Advanced lighting systems!


New Member
OK I want to upgrade Boris' lighting to something fancy, just wondering who has or know what things I should get to get started.
Uv seen people with thunderstorm modes and natural lighting modes so it starts dim for morning and gets brighter towards midday and dims out again
I want something awesome and that help bring his colours out :D

Show me what you got lol


New Member
Nice thread idea!! I just switched my female panthers to reptisun high output t5's and they brighten things up ALOT. They supposedly put out more UVA/UVB (safelevels) than the regular 5.0's too. Definately seems like both females that are under it are more active than they were in the past. Safe to say that it's closest thing I've found so far to natural sunlight.


New Member
Haha nice, what percentage have you gone for?
I'm really interested in setting up a fully auto natural system with random storms and stuff like thunder and lightning and stuff like that.
Was think about designing something in raspberry or something to control everything


New Member
Ive been looking at these incadecent socket LEDs that are 21"called Jungle Dawn grow n glow lights. They look amazing! I want to get one or two..... but the only site i can find is sold out till the end of the month. Oh, theres also a lighting system thats made by mistking that looks kinda cool. Its got all those fancy bells and whistles that your looking for.


New Member
Are LEDs only for lighting the cage and you would still need to run a UVB bulb? If so that seems like an expensive option. I have a reef aquarium and have made some DIY LED fixtures and there are some uv spectrum diodes but I don't know if its the correct spectrum. They are blindingly bright and plenty strong enough to grow coral providing you get the correct diodes. The novelty of the storms and such ware off quickly and the only feature I really liked was the ability to dim gradually on and off like sunrise and sunset.


New Member
Think I'll look into building my own as a project though. Don't like just running out and buying a ready made fixture if i can build it myself and have it half hidden
The whole storm thing is cool and probably just something to show off. But nice addition to have :D
LEDs, as far as I know, dont have the proper UVB range yet. The lowest they seem to reliably go is about 350nm, and peak Vit D production happens sub 300nm (about 295-300nm range).

if you want a dimming system, look into a x10 home automation system or light control module. They're computer programmable with basic functions, and assuming you get a dimmable light source you can program it to turn on and increase in intensity over several hours, then return at the end of the day.

UVB source will be your limiting factor. As far as I know the fluorescent t5, t8 and VHO bulbs arent dimmable. You could probably set it up to turn on during full light exposure, and then turn off right before your lights start to dim again


New Member
A company call ATI out of Germany makes T5 light fixtures for reef aquariums that are dimmable. You can purchase the dimmable ballast separately but I don't know if you'd need a special dimmer control.
A company call ATI out of Germany makes T5 light fixtures for reef aquariums that are dimmable. You can purchase the dimmable ballast separately but I don't know if you'd need a special dimmer control.

I guess LEDs kinda make it a moot point, but man, that would have been SO cool to have for reef keeping back in the day... do you know if it works for any t5 bulb?


New Member
I guess LEDs kinda make it a moot point, but man, that would have been SO cool to have for reef keeping back in the day... do you know if it works for any t5 bulb?

Yes and no, there are still a lot of people on the fence about LEDs. I myself find that the best option is and led/T5 combo getting the benefits of both without the draw backs.

There are no specialized bulbs, it uses the same bulbs as a non-dimming fixture so I would imagine any T5 bulb would work. T5 bulbs were made to have a soft start so I don't see why dimming would negatively effect them. From what I have read the hard start ballasts are what shortens the life span of T5 bulbs.


Avid Member
LED and its use on reptiles....

The LEDs are great for adding 6.5-ish light for plants and to light up reptile enclosures.
Specially designed full spectrum LEDs can give nice white "day"-light.
And LED use less than half the amount electricity for the same amount of light as a flo. light (t5 and t8) fixtures.

They also produce much less heat.


As it has been mentioned in this thread and many others --

At the present time >>>>

There are NO good LED bulbs or LED units for UV-ing reptiles. Period.

Despite what ANYBODY says.:eek:

I say this because I have SADLY seen on Ebay recently some "Scammy" LED stuff that says it produces "UV" for reptiles.

Buyer beware!

These units are miss leading because they produce the WRONG kind of UV for Vit. D synthesis.
They give off UV A or "black-light UV".

These sellers are PREYING on people that do not know the difference between UV A (black-light wave-length UV) and UV B...

UV B that is needed in the 295 - 305 nano-meter range that will synthesize Vit D.

But these only have UV A in the 320 - 400 range ---

So by only using these LED "UV" lights to UV your animals....
They would get MBD and eventually die.

there are LED diodes out there that do produce UV B,
but they are very expensive ....
and for electrical reasons (having to do with the voltage of them)
they are very difficult and costly to add INTO A DIODE ARRAY that would also produce full spectrum visible light , AND UV A for reptile vision AND UV B for vit D synthesis.

as it stands right now, to create a LED diode array that has as good a quality light that you now can get from a HO t5 tube...
And give you UV B,
it would end up costing approx. 500.00 or 600.00 dollars for such a unit.

Now compare that to what under 100.00 buys you with an HO t5 double tube fixture that includes a 6.5K BROAD SPECTRUM day-light bulb and an Arcadia ho t5 tube.

It is not cost effective right now to develop and make the full spectrum UV B LED.

(I know this for fact ;) because I am working right now with a top engineer in China to create a Jungle Dawn® LED that will produce the correct amount of UV in THE RIGHT wave-lengths.... and it is a very slow, very expensive process. ugh. :( )

And please....
For the sake of your animals---
Do not get suckered on e-bay into buying an LED unit that claims it will provide UV B and the correct lighting for your animals.:eek:
Because it does not.

(They may have had to remove these LED products (I HOPE!) due to false / miss-leading advertising. )

Also-- please see note on LED reef lighting units below.

LED Re-cap:


LED is GOOD for adding more visible light to enclosures to brighten them up and grow plants.

LED is easy on the electric bill for adding more light.

LED is good for adding more light with-out adding more heat.
(NOTE: but if you NEED more heat, skip LED and use HO t5.)


LED is designed to NOT produce heat, so they are NOT good for basking lamps.

LED units that provide correct UV A & UV B & Visible Light to match good 'ol flo. tubes ARE NOT Commercially available at this time.

Reef Light LED units that say they produce UV ....
and they DO....
are spiked in all the WRONG wavelengths for reptile use.
Expensive waste of money-
LED reef lights re-produce the spectrum of light AFTER it has been filtered through 30 - 40 feet of sea water--
as would be natural light hitting a tropical ocean reef.
It has most of the red filtered out, and is around 10k - 20k.
This is not natural terrestrial lighting.
It grows spindly plants and is way too blue for vivarium and reptile use.

here's an important warning when using LED light-bulbs, or LED units on Cham cages:
LED must be kept COOL >>>>
and ANY kind of LED unit must be placed as FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from heat lights and dome lights over Cham enclosures....
because the heat radiating off the heat lights and dome lights will cause the LED units to run too hot, overheat and fail prematurely.:(


Below are some pics of LED products that produce "grow light" for plants and nice 6.5k light with good spectrum.

NONE of these pictured below produce UV.
Nor do they radiate much heat--
so they would need to be used in conjunction WITH a dome light for heat AND a UV producing Flo. Bulb (or Mercury Vapor spot-light bulb)

So using LEDs like shown below would make for 3 types of light over the average set up...
instead of the usual two (flo. light and incandescent lighting for heat.)



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