Normal house bulb???

Rango220

New Member
Hey Cham lovers :D, okay so I've seen a few times on here and the Internet that instead of buying basking bulbs every 6 months for a few pounds or dollars, I can just buy a cheap house bulb to get the heat up? If so what wattge do I need this wil be a great help in the occurring years to come :D
 

camimom

New Member
The wattage you use wil be based on your ambient temps and what temps your cham needs.

just buy a bulb, and see what the temps are, then adjust the wattage bulb accordingly.
 

Seiryu

Established Member
Yes you can buy regular house bulbs from places like Home Depot/Lowes/Walmart etc.

Like camimom said, wattage depends on your ambient temps and enclosure. You will likely go through a few before finding the correct one.
 

Rango220

New Member
Thanks guys ill give it a go :D but if it doesn't pop in six months do I still have to change it??:)
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
I would say the wattage should be determined by the distance of the basking perch from the light bulb. More watts equals more heat with incandescent bulbs.

So insert bulb, turn it on, place on top or hang above the enclosure. Wait 5 minutes then measure the temperature of the basking area. If its too hot, either lower the basking perch, or, raise the light, or buy a lower watt bulb.

I personally never cut corners by using regular house bulbs. There have been scientific reports describing the requirement of heat and uv working together to process calcium. You may want to try a mercury vapor reptile bulb.

I know there will be some saying its fine to use regular bulbs, but I don't agree.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks guys ill give it a go :D but if it doesn't pop in six months do I still have to change it??:)

If you don't have a UVB meter then you need to change your UVB blub every 6 months. The basking bulb you can change when it burns out.
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
If you don't have a UVB meter then you need to change your UVB blub every 6 months. The basking bulb you can change when it burns out.

I think this maybe a chameleon urban legend that's been repeated to the point of inaccuracy. I had recently measured my uv tubes after 16 months and there was still readings above 100mw after passing through screen that blocked 50 % of the UV. It may depend on the brand, but I know with Arcadia bulbs this advice doesn't apply.
 

Seiryu

Established Member
I personally never cut corners by using regular house bulbs. There have been scientific reports describing the requirement of heat and uv working together to process calcium. You may want to try a mercury vapor reptile bulb.

I know there will be some saying its fine to use regular bulbs, but I don't agree.

I am confused by this statement. Heat is heat, no matter the source. If a regular house bulb gets your basking spot where you need it to be, then what is the problem?

He is not talking about UVB at all in this thread, he is talking about a basking bulb.
 

deerharvester

Established Member
Imho, its ok to use normal bulbs for basking. As long as ur frequently checking On the basking temps in ur Chams cage. I have found that I have to use a slightly higher wattage with a reg. Bulb to get the same temp as a reptile basking light. Just buy a bunch of different wattages and test them out. Hope that helps you.
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
I am confused by this statement. Heat is heat, no matter the source. If a regular house bulb gets your basking spot where you need it to be, then what is the problem?

He is not talking about UVB at all in this thread, he is talking about a basking bulb.

Heat and uv must be used in conjunction. One without the other is of no benefit to chameleons. That's why I recommended a MV bulb over a household incandescent. All heat is not created equal when it comes to proper husbandry.
Understanding the many variables is what separates success from failure.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think this maybe a chameleon urban legend that's been repeated to the point of inaccuracy. I had recently measured my uv tubes after 16 months and there was still readings above 100mw after passing through screen that blocked 50 % of the UV. It may depend on the brand, but I know with Arcadia bulbs this advice doesn't apply.

In the past 6 years I have measured 2 brand new Reptisun 5.0's right out of the box the measured 0. :eek: I've also on several occassions had new ones right out of the box already measure less than 20. So you really never know but for keepers without a UV meter I think 6 months it as long as I would tell anyone to go and yes I have also had them go way past 6 months but I have a meter to make sure they are still good. ;)
 

Tyaeda

Member
I use a 50w halogen spot bulb on a dimmer, works a treat and they last longer

I have the same thing going. I love the dimmer option for those really really hot days, and also, I don't feel as worried about buying the wrong basking bulb, because I can always just turn it down if it's too hot :)
 

Seiryu

Established Member
Heat and uv must be used in conjunction. One without the other is of no benefit to chameleons. That's why I recommended a MV bulb over a household incandescent. All heat is not created equal when it comes to proper husbandry.
Understanding the many variables is what separates success from failure.

I am not disagreeing that he needs a UVB light. He likely already HAS a UVB light. Which is why he asked about a basking bulb and not both. He is wanting to save money by buying a regular house bulb for $1 or so a piece, than spend $5-10 on a "reptile basking bulb" that really doesn't do anything more than a regular house bulb (Just heat).

I use the Mercury Vapors for my bearded dragons, and they are great.
 

Rango220

New Member
I've change my UVB bulb about a week ago its a compact one, later that day I put on here about UVB bulbs and i fount out compact bulbs give chams bad eyes so I'm getting a strip light for him soon :) and I know heat is heat but I don't have the money to keep buying expensive bulbs every six month, I just wanted to know if a household bulb will work, but people say house bulbs are risky and some say they aren't so ill give the house hold bulb ago when this basking bulb blows :)
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
In the past 6 years I have measured 2 brand new Reptisun 5.0's right out of the box the measured 0. :eek: I've also on several occassions had new ones right out of the box already measure less than 20. So you really never know but for keepers without a UV meter I think 6 months it as long as I would tell anyone to go and yes I have also had them go way past 6 months but I have a meter to make sure they are still good. ;)

I agree about the meter, it's important.

I have very little experience with reptisun products. It sounds like you we're sold either bad or defective products, or bad marketing. Either way I wouldn't recommend the incandescent regular bulb and a separate uv bulb.

A basking bulb, which the OP was inquiring about, should always have UVB IMHO.
 

Seiryu

Established Member
I've change my UVB bulb about a week ago its a compact one, later that day I put on here about UVB bulbs and i fount out compact bulbs give chams bad eyes so I'm getting a strip light for him soon :) and I know heat is heat but I don't have the money to keep buying expensive bulbs every six month, I just wanted to know if a household bulb will work, but people say house bulbs are risky and some say they aren't so ill give the house hold bulb ago when this basking bulb blows :)

A regular house bulb is fine for the heat aspect. But you will need a UVB light ($20-25) in tube form and that needs to be replaced every 6 months unless you have a UV meter.
 

Seiryu

Established Member
Lightyourreptiles.com has a special, they are pretty expensive still. I wouldn't go with one of the cheaper knockoffs. You want the solar meter 6.2 or 6.5
 
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