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Radiant Heat Panels Thermostats.

Discussion in 'Heating' started by Darkbird, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Got a couple questions about these. I have seen them in a few cage builds and was wondering, where do I get them(cheapest supplier) and for mounting, can they be mounted directly to the inside of a plywood enclosure, and are they safe for the animal to come directly in contact with them? Would like to mount on in the upper part of the cage side at one end, or do they need to be fastened to the top? And if your wondering, no I don't really know anything about these, they just seem as if they would be a good solution to my heating needs.
    Also need some sources(brands and suppliers) for thermostats. Wiring is not an issue for me, just want the least expensive good quality units I can get.
     
  2. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    Are you asking about the heat panels or the thermostats? Those are 2 different things, I use both. You can get a perfectly good thermostat for $35, or you can spend up to $150, but I think with heat panels that really isn't necessary. The heat panels will be much more expensive that typical lights, but well worth it. They are 100% safe, the animal cannot get burned by touching them, and they do an excellent job of heating the cage without disturbing nocturnal animals with lights.
     
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Was asking about both separately, just screwed up on the title:p Should have read "panels and thermostats". I figured they would be more expensive, but I believe they are also one of those things that last practically forever. Any suggestions on the cheapest supplier for them?
     
  4. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I use a radiant heat panel made by Pro Products in my Burmese Python cage. It is amazing!!! It creates a perfect basking spot; I just set the appropriate temps at the cool end (where the thermometer probe is) and the basking spot adjusts accordingly. Also, I know the panel I purchased can be mounted to any surface, and I have mine mounted on the ceiling of the enclosure.

    My radiant panel doesn't get real hot to the touch, but I definitely wouldn't let Monty lie on it. Why risk burns even if the risk is small? :)

    I really like radiant heat panels because they are so energy efficient. I have already noticed a difference in my monthly energy cost from going from a 150 watt bulb running 12 hours a day to a 1.5 amp unit, the latter using about what a flash light would use. :)

    I use a Digital Aquatics herp keeper, I have the basic version because I don't need to monitor relative humidity. I've been happy with it so far. :)

    I probably could have purchased a cheaper panel and thermometer but I honestly didn't want to deal with getting products that didn't deliver and I have only heard great things about the two I chose. :)
     
  5. jamesw

    jamesw Elite Member

    Check out reptilebasics.com for RHPs they are fairly inexpensive and work as good as the more expensive ones. I belive Helix makes them as well.

    Why would you want to mount it to the side? I have one mounted to the top of a Vision cage and it works great. The animal can come in contact with it, and will not get burned.

    Thermostats can be as much as $400. For a decent on-off style, you can go with Ranco or Johnson they are between $75-$100. I believe beanfarm.com sells one or the other. If you want a proportional thermostat check out Spyder Robotics.
     
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Thnx for the info everyone. I tend to have horrible luck trying to find stuff through internet searches, so the website is appreciated James.
    The reason for mounting these to the sides was to keep it from interfereing with the lighting on the ceiling of the cage. I will definately not be allowing animals to lay on these, but some may be able to come in contact with them during thier normal movements in the cage. I will be posting the cage builds when I get that far (month or 2 away yet), so if anyone is interested keep an eye out for them. Thanks again
     
  7. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    This is where I got my heat panels, pro products (same as AjaMichelle)

    Pro-Products | Heating Solutions

    You need to email them with answers to all the questions they list at the bottom of that page and they will set you up with the perfect size and power panel. They make custom sizes as well. They are in the same price range as most radiant heat panels, and from what I have read these are among the best quality available right now. I've got 5 of them and I could not be happier.

    I had a helix panel in an older cage, and it worked fine. But it has a large lip around the edge that my carpet python liked to crawl onto when I was trying to get him out of the cage. Very frustrating. The pro products panels have nothing the snake can grab onto.

    For thermostats, the nice thing about heat panels is they are not damaged or bothered at all by constant turning on and off like a heat lamp would be. So the pulse proportional thermostats are really not necessary. You can really go cheap as you want on the thermostat. I have 5 of these for my 5 cages:

    Zoo Med 500R thermostat with probe

    To set it up, you install it, set the probe under the basking spot, and turn the dial all the way up. Then monitor the temp with a heat gun or digital thermometer. Once it reaches the desired temp, you turn the dial down until the panel turns off. Set the dial as close to that threshold as possible. Only problem with these thermostats is if you want a night time temp drop you will need to do that manually. But otherwise, the temps in my cages are perfect 24/7.
     

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