Do You Use a Sunblaster T5 Fixture? - Read

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Claudiusx

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Recently we have discovered that some sunblaster reflectors are not reflecting UV like they should be. Sunblaster has not responded to questions yet, and Frances is having members of her lighting group test their reflectors too. As we learn more this thread will be updated.

We are working on a method so that you can test if your reflector is working at home, without needing a UV meter.

If you have a sunblaster fixture, and you have a UV meter, please test your reflector by measuring its UV output with reflector on, and then with reflector off. Distance won't matter too greatly as long as both tests you perform are at the same distance.

For the time being, if you are worried that your reflector may not be working, you have two options. You can remove the reflective strip from your reflector (leaving just the black plastic part of the reflector) and moving it closer to your basking surface.
Or, you can make a reflector yourself out of some smoothly folded aluminum foil. Then just put this in between the bulb and the sunblaster reflector and you will make sure your output is doubled like you expect.

If you have any questions or concerns, please post.

Thank you.
 

Claudiusx

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Here is what I would do personally if you don't have a UV meter to verify your reflecter is working



Cut a piece of aluminum foil to the length of your bulb, minus a half inch or so. Doesn't need to be precise. But do pay attention to the shinny side vs. the dull side. We want the shinny side to be the reflective surface we work with.
31715-4532768088.jpg

Next simply fold it in half. Try to keep everything as smooth as possible. The smoother the better.
31715-2700517727.jpg

Fold in half 1 more time and you are basically done.
31715-6774873272.jpg

You can put a slight curve in it to make it easier to place in between your bulb and fixture like this:
31715-2046586001.jpg

You can see in this picture how I placed it:
31715-2252211501.jpg

Doing this WILL work as good as a working sunblaster reflector. And it will not cause any issue to your current reflector if it is working. And it will not increase the UVI further if your reflector was already working.

It's just a safe method to use to make sure your dragon is getting the recommended UVI at the recommended distance.
 
Brandon (or anyone) - quick question - do you believe the "nano" sunblaster has the same issue (see below)? It talks about 300% more reflectability - am I going to get too much out of this? I also found the "biodude" one below - at $10 difference, I'd just assume get whats going to work best. And if anyone has input on cheaper 36" fixture (with good reflector) - I'm all ears. Don't necessarily want to go the tin foil route - new build - we're wanting everything to look real nice..
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKKUD3Y/ref=twister_B07XG6ZGCB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.thebiodude.com/products/t5-ho-single-bulb-light-strip-36
 

Claudiusx

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Hi there,

Sunblaster only makes one reflector (now) which is the reflector with the "nanotechnology".

They don't elaborate on what this actually means, and speculation is it's just a marketing term.

To this date, Sunblaster still hasn't responded to any of our e mails.

Aluminum is one of the best reflective materials on the planet. Reflecting nearly 99% of visible light, and over 90% of the uv wavelengths. Most reflectors are in fact made out of aluminum, so making your own out of aluminum foil is just as effective as long as you can keep the surface smooth (not creased/crumpled)

1dhollister":22s7e733 said:
It talks about 300% more reflectability
Most likely another marketing term. Anything can be 300% more when compared to something subpar. My new 2020 car is 300% more fuel efficient... (than a 1908 model T) So since we don't know what their comparison is for this 300%, we can't really put much thought into that figure.

What we do know, is that when their reflector is working, it does effectively double (100% increase) the output of our uvb bulbs. However, the ones tested that don't, are a 0% increase, aka they do nothing.
However, if you make an aluminum foil reflector (even if you use the sunblaster reflector and put aluminum foil over it) you will get close to the 100% increase. In the ones I made I got near 95-98% increase. And that was with not even being very careful about smoothness.

So just to be clear, the sunblaster reflector is a decent reflector as long as it's not one of the bad ones. The unfortunate issue is, we don't know how to tell the bad ones apart from the good ones yet as they look identical. The only way to know for sure is to have a UV meter and measure output with and without the reflector on.

I am working on a method for the average hobbyist to be able to test their reflector at home, without the need for a 200$ UV meter. I will update this thread once I come up with something.

So I'm sorry, I can't come up with a decent recommendation for you at this point. It does appear that more are working than not, but there is still the chance that there is a bad batch floating around out there waiting to be sold off.
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":322e7z2b said:
Recently we have discovered that some sunblaster reflectors are not reflecting UV like they should be.
Swell. That could explain why the UVI values I'm getting aren't anywhere near those we previously discussed, and I had to build a 15" basking tower out of brick & slate. Makes me glad I invested in that Solarmeter.

Don't have time to run the test right now--maybe later in the week.
So since they're not responding to inquiries, I spoze there's no way to tell what they're going to do about replacing defective reflectors, either.... :|
 

Claudiusx

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience too. I was hoping you'd be able to let me know your results since I know you have the reflector and solarmeter.

Quick dirty test would just be to put some aluminum foil over it and see if it increases. or easier yet, remove the reflector completely and see if the reading drops. In my case, removing the reflector caused no change in UVI level, a clear indication of a faulty reflector.
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
Was There Ever Any Question?

With my luck with these lights? I got a bad one. :angry5:
In fact, the numbers are slightly better without the reflector!

The basking platform is 16"L x 8"W, parallel to the bulb, and the bulb runs dead center down the platform. After removing the reflector, I still allowed a few minutes for the bulb to re-warm up. Going around the platform:

________With_____Without Reflector
Back_____1.3_______2.4
Right____2.2_______2.3
Front____2.2_______2.8
Left_____3.4_______3.4

The difference between Right & Left sides is due to the Right side being close(r) to the end of the bulb, while the Left side is further from the end toward the middle.

I spoze I may try the aluminum foil fix, but I paid for a reflector that doesn't (IMO) perform as advertised. Did anyone inform these folks that they're risking losing a sizable reptile market once this goes public?

I spoze they could be holding back until they have a fix and can offer a replacement/remedy, but it ain't good PR to just ignore inquiries.

Now I'm pissed-off as my perpetually pissed-off lizard... Maybe moreso. :angry5:
 

Claudiusx

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Interesting results thanks for sharing.

How pathetic, the ceiling of your enclosure (or the reflectance from the fixture itself) is most likely more reflective than their bogus reflectors.

I have told them many times that thousands upon thousands of people have their reflectors for reptile use. Still no response. I've tried 3 different contact methods for them.

They however dont claim their reflectors to actually be for reptile use. All they "claim" their reflectors to do is increase the lumen output. Although I dont really see that being the case either, however I have no means of testing that.

I will once again try to get in contact with them. Maybe they were just swamped over the holidays?
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":1j1pbxw1 said:
How pathetic, the ceiling of your enclosure (or the reflectance from the fixture itself) is most likely more reflective than their bogus reflectors.
My money would be on the fixture. The ceiling is painted flat sky-blue--not all that reflective.

I briefly wondered if it was an angle thing (gotta be right under the reflector) but the left & right side measurements debunked that notion.

claudiusx":1j1pbxw1 said:
They however dont claim their reflectors to actually be for reptile use. All they "claim" their reflectors to do is increase the lumen output. Although I dont really see that being the case either, however I have no means of testing that.
lumen meter
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":w7l28x7b said:
You can see in this picture how I placed it:
Not really. It looks to me like your aluminum foil is folded into a "tent" :?:
And the tent is resting directly on the bulb :?:
I assume we don't want any foil contacting the metal parts at the ends of the... ZAP :shock:
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
OK, I futzed around with the aluminum foil the way you suggested, and a few other ways I thought of myself, but I can't say it made enough of a difference to be worthwhile. It sure didn't double the UVI values. Adding the best foil numbers to those above I got:

________With_____Without Reflector____Foil
Back_____1.3_______2.4________________4.3
Right____2.2_______2.3________________2.2
Front____2.2_______2.8________________3.0
Left_____3.4_______3.4________________4.1

Towards the back seemed to make the biggest difference/increase, but owing to the difficulty taking that reading (I may have tilted the Solarmeter toward the bulb instead of straight up) it may be an aberration.

Do you know if anyone has tried calling Sunblaster?
 
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