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UVB lamp numbers. Quite urgent.

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by replover, Dec 17, 2005.

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  1. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I went to the shop and saw a number of light bulbs and tubes which were marketed towards keeping of herptiles, and were for UV exposure.
    There were some numbers on them, I can't remember them all but they were like "UVA 1.5, UVB 0.5" etc. (I am making up the numbers here, but you get the picture). What number should I be looking for on these bulbs? I have read many books and articles and not ONE mentions these numbers. They only talk about "Make sure they have UVB or else they get MBD". I need to buy this fast as my pet is already in the house. It has everything already except the UV lamp. I'm taking it out in the sunlight now but I need to get a bulb as I can't do this all the time due to work.

    I do NOT wish to order through the internet. I have had bad experiences with mail order and I only wish to understand these numbers of UVA and UVB so I can get the best bulb available in my local stores. Please do not recommend a certain bulb or website to order from, but let me know what the numbers should be that I should get.

    Thanks!
     
  2. replover

    replover Elite Member

    By the way, here's my iggie. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Elite Member

    Welcome to this side of the network Replover. Forgive me if I am wrong but if I remember right from HH you are in Hong Kong right? Do you know what the electric grid is running at over there (like US 120 V @ 60 Hz or like Europe 220 V @ 50 Hz).

    UVA is not so much of the critical part but UVB, specifically wavelengths from about 290 nanometers to 310 nm, is.

    The problem with lights ratings like this is it is non-standard. One company will run the tests differently or use a different swath of the spectrum as UVB so 1.5% UVB by Zoo-Med is not necessarily the same as 1.5% UVB from Exo-Terra.

    The fact that you are in a Chinese territory also changes things as I am not sure whether things are labled the same between here and there.

    Over here the standard for a long time had been the Zoo-Med Reptisun 5. Two 4' long tubes with a good shiny reflector above them placed within 9 inches of the lizards skin. Don't have anything like glass, plastic, or fine window screen between the lizard and the bulb. Tubes only have about a 6 month life span before the UV emission drops to a negligible level.

    The new standard among keepers on here has become the MegaRay. ReptileUV is an internet storefront but stands behind the product more than any company I have ever heard of. One of my MegaRays failed after 8 months and they replaced the bulb no questions asked.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It can be confusing! The numbers represent the percentage of UVB light that the bulb produces. the higher the number the more UVB that is produced and the better for your iguana. Don't go for anything under a 5.0. Don't worry about the listing for UVA. If the bulb is producing enough UVB it is also providing UVA. However a UVA bulb doesn't produce UVB. I told you it was confusing!
    The reason that we recommend certain brands of bulbs is those are the ones that are proven to work. All bulbs are NOT created equal! We just are trying to keep you from wasting your money on something that doesn't work.
     
  5. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Thankyou for your replies.

    I understand that there are some bulbs that are tried and true, and I really appreciate your recommending them. However, please understand that I live in a different country with highly cumbersome importation laws and whatnot and that these bulbs are not available here always. Therefore I was looking to read the numbers to I can at least get the best available.

    You mention that I should not get anything with less than UVB 5.0 my impression is that everything was 0. something? i.e., less than 1?

    What would the ideal number be? I know manufacturers standards differ but at least it can be a guideline if I'm way off base (i.e., if it says 6.0 it may be 5.0 only but worth a shot, but if it says 0.0001 then I can forget about it etc.)
     
  6. replover

    replover Elite Member

    By the way, yes I am in HOng Kong and the voltage system is that of Europe's
     
  7. empoyner

    empoyner Established Member

    Usually the number by the name of the bulb is the whole number %. UVB 5 would be like 5% (or .05 in decimal form) UVB. The following article may help you understand fluorescent tubes.An Introduction to UVB Fluorescent Tubes
     
  8. replover

    replover Elite Member

    So what would be the IDEAL percentage for UVB?
     
  9. replover

    replover Elite Member

    OOps, sorry, didn't see your post. I will read that article now.
     
  10. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I use 10.0 bulbs, I think they are made by repti-sun, I haven't had a problem. Just remember that these bulbs only put out a fraction of what the sun does, so it's still nice to take the little guy out for some sun when the weather permits!
     
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