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spiral UVB

Discussion in 'Product Questions' started by furryscaly, Oct 1, 2004.

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  1. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Anyone know anything about those spiral UVB lights? Ya know what I'm talking about? They're like a fluorescent tube, but its in a corkscrew shape and goes in an incandescent socket. A friend was asking about reptile lighting and those came up, but I don't really know much about them. Like how often do they need to be replaced? How close/far away from the reptile can they be? What's the UV output? Anybody ever try them?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    There are 2 sizes of the spiral bulbs a 13 and a 20 watt. The 20 watt seems ok but the 13 is a bit weak. Their usefulness seems limited to smaller herps like chameleons. Treat them just as you would a regular flourescent tube. The animal must be within 12 inches of the bulb for it to be of any effect. You would be wise to change them out after 6 months.
  3. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    The ones I have seen in spiral have been mostly advertised for birds, and give out only 3% UVB and 15% UVA
  4. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    I've seen ones marketed for reptiles, but I don't know what their UVB output was. So Merlin, basically what you're saying is you treat it exactly like a normal fluorescent only you screw it in an incandescent socket, correct? They don't seem that great to me. It only projects as far as a normal fluorescent, but you can't lay it acros the whole top of a tank.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    yes thats about the size of it. It limits its use to anything or any enclosure of any size. for something say the size of an iguana it would be useless.
  6. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Thanks a bunch :)
  7. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

  8. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    Matt, are you talking about compact fluorescent bulbs??

    They are excellent for vivs. They are small and self ballasted and available up to 200 watts. They do require a mogul socket I think they produce too much blue/green, which is excellent for overall plant growth, but not basking reptiles. They are much cooler than HID's and can be placed a few inches away with no chance of burning.

    The attachment is of the 200 watt/6400K Compact bulb. I just wanted to let everyone know they aren't useless to all of us herpers, it's actually a lifesaving product.

    Attached Files:

  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  10. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    OOOO, I've seen those. They aren't that good and are sold as grow bulbs all the time.
  11. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Hi Folks-

    Here's some pertinent information about this type of bulb from someone who knows the whole fluorescent lighting thing better than I do. I'm not suggesting they are good or bad for your application, but I thought the information in this post was very interesting.

    I do know from discussions I have watched and read that this type of light does not produce enough useful UVB for large lizards like iguanas. As Merlin suggested, smaller lizards in smaller cages may very well benefit from this type of lamp.

    This is a post taken in it's entirety from the UVB Meter_Owners Group, that bastion of UVB-obsessed users. LOL

    Although I haven't tested these spiral lights I would like to make a few

    When they state that 20W=75W or any comparison like that, what they are talking about is light energy. Most incandescent bulbs are only about 2% efficient (meaning 2% of the energy is light and 98% is wasted in the form of heat), and florescents produce about 4x the amount of light for the same amount of energy used. That is how and why they can say that. It is actually completely irrelevant in any reptile husbandry (since we need the right light and also need heat) and is only good for saving you $ in energy consumption around the house (outside of the cage). So all this "puts out the equivalent of ....." is just a catchy advertising phrase.

    The other coil types have performed poorly, and I suspect that it will be
    difficult to change that. Light travels in a straight line from the source. So
    a coil would have to be placed in such a way that all the light that is shining
    out of one side of all those coils is facing (or reflected) down towards your
    reptile. Even then, the coils on the other side of the bulb are still using
    energy but no UVB is getting to your reptile from that part of the coils (due to
    being hidden behind coils). A tube has the entire length along one side of the
    bulb producing UVB that can face all in one direction and the fixtures are white so they reflect light from the other side of the tube back down into your cage (to some extent). I am certain that these coils would read better from the sides than the bottom. So even if you were to overlook the flaw in having them in a coil, most set-ups and lamp fixtures would render these bulbs virtually useless anyway.

    If these same coils were shaped like an element on a stove or the Mega Heat
    elements, they would produce approximately double the UVB for your reptiles
    (same length, just different shape). Until then, I wouldn't waste my $ to even
    test them.

    Just my thoughts

  12. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Thanks for all the info guys :) Yeah, given that I've found a lot of info that says the bulbs are crap, and no info to suport the bulbs (except advertisement from the makers), I don't see any reason to use them. I already passed the info along to my friend. She works at a pet store and someone got an anole and they were wondering about lights I guess. I also mentioned that if anyone's buying a herp they should check out the HC, so she's gonna recommend this site to people she sells to :)
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