Can you explain lighting to me?

ZEROPILOT

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I recently began keeping Veiled Chameleons.
I'm using Exo Terra 80 watt MVB bulbs that "provide UVA,UVB and heat."
I also have an 18" 5.0 non HO florescent strip light on each aviary. These are for the chameleons.
However, I have umbrella plants in each aviary also and they need lights.
I've installed 24" strip LED "plant lights" on top of each also. Something like 30 watts.
My question is about UVA and UVB and are any of these plant lights dangerous to my animals?
There are brighter and stronger (And more expensive) plant lights out there that I may or may not need. But I'm concerned about all of that red and blue bright lighting that I frankly have no clue as to what it is even doing.
I understand that UVB helps with converting D3. But to be honest...the rest of it is baffling to me.
 

jaizei

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The idea behind the red and blue lights is that different portions of the light spectrum have different effects on plants, tho I've read things suggesting that using the lights that only have red and/or blue can actually be less optimal. I guess it would be analogous to using vitamins/supplements where there is benefit to a point and too much can have negative effects. When used in conjunction with the other lights, I dont think the grow lights would be harmful to an animal. i wouldnt use a red or blue light alone/as the only light over an animal. If you end up needing additional light over the plant, I'd just try more regular fluorescent tubes.
 

Blackdog1714

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I have white LED grow lights that work well and screw into regular sockets. Plants are growing well especially my cacti. Sarts seed okay, but that is a height adjust issue that I don't want to mess with
SANSI Daylight LED Grow Light Bulb, 10W Full Spectrum Sunlight LED
 

Markw84

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I've tried many lighting options. I don't like the red and blue only that give off a violet colored light. I think reptiles are very reliant on colors and use them much more than we do in identifying foods, and circadian and circannual rhythms. Their eye design tells us they are more tuned into lighting and use parts of the spectrum we do not. So for our tortoises I feel a good LED with a CRI of 90+ and color around 5000k is a great ambient. The UVB tubes we use then fills in the shorter wavelenghts all the way down to the UVB. An incandescent lower wattage basking bulb, then fills in more of the reds and gives needed IRA and IRB but in moderate levels. This simulates a nice full spectrum for the complete range that affects reptile life.

SO....

I like using LEDs with a 5000K color and 90+ CRI. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QW3H6M3/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20 These work well for ambient lighting and does very well for most of the "lower light" requiring houseplants. they flush mount directly to the ceiling of an enclosure and take almost no vertical room. When I am trying to grow plants that require a better lighting, I have found the grow light mentioned above by @Blackdog1714 as a very good choice - The SANSI. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KXBY2YH/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20 The bulb is a regular socket screw-in bulb that comes in wattages from 10 - 36. They are a 4000k color because of the heavy weighting towards the higher wavelength reds, but actually are a very good sunlight simulating bulb. In combination with a few 6000k 90+ cri LEDs and your UVB fluorescent - it is a great natural sunlight simulating setup. The drawback to these Sansi's are that they need to be mounted at least 14" or more above the plant or they will burn the plant. So not enough height in a closed chamber in most cases by the time you look at the height of the plant plus the height of the bulb and socket, then add 14". But they would be perfect for your application.

Here's the spectrum they put out. Very nice balance. Adding 6000k LEDs will fill in the blues, plus a UVB tube adds in the ultraviolet that reptiles use much more than humans and plants.

Grow light Sansi.jpg

Here's a bit more from their literature on the color balance they use:

Grow light Sansi 2.jpg
 

Blackdog1714

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MIne are working great. In just 3 months I have 3'' growth on my opuntia cactus. Adds a little warmth when add so its a nice plus. The price plus the footage coverage is what sold me- 2x$19. I could have spent $65 for a solid unit that would cover about the same.
 

ZEROPILOT

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My cactus outside grows worse than a weed.
I'm trying to keep some Sheflerra (umbrella plants) alive indoors.
I'm most worried about cooking my Chameleons while I try to make the plants happy.
 

Blackdog1714

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My cactus outside grows worse than a weed.
I'm trying to keep some Sheflerra (umbrella plants) alive indoors.
I'm most worried about cooking my Chameleons while I try to make the plants happy.
I get that-I have zero chameleon experience. I would rather be way safe than slightly sorry. In summer the cactus grows great outside, but Winters in Richmond are there whole kinda special animal!
 
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