliers do not just go and change the specs without expensive quality testing and product trials to prove their product remains IN SPEC and FIT FOR PURPOSE , in my industry if something failed spec , it was downgraded to a spec that it did fit or it was scrapped, and this meant the supplier had to either resupply in spec or a large financial penalty was incurred.
Out of spec product rarely got past the gate, in my industries case, failure of a product was likely to result in cataclysmic failure of a bridge , car component , machine part , air craft part .

So really , Zoo Med's response so far wrt their retail customers has not been good enough.
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