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News & Updates

May 10, 2017

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Your Questions Answered

Here at ReptileUV, we get a lot of emails from you, and we try to answer them all. Often we find we are answering the same questions again and again. These are a selection of real questions that people have asked us, and BobMac's replies.

They are all grouped under the topics they cover so hopefully, if you have a question that's similar to one asked here, you may find the answer you need right here, and won't have to write an email and wait for our reply. If not, definitely contact us or call us directly instead.

Mega-Ray® Product & Reptile Habitat Questions

Other Questions

How much UV do your Mega-Ray® lamps produce?

  1. Does this bulb (a 160 watt Mega-Ray) put out more UVB than a Powersun? Let me know and I will be ordering one real soon.
Our 160 watt Mega-Ray® emits about 150microwatts at 18 inches on the average. This is about the same as 9:30-10 in the morning when iguanas would naturally be sunning them selves. As it gets hotter towards the middle of the day, most reptiles escape the heat and retreat to the shade. Interestingly, the reflective UVB in the shade can anywhere from 75-250 microwatts depending where they are so our "narrow flood" Mega-Ray® allows the reptile to photo-regulate as it would in nature.

The average UVB from a fluorescent bulb is anywhere from 12-20 microwatts at 12" - the same as around 6:30AM in the tropics. The average UVB from a Powersun mercury vapour lamp is much, much less then the Mega-Ray® and it has a much higher decay rate according to one study here and our own experience in testing.

  1. I am planning to order 4 Euro SB lamps for my two baby sulcata and 1 juvenile leo tortoise. My enclosure is around 3x4ft open topped. Can the bulbs be ordered to produce 400mW/cm2 at 12 inches? I do not have a UVB meter yet but I am planning to order one in the future.
Our Euro SB (220v) lamps produce about 200uW/cm2 at 30cm; that is more than enough for any reptile to keep serum D3 levels at their peak.

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How much heat do your Mega-Ray® lamps produce? How far away should they be from my reptile?

  1. How hot will the Mega-Ray bulbs get my habitat?
The basking temps at any distance are regulated by many different factors; mainly the ambient air temps, air flow, and additional lamps and so on. Generally if the air temp is 72F, the basking temps can raise 20 to 50 degrees depending on the distance.But if the air is higher and closer the bulb, so will the temps be. This is something you need to work on at your end. Please get a infra red Temp Gun to check the temps.

  1. My question has to do with the heat aspect of this bulb, specifically, whether the 12" minimum distance [allowed re the UVB aspect] will allow my juvenile bearded dragon to have a 110-115 degree basking spot, which he needs. (He also needs the cool end of the vivarium to be under 85 degrees.) So, any idea what the average temp would be 12" directly under the SB-100, where I would set him up with a basking spot?
Generally speaking, a 100wt incandescent bulb will run a little hotter then our Mega-Ray® watt for watt. How hot the basking area will be at a certain distance is a huge variable. Screen deflects heat as well as UV and visible light. We have seen a 15-degree difference with some screens and no screening at all. I would start at the 12" and then move the bulb up or down to get what you need. But no closer then 10" to the basking spot. Remember to have the screen in place while taking the temperatures under the light so as to be accurate.

  1. I have been looking into your lights and want one but am not sure about how much heat they put out. I have used a Powersun 160 watt and it was fine but do your 160 watts produce more heat? I would have it at 20 inches from the basking site.
They are about the same as regards heat output. Both are 160 watt and both are mercury vapor and that means that they should have about the same heat production. Testing has shown that the wattage of the bulb does not necessarily mean that they will be the same though. It's always very important to triple-check the basking area temps when changing bulbs even if they are the same brand and wattage.

  1. I have a 4 ft wide by 4 ft deep by 6 ft tall habitat for my green iguana (3.5 ft long). I need a UVB light. Which one should I use? I also need to heat the cage. The heat lamp I use seems to have no effect. It's 85 under the light, and 70 everywhere else. She is so sluggish and never moves from under the light. Help!
85 degrees at the basking area is way too cold for the iguana. You will need to get those temps up to 95-100 degrees. The rest of the habitat being 70+ is just fine and the reptile will thermoregulate once it has proper heat at the basking spot. I generally prefer to see you have a second warm area if the habitat is large enough to allow multiple basking areas. Only one spot needs to have UVB. The other can have just a heated spot with a Heat Projector such as our Mega-Ray® Heat Projector or an additional halogen FLOOD bulb.

The wattage bulb depends on the distance from the bulb to the basking area. Generally with a cooler habitat as you have mentioned, a 160wt Mega-Ray® at 16-20" will do the trick, BUT!! Always triple check the basking area temps right under the bulb before allowing your pet to test the area.

  1. Hi! I have a young adult bearded dragon. In his current habitat he is approximately 4 or 5 inches from the screen top, which is were his basking light is located. I plan to purchase a new habitat shortly where he will be approx. 12 inches from the light. I have been advised by many members of the Pogona group (yahoo) that your lighting is the best in the business. Please advise me of which bulb would be the best for my situation. Thanks
The distance you have now is way too close for any of our Mega-Ray® products because of the amount of UVB they produce. At 10-14" the 100wt SB Mega-Ray® would be the best to use. Please triple check the basking area temperatures before allowing your reptiles to be under them. Put a thermometer right under the bulb at the basking site.

  1. I'm looking for a good bulb for my 28" iguana and I was referred to you. I've been looking at some of the Mega-Rays; I heard that's the way to go as far as lighting needs. The cage is 6 x 6 x 2; the basking light is 13" away from the platform. Think you can help me out with the right bulb for me?
That's an easy one. At that distance, the 100wt Mega-Ray® SB bulb is the one to use. Please triple check the basking area temps to confirm how hot it is there before you allow your ig to sit there.

One of our Temp Guns would be very handy to make sure that the iguana does not get to hot under the bulb.

  1. We have bearded dragons. I've been using the T-REX 160-watters as their UVB source for heat and UV rays. Their basking spot is approx. 11 inches from the bulb and they have another basking spot as close as 7 inches from the bulb. The one female used to stretch from one basking spot to the other.
We recommend our bulbs be at 18 inches for the 160watt bulbs. Because you have bearded dragons, a distance of 14 may be necessary to get the proper basking area temperatures. But because of the amount of UV that our bulbs produce we don't want to see them any closer. I also highly recommend multiple basking areas if the size of the habitat allows. But I only recommend that one of them has UVB. This allows the reptile to "Photo Regulate" judging how much UVB it needs to manufacture proper vitamin D3 levels.

  1. Hey guys, I'm currently building a 48x24x? enclosure for a bearded dragon. I was wondering which Mega-Ray you would recommend for it. Do you have any flood bulbs that I could place in the center of the enclosure so that they would encompass a good area, or should I rather do a basking heat/UV spot with them? And if using the spot, how much heat do the bulbs give off? I have to figure out whether or not to use a separate heat and UV bulb and how high to make the enclosure... Thanks!
My design bulb is a "Narrow Flood" the only of its kind. You should have supplemental lighting to bring the LUX up to that found in nature for Bearded Dragons. We recommend either 55-65K tube lighting or halogen bulbs or metal halide bulbs listed on our product page.

How hot a bulb will be is so dependent on many different factors that only you can answer. Is the bulb outside the habitat (my preference) or inside? Is the habitat open-screen or closed sides and top? Is the habitat insulated? Is it "stacked"? The list goes on.

I like to see two basking areas where size allows, one with UVB and one without. The non-UVB site can be heated by a halogen Flood lamp and a dimmer will help you to regulate the heat at the spot. The second can be with one or our EB Kits with a halogen next to it as the controlled additional heat. The SB lamps will also work very nicely as the UV source and if set at the proper distance can provide the UV and heat all in one.

A simple set up is to have a 3' fluorescent 5000-65K tube and a SB Mega-Ray®. This will provide the additional bright lighting that a BD needs and also give you the light/heat/UVB-A. Which SB, (100 or 160wt) will depend on the variable factors mentioned earlier.

Generally speaking the 100wt SB can be used from 10" to 18" and the 160wt SB can be used from 12" to 20"

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How long do your Mega-Ray® lamps last / how often will I need to replace them?

  1. How often do I need to replace my SB Mega-Ray bulbs?
The warranty on the SB Mega-Ray® is 6 months but you will get great UVB form the bulb for at least a year or more. If you do not have a meter to test the bulb, we recommend replacing after a year.

  1. My iguana has always had the Powersun Mercury Vapor lights but the past two burnt out fairly quickly, 4-5 months.
That's not unusual. The SB (self ballasted) mercury vapor bulbs are a hybrid using an internal filament to ignite the arc tube. Like all filamented bulbs, the filament breaks. We only warranty our SB bulbs for 6 months but on the average they will last 9-12. many are lasting much longer. The biggest difference is that the Powersun's UVB like most other mercury vapor bulbs, decays is so bad that they are only emitting about 15-25 microwatts at 12" after 3 months so it's best that they burn out early.

  1. A lot of people on the yahoo Pogona board recommend you and your Mega-Ray bulbs, hence this e-mail. I recently had my second T-REX 160W bulb burn out within 14 months total. They cost too much for me to keep replacing like that.
First remember that if you are using fluorescent tubes, you should be changing them out every 6 months unless you have a meter to test them for UVB output and should be running two of them, so the cost is about the same anyway.

Most mercury vapor self-ballasted bulbs have a 3-6 month life span with few exceptions. This is just the way it is. The internal ballast the fires the arc tube is a filament and like all filamented bulbs they fail. Because of the terrible decay rate of UVB on most SB mercury vapor bulbs (70-80% in the first 3 months) it's best that they fail quickly.

We have the best-designed self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb in the world. We warranty our SB bulbs for 6 months. On the average users seem to be getting 9-12 months and even more from our SB bulbs. The main difference is that you will (or your reptile will) be getting great UVB as long as the bulb continues to light.

Another alternative is using our 60wt EB kits that last much, much longer.

  1. My question: My bulb is almost 6 months old. Do I need to replace my bulb now or will it continue UVB output till it burns out?
Your Mega-Ray® will have better UVB after a year's use than most other UVB bulbs have at start up. We actually warrant our EB lamps to produce at least 50 uW/cm2 for a full year. Some bulbs are still going strong after two years, but unless you have a UVB meter to read its UV output, change it after a year's use.

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Why are your Mega-Ray® lamps better than other mercury vapour bulbs?

  1. Why are your MV bulbs better?
Our Mercury Vapor bulbs are better than the other UV bulbs sold for reptiles for several reasons.

One is that they produce the UVB levels that we say they do, and produce a wide beam that creates a large useful basking spot in the vivarium.

Second, they have the least amount of UVB decay (loss of UVB over time) then anything else on the market; meaning that your animal will get the UVB-A it needs for a long time under the Mega-Ray® design.

A third reason is that we really do care what your animal gets exposed to. That's why I developed this lamp to start with. I have a passion for rehabilitation.

Please visit uvguide.co.uk and join the UVB Meter Owners Group to learn more about this subject.

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Why can't I use an "ordinary" mercury vapour lamp?

  1. Hello Bob, I will soon start breeding bearded dragons and have decided to go with MV bulbs to provide UV as well as heat. My uncle works at an electrical supply house so he can provide me with standard Sylvania MV bulbs much cheaper than a hardware store can. The cost is secondary to the quality I provide my beardies. I would like to know why your Mega-Ray bulbs are superior to standard bulbs. How do they benefit specifically beardies? Which wattage would you recommend to keep the basking spot at approximately 110 degrees 12" from dragon in a 3.5'x2' plastic enclosure? I am more than willing to pay more if there is a reason to do so.
This has been an age-old question. "Why can't I use regular mercury vapor bulbs for my reptiles?" I have been a reptile rehabilitator for many, many years. If I could have just gone down to the store and got good UVB lamps, I would have been in 7th heaven. As it is, it's difficult to even get good UVB from lamps that are marketed for reptiles.

UVB is not something anyone else in the world wants - except for us reptile nuts. The government has standards that don't allow lamps sold for human use to produce UV. It takes special glass not to filter the UV radiation out. So although all the mercury vapor and metal halide lamps sold for human uses have UV warnings (as directed by the EPA), none of them should produce any measurable UVB.

Anyone even thinking of using commercial lamps for the ultraviolet absolutely needs to own a Solarmeter to check the output of the lamps.

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What fixtures and fittings do I use with your Mega-Ray® lamps and Heat Projector?

  1. I need a ceramic fixture to use the SB 100 W bulb? I was thinking of buying your Mega-Ray SB 100-WATT FLOOD LAMP.
Yes, we always recommend ceramic fixtures. This is a good all around lamp with great UVB-A.

  1. I was wondering if the 100wt SB Mega-Ray comes with a fixture? Can I buy it extra or do I just put the bulb into a clamp lamp type?? Thanks and sorry for the THIRD email!! I just want to know what I'm buying and how to properly use it!
As with any mercury vapor UVB bulb, you need to supply the fixture. We always recommend the ceramic-based fixtures. We should soon be able to supply these.

The EB kit comes with an external ballast but we don't provide a fixture for this lamp either, so you would still need to buy a fixture and its cable, with a regular plug, to connect the fixture to the ballast box.

  1. I was just wondering what size dome I would need for this light. Thank you. ;)
We recommend a 10" dome

  1. We bought a 100w Zoo Med Powersun MVB in a deep white reflector (the white interior doesn't reflect much) I would like to upgrade to a Mega Ray bulb. Should I change the reflector or remove the white finish??
The Mega-Ray® is a narrow flood. The reflector does not add any directional UVB at all with our bulb. You can use it the way it is.

  1. I was just curious as to whether or not the ballast box for the SB Series is strong enough, or will last long enough, to power two of the SB bulbs instead of one.
The ballast box is not for the SB (self ballasted) bulbs but rather for the EB kits. The ballast is designed to operate one bulb. This is a standard in the lighting industry. Because of the way the arc tube ignites, it can only do one bulb at a time. One ballast, one bulb.

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How much heat does a Mega-Ray® Heat Projector produce?

  1. I had a question about your Mega Ray Heat Projector. I've never found a heat bulb that I was happy with and someone mentioned your site to me.

    I like the looks of it. I just had one question. Is this the type of bulb that doesn't get hot to the touch on the back of the bulb? As in, it only directs the heat forward? The reason I ask is I'm about to build some wooden cages and a piping hot bulb makes me nervous.

    Also could I achieve a basking spot temp of 130-150 with this bulb?
Our HP is the safest heating tool in the trade. The Mega-Ray® Heat Projector, while running much cooler to the touch then a ceramic heater, still gets hot to the touch. But if you have tough skin, you can unscrew it while turned on unlike the typical CHE that will remove your skin (or your reptile's skin) to the touch.

It is extremely efficient and will project as much heat forward as a 125watt CHE. Basically it will raise the surface temp about 20degrees at 16". If it's 75 degrees ambient air, the basking area will be 95 degrees.

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How long will I have to wait for my bulb? - My reptile has no UVB now.

  1. Just wondering, is shipping going to take long? I'm having to use a light without any UVB output for the time being.
It won't hurt your iguana not to have UVB for a short while as long as it doesn't have MBD or it's a female and she's gravid.

  1. I am planning to order 4 Euro SB lamps. Can you advise the details of International shipping including method, duration and shipping rates? Do you think you can offer me a discount if I am ordering 4? How should I place the order?
We use the Global Priority USPS. Its efficient and much less expensive then the others. If you go to the Euro SB web page and order two bulbs you get a discount. You will then have to order another two and the same discount applies. The shipping is built into the whole thing and is very reasonable.

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Questions about set-ups for different types of reptiles:

Iguanas

  1. I'm looking for a good bulb for my 28" iguana and I was referred to you. I've been looking at some of the Mega-Rays; I heard that's the way to go as far as lighting needs. The cage is 6 x 6 x 2; the basking light is 13" away from the platform. Think you can help me out with the right bulb for me?
That's an easy one. At that distance, the 100wt Mega-Ray® SB bulb is the one to use. Please triple check the basking area temps to confirm how hot it is there before you allow your ig to sit there.

One of our Temp Guns (internal link) would be very handy to make sure that the iguana does not get to hot under the bulb.

  1. I would like to order one of your MegaRay Euro (high-volt) SB Series lamps. But I'm not sure what size (wattage) to go for?! I'm almost finished with a custom made cage with the following dimensions:
    H - 1400mm; W - 1500mm D - 550mm
    My Iguana will live in here...

    Could you please advise if I should go with the 100watt or 160watt? I do not know what the heat output of these MV bulbs is like?! I will possibly have an infrared bulb on a thermostat for night-time temp, and to regulate daytime temp...
The Mega-Ray® Euro (high-volt) SB lamps only come in 100watt or 160watt. I don't recommend using infra-red bulbs for night-time heat as the red light will disturb the sleep cycle of most iguanas and other reptiles. If additional heat is needed during the day, please consider using a halogen bulb, as it will give you great heat and LUX. At night use a CHE (until we have our new Euro Mega-Ray® Heat Projector) or a heating pad.

Our mercury vapor bulbs put out approximately the same heat as a normal incandescent bulb when they are used in dome fixtures. Testing the basking site with one will give you an approximate idea of the heat produced (view Comparison Studies).

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Bearded Dragons

  1. Hi! I have a young adult bearded dragon. In his current habitat he is approximately 4 or 5 inches from the screen top, which is were his basking light is located. I plan to purchase a new habitat shortly where he will be approx. 12 inches from the light. I have been advised by many members of the Pogona group (yahoo) that your lighting is the best in the business. Please advise me of which bulb would be the best for my situation. Thanks
The distance you have now is way too close for any of our Mega-Ray®s because of the amount of UVB they produce. At 10-14" the 100wt SB Mega-Ray® would be the best to use. Please triple check the basking area temperatures before allowing your reptiles to be under them. Put a thermometer right under the bulb at the basking site. Or use on of our Temp Guns

  1. We have bearded dragons. I've been using the T-REX 160-watters as their UVB source for heat and UV rays. Their basking spot is approx. 11 inches from the bulb and they have another basking spot as close as 7 inches from the bulb. The one female used to stretch from one basking spot to the other.
We recommend our bulbs be at 18 inches for the 160watt bulbs. Because you have bearded dragons, a distance of 14 may be necessary to get the proper basking area temperatures. But because of the amount of UV that our bulbs produce we don't want to see them any closer. I also highly recommend multiple basking areas if the size of the habitat allows. But I only recommend that one of them has UVB. This allows the reptile to "Photo Regulate" judging how much UVB it needs to manufacture proper vitamin D3 levels.

  1. We have a 2.5-month-old Bearded Dragon in a 40-gallon tank (40g & 9.5"!! He's been adding 50% to his weight and " to 1" every week!!). We bought a 100w Zoo Med Powersun MVB in a deep white reflector (the white interior doesn't reflect much). The basking area (approx. 12" from the bulb) gets up to 102/105F after a few hours. The tank temp will get up to 85 degrees (cool side). We had a 150w red heat bulb before that. I measured 127 degrees in the basking area (digital thermometer w/probe)!!! We have an ESU 20W coil UV bulb in a standard reflector for additional light (I've read they have very little UVB output but it provides light).

    I would like to upgrade to a Mega Ray bulb. Would you recommend the 100W as a direct replacement?? I've seen the Mega Ray puts out much more UVB than the Powersun.
Yes, a 100wt would be the recommended replacement but remember that you always need to triple check the basking temps after changing bulbs even if they are the same brand!!

Remember that as your BD gets older, you will need to increase the basking temps. An adult bearded dragon should have basking temps of 110+. I like to see the temperatures on the high side so it encourages the creature to "shuttle" as they would in nature. The activity will help the digestive system and overall keep him healthier.

We bought a 100w Zoo Med Powersun MVB in a deep white reflector (the white interior doesn't reflect much) Should I change the reflector or remove the white finish??

The Mega-Ray® is a narrow flood. The reflector does not add any directional UVB at all. You can use it the way it is.

We also have a 4-week-old BD in a 10-gallon tank (for the next month). We will be upgrading him to a 40-gallon setup in a month or 2.

I plan on building a double stacked 4ft x 2ft x 2ft enclosure next spring and would like to carry over the lighting. I will probably add 36" fluorescent strips inside for additional light.

You will need a little more height because of the size of the bulb. Remember that stacking habitats can be troublesome because of reduced height and added heat to the habitats.

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  1. My question has to do with the heat aspect of this bulb, specifically, whether the 12" minimum distance [allowed re the UVB aspect] will allow my juvenile bearded dragon to have a 110-115 degree basking spot, which he needs. (He also needs the cool end of the vivarium to be under 85 degrees.) So, any idea what the average temp would be 12" directly under the SB-100, where I would set him up with a basking spot?
Generally speaking, a 100wt incandescent bulb will run a little hotter then our Mega-Ray® watt for watt. How hot the basking area will be at a certain distance is a huge variable. Screen deflects heat as well as UV and visible light. We have seen a 15-degree difference with some screens and no screening at all. I would start at the 12" and then move the bulb up or down to get what you need. But no closer then 10" to the basking spot. Remember to have the screen in place while taking the temperatures under the light so as to be accurate.

  1. I have a few more questions regarding my 2 bearded dragons. I have a 75-gallon tank (48x18x20). I would like to know your suggestions for all the lighting. I am interested in your UVB lights, I have some concerns: Do I still need a tube UV extending the whole length of the tank? How about night heat? I would like to get rid of my existing hood, start from scratch and use all of your products for this tank. For example: would your 160w UVB dome be enough for the day on the hot side? Should I have any other lighting during the day on the other side?
Bearded dragons love light!! I can't say this enough. If you have a large enough habitat, and you do, I have three basic recommendations (really have more, but to keep it simple). I like two basking areas when the room allows. One to have UVB, and one not. The second area can have a halogen flood lamp. This will provide a nice bright spectrum and an additional basking area that will allow your BD to "photo regulate" meaning he has the choice to control his UV exposure (view study). This combined with the Mega-Ray® 160wt SB will give lots of heat and good LUX.

Extra night-time heat if needed, could be provided by the Mega-Ray® Heat Projector.

Another good combination is to use the 60watt EB Mega-Ray® kit and use a halogen flood lamp next to it. Put the halogen on a dimmer switch or a variable thermostat to control the basking area heat. Use a 5000K fluorescent tube to light the length of the habitat to get a nice high LUX to simulate the natural environment. This can be on a timer that lights it at 9-10am and goes off at 4pm. The effect will be a good bright late morning into late afternoon effect. These ideas can be intermixed in a variety of ways that will fit your needs and abilities to really, in effect, simulate a natural ecosystem.

  1. So from the beginning, we have a pair of beardies. They are about 4 years old. They live in a glass aquarium 5 feet long, 2 feet across and 2.5 feet deep. The top is a fine metal mesh similar to that used in a screen door and it slides apart to open. The basking sight is a flat piece of slate about 1foot x 1.5 feet. It is 12" below the mesh.

    We live in Vancouver and they live in the dining room beside a window facing southeast. There is very little natural light as we live in the rain forest similar to the region near Seattle. We have a bulb producing heat to 100 degrees max at the center, the proper UV and a daylight bulb from an aquarium to boost the light.

    We have great difficulty in keeping them awake past mid-September and they sleep until we force them awake in mid-March. One of them has a healthy appetite throughout the summer. The other one does not eat so well and is quite a bit smaller than the other. That one is going to the vet for a check-up at the end of the month. I have been reading such good things about you and your light bulbs from the yahoo group I belong to. I am interested to know if the SB-100 would work for my guys. Is it safe in the aquarium? I am always concerned about the possibility of a house fire.
You need bright lights!! Be sure to use halogen flood lamps and or good 65K fluorescent tubes to get good LUX to keep them from bromating as long. The 100wt SB Mega-Ray® can produce good heat depending on the ambient air temps. Generally it will take the 100wt bulb to be 10" if the air flow is good and up to 16 if it's not.

You may need a 160wt bulb to do the trick in your habitat.

Your 100 degree heat at the basking area is too cold for active BD's and should be 110+ otherwise they won't shuttle and stay active. Some of my friends are using 120 basking temps to keep their BDs as active as they would be in nature.

If you secure any lighting/heating items so they can't fall and everything is in good ceramic sockets, and your wiring in the house is in sound condition, you are safe.

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  1. Hey guys, I'm currently building a 48x24x? enclosure for a bearded dragon. I was wondering which MegaRay you would recommend for it. Do you have any flood bulbs that I could place in the center of the enclosure so that they would encompass a good area, or should I rather do a basking heat/UV spot with them? And if using the spot, how much heat do the bulbs give off? I have to figure out whether or not to use a separate heat and UV bulb and how high to make the enclosure... Thanks!
My design bulb is a "Narrow Flood" the only of its kind. You should have supplemental lighting to bring the LUX up to that found in nature for Bearded Dragons. We recommend either 55-65K tube lighting, metal halide bulbs, or halogen bulbs.

How hot a bulb will be is so dependent on many different factors that only you can answer. Is the bulb outside the habitat (my preference) or inside? Is the habitat open-screen or closed sides and top? Is the habitat insulated? Is it "stacked"? The list goes on.

I like to see two basking areas where size allows, one with UVB and one without. The non-UVB site can be heated by a halogen Flood lamp and a dimmer will help you to regulate the heat at the spot. The second can be with one or our EB Kits with a halogen next to it as the controlled additional heat. The SB lamps will also work very nicely as the UV source and if set at the proper distance can provide the UV and heat all in one.

A simple set up is to have a 3' fluorescent 5000-65K tube and a SB Mega-Ray®. This will provide the additional bright lighting that a BD needs and also give you the light/heat/UVB-A. Which SB, (100 or 160wt) will depend on the variable factors mentioned earlier.

Generally speaking the 100wt SB can be used from 10" to 18" and the 160wt SB can be used from 12" to 20".

  1. Recognizing that lamps will vary on UVB output (based on the nature of the lamps advanced engineering), can you send a lamp specifically rated for my needs. My cage is 38inches high, 38inches deep and 5 feet long, should I get the spot or flood? It is for Bearded Dragons, which in the wild get 360 - 380 uW/cm. in mid-day sunshine in Australia. Instead of getting a bulb that produces 250-300 microwatts (uW/cm2) I wanted a bulb that produces 300-340 uW/cm at approximately 10-12 inches away from the bulb, but preferably 10inches because I plan on mounting the UVB in the cage, can I mount it at a slight angle? I plan on putting in a rock wall, horizontal logs, and shady areas. Please email me back or give me a number.
Bearded dragons can receive up to 450uW/cm2 during the day but they don't normally bask in such high radiation. They are seen basking in conditions that are recorded at 75-250 under normal circumstances. Even in the shade they will be exposed to these numbers unless deep in their burrows for approximately 8 hours of the day.

I would highly recommend just using one of our normal Mega-Ray®s at the recommended distances. The 160wt SB Mega-Ray®* at about 14-18" (depending on the ambient air temperatures) will give you the needed 110+ degrees and the high UVB they enjoy. Even at 20 inches for the 160wt SB they would receive at least 75-100uW and that will be plenty to keep their circulating D3 levels (25-Hydroxy vitamin D3) at wild normal levels (175-250nmol/L).

Deliberately over exposing them to long term high UVB levels can be dangerous and I don't recommend it.

* The 100wt SB Mega-Ray® at 10-16" (depending on the ambient air temps) will produce the about same results.

Please see this comparison study for basking temps.

  1. I bought new enclosures from Showcase Cages on the Internet. They are made of high-density polyethylene plastic. I have 2 for my adult beardies that are 48" L x 18" H x 24" D. I have a Reptisun 10.0 strip light running the length of the enclosure (48 inch). One question I have is this: With the strip light running across the front of the enclosure do my beardies still get the UVB they need?
If there is no polyethylene plastic between the reptile and the bulb they will get UVB and if it's close enough, they will get enough UVB. The 10.0 is a very blue light. What they won't get is enough LUX and light quality from this tube.

Also, the dome light area has 50-watt basking bulbs for purpose of heat only. The basking spot is 9 1/2 inches from the bulb to the floor of the enclosure. I measure high temps on the basking spots up to 120 degrees. I get different temps with temp gun and my digital probe thermometers. I have raised the lights as much as I can due to the built in area and stacking them.

110+ at the basking spot is fine for adult BD's as long as they have a cooler section on the other side.

  1. I guess my questions are the following: Do they get enough UVB from the Reptisun 10.0?
Not as much as I would like to see but as long as they can get within 6 inches they will be OK.

  1. Is there a bulb I can use to give out 30-40 watts of heat and additional UVB if recommended?
Not in a screw-in type. The problem I see is that these were not designed with the animals' needs in mind although they are well built and look great. Too bad.

Remember that BD's love and need bright light. Please see the new article and the many other articles at reptileuvinfo.com.

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Water Dragons

  1. I have 3 Asian Water Dragons in a 6-foot high enclosure. These animals are from SE Asia and bask for most of the day in nature. I would like to get a SB MegaRay flood setup that would simulate high levels of UVB (~300-400 uW/cm2) at their basking spots 12"-16" away from the light source and as much as possible further down as they do like to climb on the plants at ground level as well. Please email me back and let me know what you can do and how much it would cost. Thanks
I do not believe that the Water Dragon needs 300-400uW at the basking area and they will thrive with 150-200 max! And really do well with 75-150uW.

I would use a 160wt Mega-Ray® at about 16-18 at the close range basking area. Supply additional basking areas with halogen flood lamps. The dragon will photo regulate and choose the basking area as his serum D3 levels dictate.

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Turtles and Tortoises

  1. Bob, I am currently raising hatchling box turtles and i am wondering which bulb would be the proper bulb to use to provide the correct amount of UVB. The distance from the light to the basking area is approximately 15in. Thanks in advance for your help.
Our 100wt Mega-Ray® SB series is a great all-around bulb for that distance. The amount of UVB-A that it has is especially great for your torts.

  1. I am planning to order 4 Euro SB lamps for my two baby sulcata and 1 juvenile leo tortoise. My enclosure is around 3x4ft open topped. Can the bulbs be ordered to produce 400mW/cm2 at 12 inches? I do not have a UVB meter yet but I am planning to order one in the future.

    As winter is approaching and there's no central heating in Hong Kong, the room temp can go as low as 50F. Thus I will have to raise the overall temp in my tort pen, how would the MegaRay Heat Projector do to suit that purpose? Do you also recommend a CHE too?
Our Euro SB (220v) 100 watt lamps produce about 200uW/cm2 at 30cm; that is more than enough for any reptile to keep serum D3 levels at their peak. 100 watt bulbs will not give you proper basking temps at 50F ambient temp. Additional heat will need to be added by some means. Possibly using a water bed with a heater at the base and a cover over most of the table, except where the lights are, will work for you. I know others that use this very well. At present, unfortunately, the Mega-Ray® Heat Projector is not available in the 220v version, but it soon will be. It would be ideal in this situation.

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