Selecting Reptile Lighting
The benefits of reptile lighting go far beyond a natural day night cycle and actually aid diurnal reptiles with producing vitamin D3 for calcium absorption. Lighting has become a necessity for vivariums with live plants and animals to flourish. There are three features of reptile lighting that should be referenced before purchasing any lighting.
Full Spectrum Lighting, it's not just a marketing tactic. A lot of companies are producing reptile lighting and to ensure you get a bulb that closely represents natural sunlight look for these indicating factors.
- Color Rendering Index (CRI) closest to 100 as possible.
- Color Temperature Rating between 5500 (yellow) to 6,500 (blue) Kelvin as possible.
- Complete spectrum from Ultraviolet to Infrared (UVA/UVB)
Testing Reptile Lighting, when you find a bulb that looks good in the store you will want to check the intensity of the bulb. This is to ensure that the beneficial light reaches the floor of your enclosure. To do this you need a light meter. A light meter reads the intensity of the bulb in foot candles or lux. Natural sunlight on a clear sunny day in central latitudes is 10,000 foot-candles or 100,000 lux. Using the light meter measure the intensity at the floor of the enclosure and try to match the bulb as closely as possible to the lux of natural sunlight.