How to balance heat with UVB using combination lights

EricWilder

New Member
I have a veiled chameleon and bought the ZooMed Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit. Its a combination lamp.. and the issue im having is that in order to keep the basking spot at 90-95 degrees I have to set the light on top of the screen cage with his basking spot about 3 in below. However 3 in is too close for the UVB light since ive read on other forum threads here that the UVB should be around 10 inches from the basking spot. Lighting combo setup includes Reptisun 5.0 UV bulb and the 60W daylight blue bulb. Any advice greatly appreciated. I have a UV reader coming in the mail so im just going off other forum answers to get the proper distances from the UVB rn.
 
90-95 for a veiled is pretty high. I shoot for around 80 to 85. Also, is that a dual dome fixture? If so, conpact lights for ubv only produce the right amount of ubv 3 inches away. You will want to invest in a linear fixture and a linear ubv for that fixture. Also, I pretty sure you just want white heat bulbs, not colored.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a veiled chameleon and bought the ZooMed Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit. Its a combination lamp.. and the issue im having is that in order to keep the basking spot at 90-95 degrees I have to set the light on top of the screen cage with his basking spot about 3 in below. However 3 in is too close for the UVB light since ive read on other forum threads here that the UVB should be around 10 inches from the basking spot. Lighting combo setup includes Reptisun 5.0 UV bulb and the 60W daylight blue bulb. Any advice greatly appreciated. I have a UV reader coming in the mail so im just going off other forum answers to get the proper distances from the UVB rn.
Ok so is this the double dome one having heat and one having the coil UVB or is it a mercury Vapor bulb which is a 2 in 1 meaning 1 bulb that does both? MV bulbs are very dangerous on cages with chameleons. They are not recommended because of this. The double dome with the coil bulb is also not recommended long term because you can not get temps right to coordinate with how close UVB needs to be to get the right UVI level. Because of this these doubles should only be used temporarily for very young chams.

Temps should actually be 80-85max for a Veiled. If this is a baby It would be 80 max.
Recommended UVB is a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 or 6% UVB bulb then basking branch would sit 8-9 inches below for an approximate 2-4 UVI range.

IF it is a double this will help you a bit temporarily until you get the correct linear fixture and bulb...

Chameleons &UVB.jpg
cham kit.jpeg
 

EricWilder

New Member
This is a link to the exact lighting I bought -- https://tinyurl.com/2p8t96sh -- Its a coil 5.0 UVB 13W with a 60W Daylight Blue Light (the dinky one I guess). Your chart was very helpful.. I guess I bought a bad UVB setup. Which linear T5HO fixture do you use and how close is it to the base of the basking spot? It looks like if I get the Arcadia Pro T5HO Linear 6% 24W that I may be able to set it on top of my mesh enclosure if the top of his head in the basking area is about 3in from the mesh. That way I wouldn't have to worry about figuring out how to suspend the light?

Then I could swap the coil Reptisun UVB 13W I was using for a white light heating bulb in the old Zoomed dual dome I already have and just have 2 heating bulbs in it. That would be the cheaper option. In my spiral of online research I also found this https://www.arcadiareptile.com/thermalzoopro/ (strange that they dont sell their products on this website, they only advertise them) based on the info I read I would have to figure out how to suspend this thing about 12 in above the chameleons head at his basking spot. But then they threw a wrench in it when they said the mesh reduces the UV by 30% so now im not sure exactly how far to hang it.. maybe I put it 30% closer? Also the fact they mentioned LED being a third necessary light source kinda threw me off. I thought I just needed the heat and the UVB.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Eric, Welcome to the forum.
This is a link to the exact lighting I bought -- https://tinyurl.com/2p8t96sh -- Its a coil 5.0 UVB 13W with a 60W Daylight Blue Light (the dinky one I guess). Your chart was very helpful.. I guess I bought a bad UVB setup. Which linear T5HO fixture do you use and how close is it to the base of the basking spot? It looks like if I get the Arcadia Pro T5HO Linear 6% 24W that I may be able to set it on top of my mesh enclosure if the top of his head in the basking area is about 3in from the mesh. That way I wouldn't have to worry about figuring out how to suspend the light?
Most single linear T5 HO fixtures—regardless of brand—are made by the same company in China, so shop for price.


1618240919804.png

  • Arcadia Pro T5
  • Biodude T5HO
  • Carolina Custom Cages T5HO
  • Hydrofarm "Jumpstart"
  • Sunblaster T5HO Nanotech
  • Vivarium T5
  • and Others
Many folks do place them directly on top of their enclosures, but this can warp or deform the mesh in some cases. I made some small blocks to support the UVB fixture on the frame—rather than on the mesh. This positions the bulb less than an inch above the mesh.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/simple-uvb-fixture-supports.177896/

I have a UV reader coming in the mail
Do you mean a UVI meter like a Solarmeter 6.5x?
Distance from mesh to basking site should be between 8-12", but if you have a meter coming, you can dial that in more precisely.

Please be aware (if you're not already) that UVBs require a burn-in period of 50-100 hours, during which time thay may put out significantly higher levels of UVB. Once the burn-in period is over, the bulbs should function within parameters for at least a year.

Then I could swap the coil Reptisun UVB 13W I was using for a white light heating bulb in the old Zoomed dual dome I already have and just have 2 heating bulbs in it. That would be the cheaper option. In my spiral of online research I also found this https://www.arcadiareptile.com/thermalzoopro/ (strange that they dont sell their products on this website, they only advertise them) based on the info I read I would have to figure out how to suspend this thing about 12 in above the chameleons head at his basking spot. But then they threw a wrench in it when they said the mesh reduces the UV by 30% so now im not sure exactly how far to hang it.. maybe I put it 30% closer? Also the fact they mentioned LED being a third necessary light source kinda threw me off. I thought I just needed the heat and the UVB.
I don't think you're going to need 2 basking bulbs. Colored lights aren't recommended for chameleons under any circumstances, so I'd put the blue one away and just use (in order of preference):
  1. Household incandescent bulb (not LED)
  2. Incandescent Flood (not spot)
  3. Halogen Flood (not spot)
The third necessary light source you read about is a plant light. LEDs are the most efficient & economical for plant lights, and don't contain mercury like fluorescents.
Many folks here are using this one:
https://www.sansiled.com/products/70w-led-grow-light
Sansi coupons

Whichever plant light you go with, another thing to be aware of is that chameleons will try to bask under the brightest light—rather than the warmest. Because plant lights are often the brightest (and chameleons will try to bask under it) it makes sense to angle the basking light so that it shines on the basking site under the plant light.
1643363969978.png

This also helps to produce a basking temperature gradient, where the chameleon can choose warmer or cooler temps within a range.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is a link to the exact lighting I bought -- https://tinyurl.com/2p8t96sh -- Its a coil 5.0 UVB 13W with a 60W Daylight Blue Light (the dinky one I guess). Your chart was very helpful.. I guess I bought a bad UVB setup. Which linear T5HO fixture do you use and how close is it to the base of the basking spot? It looks like if I get the Arcadia Pro T5HO Linear 6% 24W that I may be able to set it on top of my mesh enclosure if the top of his head in the basking area is about 3in from the mesh. That way I wouldn't have to worry about figuring out how to suspend the light?

Then I could swap the coil Reptisun UVB 13W I was using for a white light heating bulb in the old Zoomed dual dome I already have and just have 2 heating bulbs in it. That would be the cheaper option. In my spiral of online research I also found this https://www.arcadiareptile.com/thermalzoopro/ (strange that they dont sell their products on this website, they only advertise them) based on the info I read I would have to figure out how to suspend this thing about 12 in above the chameleons head at his basking spot. But then they threw a wrench in it when they said the mesh reduces the UV by 30% so now im not sure exactly how far to hang it.. maybe I put it 30% closer? Also the fact they mentioned LED being a third necessary light source kinda threw me off. I thought I just needed the heat and the UVB.
Yeah so you got the one that is not recommended.

The new one that you provided the second link for I would not personally use for a chameleon. With that one your having to suspend it so far due to the other bulbs and the temps they would put out but then you have to have the cham at the very top of the cage so it can get UVB.

LED lighting is for your live plants. Chams need live plants. If you want the plants to live you have to have some form of lighting for them. Some people use LED fixtures for this and some use T5HO fixtures with 6500k daylight bulbs.

Start reading through this for explanation https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-cage-set-up-replicating-the-sun/

For correct husbandry read through this https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 
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