Habitat lighting question and UVB radiometer vs UV Index meter


New Member
I have a couple questions. My habitat is 30"x30"x60" tall. I currently have a Reptisun 30" T5 HO hood with 5.0 UVB bulb on top of the cage pushed toward the back of the encloser in addition to a dual dome lamp with a 60W basking bulb in one dome and a 13 watt 5.0 bulb in the other dome more toward the front of the encloser. It's obviously a good size encloser. My question Is any reason to use the larger 26 watt 5.0 bulb which is longer than the 13 watt 5.0 bulb and would require a deeper dome so the light wouldn't stick out of the bottom? Thought being the height of the encloser and proximity toward the bottom of the cage may require the larger bulb? Would the larger bulb be overkill or cause harm to the cham? The main perch running horizontal across the cage allows the cham to be anwhere from 12" to 15" from the light unless he decides to go lower under the canopy of plants. With regard to the basking bulb, the heat meter shows no more than 85 to 90 degrees at the very closest point, again with the ability to move away and hide under the cover of the plants.

This brings me to my second question which may answer my first. I am thinking of purchasing either a digital UVB meter or UV Index meter. Solarmeter and Zoomed have the identical meters with separate branding. Both brands offer either a UVB meter or UV Index meter. I've read the similarities and differences a couple times, but still confused. There seems to be a decent amount of discussion on which is the better way to go.

Any thoughts on either or both of my questions would be greatly appreciated. I have a Sambava Panther coming in March and trying to get everything right. Thanks everyone!!


Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there I highly recommend the solarmeter. I got this one https://www.amazon.com/Solarmeter-M...TF8&qid=1548367279&sr=8-1&keywords=solarmeter

It is worth the piece of mind just knowing that your levels are right. Since adding the screen between your fixture and cage causes a loss of about 30% UVB it is well worth it to know exactly where your levels are at basking. I found this video very interesting comparing the rays between T5 bulbs and coil bulbs


Chameleon Enthusiast
You can look at some of my older posts, but you want UV index. Just a standard UVB meter than measures n blabla sqmeter, is for measuring nasty stuff(non terrestrial) that humans should not be exposed to, its not meant for measuring natural or artificial sun light.


Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve gone with the Solarmeter 6.5 (UVI) for years. Great investment. I was under the impression that they no longer made the Zoomed branded meters, but it doesn’t matter, they are the same thing.
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