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  • Question about live viv. lights

    So... my dad noticed a kind of 'burning plastic' smell from my lights that i JUST ordered and received Friday. Saturday was the first time they were plugged in all day and that was when he noticed it. I didn't really take much notice because it seemed like the same smell all my lightbulbs that I've bought give off the very first time they're plugged in.

    However, curiosity won over and I inspected Honey Bears lights (the same ones i bought for my other 2 tanks, only these I've had for a few months) and the white plastic case Exo-terra puts over the base of their "natural light" light bulbs was yellow and even darker yellow where the bulb tubes came out, which... obviously means the plastic is getting too hot and burning because dumbass Exo-terra doesn't put enough vent holes in that 'box' around the base of the light bulb. I should know better by now that Exo-terra sells crappy stuff.

    So I just spend $60 on 4 light bulbs and a duel dome fixture for the two new tanks I put up and I've now realized that the bulbs themselves are a potential fire hazard. -____-;


    So now I have to find something else to fix this with. I NEED 6500k+ spectrums because they ARE live tanks with plants that need a more higher light demand and they have to be strong enough to reach the plants at the bottom of the tank.

    These tanks are 16x16x30 (WxLxH) so they need to be strong lights bright enough to reach the floor.

    I know when i talked to NEHERP about what lights would work, they did mention the more expensive option of LEDs which...... is sadly probably what I'm left with. I could do tube lights but those would only work on Sita and Arafel's tanks which are right next to each other. Honey Bears is off somewhere else and has nothing for me to hang the fixture with.

    The less money I have to spend after this discovery the better, I really don't want to fork down $100 on LEDs and their fixtures but Id rather do that then have my house burn down because of poorly made light bulbs. -_-


    So if you guys have links to some 'cheap' LEDs that will work for my tanks, do share. I was going to just email NEHERP, but figured I'd ask here first before bothering them (though... not to mention its the weekend so I wouldn't get a reply back today anyways)



    EDIT: Just to provide a clearer example of what I'm talking about although I'm sure we all know what burnt plastic looks like:
    Click image for larger version

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    That is 1 of Honey Bear's lights, both of hers are like that.
    Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
    Sovereign Reptiles

    0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
    1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

  • #2
    When I used to use these uvb compact fluorescent bulbs for my beardie every bulb had that exact same color after being used for around a week. I guess it isn't just you that this happens to
    My Pets:
    1 male harlequin Dalmatian crested gecko- El Diablo
    1 male Orange blue bar Bearded Dragon- Emmett
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    • #3
      Yeah idk why they put the plastic around there... it wouldn't be so bad if they just provided more ventilation on the casing. 8 liiiiiiiiiiiittle tinyyyyy holes on the back just isn't going to cut it. You'd think with the technology we have now, people would know better than to put a box around a light bulb that gets hot w/o compensating to overdue ventilation.
      Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
      Sovereign Reptiles

      0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
      1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

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      • #4
        I have 6500K CFLs on all my live vivaria. Might I ask what wattage are you using? I believe the 26W is the maximum wattage for each socket. I use 13W, and
        23W 6500K bulbs that have worked well.
        Over years I've had my vivaria, I've discovered that multiple canopies do the trick. I use a combination of Exo-Terra, Zoo Med and aquarium canopies that can be positioned atop the enclosure with air space for ventilation. I now use a combination of CFLs and fluorescent lights (T8s) in the 6500K range to feed the plants by having enough power to light the vivarium to the ground level.
        BTW, mine all have plastic ballasts, and are on for 10-14hrs/day continuously depending on the season. The socket ballast on the canopies are usually made of porcelain encased with plastic.
        Alternatively, you might consider the deep dome fixtures that allow for higher wattages to light your vivarium. My 18 inch cube is lighted by 2 deep domed fixtures atop the screen and angled for maximum light penetration. I'm thinking of adding a narrow canopy light but haven't gotten around to the lighting store to find appropriate lamps.
        4.24.0 Crested Geckos
        0.2.0 Leopard Gecko

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        • #5
          I have the zoomed mini duel dome. It says they accept up to 100w in each dome. So 26w shouldn't be causing an issue for the lamp.
          Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
          Sovereign Reptiles

          0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
          1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

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          • #6
            I use aquarium lights by Aqua Traders and Odyssea: http://www.aquatraders.com/category-s/80.htm

            You can poke around, they've got lots of different options. Two 24watt T5HO bulbs should provide roughly 350-400 lumens which is equivalent to low light. If I had infinite money I might buy the 4 bulb versions; everything I have now I matched to a well-drained but damp soil, low light environment.

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            • #7
              I have 2 Exo-Terra hoods and use several 5" or 6" full-spectrum aquarium CFL lights in each. They're between 10 and 20 watts each. You can find them in the aquarium section of pet stores, not the reptile section. I've used various brands. They all last about a year before their output drops to the point where they need to be replaced.

              Right now there are *tons* of LED options available -- again, aquarium supply places are the best places to look -- but they are both expensive and rather ugly. (For aquariums, especially reef aquariums, a blue cast to the light looks OK. In a terrarium/vivarium, it looks hideous). And, then, of course, there are the zillion grow-op/hydroponics lights for optimal plant growth out there, which are even uglier, since their output is almost entirely in the red and blue wavelengths that are what chlorophyll absorbs the most.

              Anyway, I'd love to switch to LED, too, but I think it will take another 5 years or so before full-spectrum, non-ugly grow lights for terrarium use become available at affordable prices. In the meantime, CFLs kind of suck but that's what there is.
              3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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