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What is the Reason UVB Bulbs Have to Be Replaced?

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Andyc3020, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    What is it about UVB bulbs that requires them to be replaced before they burn out? Obviously the amount of UVB the bulb emits decreases over time, but my question is why? What is it in the bulb that is being used up?
  2. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    depending on the bulb type it could be several things becoming exhausted: MV,MH,HPS bulbs actually have a bulb inside them that produces the light. it becomes "burned". gets darker with time. the filaments can also weaken and not produce the same intensity.

    fluorescent bulbs are a whole different deal. they use a chemical reaction within the tube to create light. the tubes themselves are typically coated to provide a certain color spectrum along with the chemicals within. an even bigger problem with fluorescent tube fixtures is the ballast. if your fixture has a magnetic ballast then plan on needing to replace it every year to every couple years. this is due to the overall efficiency of the ballast wearing down not putting out the same power to the bulb. this will cause the bulb to perform properly in either the intensity output and/or not putting out the correct color range the bulb was designed for. a worn/inefficient ballast will also cause a shorter life for the bulb too. when you do replace it, go with an electronic ballast. much longer lasting and a bit more efficient in power consumption.

    all bulbs are built to be within a certain color spectrum. even your ceiling lights etc at home. you wont visibly notice a shift in the color typically but maybe the intensity/brightness will more noticeable. human eyes cannot see the colors of light very well at all. the basic bulb that we all purchase for our home is designed to be more like the color of the sunlight that we see. (i should say perception/perceive).
    a good example is reef aquariums. most ppl seem to prefer their tank be lit with a 10,000-12,000 Kelvin color range. our eyes see this range as a movie in the Caribbean during full sun noon time. take a picture of that aquarium and you will see a strong blue color that looks more like midnight blue, complete opposite of our perception of "daylight".

    but our reptiles (my son has a Chinese Water Dragon) need the UVB not only for metabolizing calcium but also for their vision. dont forget that part of it too.

    If anyone else can chime in with more accurate information please do!


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