Help with large enclosure (2m x 1.5m x 2.5m)

Cheeky

Member
Hi,

I am just finishing off a new house for my Panther Chameleon.

Its 2.0m wide, 2.5m high (in the middle) and about 1.5m deep.

Build pictures:

49400270391_66ef969064_c.jpg


49400476847_7afd6d33df_c.jpg


49400270016_0550aa74a6_c.jpg


49400269796_0578335c8c_c.jpg


49400272991_05b9fea444_c.jpg


49399798173_3e7539b2c2_c.jpg


49399797868_15022c017f_c.jpg


49399797528_af72ee6e1c_c.jpg


49400478387_83c9f27971_c.jpg


49400478052_0021e3cb67_c.jpg


49399796633_a8d794a1d5_c.jpg


49400270711_a14b17cc8a_c.jpg


So, now you're caught up.

No its not finished still need to add more branches, plants etc these were just some spares I had :)

Where I could do with some help is around lighting.

I'd really like to get as close as I can to recreate a wild environment but i'd also like to minimize the chances of burns or damage to my Chameleon. Long term plan is to have a sequence of lights controlled by a smart timer that takes a weather / temp feed from somewhere in Madagascar so that day temps can vary along with regional temps.

Given the size of the enclosure, should I be looking at Metal Halide or Mercury Vapour? bulbs?

Ideally id like to provide the kind of lighting / UV levels they would see in the wild but also offer appropriate areas of shade to retreat to.

Thanks for reading, here's some pictures of Kamil, my Cham

49399798448_42c5aac098_c.jpg


49400027753_fc23466913_c.jpg
 
Last edited:

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi,

I am just finishing off a new house for my Panther Chameleon.

Its 2.0m wide, 2.5m high (in the middle) and about 1.5m deep.

Build pictures:

49400270391_66ef969064_c.jpg


49400476847_7afd6d33df_c.jpg


49400270016_0550aa74a6_c.jpg


49400269796_0578335c8c_c.jpg


49400272991_05b9fea444_c.jpg


49399798173_3e7539b2c2_c.jpg


49399797868_15022c017f_c.jpg


49399797528_af72ee6e1c_c.jpg


49400478387_83c9f27971_c.jpg


49400478052_0021e3cb67_c.jpg


49399796633_a8d794a1d5_c.jpg


49400270711_a14b17cc8a_c.jpg


So, now you're caught up.

No its not finished still need to add more branches, plants etc these were just some spares I had :)

Where I could do with some help is around lighting.

I'd really like to get as close as I can to recreate a wild environment but i'd also like to minimize the chances of burns or damage to my Chameleon. Long term plan is to have a sequence of lights controlled by a smart timer that takes a weather / temp feed from somewhere in Madagascar so that day temps can vary along with regional temps.

Given the size of the enclosure, should I be looking at Metal Halide or Mercury Vapour? bulbs?

Ideally id like to provide the kind of lighting / UV levels they would see in the wild but also offer appropriate areas of shade to retreat to.

Thanks for reading, here's some pictures of Kamil, my Cham

49399798448_42c5aac098_c.jpg


49400027753_fc23466913_c.jpg
So, halides can really push a lot of light, but their uvb levels can vary dramatically from bulb to bulb. Do you have a uvi meter?
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm very interested in hearing how you plan control such a feat?

The Temps are not too hard, you can get the Data, and do that. Lighting is also easy. However where your going to have issues I think is the UVI, do you have a reliable source to get the UVI of the day? Again what controller?

I'm going to say a combo of LEDs, Infared Heaters, and UVB T5HOs would be my starting point, there is now UVB LEDs, very expensive Very strong, and you will need a UVI meter no matter what if you are wanting to change levels throughout the day. You could control the Temps, and the Lights with an Apex I believe it has location settings, but that will leave you wash with UVI, for that I think you would have to build your own and custom code it.

As to the Halides, and MVBs, neither IMO. You stated your wanted to recreate nature, you will do that with neither, and both will create heat based on brightness, not allow the changing of spectrum throughout the day and are extremely inefficient.
 

skoram

Established Member
There is now UVB LEDs, very expensive Very strong, and you will need a UVI meter no matter what if you are wanting to change levels throughout the day.

I've been waiting years for these to be released but you aren't kidding about the "very expensive" part!

https://www.digikey.com/product-det...737.45904888.1579315058-2066790138.1579315058

OP: I'm so jealous of the huge space you have for this enclosure! Please keep posting lots of photos so I can live vicariously through you!
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've been waiting years for these to be released but you aren't kidding about the "very expensive" part!

https://www.digikey.com/product-det...737.45904888.1579315058-2066790138.1579315058

OP: I'm so jealous of the huge space you have for this enclosure! Please keep posting lots of photos so I can live vicariously through you!

Ya not cheap lol, there is these, https://www.digikey.com/product-det...SB-073808/1807-RVXR-295-SB-073808-ND/10271145 but something about constrained supply, so IDK.

The real question however is how many would we need. Eventually someone will have to buy some and see lol. If you only need 2-3 for a 24x24, they may be worth it.

Then of course the diffusing material, is going to be expensive as well. There may be a way, and me and a couple other people are seeing what we can do.

The bigger set back tbh is needing multiple solar meters, or a DIY one that is accurate and can measure several spectrums. a 6.5 is cool and all, but Index doesnt give us the full picture. We need to know, the index of the fixture as a whole, with UVB and UVA leds present, and we will need to also know How much UVB is produced by the LEDs to compare, and we will need a D3 meter, to get what really matters.

Our Flo bulbs provide D3 between 280-310, the over 300 range of that is more into the UVA area, synthesizes nothing, and the 280 is getting close to C and thats where D3 is destroyed. 290-300 is the sweet spot (294, is the best), and thats exactly what those LEDs put out, BUT we need to read just that 290-300, which requires the 3rd solar meter. So thats at the very least, us needing a 6.5 and a 6.4, and having a 6.2 would be nice.
 
Last edited:

Cheeky

Member
Wow, way to make the rest of us look bad! Lol

Ha! I dont think so!

So, halides can really push a lot of light, but their uvb levels can vary dramatically from bulb to bulb. Do you have a uvi meter?

Not as yet, but its under consideration. I have the luxury of making sure this all works properly before Kamil moves in.

I'm very interested in hearing how you plan control such a feat?

The Temps are not too hard, you can get the Data, and do that. Lighting is also easy. However where your going to have issues I think is the UVI, do you have a reliable source to get the UVI of the day? Again what controller?

I'm going to say a combo of LEDs, Infared Heaters, and UVB T5HOs would be my starting point, there is now UVB LEDs, very expensive Very strong, and you will need a UVI meter no matter what if you are wanting to change levels throughout the day. You could control the Temps, and the Lights with an Apex I believe it has location settings, but that will leave you wash with UVI, for that I think you would have to build your own and custom code it.

As to the Halides, and MVBs, neither IMO. You stated your wanted to recreate nature, you will do that with neither, and both will create heat based on brightness, not allow the changing of spectrum throughout the day and are extremely inefficient.

The method I am playing with at the moment is by using smart sockets that can be controlled over an app and then using something like IFTTT to push "on" and "off" events to each socket.

The question comes down to resolution, especially with UVB. I dont think i'm able to replicate levels minute by minute (yet) but my thinking at the moment for UVB is to have a few different sources say a background UVI of 2-3 then a boost up to 6 and a further boost up to say 9/10. I would expect this to profile to something like 2-3 for morning and evening with a ramp up to the 10 for the very hottest part of the day before it then ramping back down for dusk informed by an hourly check on UVI levels in Sambava, Madagascar. To start with i'd cap it at 6 and carefully observe my Cham to make sure this is all working as intended and he has adequate shelter.......yes its sounding very much like a solarmeter is required!

The way I am trying to make this work is to build google calendar events based on weather in Madagascar for the day, then control lights / temp via the calendar. The challenges I am struggling with at the moment relate to the change in timezone and season between Uk and Madagascar, sunrise might be half 5 there but here thats 2am! Most of the smart home programming assumes your location is in the same country...I'm sure that can be overcome with some code, the 6 months offset in seasons is more challenging.

I'm staying away from UVB LEDs at the moment, this isn't a money no object build!

I don't yet have sufficient control of the radiator to adjust room temp by the hour but initial plan is to imitate the Madagascar weather, match sunrise and sunset, if its hot and sunny put everything on, if its cloudy then reduce basking lights (& UV) but keep ambient up, if its raining all day then run the mister, reduce lighting and ambient temp. If I use things in a modular way I should be able to control it by adding a light / heat source based on threshold values rather than by each degree.

Absolutely amazing enclosure! :love:

Thanks :D

OP: I'm so jealous of the huge space you have for this enclosure! Please keep posting lots of photos so I can live vicariously through you!

Thanks! Its been a slow project as i've not done much woodwork or "smart things" programming :rolleyes:
 

KRGEE21

Avid Member
Hi,

I am just finishing off a new house for my Panther Chameleon.

Its 2.0m wide, 2.5m high (in the middle) and about 1.5m deep.

Build pictures:

49400270391_66ef969064_c.jpg


49400476847_7afd6d33df_c.jpg


49400270016_0550aa74a6_c.jpg


49400269796_0578335c8c_c.jpg


49400272991_05b9fea444_c.jpg


49399798173_3e7539b2c2_c.jpg


49399797868_15022c017f_c.jpg


49399797528_af72ee6e1c_c.jpg


49400478387_83c9f27971_c.jpg


49400478052_0021e3cb67_c.jpg


49399796633_a8d794a1d5_c.jpg


49400270711_a14b17cc8a_c.jpg


So, now you're caught up.

No its not finished still need to add more branches, plants etc these were just some spares I had :)

Where I could do with some help is around lighting.

I'd really like to get as close as I can to recreate a wild environment but i'd also like to minimize the chances of burns or damage to my Chameleon. Long term plan is to have a sequence of lights controlled by a smart timer that takes a weather / temp feed from somewhere in Madagascar so that day temps can vary along with regional temps.

Given the size of the enclosure, should I be looking at Metal Halide or Mercury Vapour? bulbs?

Ideally id like to provide the kind of lighting / UV levels they would see in the wild but also offer appropriate areas of shade to retreat to.

Thanks for reading, here's some pictures of Kamil, my Cham

49399798448_42c5aac098_c.jpg


49400027753_fc23466913_c.jpg
Really cool looking enclosure. Curious what you used to waterproof the planter base, and if you added any sort of drainage.
 

Cheeky

Member
Really cool looking enclosure. Curious what you used to waterproof the planter base, and if you added any sort of drainage.

I used pond liner over external grade ply. Drainage layer is 50-80mm of clay balls with a membrane over, i've then added a pvc pipe in a corner than goes through to the base so that I can pump out water if it builds up excessively, hopefully once the plants are established they will deal with the water. Im intending to mostly hydrate over night through humidity / dew so hopefully not too much water to deal with......depending on what I do over the rainy season.
 

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
Thats awesome. Ive been thinking about going bioactive, but havent made a base for the viv yet. It looks much nicer at the bottom to me.

I would stick with t5or t8 as mercury and the like get too hot and create too much uv, even in the massive space.
Just my own opinion.
 

Attachments

  • 0101200954.jpg
    0101200954.jpg
    159.5 KB · Views: 55

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
The method I am playing with at the moment is by using smart sockets that can be controlled over an app and then using something like IFTTT to push "on" and "off" events to each socket.

The question comes down to resolution, especially with UVB. I dont think i'm able to replicate levels minute by minute (yet) but my thinking at the moment for UVB is to have a few different sources say a background UVI of 2-3 then a boost up to 6 and a further boost up to say 9/10. I would expect this to profile to something like 2-3 for morning and evening with a ramp up to the 10 for the very hottest part of the day before it then ramping back down for dusk informed by an hourly check on UVI levels in Sambava, Madagascar. To start with i'd cap it at 6 and carefully observe my Cham to make sure this is all working as intended and he has adequate shelter.......yes its sounding very much like a solarmeter is required!

The way I am trying to make this work is to build google calendar events based on weather in Madagascar for the day, then control lights / temp via the calendar. The challenges I am struggling with at the moment relate to the change in timezone and season between Uk and Madagascar, sunrise might be half 5 there but here thats 2am! Most of the smart home programming assumes your location is in the same country...I'm sure that can be overcome with some code, the 6 months offset in seasons is more challenging.

I'm staying away from UVB LEDs at the moment, this isn't a money no object build!

I don't yet have sufficient control of the radiator to adjust room temp by the hour but initial plan is to imitate the Madagascar weather, match sunrise and sunset, if its hot and sunny put everything on, if its cloudy then reduce basking lights (& UV) but keep ambient up, if its raining all day then run the mister, reduce lighting and ambient temp. If I use things in a modular way I should be able to control it by adding a light / heat source based on threshold values rather than by each degree.

I'm not sure how the Google home setup works, I do believe the Apex can do what you are trying to do however. Though the load out would be pricey.

One advantage to that, is you could create seasonally swings. So the Apex would allow you to schedule daily storms with % chance per hour. Therefore, you could take chunks out of the weather history find averages, and recreate them. The Apex also allows seasonally, or monthly changes to the schedule being programmed.

A couple of other issues, you might have with this system is the Misters. Do you realize how much it rains over there? How many misters do you plan to run? What kind of plumbing is ran to the misters? How do you intend to deal with draining the water? What kind of soil mixture are you working with that will allow that much water? Are you going to allow rain at night? That Mister will be on more than it is off. How will you protect your walls and the rest of your room from the serious amounts of rain?

To give a rough idea, I have this from the other day. This isnt Sambava, but they are quite similar.
2020-01-14 12_55_09-Hourly Weather Forecast for Ambilobe, Madagascar - The Weather Channel _ W...png


Thats an average Wet Season Day in January in Ambilobe. Here is a yearly count, from Madcham again Ambilobe.

2020-01-14 13_11_15-Local form Ambilobe – Madcham.de.png



I would still move away from On/Off for the lighting, Reptiles have much stronger perception of the Suns complexity's than we do. They use the spectrum's that differ throughout the day, to tell whats going on. The most important part of recreating a natural habitat for a reptile is the lighting, not flipping those lights on and off, in a completely unnatural way.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sambava rains a little less, here is that data, I was curious for realness sake.

2020-01-18 09_30_47-Local form Sambava – Madcham.de.png


and a today snapshot.
2020-01-18 09_32_23-Hourly Weather Forecast for Ambodisatrana, Sava Region, Madagascar - The W...png
 
Last edited:

Cheeky

Member
I'm not aware of any uvb strip lights that work on a dimmer stat, especially not a uvi dimmer stat?? I don't think that going from 1 light to 2 lights to 3 lights and back down to 1 over the course of 13 hours is a completely unnatural flipping of lights on and off that is going to unduly stress my cham out?

The enclosure is in an outbuilding so I'm not unduly concerned about damp.

Monthly rainfall is between 80mm and 250mm which is 3mm to 10mm per day. From observations I have found so far, panthers tend to hide away from the rain so there is likely little benefit from fully recreating monsoons.

I currently have 4 Internet connected sockets and a controlling hub for £50.

:)
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not aware of any uvb strip lights that work on a dimmer stat, especially not a uvi dimmer stat?? I don't think that going from 1 light to 2 lights to 3 lights and back down to 1 over the course of 13 hours is a completely unnatural flipping of lights on and off that is going to unduly stress my cham out?

The enclosure is in an outbuilding so I'm not unduly concerned about damp.

Monthly rainfall is between 80mm and 250mm which is 3mm to 10mm per day. From observations I have found so far, panthers tend to hide away from the rain so there is likely little benefit from fully recreating monsoons.

I currently have 4 Internet connected sockets and a controlling hub for £50.

:)


So a few things with this. So lets break it up :).
"I'm not aware of any uvb strip lights that work on a dimmer stat, especially not a uvi dimmer stat??"

By UVB Strip Lights, you mean Flos correct? If so, all of them would work with a Dimmer Controller, the issue is not with the light, its the ballast. There is Fluorescent Dimmable Ballasts available, they are not cheap and they do not work with a Dimming outlet, as I think you mean. They use 0-10v dimming system, their is lots of options for that on the Market, alot of which will also work for LED systems. The Apex I had mentioned, was one such device.

Now I would not, partake in doing such a feat without a UVI meter at the least, and really you would have to. You would need to be able to know how much UVI your lights pump out at what percentages to be able to match that to the UVI data. This would allow you to sculpt a recreation of the daily UVI, however not on point on day, but we will come back to that.

"I don't think that going from 1 light to 2 lights to 3 lights and back down to 1 over the course of 13 hours is a completely unnatural flipping of lights on and off that is going to unduly stress my cham out?"

Although I am in the minority, I would say it fully will. We dont have enough people attempting to recreate natural light to really know for certain. We do know that Chameleons and all reptiles, get most of their Qs from the Sun, they are more perceptive of changes of color, placement, brightness, ect then we are.

I have a post about this I have been meaning to write up. However the jist is pretty much that. An article that shines this theory can be found here (I been linking this alot as of late lol) http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Habitats-Care/Reptile-Lighting-Information/

An Excerpt if I may.

"Sunlight also has effects unrelated to conscious vision. A reptile’s eyes, and the parietal eye (third eye) in those species that have one, transmit information to other parts of its brain responsible for setting circadian (daily) and circannual (yearly) rhythms. There are even light-sensitive areas of the reptilian brain that respond directly to sunlight’s glow through the skull. The length of day and night, the sun’s position in the sky, and the intensity and amount of blue in sunlight all give precise information about the time of day and season of the year. In response, a reptile adjusts its activity levels, and daily and seasonal behaviors, such as its reproductive cycle and thermoregulation needs. Even nocturnal species govern their behavior by monitoring day and night from their daytime hiding places.

No artificial lighting system in the world can provide the full spectrum and intensity of natural sunlight, its subtle changes in color as a day progresses, or the sun’s movement across the sky. For these reasons alone, the more natural daylight a reptile experiences, the better."

I want to be careful talking about this, until my post is finalized. As I was accused of anthropomorphizing speaking about it the other day. However, I will still apply that same excerpt.

How do you feel when you are asleep and someone flips a super bright light in your face? Now this is where I was anthropomorphizing, however its not anthropomorphizing at all. That is an instinctual reaction to flip up in a state of panic and stress from such an event. It is not something humans alone solely posses. Reptiles, especially chameleons hide stress very well, until it is immense. However the fish guys, have begun to move away from flipping lights on, as they are clearly stressed by the endeavor. Want a easy test? Got a dog? Go shine a bright light in their face while they are asleep and watch how fast they hop up in a panic.

Now the excerpt had an aspect of importance due to its old age.
"No artificial lighting system in the world can provide the full spectrum and intensity of natural sunlight, its subtle changes in color as a day progresses, or the sun’s movement across the sky."

The article is old, we can 100% do this today, and you with your shaped corners can even move the sun throughout the day, something most of us do not have the luxury for, if you were so inclined.

"For these reasons alone, the more natural daylight a reptile experiences, the better."

Right, so why are we still flipping lights on full blast first thing in the morning like its 2008 :).


Sorry for the rant, I need to finish my post, which might have to be a Blog due to the (I feel new?) 1000 char limit lol.



"Monthly rainfall is between 80mm and 250mm which is 3mm to 10mm per day. From observations I have found so far, panthers tend to hide away from the rain so there is likely little benefit from fully recreating monsoons."

I am slightly in agree, and slightly not.

I do agree that for the most part, most of the time, they do not like the Mist. However, I have been melding the lighting ideas with that of the mister and found something of interest. I dim my lights before the mist, to simulate the cloud before the rain, and will be adding more to that simulation soon. When this happens, my Panther does seek a leaf, or shelter from the mist at times, its been slow but he is seemingly learning what that means. Sometimes however, I have a few times witnessed an opposite behavior, he seems to move towards the misters, and plant him self firmly in where he knows it to spray. Usually when doing this, he will hide his head, and sit there until the mister has started and ran its course. I see this behavior alot before a shed, sometimes he will too back his head in and seemingly wash his eyes.

I know that others have experienced this as well, on these very forums. Chameleons do not always seemingly to run from misters, they in my experience always do, at first, without the lighting changes, however they ease back into the mist after the stress seems to have subsided of being blasted with cold water out of nowhere, I know I anthropomorphizing again, Animals dont realize when they are blasted with Cold water :p.

That all said, I dont see a reason to recreate hour long monsoons either lol. I think, though I dont know as I have not studied the weather in Sambava much, that is quite like the upper and eastern forests anyway, more short bursts of rain throughout the day, then it is pure hardcore downfalls you would likely no more about that though.

Anyway, so then I feel I am not truly understanding the idea at hand? Was it to created a schedule based on days, but a schedule none the less? Or a system that uses the current location based weather data and recreate it live? As their is systems that can do the later, but then if it rains for 4 hours and rain sets off the misters, then it will run the misters for 4 hours. That was what I took from your post, as was your intention. That was why we are back to the UVI, I had thought you meant the same as with the misters. So whatever the UVI is at that point in the day today, (or yesterday) is what your UVI would be, a controller that could determine and alter that function. That might be fully possible, if you had UVI readings source, and a controller that was coded to do such a feat.
 
Last edited:

Cheeky

Member
Okay.

I think we are on the same page and talking about getting to the same thing.

In my current 4'x2'x2' setup, at 7am all the lights come on full blast until about 6pm when they turn off - basking is on a dimmer stat but is mostly 100%. In addition a few times a day the enclosure is blasted with cold (room temp) water for a couple of minutes then stops with no visual or other clues. This is pretty much the same all year around although I mist a bit more to replicate a rainy season.

Tangent
For what its worth in the summer I have him outside as much as I can, usually for several hours at a time where he free ranges around the garden - with supervision. Originally this enclosure was going to be an outside enclosure so I could leave him out most of the year without him escaping or being eaten.


The dream would be to completely replicate, minute by minute, the conditions in a Chameleon habitat in Madagascar. While that may just about be within the realms of possibility it is certainly not within my financial ability at the moment! However I think there are quite easy steps that can be taken at a minimal cost that can improve upon the current setup and move a bit further forward.

In my new setup I am trying to achieve the following:
1. Rather than everything being on all day at the same temp I would like to replicate cooler morning and evening with a few hours of bright sun / high heat in the middle of the day
2. Get away from every day having the same conditions for my Cham. Some days should be hotter and some colder, some bright some dim, some wet some dry.
3. Have bigger seasonal differences, 6 months of warm and dry and 6 months of cooler wetter.
4. If i'm going to vary all these things then why not use day by day weather conditions in Madagascar to inform temps, weather and length of day?

The easiest way I have found to adjust for the timezones and control the lights accordingly is to build a calendar that sets out hour by hour the temperature and weather condition (sunny, raining, cloudy). This temperature schedule can be read by the light controller to change the chameleons local environment.

Will it be perfect? No, a long way from it but that's not a reason not to progress, its going be better than what I am doing now so will provide a better environment for my Cham.

PS I would love to stick the lights on a rotation so they travel across the enclosure but there is not the clearance to the roof / timber frame plus you're into a world of supports, motors and noise which would be challenging.
 
Last edited:

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay.

I think we are on the same page and talking about getting to the same thing.

In my current 4'x2'x2' setup, at 7am all the lights come on full blast until about 6pm when they turn off - basking is on a dimmer stat but is mostly 100%. In addition a few times a day the enclosure is blasted with cold (room temp) water for a couple of minutes then stops with no visual or other clues. This is pretty much the same all year around although I mist a bit more to replicate a rainy season.

Tangent
For what its worth in the summer I have him outside as much as I can, usually for several hours at a time where he free ranges around the garden - with supervision. Originally this enclosure was going to be an outside enclosure so I could leave him out most of the year without him escaping or being eaten.


The dream would be to completely replicate, minute by minute, the conditions in a Chameleon habitat in Madagascar. While that may just about be within the realms of possibility it is certainly not within my financial ability at the moment! However I think there are quite easy steps that can be taken at a minimal cost that can improve upon the current setup and move a bit further forward.

In my new setup I am trying to achieve the following:
1. Rather than everything being on all day at the same temp I would like to replicate cooler morning and evening with a few hours of bright sun / high heat in the middle of the day
2. Get away from every day having the same conditions for my Cham. Some days should be hotter and some colder, some bright some dim, some wet some dry.
3. Have bigger seasonal differences, 6 months of warm and dry and 6 months of cooler wetter.
4. If i'm going to vary all these things then why not use weather conditions in Madagascar to inform temps, weather and length of day?

The easiest way I have found to adjust for the timezones and control the lights accordingly is to build a calendar that sets out hour by hour the temperature and weather condition (sunny, raining, cloudy). This temperature schedule can be read by the light controller to change the chameleons local environment.

Will it be perfect? No, a long way from it but that's not a reason not to progress, its going be better than what I am doing now so will provide a better environment for my Cham.

PS I would love to stick the lights on a rotation so they travel across the enclosure but there is not the clearance to the roof / timber frame plus you're into a world of supports, motors and noise which would be challenging.


Yes it sounds we are.

I'm not sure if a budget, or what kind of plants your growing. However LEDs are not that awfully expensive if your okay with some DIY.

Looking at your cage setup, I would if it were me. Put 3 Cobs in the corners, and 6 in the center.

Of those cobs, I would do 1 heatsink each set.

My fixtures for a 4x2x4, have that same 3 cob layout. I have 2 of them, I would recommend at least 3, and if it were me I'd do 4 in your setup.

Now there is a change to the way I'd lay out your fixtures though.

Let me show you an example of my Fixtures.
Light Fixture.png


Now if you were to do these on your cage, I would do them like this.

light plan.png


In that setup, with an LED controller, (doesnt have to be an expensive one) you could move the sun throughout the Day, and control the spectrum. Now if you notice there is 3 colors in those circles.

Thats because I would do, WW in the Orange, thats your 2k-2700k, for your mornings and nights, you can recreate the orangey light, of sunset and rise, since we are moving the sun, you only need them on the far ends. Now once we move into the center, we see that center spot is dark blue, vs the light blue outsides. the Dark Blue inside is going to be Antic LEDs, or Royal Blues, (depending what you can find and how diffusing works out) so these are your 10ks or Royal Blues, to balance out for Clouds, and for midday which is higher blue. the light blue rounds out your CW channels, these will be mixed with the center lights, to provide the gradients inbetween your looking for 5600k-6500k for these.

You start hard red left, and as the day progress, the whites of the hard left mix to create a more and more white light, as it peaks white and reds are gone, your center left has started to brighten, then more progressing and the center are all on full power, then we do the same thing again in reverse, we move from the center, down to the right.

Assuming thats enough LEDs for your setup, which I am not sure of. Those cobs are about 20 each, so 250 for the cobs, and then another maybe couple hundred for the heatinks. So 5-600 hundred, will probably get you finished lights Controller aside.

The biggest advatange is the insane amount of light these will put out, for very little wattage. If you were to instead go with MVBs, or some such, your going to pay through the nose when you are running the 1200-1400ws of those you will have. So pay now, or pay on your power bill is really the reality here.

I would flank the LEDs (I forgot in the pic) with 2 T5HOs, for the UVB, and turn them on, during the start of peak noon sun, when the index would be the highest, you can oversize the UVB bulbs for this purpose. Use high % UVB bulbs to make up for not having them on all day long.

I would then like I said before use Infared Space heaters, for the heating to unsync it from the lights. These are much more efficient than Incans, MVBs ect anyway. Arcadia makes those "Deep Heat Bulbs" but with your cage size, depending on height in the center to the roof, Id look at the long heaters, vs using 6-8 of the deep heats, but the Deep Heats may be cheaper I do not know.
 
Top Bottom