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UV Meter

Discussion in 'Product Questions' started by DragonsKeepers, May 14, 2012.

  1. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm looking at getting a UV meter to check bulb output, longevity, etc. I have seen Solartech, seemingly the big company to make these for our use, with two different models:

    Solarmeter 6.2 UVB meter $160-$230 AND
    Solarmeter 6.5 UVI meter $190-$280

    I'm wondering if anyone has tried these? Are they easy to use? I am thinking the 6.5 would be better, but I've seen on other sites that people have said that a ratio of UVB/UVI is needed to know anything about the bulb - does this mean I would then need both? I don't really want to spend that much, but I would like to know the differences in output at varying distances, etc.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    I own a Solarmeter 6.2. It is extremely easy to use. Aim at UV source, press button, read number. Bonus step: come to the forums and discuss your findings and thoughts with me, because this is a topic I'm absolutely obsessed with lately.

    UVI is "UV Intensity", and will give you an idea of the intensity of the overall direct intensity of the UV radiation over the entire UV spectrum. From what I understand it will NOT give you a good idea of how much actual UVB your reptile is getting, because it is looking at a much broader spectrum than just the spectrum reptiles need to synthesize UVB. In contrast, the 6.2 is sensitive to the very relevant part of the UV spectrum.

    In my opinion, the ill effects of excessive UVI can be avoided by following manufacturer recommendations for distances of the bulb from your dragon (ESPECIALLY in the case of MVB and compact fluorescent bulbs - I'm fairly confident that regular ol' fluorescent tubes can't generate a high enough UVI to induce keratitis in reptiles.

    I didn't either, which is why I only bought the Solarmeter 6.2. I'm not super worried about UVI since I am using old school flourescent tubes. I want to try MVBs in the near future but I've got a lot of projects on the table :) The Solarmeter 6.2 has opened my eyes to the real mechanics of UVB, and I am disabused of absurd notions such as "10.0 is for desert reptiles and 5.0 is for forest reptiles". I now have 2x10.0s over my beardie and 10.0+5.0 over my water dragon, and my experiments indicate that the peak UVB levels they are receiving ARE NO GREATER THAN what they would receive in the THICK SHADE of the orange tree in my front yard at high noon in Arizona! That's right, I'm saying that all the "10.0 is going to fry your forest lizard" talk is a bunch of ****! (Exceptions to be made for Chams and nocturnal/crepuscular reptiles of course - but we're talking about dragons here!)

    Further consider this: keratitis is very painful. Yet both of my reptiles spend MOST of their time in these supposedly "lizard-frying" UVB levels. My little beardie will get just as high up as he possibly can, and sits there panting for a long while before he decides to avail himself of the 2'x4' space of much lower heat/UVB in his home. (Once again, these allegedly "lizard frying" levels are no more than what I get in the thick shade of my orange tree at high noon here in Arizona.) I am so convinced that these "lizard frying" levels are actually inadequate that my Water Dragon's hot spot is one of the LOWER UVB areas in his enclosure. Why? Because he spends so little time at his hot spot (usually only after a bath) and so much time on his top shelf at ~30-40 uW/cm^2 that I redesigned his lighting to make sure that his favorite arboreal hangouts were the highest UVB areas. And guess what? Though many claim that he should be a crispy dragon, he still regularly chills up there, his eyes look great, his attitude is in full force, overall a healthy and mean dragon! :)

    Sorry for the ramble there. I have a pet peeve about the UVB myths in our community that are backed up with little or no scientific measurement.

    I applaud the dedication you are showing for your dragons' health! I will enjoy sharing results and thoughts with you in the future.
     
  3. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wow - thank you for the thorough and complete response - I don't often see replies on point as much as yours was - thanks!

    Welcome to Solartech

    With the 6.5, it says the peak performance is 290-298 nm (with a total solar response ranging from 290-400nm. The 6.2 is set to only respond to levels of 290-320 nm. According to reptileuv.com, it is most sensitive at 295 nm; however, the SolarTech site makes no reference I can find on that. I don't know if you are aware of all of this, but would you still recommend the 6.2? I know it's set for UVB, but isn't the intensity of the bulb's UVB just as important...now I sound more like I need both - :(

    I use tube UVB and MVB's in my set-ups.

    Thanks again for your help! It was nice to hear the set-up and lack of adverse effects your dragons have. That specificity helps!
     
  4. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Because the 6.5 does measure well outside the UVB range, you could get false readings based on longer wavelength light (ie. the 300-400nm range). That's why I personally chose to just purchase the 6.2 and follow manufacturer recommendations for minimum distances.
     
  5. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Just ordered the 6.2 from lightyourreptiles.com. I talked to the owner who was very helpful and even offered to email some info about differences in tube lighting between companies, etc. Very nice guy to work with. And cheaper for the 6.2 than anywhere else!
     
  6. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  7. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I looked at that a while back, but with the new purchase, I will need to check it out again. Thanks for the refresher on the link!
     
  8. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Yeah - the site has some good foundation information. Your own experiments will open up a new world of ideas though. Unfortunately UV Guide UK doesn't seem to have been updated for some time, so I've been just making my own notes. As I've said before I'd enjoy comparing notes with you.
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It was just updated over the past year. The sites look may be the same but alot of the data was updated.
     
  10. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Got the 6.2 in the mail late tonight. I checked it on my tanning bed just as a quick check. Tomorrow will be fun to check the reptiles' lights. I'll post some info on what I find if anyone is interested.
     
  11. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I'm interested! :)
     

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