Lighting Help for Newbies (:

Diggity

New member
are the 24w 6400k T5 (for indoor vegetables) bulbs that come with t5 fixtures sufficient for beardies? I bought a reptisun 10.0 t5 but my fixture from my local hydroponics store came with a bulb... I didn't know what the difference was? there is nothing marked on the included t5 bulb except 6400k, 24w. Thanks in advance for info!
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
Diggity":75b3ynjt said:
are the 24w 6400k T5 (for indoor vegetables) bulbs that come with t5 fixtures sufficient for beardies? I bought a reptisun 10.0 t5 but my fixture from my local hydroponics store came with a bulb... I didn't know what the difference was? there is nothing marked on the included t5 bulb except 6400k, 24w. Thanks in advance for info!

They are fine to use but don't emit UV. I use two for ambient light along with a reptile branded (Arcadia in my case) UV bulb. UV bulbs have special phosphors and use special glass that a regular grow light doesn't.
 

tee1172

Member
I am a newbie and was wondering if someone could show me how they hooked there strip light to their screen I guess that's how everyone did it. Will be getting a bay and want to get the 20 gallon tank set up before hand to make sure temps are correct. Please show some recent pics of lighting. TIA
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
A 20g tank is pretty small. I'd invest in a larger setup from the start if you can. If you have a T8 I'd just put it on top of a 20g and build the basking area up to within 6'' of the light but if you go with a larger tank I'd get a T5 fixture and light and put that right on top of the tank about 12'' above the basking area. Some people mount the lower power T8 inside a larger tank using command hooks or wire or industrial velcro. I don't feel that this provides adequate UVB exposure and prefer a larger tank with a high power UVB light instead.
 
Jess":2zf8a79u said:
I've been told I should make this, so here it goes LOL. :)

Here is a basic lighting setup for a beardie. The cage in this picture is a 40 gallon breeder, but the same goes for larger and smaller cages as well.
( * = Optional )

DSC008142.jpg


Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months.
**Note: Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, so you shouldn't throw away your used ReptiSuns. Take them to a facility that will dispose of them for you. Some hardware stores such as Home Depot may take your used bulbs for you.

Is there a difference between UVB and UVA?
Yes, UVB rays are a shorter wavelength than UVA rays. UVB rays are from the sun, and they are what cause you to tan. Beardies need UVB rays to process D3 and calcium. UVA comes from any light bulb that produces visual light. So when purchasing a UVB bulb, make sure it says that it emits UVB, not just UVA!

How should I mount my UVB light?
Screen filters out UVB light, so the best way to do it is to mount the light inside of your cage. You can easily do this by purchasing an under-the-counter fluorescent fixture ($9 at Walmart) and 3M command hooks. Just stick the hooks on the back wall of your cage, and hang the light fixture from them.

How many watts should my basking light be?
Since there are a number of things that can affect the temperature in the cage, such as the size of the cage, how well insulated it is, how far away the basking light is, the room temperature of your house, ect. there isn't one light bulb that will work for everyone. For my 40 gallon, I used flood and halogen bulbs there were between 50-65 watts. In my wooden 4x2x2, I use flood lights that are between 30-45 watts. Keep in mind that flood lights, spot lights, and halogen bulbs will be hotter than a regular light bulb because they are more focused in one spot. Wooden cages will also be more insulated and hold more heat than glass cages, so they may need less watts to maintain a good temperature.

Do I need a light on the cool side?
Technically you don't, but it can be helpful. I used a regular house light in mine for some extra heat during the winter, and during the summer I use a coiled "energy saver" light bulb to add some visual light. Otherwise the cool side tends to be rather dark. Since visual light/UVA helps stimulate a beardie's appetite and encourages them to be more active, having more bright lights is never a bad thing!

How should I position my UVB light?
The UVB light should be preferably with in 6-10" of the basking spot, so your beardie can absorb the optimum amount of UVB. The UVB light should also be positioned along side the basking light, for two reasons: So your bearded dragon can absorb UVB while they are basking, and because having a bright white light next to the UVB light helps to protect their eyes from any damage the UVB rays might cause.

How should I heat my cage at night?
Additional heating is only needed if the temps drop below 65*F. A ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is the best way to heat your cage at night, because it does not give off visual light that will disturb your beardie's sleep, and unlike an under tank heater, there is no possibility of it shorting out and burning them during the night.

How should I measure the temperature?
Digital thermometers and infrared temperature guns are the most accurate way to measure temperatures. Dial and stick on thermometers can be as much as 20*F off in wither direction. The Acurite digital indoor/outdoor thermometer (Walmart for $12) can be used by placing the probe on the basking spot, and placing the monitor on the opposite end of the cage to got the temperature readings of the hot and cool side of the cage.

What should my temperatures be?
The cool side should be between 75 - 85*F. For an adult, basking spots should be 95 - 105*F. Babies and juveniles like it a little hotter at 105 - 110*F.

Well, that should answer some of the basic questions. :wink:




Can you send pics of the lighting you use for all of them because my beardie isn't eating or being very active he is just in his house all the time *not sleeping all the time only at night*
and is dark but is bright when he is outside getting natural lighting. Please and thank you!! :D
 

AsianKido

Member
Jess":26v5m5j4 said:
I've been told I should make this, so here it goes LOL. :)

Here is a basic lighting setup for a beardie. The cage in this picture is a 40 gallon breeder, but the same goes for larger and smaller cages as well.
( * = Optional )

DSC008142.jpg


Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months.
**Note: Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, so you shouldn't throw away your used ReptiSuns. Take them to a facility that will dispose of them for you. Some hardware stores such as Home Depot may take your used bulbs for you.

Is there a difference between UVB and UVA?
Yes, UVB rays are a shorter wavelength than UVA rays. UVB rays are from the sun, and they are what cause you to tan. Beardies need UVB rays to process D3 and calcium. UVA comes from any light bulb that produces visual light. So when purchasing a UVB bulb, make sure it says that it emits UVB, not just UVA!

How should I mount my UVB light?
Screen filters out UVB light, so the best way to do it is to mount the light inside of your cage. You can easily do this by purchasing an under-the-counter fluorescent fixture ($9 at Walmart) and 3M command hooks. Just stick the hooks on the back wall of your cage, and hang the light fixture from them.

How many watts should my basking light be?
Since there are a number of things that can affect the temperature in the cage, such as the size of the cage, how well insulated it is, how far away the basking light is, the room temperature of your house, ect. there isn't one light bulb that will work for everyone. For my 40 gallon, I used flood and halogen bulbs there were between 50-65 watts. In my wooden 4x2x2, I use flood lights that are between 30-45 watts. Keep in mind that flood lights, spot lights, and halogen bulbs will be hotter than a regular light bulb because they are more focused in one spot. Wooden cages will also be more insulated and hold more heat than glass cages, so they may need less watts to maintain a good temperature.

Do I need a light on the cool side?
Technically you don't, but it can be helpful. I used a regular house light in mine for some extra heat during the winter, and during the summer I use a coiled "energy saver" light bulb to add some visual light. Otherwise the cool side tends to be rather dark. Since visual light/UVA helps stimulate a beardie's appetite and encourages them to be more active, having more bright lights is never a bad thing!

How should I position my UVB light?
The UVB light should be preferably with in 6-10" of the basking spot, so your beardie can absorb the optimum amount of UVB. The UVB light should also be positioned along side the basking light, for two reasons: So your bearded dragon can absorb UVB while they are basking, and because having a bright white light next to the UVB light helps to protect their eyes from any damage the UVB rays might cause.

How should I heat my cage at night?
Additional heating is only needed if the temps drop below 65*F. A ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is the best way to heat your cage at night, because it does not give off visual light that will disturb your beardie's sleep, and unlike an under tank heater, there is no possibility of it shorting out and burning them during the night.

How should I measure the temperature?
Digital thermometers and infrared temperature guns are the most accurate way to measure temperatures. Dial and stick on thermometers can be as much as 20*F off in wither direction. The Acurite digital indoor/outdoor thermometer (Walmart for $12) can be used by placing the probe on the basking spot, and placing the monitor on the opposite end of the cage to got the temperature readings of the hot and cool side of the cage.

What should my temperatures be?
The cool side should be between 75 - 85*F. For an adult, basking spots should be 95 - 105*F. Babies and juveniles like it a little hotter at 105 - 110*F.

Well, that should answer some of the basic questions. :wink:
What's the best basting light for a 20 gallon tank
 

Qbmafia444

New member
I have a natt geo 24x 18 big for my new 4in beardie so I'm upgrading the lights that came with the kit, I'm thinking of gettin a reprising 10.0 HO T5 across the top of the screen lid which is 24in as well. My question is will that be overkill for my setup ? Also the tank is about 12inches in height
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Qbmafia444":20xybonz said:
I have a bat geo 24x 18 big for my new 4in beardie so I'm upgrading the lights that came with the kit, I'm thinking of gettin a reprising 10.0 HO T5 across the top of the screen lid which is 24in as well. My question is will that be overkill for my setup ? Also the tank is about 12inches in height

How far from the top have you built the basking area? A T5 is a good idea in most cases. Since your enclosure is rather small I'd cheat the fixture to the front or back of the enclosure so you have areas with lower UVB output. This will be less of an issue when you have a larger enclosure and the UVB light only takes up about half.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
That's a bit close for a T5 even through a screen. It might be better to use a T8 w/reflector for now until you can get a bit more space overhead. A T5 is best at about 12'' (10'' or so through a screen) but you still want to give areas of low to no UVB as well as a high level of UVB over the basking site.
 

Nmc8912

Member
I got a 20g tank to start with and bought a 22" reptisun 10 t5 ho uvb bulb. I've been having a hard time finding a fixture for it and the one I ordered from Walmart wound up not fitting. The question I have is should I just get the reptisun mount for it and keep it on top of the cage or get a t8 bulb instead and mount it inside the tank? Is there an increased fire risk with the light on top of the screen? Thanks
 

ZooTim

New member
Just curious, what kind of lamp do you use to hold your flood/halogen basking light? Is it a specific reptile brand lamp or a walmart one?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I use a 300w brooder lamp fixture for my main tank. It works well and was cheap at the local farm supply store. I use the reptile clamp lamps too. They're a bit smaller and more expensive but work. Just be sure to get one that is rated above the wattage of the bulb you plan to use. Having a ceramic base (vs plastic) is a good idea too due to heat.
 

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