Solameter 6.5 is a MUST

Uri

Avid Member
You never truly know your uvi readings until you actually check them with this you can folllw the distance guides on how to get uvi but they will never be exact as everyone’s reflectors will be different. I had slightly lower than what I needed and with this I’m now able to fine tune my light and branch placement to get those slightly higher readings my animals would like before and after got hoehnelii and yes they bulbs were at the distance on the guided to reach the uvi range but I never would’ve known without this little device
 

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ah... the zeal of the convert! :D

You never truly know your uvi readings until you actually check them with this you can folllw the distance guides on how to get uvi but they will never be exact as everyone’s reflectors will be different.
(y) So true, and if the reflector has been installed incorrectly at the factory (as has been the case on some occasions), it's the same as not having a reflector at all.
https://www.docdroid.net/rzaxveu/an-issue-with-sunblaster-t5-ho-reflectors-pdf
You can find more—and discussion of this issue—on https://www.beardeddragon.org/
(Cuz Dr. Baines keeps beardies)
https://www.beardeddragon.org/threads/update-sunblaster-t5-reflectors-read.253456/
https://www.beardeddragon.org/threads/final-sunbaster-reflector-update-other-reflectors-too.253769/

Also to consider are:
  • The angle you measure from—benefit from the reflectors is in a narrow band approx. as wide as the reflector
1647783556457.png
  • UVB bulbs have an initial burn-in period of 50-100 hours, during which they can put out considerably more UVB than they're rated for. Following burn-in, they should perform as expected for at least one year.

  • Different types & meshes of screens can filter the amount of UVB that penetrates the screen. Filtering is usually in the 25%-50% range, but can be more or less.

  • When working in the enclosure for an extended period of time, it's not a bad idea to wear UVB blocking eyewear ( :cool: ) or just turn the UVB off for that period.
I had slightly lower than what I needed and with this I’m now able to fine tune my light and branch placement to get those slightly higher readings my animals would like before and after got hoehnelii and yes they bulbs were at the distance on the guided to reach the uvi range but I never would’ve known without this little device
(y)
 
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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Another benefit of UVI meters is that they can/will save money—enough that over time they will pay for themselves in not replacing bulbs prematurely. The more UVB lights one has, the sooner payback can be reached. For the first year (of recent history) I had only one UVB—for my bearded dragon. A year later I got my panther chameleon, and about 6 months after that my Missus got her tortoise, so now we're up to three reptiles and their associated (different lengths & strengths) UVB lights.

FWIW, that first Reptisun 10.0 I got for the beardie is still performing within parameters after 2 years, 3 months. I took readings the other day, and he's still getting a full 5.0 UVI just above his basking site.
According to experts, the optimal UVI gradient for a bearded dragon is 0 to 4.0-6.0, from lowest (furthest from the bulb) to highest (basking area). Most normally pigmented bearded dragons can tolerate UVI of up to 7.0 safely, but these levels are not necessary in captivity for optimal health.
https://reptifiles.com/bearded-dragon-care/bearded-dragon-temperatures-uvb/

Another way to save/extend the life of a UVB is to shorten its period.
The strength of the UV rays reaching the ground depends on a number of factors, such as:
  • Time of day: UV rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation.html

Graphically, this looks like:
1647785785566.png

All of our UVB lights are timed to turn on one hour after "lights-on" and turn off one hour before "lights-out". This saves 2 hours out of 12 each day (based on 12/12 hours on/off), or 2 months out of 12 each year for each bulb. There is also an associated (relatively minor but real) savings on electricity.
 

Uri

Avid Member
Another benefit of UVI meters is that they can/will save money—enough that over time they will pay for themselves in not replacing bulbs prematurely. The more UVB lights one has, the sooner payback can be reached. For the first year (of recent history) I had only one UVB—for my bearded dragon. A year later I got my panther chameleon, and about 6 months after that my Missus got her tortoise, so now we're up to three reptiles and their associated (different lengths & strengths) UVB lights.

FWIW, that first Reptisun 10.0 I got for the beardie is still performing within parameters after 2 years, 3 months. I took readings the other day, and he's still getting a full 5.0 UVI just above his basking site.


Another way to save/extend the life of a UVB is to shorten its period.


Graphically, this looks like:

All of our UVB lights are timed to turn on one hour after "lights-on" and turn off one hour before "lights-out". This saves 2 hours out of 12 each day (based on 12/12 hours on/off), or 2 months out of 12 each year for each bulb. There is also an associated (relatively minor but real) savings on electricity.
Yes I have about 4 uvb bulbs I use for different species of reptiles that need different uvb bulbs and now I can rest assured knowing I can possibly get even more time out of a bulb than what I would be getting otherwise by just following the 6 month/1 year rule of replacing
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
As per the pros on beardeddragon.org and Dr. Baines' group, the 6 months applies to T8s, and perhaps some early T5s, but T5s have been good for one year since well before I got into this.
 
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