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Soo ... What to Use ... and How

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Logan, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    So, we're going to be turning a dresser into an enclosure for our water dragon. I see people that have the lights INSIDE the enclosures. How is this done safely? Also, I've heard different things from different people. What actually puts out more heat? I have a 75w day bulb and a 75w night bulb for him right now. It's a rather small set up because we really weren't expecting to get him (more info in my post in the water dragon section). I'm really not sure what size bulbs to switch to when doing the new build. Because he's only got 3 legs we are starting out shorter than we hope to ultimately be able to go. We're doing this for his safety so he can learn to climb very well before we take the set up up to 6'. If he ends up not being a very good climber, we won't add on height wise, or will work out some sort of safety system (like levels, or angled safety netting, or something for him so we can add a little extra height).

    Anyways, someone told me to go with outdoor flood lights. Someone else has told me to get grow bulbs. I just don't know which one is going to actually put out the most heat. I live in NY and I really have no idea what wattage or how many bulbs it's going to take to get the set up where it needs to be in the winter vs. summer. I do plan to put the lights on dimmers so that it is easy to adjust them as the seasons change.

  2. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    First of all you need UVB fluorescent light strips. Not grow bulbs, they are useless for reptiles.
    For heat I agree to use the outdoor flood halogens. They give off a good amount of heat. Depending on the size of your enclosure you will likely need at least one 75watt. This will be positioned for your basking area.
    For the ambient temps in the larger enclosure you could go with a ceramic heat emitter or radient heat panel.

    The reason to position the lights inside is to be able to maintain good humidity levels.
    If you have any kind of holes in the top it will quickly escape. They must be able to breathe moist air. This cannot be achieved by misting a few times a day. The humidity might last 30 mins if you're lucky and then dry out again.
  3. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    The grow lights weren't suggested as a UV source. They were suggested as a heat source. While I appreciate your reply, none of it really answered what I was looking for. Basically, I want to know, for the money, what has more bang. I flood light, grow bulb, or heat bulb? I don't want to buy something just to find out it gets no where near the temp I need it to have and just have to buy something else. I know why everything is put inside, just not how it's done safely with out putting the lizard at risk of burns.

    Sorry if any of that came off the wrong way. I'm definitely not trying to offend anyone or make anyone mad. I already have a UVB bulb for him and know I'll need a bigger one for the bigger set up ... and I don't mind wiring up dimmers on the top or sides. I just want to know basically per wattage what is going to actually put out more heat and once everything is set up inside the enclosure, how do I make sure my CWD doesn't get burned on them ...
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    growlights are flourescent tubes and produce virtually nothing in the way of heat.
    And a 75 watt bulb is a 75 watt bulb no matter what color the glass is.

    The problem is that there will have to be some experimentation needed dependant on the size and type of construction of the enclosure as well as the ambient temps in the room. There really isn't any set forumla to provide you a final answer.

    As for heat you don't have to use the petstore bulbs. A regular incandescent household bulb will do the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Of course that is for day time. You really don't want a light generating bulb on at night.
    For heating with no light I prefer Ceramic Heat emitters.

    And heres how you prevent the animal getting burned, or at least one way
    Interior Heating Element Enclosure
  5. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Hardware cloth. That's what I was figuring, but I wasn't really sure and hadn't really seen it anywhere. Right now I have one of the blue night bulbs from Exoterra (I think ... one from the pet store) and a day bulb ... both are 75watt ... so, what you're saying is that if I get a 75w bulb from a regular store, it's going to put out about the same amount of heat as the pet bulb? If that's the case, that at least gives me a base idea on where to go from there for heating light sources.

    I know I can't put a cage around the UV bulb, but I also understand that they really don't make heat at all so they are safe to not cage??
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Right. I haven't used a pet store heat bulb in 10 years! Just plain old household incandescents.

    If you are talking about the fluorescent tubes, yesThere is no need to cage them. You can have those on and running and reach in with your hand and touch them. The mercury vapors are a different story. Those get hot.
    Using 1/4 inch hardware cloth is fine for caging a mercury vapor. Its the fine mesh stuff like on your windows that is a problem.
  7. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Heat output depends on various factors, not just wattage. For instance a 75w outdoor halogen will create significantly more heat than your typical 75w incandescent. This is the reason outdoor halogen lamps are often recommended for basking purposes...they create a lot of heat per watt thus being more efficient than most other bulbs in that regard.
  8. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    I have heard that the hardware cloth is a bad idea because it gives lizards something to hang on to. It works decently for snakes because they don't have claws to grab on but with lizards its more dangerous. I don't know the solution but this is just a word of warning that you should keep in mind. I may be off about that but it makes perfect sense.

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