Best 12 hour light cycle?

Erica1884

Established Member
I know the standard light schedule is 12 on/12off, but more specifically I'm curious WHICH 12 hours everyone keeps their lights on. I've seen recommended schedules of 7a-7p, but was wondering if anyone is doing 8a-8p or even 9a-9p or later? The selfish kid in me wants to go 9a-9p so I get the longest benefit possible of watching my cham for a while at night, but the responsible pet owner in me knows I should think of my pet first. So especially with the cage being within proximity of windows where the morning light will come in before I even turn on lights, I fear a 9-9 schedule is squeaking in more daylight to his world than there should be. What would be a recommended 12 hr schedule in this situation?
I do 6-6 but live in MA and it’s typically sun down by 6. Summer will likely do 7-7
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
If you can control the light that they are exposed to from the windows which 12 hours doesn't matter. I would avoid abrupt changes just the same. Keep the room dark during the sleep hours and you will be fine,
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dumb question from someone who is still planning enclosure design...how does the UVB light output compare to traditional lights? I know chameleons need that light spectrum, but is it comparably bright? By comparison, an IR light wouldn't be visible to humans.
Thanks.
Are you wondering about using the UVB as a plant light again? If so, I thought that had been discussed. :unsure:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...ghts-be-enough-lighting-for-my-plants.181564/

If not, please elucidate.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
No, I was just curious about overall light output looking at it from a distance (aesthetically).
I'm glad you said "from a distance". My eye doctors insist UVBs can be damaging to human eyes.
Without getting into a debate about that, one of my enclosures has glass doors that prevent UV transmission (and I wear UV-blocking sunglasses when working in there with the UVB on). The other enclosure has the UVB mounted in such a way that it can't be seen from directly in front of the enclosure. It's tall enough that while working in there I just don't look up. :rolleyes:

Aesthetically (which granted, is subjective) I like what the LED plant lights do for the cham enclosure. While not as bright as the sun, the visible wavelengths are similar, so the plant colors & (can't think of the right word) warmth(?) are more natural. (subjective)
 

Thompson

Avid Member
I have a similar situation—enclosure is within view of a picture window (and cham loves looking out it).
When I set things up, I looked up sunup/sundown data for where I live. Coincidentally, it came out that noon really is noon, and sunup & sundown are—on average—equidistant either way all/most of the year.

So I set the timers for 6am to 6pm. The real beauty is, I don't have to do anything when the clocks change. The clocks may change, but the sun doesn't. ;):)

So I think the windows DO play a part in it. Your cham will be up with the sun, and probably prefer to go to sleep accordingly. OTOH, if you moved him to a place where he couldn't see the sun, there may be less influence—IDK.
My chameleons are by the window and react to the sun rising and setting so I just follow that and everyones happy lol.
 

Tifftar

New Member
Personally, my lights go on from 8AM to 8PM but since the time change, the sun comes up at about 7:30 so it's not that big of a difference. But at night he goes to his sleeping spot an hour early no matter when the sun goes down
Are you on the east coast because I feel like mine is about the same
 

Thompson

Avid Member
I like this idea of the UVB going on an hour after and off an hour before the other lights, but for yet one other reason than those already stated (cost savings, etc.). I'm currently doing the 12 hr cycle from 8a-8p for my UVB and plant light (basking goes off several hours earlier) but it looks so bright in there right up until lights out at 8pm. So I'm considering letting UVB turn off slightly ahead of the plant light, which results in a gradual decrease in lights till lights out. I think the gradual approach may be more gentle on the cham as he prepares for bed!!
The reason why you do this I thought was to mimic UVB levels throughout the day as the sun begins to fall and UVB levels begin to dissipate to 0 as it becomes night. I use to turn off the heat bulb first then the plant lights, and last would be their UVB bulbs. But honestly I don't think this is even necessary just as long as lights are off when they need to be off and on when they need to be on.
 
I know the standard light schedule is 12 on/12off, but more specifically I'm curious WHICH 12 hours everyone keeps their lights on. I've seen recommended schedules of 7a-7p, but was wondering if anyone is doing 8a-8p or even 9a-9p or later? The selfish kid in me wants to go 9a-9p so I get the longest benefit possible of watching my cham for a while at night, but the responsible pet owner in me knows I should think of my pet first. So especially with the cage being within proximity of windows where the morning light will come in before I even turn on lights, I fear a 9-9 schedule is squeaking in more daylight to his world than there should be. What would be a recommended 12 hr schedule in this situation?
I do 8am-8pm for my halogen heat lamp and UVB
 

Erica1884

Established Member
That's DST. If you use a mechanical timer, you can leave it alone, and it will still come out 7-7. ;)
I was raised in Az which is the only state that does not observe dst lol. I’ve been in Ma for about 10 years and still struggle every dst. Lol I swear I momentarily forgot it was even a thing🤦🏽‍♀️😂
 
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