Unfortunate News regarding Solar Glo MVB

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puppytoes72

BD.org Sicko
Hi all!
I received my 6.5 uvb meter and lastnight I was testing bulbs like crazy. I set up a test area in the kitchen and tested 5 bulbs.These are all 100w.
*while all the testing was done at 14'' away,when set up in her cage she is 18'' away from the bulb*
First,the BRAND NEW T-Rex Economy,(the one that I was worried about because after 2 days Jojo was closing her eye and wouldn't open it until I put her old bulb back in.) It has had almost 100 hours of burn time.
UVI 8.5 12'' from the "eye" of the sensor to the face of the bulb.
6.3 14''
*I don't know why Jojo acted like this was too strong, because in her viv set-up she is about 18'' away* Frances,do you think this is safe to use? Can I assume there are no harmful/shortwave rays??

Next,the old T-Rex ActiveUV,which she has happily been basking under.*ONE YEAR USE*.
UVI 3.8 14'' away

I found 3 spare T-Rex ActiveUV bulbs in Jojo's cabinet and I tested those.I never throw her old bulbs away :wink:
They have all had about 6 months of use.
Bulb#1
UVI 4.1 14'' away
Bulb#2
UVI 3.0 14"away
Bulb#3
UVI 4.7 14'' away

One thing I noticed is that a 1/2 inch in either direction changed the result drastically.It took time to find the highest reading on each bulb. I held my hand steady on the floor w/ the sensor facing upwards to the bulb and I basically moved my hand around until I found the highest reading (which I guess would be the center of the beam)

So how did I do Frances? What should the ideal reading be? As long as the UVI is ok does that mean it is a safe bulb?
Thanks!
Michele :D
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Original Poster
Hello Michelle,

Congratulations on getting your Solar meter! :D
I have one coming in a week or so, finally. I just decided it was too important with all of the bulb problems.
Do you know what the uW/cm2 was reading? That is the amount of UVB that it is putting out. Did you measure that also?
I know Frances will chime in soon, to answer your questions more specifically. If the UVI is no higher than 6-8, or 9 at a 12 inch distance that should be "safe" as long as there is no short wave frequency being put out.
I can't remember the exact readings of what bearded dragons prefer to bask but I know in the wild they don't bask for long periods of time under direct noonday sun with the UVI being higher than 10, they head for cover.
I am sure Frances will correct me on anything I do not have correct.
So which light are you using now?

Jojo did not like the T-rex standard? Really? I was considering using one, since I am afraid our Solar Glos probably are not putting much out. Where did you purchase them, reptile supply?

You did absolutely fine with your readings! Your old T-rex's still had some use left in them most likely. The UVB from Mercury vapor bulbs has a strong center point, with a spread of UVB disseminating from the center point on out to a certain radius where they get less concentrated UVB exposure. So that is why your reading would get weaker as you moved your meter around from the center point. Great that you were patient & checked around to find the highest reading first.


Tracie
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Hi, Michele.

Great readings!!
OK, I'm going to start backwards just to be awkward! :mrgreen:
puppytoes72":2scy8udr said:
I found 3 spare T-Rex ActiveUV bulbs in Jojo's cabinet and I tested those.I never throw her old bulbs away. They have all had about 6 months of use.
Bulb#1
UVI 4.1 14'' away
Bulb#2
UVI 3.0 14"away
Bulb#3
UVI 4.7 14'' away
These are all VERY GOOD lamps. A UV Index of 3-4 is what the World Health Organisation calls "moderate" and is what you get in full tropical or subtropical sun from about 8.30 - 9.30 in the morning or 2.30 - 3.30 in the afternoon, or in light shade, or in overcast weather at mid-day.
All those bulbs could go straight back over a dragon and could well last another year or two.... many old ReptileUV and T-Rex ActiveUV Heat lamps have lasted 2 years easily and believe it or not, I have one that will have been in constant use with good output for five years, if it survives till July. (But I have also had two that only lasted a year. They are all rather temperamental things!)

Next,the old T-Rex ActiveUV,which she has happily been basking under.*ONE YEAR USE*.
UVI 3.8 14'' away
Another VERY GOOD LAMP.
Keep on using that one!

Personally, with a good lamp of these older models of tried-and-true brands, that have not caused any problems, I think it is absolutely fine to use them at between 12 - 14 inches distance until the UV Index has dropped below 3.0 at 12". There is no scientific evidence to back me up on this, it is just what seems right to me, because a UVI of 3.0 is definitely producing good vitamin D3 levels in humans, (no-one knows any figures for any reptiles, for any strength of UV...) and is safe for humans (it is the "threshold for wearing sun cream" if you are following "safe sun" campaigns, but be warned - the moment you put sun cream on, you stop vitamin D3 production dead in its tracks..so give yourself some time without suncream first - see http://www.grassrootshealth.net for details)

First,the BRAND NEW T-Rex Economy,(the one that I was worried about because after 2 days Jojo was closing her eye and wouldn't open it until I put her old bulb back in.) It has had almost 100 hours of burn time.
UVI 8.5 12'' from the "eye" of the sensor to the face of the bulb.
6.3 14''
*I don't know why Jojo acted like this was too strong, because in her viv set-up she is about 18'' away* Frances,do you think this is safe to use? Can I assume there are no harmful/shortwave rays??
I don't like this, Michelle.
I have now tested only two of the T-Rex Economy lamps, but both gave me a higher UVI reading on the 6.5 meter than I like to see with a fairly low Total UVB reading on the Solarmeter 6.2, meaning that although there don't appear -from the spectrum- to be more than a trace of the more harmful short wavelength rays, the balance of short:long wavelength UVB is not ideal and they are indeed "stronger" than the old-style lamps... in fact I didn't think their spectrum was much better than the T-Rex lamps which have had all the problems...so I can well believe that there is something about the light, that JoJo didn't like.
Certainly the advertising message that these had a "lower output" is only true in the sense that they have a lower output than the problem lamps. They do not have a lower output than the old version that was so good... as Michelle's readings clearly demonstrate!
Interestingly, I have been burning the weaker of the two T-Rex "Economy" lamps (which gave me readings of only 3.8 at 12" after 105hrs use, which seems on the face of it to be perfectly safe...) over my two girls' windowsill basking spot, where they go when they are out of their viv and can run round a fenced-off part of the floor. And I've noticed that neither of them will sit right under it... That is strange...

One thing I noticed is that a 1/2 inch in either direction changed the result drastically.It took time to find the highest reading on each bulb. I held my hand steady on the floor w/ the sensor facing upwards to the bulb and I basically moved my hand around until I found the highest reading (which I guess would be the center of the beam)
So how did I do Frances?
Perfect. That's exactly what you always get with mercury vapor lamps. The centre of the beam is usually quite tiny, with a sharp gradient either side.
With some, the arc flickers about inside the lamp too, and the readings dance like crazy; others give you a steadier reading, especially if the front coating is more opaque, diffusing the light.

gulfbrzdawn":2scy8udr said:
I thought surely it's not the Solar Glo, since Frances tested the bulbs I sent her and the 125W Solar was emitting good levels of uvb. I am starting to think no two bulbs are created equal, even if from the same manufacturer. It is quite puzzling, to say the least.
Hi, Dawn - I must get your good lamp in the mail back to you.
You're absolulutely right... No two bulbs ARE created equal and I bet the 125W you didn't send me was one with low output like the 160W you did send! :banghead:

Drache613":2scy8udr said:
I have one coming in a week or so, finally. I just decided it was too important with all of the bulb problems.
Hi, Tracie.
Greatthat you're getting a meter!

Drache613":2scy8udr said:
Do you know what the uW/cm2 was reading? That is the amount of UVB that it is putting out. Did you measure that also?
To measure the Total UVB, you need a Solarmeter 6.2. These readings are often quite surprisingly low with problem bulbs, which is why the problem often goes undetected. The very short wavelength rays are so strong, you don't need a lot of them to cause harm. But they give a powerful UVI reading on the 6.5 meter... sooo, if you have both meters and notice a high UVI reading but a comparatively low Total UVB reading, alarm bells ring...
But only the most dedicated lamp tester could justify having two Solarmeters :shock: so I think it is easier to have just one, and check up the readings for the other one from friends and forums...

Drache613":2scy8udr said:
If the UVI is no higher than 6-8, or 9 at a 12 inch distance that should be "safe" as long as there is no short wave frequency being put out.
I can't remember the exact readings of what bearded dragons prefer to bask but I know in the wild they don't bask for long periods of time under direct noonday sun with the UVI being higher than 10, they head for cover.
Tracie's right, they won't stay out long with UVI "very high", which is UVI 8 or above, according to the W.H.O.
I saw one basking at UVI 7.6 when I was in South Australia (one of the top highlights of a great holiday 3 years ago)
I think with all the problems with rogue lamps at the moment I'd cut back on those figures, Tracie, and aim for 6 to 7 as a maximum UVI at any basking distance (ie. no more than 7 at the closest point between reptile body and front of lamp). Because of the steep gradient either side of the centre of the beam, this puts most of his body at a UVI somewhere between 2.5 and 6, which sounds like a nice little "sunny spot".

But if your beardie avoids the 'new' light, (even after you've burned it for at least a day, away from him, to prevent him from experiencing the initial very high output you get for the first 5-6 hours with some of these lamps)......but he sits happily under his old one.... at the moment I would trust his instincts over any meter readings...he may be able to sense that it isn't going to do him any good.

Drache613":2scy8udr said:
Sorry this year has been a total bummer for lighting.
You can say that again! :silent:
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Original Poster
Hello Frances & all,

Thanks for the extra information!! That is great analysis. :D
Ok, that is what I was thinking, so I aimed a bit high. Thanks for letting me know. So, go for 4-6 & no higher than 7 UVI at a 12 inch to 14 inch distance. That sounds perfect.

I am anxious to get my meter also!
Well, that is disappointing about the low UVB T-rex lights. Geez. I hope things get better for the lighting industry! Personally, I think that everyone is trying to cut corners, but, all that does is decrease quality.


Tracie
 

puppytoes72

BD.org Sicko
Tracie, after testing all the bulbs I put bulb#3 in her enclosure...that is the one with the 4.7 UVI reading :D

Frances,thank you again for all the great info. I am so excited that my meter is already "paying for itself".I now know that I still have about a year left for each of the 4 used bulbs. That saves me soooo much $$$$$! :D :blob5:

So basically with my Solarmeter 6.5 if it shows a good UVI reading then it's safe to assume there are NO harmful short wavelength rays?? Is there a chart to show what each UVI means? How do I find out the balance of short:long wavelength uvb?(I hope I'm making sense :lol: )

Hmmm,but that is strange that your girls won't sit under the T-Rex Economy bulb that had a 3.8 UVI. So I guess that kinda tells us that even though the meter shows a decent UVI there is SOME reason they don't like it. I assume we just have to follow our beardies instinct.
It's just such a relief to know that I have 4 good spare bulbs(that Jojo was happy with) that I can use until the MVB manufacturers get their act together (if they ever do :shock: )

PS:that is interesting to know that I shouldn't put sunscreen on right away because I am also a sun-loving creature :mrgreen:
 

h2simms

Juvie Member
Sorry to go off topic kinda, but I don't know what to do about the solar glos, I don't have another UVB bulb other than a 1 year old reptisun 5 bulb and a exoterra reptiglo 5.0 (tube). But I can't buy a reptisun until I sell me babies ( that are just topping 5 inches). Please any input will help! :(
 

puppytoes72

BD.org Sicko
I know you said $ is tight but do you have about $20? Petmountain.com has the Reptisun 10.0 flourescent tubes.

Or you can bring them outside on sunny days. You need a big safe container though. Deep enough where they can't get out,but NOT glass because that gets too hot in the sun. Just put a big rubbermaid container or even a big cardboard box HALF in shade,HALF in the sun.
 

h2simms

Juvie Member
I temporarily put a reptiglo 5 in there but I always take them out on sunny days also I am goin to try and get a reptisun 10 whenever I can. Thanks
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
puppytoes72":1sq1qq6b said:
Is there a chart to show what each UVI means?

Hi, Michelle.
For info on the UV Index, have a look at these:
http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uviscale.html
http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
and
http://www.bom.gov.au/uv/

puppytoes72":1sq1qq6b said:
So basically with my Solarmeter 6.5 if it shows a good UVI reading then it's safe to assume there are NO harmful short wavelength rays??
How do I find out the balance of short:long wavelength uvb?

I'm afraid if you have a nice UVI (below 6 or 7) it doesn't necessarily mean that there are no harmful short wavelength rays. But if there are any, there probably won't be enough to cause eye damage or skin burns. (Remember, some of the lamps that caused eye damage were giving readings of UVI 20 or more!)
But the best way to find out the balance of short:long wavelength UVB is to use a lab spectrometer... which is impossible for most people of course... and the next best way is to take paired readings with both a Solarmeter 6.5 and a Solarmeter 6.4 and look at the balance between the readings, since the 6.2 reads "all the UVB" and the 6.5 reads only "the short-wavelength UVB".
But again, there's no way everyone can buy TWO Solarmeters.

And NO-ONE SHOULD HAVE TO!!! :?
The job of testing all these lamps should be done BY THE MANUFACTURERS. Not us.
UV lamps are not like the run-of-the-mill "pet accessories" - food bowls, plastic plants... these are really "health products" and dangerous if not properly made and tested. I strongly believe that there should be regulations controlling their safety just like those for human tanning lamps.. But the trade is completely unregulated as far as I can tell. It's crazy!
Every company should have strict quality control and continually monitor the UV output of each batch of lamps; someone in each Quality Control lab should understand exactly what the spectrum of their lamp means, and what a safe output actually is...
Some companies seem to be really working hard to achieve this. Others don't seem to have anything in place at all...
Oh well that's me on my soapbox again... :wink:

All the best
Frances
 

puppytoes72

BD.org Sicko
Thank you for clearing that up Frances..I understand it much better now :D I will check those links out that you gave me now.
I totally agree that it's the maunfacturers responsibility to test EVERY bulb that is made :banghead:
Do you think a petition would make a difference? 8)

From what I understand Bob Mac from ReptileUV is on top of things by putting that protective coating on the face of the bulbs and testing each one before he ships them out. If that is correct I guess the Megaray is the only MVB bulb that should be recommended right now?

Tracie: I just realized I forgot to answer your Q before....I got the latest T-Rex Economy bulb from LLL (not reptilesupply). The first one they shipped out arrived broken. I called them and let them know and they immediately sent out a replacement. They didn't even make me send the broken one back. Great customer service! :D
Unfortunately I can't use the bulb now anyways :|
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Original Poster
Hello Michelle,

Thanks for that information. I may wait before getting the T-rex economy/standard MVB since it might not be the greatest! Oh how frustrating this is.
At least you have a bulb that you can use now though, that Jojo agrees with! :D Yes, that does save you a lot of money, for sure. We will see if anyone gets their act together regarding the MVB's. I don't know if a petition would be effective or not. There needs to be some type of standard in this industry though, regarding the lighting.


Tracie
 

vickson420

BD.org Addict
Retired Moderator
Thanks for posting those readings Michelle and thank you Frances for all the information. I was hoping for better news but at least now we know. It seems to me that none of the MVB bulbs available today are as good as those of the past which is very sad. I guess we can only hope that this is not a permanent situation.
 

beardieluv

Sub-Adult Member
I haven't been on here in a while. Seems like it's always something. I went from the MegaRay (it was bad) to a replacement megaray (was another bad one) now to a bad solar glo!!! :angry5: :banghead: for MONTHS now something has been wrong with whatever light he is using. Charlie has had a lack of appetite and closing his eyes more. It's like being with the bad megaray all over again. I'm just gonna go back the the reptisun10.0. what is the best setup to use the tube uvb? I have a shop light hood i'll be putting the sun in, and the heat lamp will be on a lamp stand. will he be able to get good uvb this way?
 

bmb527

Hatchling Member
One thing to remember, if any of you are involved in the aquarium hobby as well as reptiles, Hagen is one of the best equipment makers in the world. You all wish and complain about the lack of higher end supplies in this hobby, Hagen is at least spending money to develop some product. Once they get it down, they change very little. I have Hagen products that are 25 years old that are exactly the same as the ones on the shelf today. Give them a chance.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Original Poster
Hello,

The products or equipment may work well, but their lights need a lot of work. To date, they have only put out 1 decent light which was the Reptiglo 8 tube bulb & now you can't even find it. The Reptiglo 10 tube bulb is not a good bulb, & so far the Solar Glos are proving not to be good, either.

Tracie
 
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