UV LED's with Chams?


Established Member
As of this moment I know there are no true UVB LED's that are on the market for consumer use. That said though, as someone who is in the reef hobby, a set of lighting I've got happens to have a UV spectrum that I'm able to control. This didn't occur to me for a while that this may be useful for cham's until today. Generally during my weekly enclosure cleaning my male Xanth just happens to be easier to to let hold onto my shirt rather than him staying in the enclosure. He tends to eye up everything I do since he's associated me with opening the enclosure to provide some source of noms and more often then not has to climb in the way of what I'm moving. If I pull him out and he holds onto my shirt, he's not trying to crawl around and get bumped and agitated with me moving his potted plant around as I wipe down the base of the enclosure, other Cham's just either run to a hanging vine or to the top of screen of the enclosure if I'm getting too in their way. With the backstory now out of the way, I noticed something odd the past few times I walked him out of the room where the enclosures are out into my den in my basement. Everytime he's reaching for a tank I have to walk by to get back into the room with the enclosures. Just for the heck of it I figured that as long as he doesn't fall in, no harm no foul I'll just let him hang out on the ledge of the tank. While he was out he got comfortable and seemed to have setup to bask in the light being produced by one of the tanks Aqua Illuminations Hydra 26 HD light. After about 45 minutes of letting him be out on his own I went back to get him to put him in his enclosure and he wanted nothing to do with leaving. I also noticed while he was there that he changed his body shape and seemed to be setting his body angle to get a much of one side as possible hit by the light. When he's in his enclosure he may do this during the morning hours when the lights first kick on, but when he was out I noticed he'd do this as if he was set in a basking mode. It just hit me this morning that the lights I have have a certain spectrum that I setup with the LED's kicking out the following with each channel set to different intensities:

UV - 118% (over driven)
Violet - 118% (over driven)
Royal Blue - 85%
Blue - 65%
Green 5%
Deep Red - 5%
Cool White - 20%

These channel names are just something that AI gives, the kelvin temps I'd have to get back to you on if you're getting deep into this.

This got me thinking, are our the consumer Cham's lights up to PAR (sorry, couldn't help but make a light joke) for what we use? I know the Reef Hobby is cutting edge when it comes to technology, but are there benefits of some of these lights in our Cham world? I think I'll add a UV meter to my list of things I need to pickup, because if these lights are producing the UVB we need and our Cham's are reacting to it so positively I'd consider some further testing. The only concern I have with LED's are their overall coverage. LED's themselves are non directional, but most lights that use LED's either have reflectors to direct more of the LED light energy or optical lenses to gather and direct energy in a specific direction. With the lenses being my main concern I wonder if LED's could actually be too dangerous for long term use.

I've actually reached out to the company to see if I can find the specifics on their UV channel and if they are willing to provide the specific wavelengths their UV LED's emit. Here's to hoping it's something useful!
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Chameleon Enthusiast
The T5 HO's started out as salt water hoods. Once they got the UVB phosphor down, boom we now have reptile lights.

As far as your observations, Chameleons can see UVA(at least upper), and associate it with sun etc. So you are kind of tricking him. He sees a strong UVA source (it may even mimic half or 3/4 sun output) and is trying to bask, and is wondering why he is not getting warm etc.

Also your lightning is trying to mimic sunlight through meters and meters of water, so its Very blue. Odds are it doesnt look anything close to 6500k or warmer day light.


Established Member
Oh, the lighting is definitely dialed in to more of the actinic side of the spectrum for sure and doesn't visually look like 6500k at all. I've yet to see any Cham this 'tricked', as you put it, by lighting in general. Only time I've seen them want to get to a light this bad is if they were cold from traveling to their new home and wanted to bask. Again, I never see this male do large amounts of basking in his current enclosure like he was near the AI light. He will perch below his hot spot but not fan out anything like what he was doing. I'm sure he will be happy when spring comes and I can get him out in some real light.
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