UVA LEDs? Worth it? Or a danger waiting to happen.

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey guys just wanted to get a discussion going about a point that I seen brought up a couple times recently.

LEDs are great for growing lights for plants. However without specifically adding them they produce very little UVA. There is however UVA LEDs.

Now we know that Chameleons have 4 cones of vision, and they do see UVA spectrum. So if we are lighting our cages heavily with LEDs, should we too be including UVA?

On that note, how many/how much do we add?

On one side, they see UVA, and would like it i would assume. On the flip side, UVA can be dangerous, and even bad for their eyes, is that not the cause of eye issues with CFLs?



I am working on my LEDs for my new enclosure. And really back and forthing with UVA LEDs, so I thought I would ask the experts :).
 

Goose502

Chameleon Enthusiast
I thought it was excess UVC that caused the damage in the early CFL’s? Anyhow, I don’t know enough about UVA to have an opinion. I’ll have to educate myself, interested to see what amount is considered natural, and what amount of UVA is provided by the lights we use now. I remember an old thread that mentioned UVB in very expensive LED fixtures. Eventually this will be perfected...I hope.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I thought it was excess UVC that caused the damage in the early CFL’s? Anyhow, I don’t know enough about UVA to have an opinion. I’ll have to educate myself, interested to see what amount is considered natural, and what amount of UVA is provided by the lights we use now. I remember an old thread that mentioned UVB in very expensive LED fixtures. Eventually this will be perfected...I hope.
Hmm that is possible. I didn't think they produced UVC, that is dangerous to humans as well. Will have to check more into that.

Either way, there is a thing as too much UVA, fairly easily. And unlike UVB/UVC UVA can pass through Glass/Plastic.

UVA was faster to LED tech, as so many industry's need it for so many different things. Black lights are UVA, though usually those are the upper part of the spectrum. As you go lower, you get the glow effect without any light visible to us.
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I thought basking lamps often say they output uv-a, thing is I don't know if your average household bulb also outputs this and it's just a marketing thing for your branded reptile lights like the
Arcadia Reptile Basking Solar Spot Floodlight UVA E27 75w
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I thought basking lamps often say they output uv-a, thing is I don't know if your average household bulb also outputs this and it's just a marketing thing for your branded reptile lights like the
Arcadia Reptile Basking Solar Spot Floodlight UVA E27 75w

Yes regular household bulbs do put out UVA. However, that only covers 2 chams. You have to realize that basking bulbs are rarely ever used for anything but Veilieds and Panthers.

At any rate, in my case, I will be using Arcadia Deep heat the short time I use basking during the day (Parsons). Which does not produce UVA I don't think.
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes regular household bulbs do put out UVA. However, that only covers 2 chams. You have to realize that basking bulbs are rarely ever used for anything but Veilieds and Panthers.

At any rate, in my case, I will be using Arcadia Deep heat the short time I use basking during the day (Parsons). Which does not produce UVA I don't think.
Om curious about them deep heat lights too, wondering if its the bee's knees... Want one for my big enclosure, posdibly one for my cham enclosure.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Om curious about them deep heat lights too, wondering if its the bee's knees... Want one for my big enclosure, posdibly one for my cham enclosure.
I have seen good reviews from the cham keepers that I know that have them.

They work in the same way as a electric heater for people. They put out infared heat, which not only reptiles, but also plants like to have and change behaviors based on it.

I only see postives, assuming it's done properly.

What I mean by that, is 90% of people have extremely dim cages. And in a situation like that, I do not know how well they would work. Chameleons do want the light to know where to bask.

That said, if you are providing adequete light without the basking spot, the deep heat would be great IMO, though I think we should be doing that anyway, and a basking light and a UVB light is not nearly enough, but that's another story all together :p.

As to the adequete light, I don't that's subjective. I would say at least 4 T5s would be decent on a 36t, if your going taller or want better effiencency, I would say go with LEDs. And even that is low light TBH.

My current cage build, will consist of 2 T5 46inches Arcadia 12%s, and 400 real watts of LEDs. They will only be "Full blast" Partially and only for a few hours out of the day. As they are all on dimming control, (including the UVBs, hints why 2 12%s, they will only out alot alot for a few hours, just like the sun does). So it will ramp up, starting with a warm sunrise, into a cool afternoon, and back down in a warm sunset. Which will also vary by season.

That said, that is stupid expensive to buy and run, and I do not expect anyone to follow in my shoes lol. But ya, more lighting I think is a plus. There was a guy here that kept mostly carpets, and used 8 T5s per enclosure. I forget his name, I will try to find it later.
 
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Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
My enclosure has plenty of light with the 2x arcadia T5 6% and 2x arcadia jungle dawn 22watt. .. Basking spots are purely for heat and don't add to the light much. If this can give me a happier cham Ill buy one, the enclosure has 2 baskingspots due to it's size so Ill swap out 1 soon and see if he clearly prefers it. It will be a good experiment. :cool:
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
My enclosure has plenty of light with the 2x arcadia T5 6% and 2x arcadia jungle dawn 22watt. .. Basking spots are purely for heat and don't add to the light much. If this can give me a happier cham Ill buy one, the enclosure has 2 baskingspots due to it's size so Ill swap out 1 soon and see if he clearly prefers it. It will be a good experiment. :cool:
What size cage?

You would be surprised how much light the basking spots give.

A 75w light, will give 1100 lumens. What's more though, is Incans give the best PPFD per lumen, much better than LEDs or Flo's, it's actually higher than the sun, but only slightly.

Jungle Dawn's are very ineffiencent LEDs. They are pushing like 1500 lumens each. That's barely more than your basking lights. The Flo's, assuming since you said 2 basking spots, I am assuming are 54ws, so 5000 lumens each, though some is wasted will we call it all.

So that's 13000 lumens on a 4 ft cage. Let's math that into PPFD, that's 250 at 12 inches (that's bad) than you run them 12 hours? That's 10DLI a day, you can grow shade plants only In the top 12 inches of the cage.

To out it in perspective, shade outside is 15000k lux, your cage by my 4ft assumption is 18k lux. Panthers and Veilieds live in bushes and such, in full sun, 100k lux or more. Even rainforest chams, get 50k lux.

18k lux isn't well lit, at all. It may be fine for a cham, they may not care. But plants will.

Now your basking bulbs, I am assuming they are in reflecting domes? Okay, so they by themselves at 12 below them give 261 PPFD, that's another 10 DLI just from the basking lights.

Your 12 inch line, under the basking lights has just jumped from shade, to full sun in DLI at 12inches. As you go down further, those numbers will shrink, and likely end in full shade.

There is more to lights then just lumens, angles also matter, your basking lights with reflectors, push the light further than the Flo's or those LEDs ever could. Which helps light the lower levels and give your plants the DLI they need.

If you want to swap to Deep Heats, I would take the wattage savings, and add 2 Jungle Dawn Spots to the cage, to give you more penatration and more even lighting. And still try to stay away from truly full sun plants, like Orchids that are high light, or CPs. If you do have high light plants, try to out them right under the JD spots where they can get good strong light.

In my example, my cage will be littered with CPs and HL orchids. So that's why the insane lighting, but at full boar every light at 100% I'm pushing 75k Lux at 12 inches (open area of course, same as yours, your plants will block alot of that from going down as will mine) that is in a 4ft wide cage. And that's no spots, the entire top is 75k lux. I am brute forcing lower cage par.
 
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Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
My plants are doing well enough, I'm not looking to get difficult plants, just simple plants but try to have it densely bushed.
Most seems to grow well just one or two plants at the top don't seem to get enough water from misting.

My enclosure is about 2m x 56cm x 1.5m, here's a few pics if you care to take a look: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/shed-project-update.165443/#post-1430345

So with don't add to the light much I meant that I dont really notice if the basking bulb has broken, i have to look into the dome to see.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
My plants are doing well enough, I'm not looking to get difficult plants, just simple plants but try to have it densely bushed.
Most seems to grow well just one or two plants at the top don't seem to get enough water from misting.

My enclosure is about 2m x 56cm x 1.5m, here's a few pics if you care to take a look: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/shed-project-update.165443/#post-1430345

So with don't add to the light much I meant that I dont really notice if the basking bulb has broken, i have to look into the dome to see.
Very nice. 2 meters so 6ft?

You may not notice but the plants will. Just something to watch out for if you make the switch.
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Very nice. 2 meters so 6ft?

You may not notice but the plants will. Just something to watch out for if you make the switch.
Yea little over 6ft
Right side basking has been off for most of the summer due to heat and plants didnt seem to mind a lot so I'm pretty sure it will be ok.
If it turns out plants suffer i got another destination for it.

Thanks for the heads up.
 
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