ALLEGED PROBLEMS WITH REPTISUN T5HO 10%UVB TUBES (IN 2017)

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kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
lilacdragon":33f0bm77 said:
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.

<<< that's not good enough,
either the red cap 5% needs to be relabeled 3%
or the silver capped 5% relabeled 7.5% ,

depending on the microW UVB / sq.cm these tubes are putting out at a standard distance ,

very few keepers own a solarmeter so they are reliant on the output from the tubes they buy being ON SPEC and a 5% tube producing like equivalent 5% tubes from other manufacturers ,

and similarly a 10% tube producing like equivalent 10% tubes from other manufacturers , no iffs no buts .

Users need to be able to use these tubes and be sure the output is as marketed.


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.
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Kingofnobbys, I appreciate what you are saying.
There is however no point in re-labelling anything - the red and gold-capped tubes are no longer in production.
It is also a sad truth that although many individual companies do keep a tight control (or at least, some control) on their quality - and I always thought that ZooMed was in this category - there are NO international or national regulations, restrictions or even recognised specifications for ANY reptile lighting product. UVB lamps for human tanning are very strictly controlled. But as for our reptiles - zilch, nada.
That is why there are still Chinese companies sending samples of dangerous lamps leaking UVC to unsuspecting small companies wanting to launch an "own brand" reptile lamp. I saw such a spectrum only a week ago.
There is also, with some types of lamp, a serious difficulty manufacturing to spec. For example, even the best mercury vapour lamp manufacturers accept a tolerance of +/- 30%, yes 30% more or less than the spec - so one lamp could in theory be 60% different in output to the next and both would be acceptable. Fluorescent tubes are a lot better but there will still be a fairly wide tolerance. Everyone who's ever tested lamps knows that it's rare to get two identical lamps even from the same shelf. I'm not trying to excuse ZooMed, just pointing out that this UVB lamp manufacturing is not as simple as it seems.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
There will be engineering standards in place for the manufacture of these tubes , they be in the
•ISO Standards
•JSA Standards
•IEC Standards
•ASA Standards
•IETA Standards
•BS EN Standards
etc
in particular IEC 62471:2006 and BS EN 62471:2008. Essentially if the tubes are made in your country the engineering standards committees for the national standards association will draw up a standard that gives guidance on the manufacture of , testing off , and specifications for , the products that a manufacture must meet to remain "credentialed" and "an approved" manufacturers.
Audit do occur, I've been involved in such engineering and testing association (NATA in my case) audits.

The Chinese get hold of the patents and products and reverse engineer them to manufacture then them on the cheap and simply ignore the standards in place in the EU and in Japan and other developed nations.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
lilacdragon":1d13jriw said:
Kingofnobbys, I appreciate what you are saying.
There is however no point in re-labelling anything - the red and gold-capped tubes are no longer in production.
It is also a sad truth that although many individual companies do keep a tight control (or at least, some control) on their quality - and I always thought that ZooMed was in this category - there are NO international or national regulations, restrictions or even recognised specifications for ANY reptile lighting product. UVB lamps for human tanning are very strictly controlled. But as for our reptiles - zilch, nada.
That is why there are still Chinese companies sending samples of dangerous lamps leaking UVC to unsuspecting small companies wanting to launch an "own brand" reptile lamp. I saw such a spectrum only a week ago.
There is also, with some types of lamp, a serious difficulty manufacturing to spec. For example, even the best mercury vapour lamp manufacturers accept a tolerance of +/- 30%, yes 30% more or less than the spec - so one lamp could in theory be 60% different in output to the next and both would be acceptable. Fluorescent tubes are a lot better but there will still be a fairly wide tolerance. Everyone who's ever tested lamps knows that it's rare to get two identical lamps even from the same shelf. I'm not trying to excuse ZooMed, just pointing out that this UVB lamp manufacturing is not as simple as it seems.

Never said it was easy or simple .... and I've been on light globe and fluorescent tube manufacturing plants and seen them in action and knew engineers and chemists who worked there and ran the local plants. So I'm not plucking things out the air here, I am talking from engineering and chemistry and applied physicist experience.
 

Aziara

Member
So I just checked my new bulb, that I just got in the mail a few days ago. It's got gold caps and black numbers printed on the bulb...
So what's the procedure? Do I contact the company about getting a new one? Or will this output still fall within acceptable parameters for amount of UVB??
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
That, Aziara, is the million-dollar question...
To answer that, if you don't have a Solarmeter 6.5, and don't know anyone with one, or a store offering to test it for you.... first we need to know what is the typical output of one of these gold-ended tubes.
So...
What type (T8 or T5-HO) and wattage is your bulb?
What fixture do you have - does it have an aluminum reflector?
and...
who on this forum has tested one like this and can tell us what the readings are?

Aziara, there won't be anything wrong with your lamp, and it will have a reasonable UVB output. It's just a question of estimating how far it needs to be from your dragon, for best effect.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
These are the results I recorded with a Solarmeter 6.5. Gold cap T5 22'' in a ZooMed hood w/reflector.

76248-5109533737.jpg

I still have this on hand and will be happy to test any configuration in real time if it would be helpful.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I just tested again directly under the bulb, no mesh in the way and I'm getting 3-6 UVI between 10-16'' from the bulb. Being able to achieve that range at safe distances is a good sign. If the output between bulbs is close and you have the same fixture you should see similar results and I recommend putting the fixture within that range above the main basking zone.

For comparison, when I put a 22'' Arcadia 12% bulb in the same fixture it produces UVI readings of 8.9 and 4.5 at 10 and 16''. The ReptiSun is still quite adequate, it just needs to be slightly closer than the Arcadia to achieve the desired UVI exposure.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Aziara":3vwiv6vi said:
So I just checked my new bulb, that I just got in the mail a few days ago. It's got gold caps and black numbers printed on the bulb...
So what's the procedure? Do I contact the company about getting a new one? Or will this output still fall within acceptable parameters for amount of UVB??

I'd take up the offer. Least that way you will know you have a good tube.

Every one should do so if they qualify.

Don't let them off the hook by adapting to the lower output , I also recall someone mentioning these tubes were decaying a lot faster then they should as well.
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Those results are excellent.... a UVI of 3 at beardie level in the basking zone is plenty.
Thank you so much... it's good to know the facts.
So basically, with a good reflective fixture these ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 tubes with the gold caps are still perfectly fine for beardies, at very sensible basking distances.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
The decay is a valid concern. I will leave mine running for a while now that I have some readings with it new and try to find out if it's decaying at an increased rate.

The Arcadia 12% (SunBlaze fixture) in my main enclosure is just over 3 years old and still putting out UVI 4.4 at 13'' above the main basking zone.
 

Aziara

Member
So I just got off the phone with ZooMed....I feel like I just got bullsh*tted...
"There's no 'bad batch', all bulbs are giving adequate UVB. Too much UVB is bad for their eyes, you don't want too much!" She kept trying to convince me that there was no 'bad batch', no problems whatsoever, everything is fine here move along...And that "too much UVB = BAD"....
To which, I keep asking, "I paid good money for a HO, is it still a high output or not??" I couldn't get a straight answer out of her whatsoever.
She kept asking me "where did you hear this???" To which I said "Other reptile keepers with Solarmeters"
The only way to prove, and get a replacement, is to bring it to someone with a Solarmeter. Otherwise, I just have to trust what's written on the package, and they won't send me a replacement. Do any know of somewhere in south Louisiana I can bring it to?

I'm so mad right now... :angry5:
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I don't know that it's worth getting too mad over. The output is still pretty darn good and can easily get within daylight basking levels when set between 10-16'' over the basking site. Not knowing the decay, I'd stick with the rule of thumb to replace the bulb after 12 months unless you find a local reptile shop that may have a Solarmeter to help you test the output of your specific bulb.
 

Akire

Member
Aziara":1sy6ld03 said:
So I just got off the phone with ZooMed....I feel like I just got bullsh*tted...
"There's no 'bad batch', all bulbs are giving adequate UVB. Too much UVB is bad for their eyes, you don't want too much!" She kept trying to convince me that there was no 'bad batch', no problems whatsoever, everything is fine here move along...And that "too much UVB = BAD"....
To which, I keep asking, "I paid good money for a HO, is it still a high output or not??" I couldn't get a straight answer out of her whatsoever.
She kept asking me "where did you hear this???" To which I said "Other reptile keepers with Solarmeters"
The only way to prove, and get a replacement, is to bring it to someone with a Solarmeter. Otherwise, I just have to trust what's written on the package, and they won't send me a replacement. Do any know of somewhere in south Louisiana I can bring it to?

I'm so mad right now... :angry5:

To be fair, she wasn't wrong. Frances said there was no "bad batch". That would imply the bulb doesn't produce adequate UVB, which they do... just not as strongly as they did before and they possibly burn out quicker. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding of the situation.
 
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