UV lighting updates?

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MissT

BD.org Addict
Hello all,
I have been away from the forum for the past 4+ years and feel perhaps I have missed out on any updates with regards to uv lighting and what's being recommended now.... I feel loke there are a lot of new bulbs out there (eg reptisun t5?) And i wonder about the status of the reptiglo these days...? I couldn't find a fully updated sticky so thought I would ask the question...
What UV lights are being recommended, lifespan and distances?
I currently use an Acadia 12% t5 bulb for my MBD boy and an Arcadia 10% t8 bulb for my lady...
Any info would be most appreciated.
Thanks
 

VenusAndSaturn

Sub-Adult Member
From what ive seen usually the reptisun t5 ho 10.0's are being used now, and have to be replaced every 6 months. And acadia is being used as well, but i myself have mostly used reptisun t5 10.0's for the short time (around a year or so) that ive had my beardies so im not to educated on the acadia bulbs.
Other than tube lights theres nothing that great to use unless its MVB or something which i dont fully trust yet and even if i did use a MVB i'd use a tube light as well just to be sure. As for the reptiglo's pretty sure the status would be the same since from what ive seen its not recommended to use.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
There has been quite a bit of testing done over the last several years. I've done some of it myself. Comparing readings to their natural habitat my current thinking is that providing a UVI 3-6 over the basking area is a good average that simulates when they bask in mid morning and late afternoon. They can have exposure to higher levels during the middle of the day but it's tough to simulate the increase and decrease with current lighting so I go with an average.

76248-3462926163.jpg

The T5 bulbs are best suited for reaching that UVI level and can cast a nice wide beam that allows for even basking. Some of the better mercury vapor bulbs and metal halide bulbs can do this too, but their beam is more narrow and you can't control heat and UV exposure independently.

There is more information in the Reptile Lighting group on Facebook. Taterbug has also done some good research into lighting and put together a helpful guide showing test results from different combinations of lighting. Her guide closely mirrors my current thinking about lighting. https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides

I'm constantly thinking about this and reading about new lighting and testing out what I can so it's an evolving process. Right now I like the T5 Arcadia 12% the best. The one I'm using has lasted over 3 years with excellent output. The ReptiSun 10.0 T5 has very similar output based on what I've seen. I haven't yet tested the Arcadia T5 14% but from what I've read it's quite powerful and better suited for very large enclosures or reaching further distances than the 12% bulb.
 

MissT

BD.org Addict
Original Poster
Thanks for the link coopersdragon...
I started using the Arcadia 12% t5 bulb when it was still pretty 'New' -ie no-one else seemed to be using them... my boy is getting on now though so I need to rethink his distances as I'm trying to reorganize his viv to have less climbing opportunities as, even though he loves climbing, I know it's not so good for him these days.... from what I'm seeing, the Arcadia t5 12% should be at a distance of 8inches without reflector or a distance of 14inches with a reflector? Does that sound correct? I'd say we are currently at 10 inches without a reflector but that was based on the fact that he was able to move higher if he wished...

I'm struggling to find anything on the Arcadia 10% bulb tho... I will check out that fb group also soon....
 

phobosdthorga

Juvie Member
CooperDragon":1gvt2e99 said:
There has been quite a bit of testing done over the last several years. I've done some of it myself. Comparing readings to their natural habitat my current thinking is that providing a UVI 3-6 over the basking area is a good average that simulates when they bask in mid morning and late afternoon. They can have exposure to higher levels during the middle of the day but it's tough to simulate the increase and decrease with current lighting so I go with an average.

The T5 bulbs are best suited for reaching that UVI level and can cast a nice wide beam that allows for even basking. Some of the better mercury vapor bulbs and metal halide bulbs can do this too, but their beam is more narrow and you can't control heat and UV exposure independently.

There is more information in the Reptile Lighting group on Facebook. Taterbug has also done some good research into lighting and put together a helpful guide showing test results from different combinations of lighting. Her guide closely mirrors my current thinking about lighting. https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides

I'm constantly thinking about this and reading about new lighting and testing out what I can so it's an evolving process. Right now I like the T5 Arcadia 12% the best. The one I'm using has lasted over 3 years with excellent output. The ReptiSun 10.0 T5 has very similar output based on what I've seen. I haven't yet tested the Arcadia T5 14% but from what I've read it's quite powerful and better suited for very large enclosures or reaching further distances than the 12% bulb.

This is what I don't understand. In Australia, we have UV index readings that far exceed 13 on a good summers day, especially in areas like Brisbane, the Northern Territory and just the upper half of Queensland in general where a lot of Bearded Dragons live and originate from. It sometimes even exceeds what the index goes up to on a number of summer days, with the news just reporting it as 'too high to measure/quantify'. So why is it that such low index numbers (in comparison) are recommended? Is that all Bearded Dragons require to be healthy?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
It's a bit of a guessing game to find out what they like best. The major difference is that in captivity they have a relatively very small space to live in. I've read that they are observed to hide during the high heat when the UV index would read the highest. They have been seen basking in the late morning and early evening when UVI is a bit lower too. Some of the reports I've seen specifically are from the vineyards in Mclaren Vale. They seem to like climbing the grape vines to bask. Given that, it comes down to offering them as much variety as possible so they can self regulate and choose what they need. Since they tend to be in such a small space I chose a value that is similar to what I've recorded in mid morning and late afternoon as an average so it's not too much and not too little. It's a bit of a guess based on some limited readings I've taken around Adelaide (chart in my last post), but it corresponds with some other reported values from UVGuide.co.uk. I'd like to get back over there at some point to take more readings and hopefully make some observations of dragons in different areas.
 
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