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Basking Lamp Diagram

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Vers, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Hey everyone--long time no post! I just wanted to swing by and drop off a simple basking diagram for you guys to ponder over. I often see many people using spot lamps and or lamps placed too close to their animals, which are not proper ways to light or heat them. I put together this basking lamp diagram to give people an idea of how they should be providing a wide enough basking area for their animal(s).

    (for a closer look, click here)

    As you can see, by using two (or more) lamps with wide area of coverage (AKA beam angle) will provide a broader, more even/diffused area of heat. The same applies to using a single wide flood at a distance. PAR30 or PAR38 outdoor rated halogen lamps with beam angles in the 30-50° range are the best option for most >4ft enclosures.

    Lamps with narrow beam angles (spot lamps with 8-10° beam angles) create very tight, focused areas of heat and light, which is not ideal (think of the effect a magnifying glass has under the sun). These are very poor choices when mounted within close proximity. The only way these lamps would be ideal is when used at greater distances (several feet for most species). You can combine several of these lamps at decent distances as well, but the basking area would need to be measured to ensure there are no intense hot spots. An example would be providing surface basking areas in an arboreal-type setup.

    You can 'see' thermal ranges by simply taking temperature readings using an IR temp gun, starting at the middle of the beam and working your way outward. While you can take readings of the basking surface itself taking readings on the actual animal is more telling because they absorb heat much differently than most surfaces, which tend to disperse heat better. Taking a photograph of the basking area will also help give you an idea of what type of heat gradient the current lamp is generating.

    The number of lamps needed to provide ample basking area(s) will depend on various factors which include animal size/length, lamp distance, beam angle, lamp wattage and number of animals.

    I hope this helps!

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