Is my lighting sufficient?

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
I have a florescent lamp on top of my Chameleons cages that's just for light.
Then each cage has an 80watt exo terra UVA, UVB and heat lamp that keeps my basking area at around 84°.
I also have a single 5.0 18" florescent lamp that is half on top of each cage, near the spot that the chams hang out on each side.
All of this is on timers for about 12 hours a day.
Does this seem like adequate UV for my Veiled Chameleons?
These are 2 cages. Side by side.
 

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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You definitely want a T5HO fixture from either Lightyourreptiles.com, Arcadia, or ZooMed that spans the entire length or width or diagonally across the top of your enclosure. As stated on your other post it's important to have the correct fixture as well as bulb. Not all fixtures are created equally. Usually the cheaper the worse it is. A bad ballast can cause the phosphorus in the UVB bulbs to degrade rapidly causing a bulb that would last 6 months 2 or 3 months instead. Invertly you're also over radiating your chameleon in that time as well.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
In the meanwhile I've placed another 18" 5.0 on top. So each side has an 18" strip and 80 watt Exo terra UVB source.
This and a few hours outdoors a few times a week.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
I've gone with ZILLA "Tropical 25" fixtures on each cage. (Fixtures with light tubes)
Also with the Exo Terra 80 watt UVA, UVB and heat lamps on each cage.
I'm thinking that that should do it?
I've also added LED plant lights for my Scheffleras.
That's a lot of lighting.
Better?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've gone with ZILLA "Tropical 25" fixtures on each cage. (Fixtures with light tubes)
Also with the Exo Terra 80 watt UVA, UVB and heat lamps on each cage.
I'm thinking that that should do it?
I've also added LED plant lights for my Scheffleras.
That's a lot of lighting.
Better?
I'm not a fan of the Zilla or Exoterra bulbs mainly because I don't have any data or experience with them. Not that I've heard bad things. Did you go T8 or T5? Pics?
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
Please don't think I'm being argumentative.
I truly appreciate the help.
These are random pictures I just took. As usual, none of my 3 chams are more than 6 to 8 inches away from my new T8 lamps. About as far away from my overhead UVA, UVB mercury vapors.
It's just where they stay most of the day. That spot is about 85 degrees.
The lights are 5" down from the top and across the whole back on the two XXL cages and across the top of my XL cage. I've mounted them to the backs because I don't want to block the overhead plant grow lights.
If the T8 are good for at least 8". Are the chams not getting UV sitting there?
If I swap over to the T5 tubes. They need to be 12" away from the lizard from what I understand. And will transmit UV up to 24". So to duplicate what i have now, I'd have to install the T5s a foot away from the cages since the chams hover in the upper areas most of the day. Even when they're hunting?
The only time that they travel down into the bushes in towards nighttime. Almost when thoughts are turning off anyway.
 

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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes
Both

I'll ordered some T5 HO fixtures from LL REPTILES later today.
They're much less expensive there.
So yeah definitely don't need both a T8 and a Mercury Vapor. Mercury Vapors supply both UVB and heat at the same time. The problem with this is they produce a lot of UVB! So much so that I personally only recommend these bulbs to people whom are free ranging a lot and or have a Solarmeter so they can measure the UVB level at basking berches in order to dial in where the bulb should be positioned.

With mounting the T8 on the side your chameleon is getting light from all directions rather than just from above where all light comes from. This forces your chameleon to stare into the light in 2 separate directions. This could easily cause eye issues.

Honestly I just use ZooMed T5HO fixtures with Arcadia 6% bulbs and set basking branches from 8-12" below the bulb. The fixtures come with a 5.0 bulb which is good for the first 6 months. Arcadias last 12 months roughly. Amazon has them around $50-60 shipped

I also use 45W spotlight LEDs in domes for heat for the chameleon and light for plant growth.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Not sure why you haven't invested in a solarmeter yet. Clearly money isn't holding you back? I'm not intentionally being rude, but at this rate you're asking very specific questions that the community can't accurately answer. You need science and specific reading to determine where to place everything exactly.

As for the mercury bulb, I'd just get rid of it personally. I have one that reads 2.3 and one that reads 47+. Yea, 47. Solarmeter isn't a requirement in the hobby... but when you start collecting more and more chams, you should definitely look into one.

All that being said, on a sunny Florida day I read about 1.3 in direct sun on my outdoor free range - which is through my lanai screen. I try to replicate that in their basking areas. I suggest you do something similar as you plan to house them in and out doors. Just a thought...

Best wishes.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
Not sure why you haven't invested in a solarmeter yet. Clearly money isn't holding you back? I'm not intentionally being rude, but at this rate you're asking very specific questions that the community can't accurately answer. You need science and specific reading to determine where to place everything exactly.

As for the mercury bulb, I'd just get rid of it personally. I have one that reads 2.3 and one that reads 47+. Yea, 47. Solarmeter isn't a requirement in the hobby... but when you start collecting more and more chams, you should definitely look into one.

All that being said, on a sunny Florida day I read about 1.3 in direct sun on my outdoor free range - which is through my lanai screen. I try to replicate that in their basking areas. I suggest you do something similar as you plan to house them in and out doors. Just a thought...

Best wishes.
Can you suggest a solar meter?
Ebay has them at around $80 to $180. But I don't know junk from good.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 254864

Solarmeter 6.5r. They tend to be slightly cheaper than the other versions and has the same range.
Yes the only time were slapping a lizard on a product reduces its price. "No this isnt the pro version , this is the lizard hobby version, dont use it for peopling". Maybe soon they will stop slapping lizards on light bulb boxes and charging double :)
 
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