UVB Basics

Discussion in 'Enclosures, Heating & Lighting' started by Cammy, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Okay, so earlier this week I made a printout for my coworkers who seem to be having trouble grasping the concept of UVB lighting. I thought it might be helpful to others out there who are a little confused on the topic, so I made a modified version for the general public. I know even I was a little confused when I first started reading about UVB lighting. =P This is kind of a UVB for Dummies...nothing terribly scientific or in depth, just a quick guide for beginners. Some of it is my own personal opinion based on a little bit of research (the recommended brands and stance on compact lights), so if you disagree with parts of it, that's fine, but I'm not looking to start an argument here. Like I said, just hoping some new herp keepers out there will find this as a good stepping stone for learning about UVB lighting. Thanks! =D

    Edit: Yeah, had to save it as an image because...I fail at computers apparently.

    sioux7, JEFFREH and StikyPaws312 like this.
  2. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    That is awesome. Thanks Cammy!
  3. яowan.ω

    яowan.ω Member

    Very helpful! Thanks a lot.
  4. Eme Demiri

    Eme Demiri Member

    Very helpful to a beginner. Although i would hope reptile owners would already know these things since they are so vital (to the reptiles that need it).
  5. Enharmonic

    Enharmonic New Member

    hmm, I might print a few out to give out with the purchase of ubv dependent animals in my shop.
  6. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Eme: Yeah, I completely agree, it should be a requirement that people know this stuff before getting a reptile. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 they don't. Just last week I dealt with not one but FOUR people who had purchased bearded dragons from various places WITHOUT having a UVB light on the setup. Makes me mad, rant rant rant.

    Enharmonic: Print away. =D
    Eme Demiri likes this.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Nicely done! This is a great resource to beginner hobbyists, I think UV lighting can be one of the more complicated things to wrap the head around and this really sums everything up quite nicely. It's absolutely vital to the well-being of many species and I know many of us have seen what can happen to the animals when owners are misinformed.

    I'm going to go ahead and sticky this = )
  8. Wade

    Wade New Member

    I currently don't keep any animals that require UV, but this is still very interesting!
  9. Cherin

    Cherin New Member

    i think it helps alot! since I'm building a new cage I'm questioning lighting. I have a beardie and I'm wondering if I should do both MVB and UVB lights. that way for basking she has the MVB and then througout the whole cage she has UVB. there isn't such thing as too much is there? Should I get her a nighttime light too?
  10. RomanLA

    RomanLA New Member

    After a lot of research, I went with the new T5 high output bulbs for my enclosure. They have the reach of a MVB, but cover the area of a fluorescent tube. This video does a great job of explaining the difference in the various types of bulbs!

    StikyPaws312 likes this.
  11. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    She does a very good job showing and explaining the differences. Nice vid! Thanks for finding it!
    T5s are awesome, people with aquariums have been using T5s for years - when growing coral and the like. They're expensive but for larger reptiles or larger enclosures it's really the best way to go. MVBs are best for basking though since it's a concentrated area and allows for a nice temp gradient in a ~20-75 gal tank....
  12. sioux7

    sioux7 Embryo

    Whish I had discovered this posting a few weeks ago.
  13. sioux7

    sioux7 Embryo

    Also, The 'Repticon' show was held in the Nashville area last weekend, and I went primarily to see if I could get advice about lighting. I saw no UVB lights in use or only a couple for sale. I thought this was odd.
  14. RomanLA

    RomanLA New Member

    There's lots of good information on the Arcadia site. LightYourReptiles.com is the US distributor.
    Arcadia Lighting Guide
    Cammy likes this.
  15. Badger711

    Badger711 Member


    The reason you didn't see a lot of them there (I also was there, lol) was that for the few hours at the show, the animals that need it aren't really going to have any ill effects. Plus there were very few animals that did require it at the show, I think I saw like 4 beardies total.
  16. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    I have high hopes for the Arcadia bulbs; I've heard and read great things. I want to wait until they have been in the US market for a year or two before switching over just to make sure there is no decline in quality with the increased production. But like I said, I have high hopes.
  17. RomanLA

    RomanLA New Member

    Zoo Med just introduced T5 HO bulbs and according to the UV meter group on Yahoo, they're identical to the Arcadia bulbs. They're a little less expensive, but you come out ahead buying the Arcadia fixture/bulb combos from LightYourReptiles. He'll also give you the discounted price on extra bulbs at the time of purchase. Oh Zoo Med is offering a free 5.0 bulb with their fixtures for a limited time too. The only problem is they only have single bulb fixtures for reptiles. You have to get one of their aquarium fixtures to get a two or four bulb fixture.

    I ended up getting a 36 inch quad T5 high output fixture with built in blue LED "moonglights" and love it! I have a 12% arcadia and 6.5k grow bulb on for 12 hours a day and a second 12% arcadia and 6.5k come on for 6 hours midday. Then the led's come on for a few hours after that. I'm going to swap the timers on the 6 and 12 hour bulbs after 6 months and run them an additional 6 months before changing them. They're supposed to be good for a year at 8 to 10 hours a day. I'll probably pick up a UVB meter at some point to verify that though.
    StikyPaws312 likes this.
  18. YourChameleon

    YourChameleon Embryo

    Acradia T5 D3 canopy is the unit that rocks. My Chameleons simply love it, gives off loads of light and has a good life span unlike other Florescent Linear Bulbs

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