How do you measure UVB???

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
So, I am just wondering if there are any great products that are recommended to measure the UVB in our enclosures. I'm sure there will be many using the Solarmeter 6.5, but I want to know why you use what you use and see if there are any others that compare. Also, is it truly necessary to measure UVB for most keepers? Can we just go by the recommended lamps and distances? What does everyone think?

:cool:
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh man! I was wondering how to measure this as well but after seeing the price of that thing I'll ha e to just guess haha.

How do you understand the readings? Does it out out the same value the bulb is rated at like 6% or something?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh man! I was wondering how to measure this as well but after seeing the price of that thing I'll ha e to just guess haha.

How do you understand the readings? Does it out out the same value the bulb is rated at like 6% or something?
No it comes out as UVI. 40 to 1 conversion for UVB µW/cm² to UVI

Ill post my notes:

A panther needs 30-35 µW/cm² peak when the bulb is fresh, and should be changed at 15-20 µW/cm². Mind you, you can go higher as others have stated daylight is 300 µW/cm²

Now on to the scarry numbers:

Ohio august 23 2013 partly cloudy with sun peaking out behind cloud 11am: 3.0 UVI
Full sun 2pm 5.8 UVI
Full sun 2pm in the shade 1.5 UVI (measured under a few oak trees and bird garden shrubs)

42" LYR hood+ reflector no screen with 6% and 6500k 6 months old: 1.8 UVI @ 12" .7 UVI @ 24"

42" LYR hood+ refector no screen with 12% and 6500k 1 month old: 3.5 UVI at 12" 2.8 UVI @ 15" (beardy rock level)

With a 40 to 1 conversion for UVB µW/cm² to UVI, that would make the cham cage 72 UVB µW/cm²at basking and 28 UVB µW/cm²mid tank.

For the beardy that would be 112 UVB µW/cm² at basking rock.


ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 tube, at 12 inches distance no screen (assume no reflector):
6.2 reading: 24 µW/cm².
6.5 reading: UV Index 0.7"
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
o_O I should have paid better attention in school haha. If I buy one I will try to understand these readings better. Currently I have a reptisun 5 on each of my veiled and panther. For the beardie he is under a reptisun 10.
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Oh man! I was wondering how to measure this as well but after seeing the price of that thing I'll ha e to just guess haha.

How do you understand the readings? Does it out out the same value the bulb is rated at like 6% or something?
Ha ha, this is part of the reason I have posted the question! So many lighting discussions recently and I would like to have a place that shows how to determine the strength of UVB penetration and what we are all using for this.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use a Solamoeter 6.5 when installing the uvb and around the 6 month mark to make sure it’s the correct levels.
But what is the "correct" level. This is always a huge debate in the tortoise world since the 6.5 measure UVI not UVB and there isn't a be all listing of every species out there.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
But what is the "correct" level. This is always a huge debate in the tortoise world since the 6.5 measure UVI not UVB and there isn't a be all listing of every species out there.
I go off of what is prime chameleon levels. I forgot what they are, but I wrote them down somewhere. Multiple solameter websites had charts that had the correct levels for multiple types of animals
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I knew the exact levels I would be more interested in buying one. I mean I want the best for my boys so yeah I would probably spend the money. Haha. I'm just not sure of doing a bunch of conversions. I mean to be honest I barely trust my heatgun that I got from Amazon. My veiled seems healthy but as I tell everyone we are servants not pet owners haha.
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
If I knew the exact levels I would be more interested in buying one. I mean I want the best for my boys so yeah I would probably spend the money. Haha. I'm just not sure of doing a bunch of conversions. I mean to be honest I barely trust my heatgun that I got from Amazon. My veiled seems healthy but as I tell everyone we are servants not pet owners haha.
I bet you could just ask the Google to help. I don't actually convert Celsius to Farenheit I just ask.
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha I remember the temp conversion in school but still use Google as a crutch. I will probably buy one if these soon.
 

amfire125

Established Member
Being a physics nerd helps me in this department, so I hope some of this helps you guys interpret the light lingo. I also can't resist being an ex-teacher.

UVI stands for UV index, and that's what the solarmeters show you on the screen. The meter shows you an index of UV light (the UV part of the light spectrum) that is being shown in the area you're measuring. This usually includes both UVB and UVA light, which are just two sections of that UV spectrum of light. We all know our chams really need the UVB part to prevent MBD, but obviously they'd love total sunshine that includes the entire light spectrum. So the solarmeter gives you a piece of information and you can use that to figure out how much UVB light (the more specific part of the UV spectrum) is being shown down on that spot you're measuring. The unit "µW/cm²" is micro watts per square cm, so it's just how much wattage of UVB per square cm are being shown down on that area.

https://www.solarmeter.com/model65r.html This page has a chart (whether or not it's reliable - who knows....). According to it a panther chameleon should have 1.1-3.0 UVI in the basking area and a veiled chameleon should have 2.9-7.4 UVI. They're in zones, so using that as well if I used a solarmeter for my veiled cham I'd err on the side of keeping it closer to 3, maybe a max of 3.5 UVI at the basking area.

I don't think there is another option to measure UVB light other than a solarmeter, especially in a cham's enclosure. Personally, and based on my physics background I'm skeptical of the solarmeters, but I'm sure others can attest more to their reliability.

Again, because I can't help myself... here's a cool article explaining a lot of the physics and biology connection of the lighting for reptiles. Sorry if I'm being obnoxious at this point. I just really love this stuff! http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Habitats-Care/Reptile-Lighting-Information/
 

amfire125

Established Member
I forgot to mention I'm skeptical of these meters because they're sensitive to "high" humidity... honestly, being the nerd I am, I'd set up a controlled experiment with different brands and different styles and even different cham enclosures. The whole nine yards. Unfortunately, I don't think anybody is willing to fund this entire experiment for me :p
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
I forgot to mention I'm skeptical of these meters because they're sensitive to "high" humidity... honestly, being the nerd I am, I'd set up a controlled experiment with different brands and different styles and even different cham enclosures. The whole nine yards. Unfortunately, I don't think anybody is willing to fund this entire experiment for me :p
Yeah, I have been using a solar meter for years with parrots & tortoises. I take the readings with a grain of salt because we are using a best guess of what these animals need & that the machine is telling us accurate info reliably. But, it s useful to track the life of a uvb bulb. Over time with regular readings, you can see a fall off & know when you need to change. That is the most useful aspect of this tool because it hits my bank account!
 

amfire125

Established Member
@celeste_knitter I can't argue with that! I would trust it for the purpose of seeing a drop in UVI and saving money in the long run. I'd think more seriously about buying one (and run my nerdy experiments lol) if I had multiple reptiles or multiple cham setups, but I just have one little guy. :) ...well.... little for now...
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
@celeste_knitter I can't argue with that! I would trust it for the purpose of seeing a drop in UVI and saving money in the long run. I'd think more seriously about buying one (and run my nerdy experiments lol) if I had multiple reptiles or multiple cham setups, but I just have one little guy. :) ...well.... little for now...
I have a tortoise and a cham soon to be shipped. Mine was very useful with certain parrot species and now reptiles. I highly recommend!
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
@celeste_knitter I can't argue with that! I would trust it for the purpose of seeing a drop in UVI and saving money in the long run. I'd think more seriously about buying one (and run my nerdy experiments lol) if I had multiple reptiles or multiple cham setups, but I just have one little guy. :) ...well.... little for now...
I had one little guy too... Once.... Haha. He isn't so little anymore but my new panther is for now. Also my daughter got a bearded dragon so since we started at the same time.... I see an addition comming soon hahah

Jk take your time. I still love my veieled just as much as when I brought him home. Even his big attitude/personality. Haha.
 
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