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Vers, Need to Pick Your "Lighting" Brain Downlights and Mini Spotlights

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by DwarvenChef, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I'm looking to redesign my lighting to the mini spotlights/down lights and don't have a real handle on the issues yet. Vers, have you worked with the targetable spots at all?

    I'm looking to set up 3 hide/basking spots with visual barriers and need something that will not have large amounts of radiant heat but a tight focused spot heating. I may be asking to much of the idea but I need to adjust something in my tank to allow multi basking spots/hides/visual barriers (Oh My) ...

    My thinking is that the small focused lights would put a tight beam of light and heat to a specific location without over lighting the entire area/tank.

    Is this possible? I need to have it all worked out before I start buying the new system due to funds and can't afford to get into a white elephant I can't use.
  2. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    I see what you're attempting to achieve, but I haven't really worked with tight spot lamps in this way before--I'm actually usually after the complete opposite effect (wide, well diffuse areas of light and heat). For Sceloporus sp. I would recommend a ton of light throughout the enclosure and, if need be, several basking sites that provide decent thermal coverage. You generally do not want to provide small areas of heat, at least no smaller than the animal itself. Could you perhaps provide me with an outline of the enclosure and basking spot orientation in said enclosure as well as an idea of the the type of thermal zones you're looking to create? In addition, what sort of bulbs were you looking at specifically?
  3. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I can only go off memory (a touch faulty lately) as I can't get out to investigate the exact bulbs. We used to use these plug in spots at work that where small funnel shaped with a single element in side and could put down a tight spot from a ways out.

    My current tank is a 40 breeder (commercial 40 type tank) that I'm dividing up in 3 "areas" 2 in the back corners and one middle front. Now I have 2 coil 5.0's and 1 47w incandescent (for hot spot). This is getting to be a pain because the lights really don't fit well with their current Clamp on Bell type housings. By removing the incandescent and using the 3 mini spots I think I can mount them in the corners up off the tank so I have room to work in the tank without juggling the current lights.

    I'm looking for a focused light diameter of about 4-6" at the basking point. If I recall that will put the lights about 12-15" above the basking points. Now my part that is tweaking my head is, What will the temps be with that focus area. Something I will eventually have to rig and test if I can't find someone that has done it already.

    In the long run I may have to set up all separated tanks again if I can't get this idea working and I will still need to set up a similar lighting set up...

    Temp gradient at this time is 85 give or take a deg (humidity robbing space heater in my room) with the two coils MAYBE bumping it a deg but the 47w inc has a 10" spot with a temp of 98-100. Using a cable prob placed on the wood surface of the basking area.

    Because of my space heater keeping me warm (Totally unlike me) I have had a **** of a time keeping my humidity up in my tanks. Oushi doesn't seem to care less as long as it's not bone dry. Bluegenes will tolerate down to 40 before he starts showing faded colors. But Lara, the younger female is a humidity hound... She's not happy unless it's well over 60%. I'll have to sell off some straight razors to get the Monsoon and it needs to happen soon ugh...

    That's all I can think of at the moment, my brain is fried from being awake sense noon sunday...

    Figures I just thought of another thing, these are Emeralds and the typical Sceloporus set up is a bit different. Your earlier statement about going the complete opposite would be my assessment as well. But the rainforest dwellers may not need as much wide open bright light, Just open enough for clear spots in my thinking would be fine... I really shouldn't be thinking at all right now LOL...
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  4. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Would you happen to have any images of them in their natural habitat? Maybe if I get a better idea of their behavior there I can help a bit better?
  5. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  6. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    From my reading these guys are high altitude rain forest dwellers that hang on the fringes of the clearings. Popping in and out of the canopy as needed. As you can imagine though this is highly subjective due to the fact that the lizard we call "The Emerald Swift" is at lease three different lizards, heard as many as seven from very different locations from northern mexico to the tip of South America. Accounts for all the variations I have seen and my own experiences with how they react to different habitats.

    Always funny to me when I come across my own photos when I do picture searches LOL
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  7. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Nice, thanks for the input! I remember seeing Aja's image(s) a while back. What sort of temperatures are we talking here (basking and ambient)? I would assume they require cooler ambient temps, something in the 70-80F range, with basking temps in the 90-100F range? My knowledge of this type of environment is lacking, specifically in higher elevations in this part of the world.
  8. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Correct on both, a concern of mine because of my health I have to have it warmer in my room. This ambient temp of mid 80's is a touch high and another reason for the trouble I'm having with humidity.

    The higher temps must be like summer for them all the time and has sparked higher amounts of activity than prior to my illness. Not to mention the amount of food they now go through LOL.
  9. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Haha activity is good for the most part. OK, well I suppose the only thing you can do is try testing one lamp at a time to see if it works and if it doesn't, and although I'm not a fan of the process, bring it back and exchange it. I really wish I could help you, but without knowing the performance of specific lamps you intend on using I'd be guessing. If I may ask, are you offering UV or are you implementing a D3 supplement? Also, as far as humidity goes, are you misting or using a humidifier?
  10. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I have 2 coil fluorescent 5.0 bulbs on ether side of the tank (reminds me I need to replace one soon). I put the date on each bulb when I install it so I remember to replace them :p These put out maybe 1 degree of heat so not a good heat source, I use a house light bulb at 47w at the moment for heat. There is also a small under tank heater with a large rock formation over it. This serves to heat up any water that makes it past the gravel base allowing for evaporation back up into the soil above.

    I am using calcium/D3 in combination with this areas hard water. Still working on the balance of dusting, seems it gets high enough for them to expel excess out their nostrils, at least that is what it looks like. This didn't happen in central CA but is common here in southern CA.

    Due to my current condition I have no trouble missing 2 to 3 times a day. Saving up for a Monsoon or build an equivalent, just having issues with my energy levels so buying the Monsoon removes my condition and get the job done. I also noticed the ground soil dries out so much faster with my heater going so I have taken to pouring about a gallon of water a week into the tanks to keep the soil damp, but not wet. So with the combo of both misting and damp soil at least the lower levels of the tank has good humidity levels. My sensor is not in an ideal spot in the top quarter of the tank (at the moment) and reads 20% as I type this.... I just frigging misted it half an hour ago....
  11. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Had a few minutes at the big box tool shop here and have to say I'm under impressed with these types of stores...

    Looked at the GU10 type spot bulbs. Saw a 20w halogen clamp on light that looked like a great way to start with... Sadly this fell WAY short on power and focus. Lucky the attendant showed me a working one before I put out the cash for it. I did however find a screw in 35w halogen light that may work for a close up spot. I'll be testing that soon.

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