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Old 07-26-19, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lighting

Hello! This is my very first post on this Forum!

My boyfriend owns a Morelia spilota jaguar and 2 corn snakes. I was wondering about the lights that they require, I know they need a heat light or heat carpet, but what do you all think about UV light?

My boyfriend tells me they don't need it, because they are normally nocturnal, but I have read some articles about criptobasking, that's when a snake hides from the sunlight, but lets the tip of the tail out, to catch some sunlight.

What do you think about that?

Do you keep your Morelias with or without UV light?
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Old 07-26-19, 04:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

I don't provide UV light for any of my carpets or other snakes. It's not necessary but some keepers do choose to provide it.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

I've never used UV lighting for any of my snakes. I've always been of the school that they don't need it, so why bother?

However, I was fortunate enough to have received some fantastic papers on UV lighting for snakes. I may end up changing my mind as I'm just starting to read the papers now while I recover from surgery.

Fellow forum member Roman is a fantastic source on lighting and will likely be replying once he sees this thread. I've learned a lot from Roman and he's inspired me to read up on lighting and it's benefits to snakes.
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Old 07-27-19, 02:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
I've never used UV lighting for any of my snakes. I've always been of the school that they don't need it, so why bother?

However, I was fortunate enough to have received some fantastic papers on UV lighting for snakes. I may end up changing my mind as I'm just starting to read the papers now while I recover from surgery.

Fellow forum member Roman is a fantastic source on lighting and will likely be replying once he sees this thread. I've learned a lot from Roman and he's inspired me to read up on lighting and it's benefits to snakes.
Gee, thanks for inviting me Craig

Hello Carlota, nice to meet another European member in this forum. In my opinion and after reading (a lot) of papers about this subject “light” in particular and “enrichment” in general I can only say – go for it.

You are right, even “nocturnal” animals do bask, maybe not as obvious as a sun loving snake or lizard but they do it if they have the opportunity. Leopard geckos will stay in their hiding with most of their body but will extend their tail to bask (and use the provided UVB for Vitamin D3 synthesis). The same has been seen by many other species who use foliage to hide against predators but extend part of their body into direct sunlight.

So in short, I would use a full spectrum LED for ambient light and a Metal Halide light for heat, light and UVB. You can use something as arcadia lights for this, but since you are located in Europe you might actually be able to get the “BrightSun” from “Lucky Reptile”, they have an even better output of UVB. Make sure to get the “Jungle” version from either brand, they provide a better light spectrum, the “Desert” version has a bright light with lots of “blue” but a generally bad spectrum for plants.

For more information I provide the links of our former discussions (before you start, probably get yourself a cup of coffee and some snacks, it might take a while to read it all )

Our most recent discussion about it--> how long to leave lights on

And of course the epic discussion a few months earlier (you might just skim over the first couple of pages of posts, it starts to get interesting (from a light and enrichment point of view) after 3 pages) --> I think I'm done.

I came in here and helped derailing it completely --> I think I'm done.

If you are interested, just use the “Search” function (the “Advanced search” lets you search for posts of specific users) and search for my username, there are not so many threads and most deal with “light”, “enrichment” or both in particular or herpetoculture in general.

Sigh – sorry, I did it again and wrote another “wall of text” (you will understand this after reading the other posts)
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1,0 Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli, 1,2 Gonyosoma oxycephalum, 1,2 Philodryas baroni, 1,2 Spilotes pullatus, 2,1 Spilotes sulphureus, 0,1 Gonyosoma boulengeri, 1,1 Zamenis longissimus, 0,1 Malpolon sp., 1,1 Malpolon monspessulanus
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Old 07-27-19, 07:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

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Originally Posted by Roman View Post
Gee, thanks for inviting me Craig

Hello Carlota, nice to meet another European member in this forum. In my opinion and after reading (a lot) of papers about this subject “light” in particular and “enrichment” in general I can only say – go for it.

You are right, even “nocturnal” animals do bask, maybe not as obvious as a sun loving snake or lizard but they do it if they have the opportunity. Leopard geckos will stay in their hiding with most of their body but will extend their tail to bask (and use the provided UVB for Vitamin D3 synthesis). The same has been seen by many other species who use foliage to hide against predators but extend part of their body into direct sunlight.

So in short, I would use a full spectrum LED for ambient light and a Metal Halide light for heat, light and UVB. You can use something as arcadia lights for this, but since you are located in Europe you might actually be able to get the “BrightSun” from “Lucky Reptile”, they have an even better output of UVB. Make sure to get the “Jungle” version from either brand, they provide a better light spectrum, the “Desert” version has a bright light with lots of “blue” but a generally bad spectrum for plants.

For more information I provide the links of our former discussions (before you start, probably get yourself a cup of coffee and some snacks, it might take a while to read it all )

Our most recent discussion about it--> how long to leave lights on

And of course the epic discussion a few months earlier (you might just skim over the first couple of pages of posts, it starts to get interesting (from a light and enrichment point of view) after 3 pages) --> I think I'm done.

I came in here and helped derailing it completely --> I think I'm done.

If you are interested, just use the “Search” function (the “Advanced search” lets you search for posts of specific users) and search for my username, there are not so many threads and most deal with “light”, “enrichment” or both in particular or herpetoculture in general.

Sigh – sorry, I did it again and wrote another “wall of text” (you will understand this after reading the other posts)

Roman - hahhahaha, you're very welcome. Thank YOU for accepting my invite. Hahahaha

OP - you're in good hands with Roman. Told you he'd be along. Hahahaha.
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Old 07-28-19, 03:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman View Post
Gee, thanks for inviting me Craig

Hello Carlota, nice to meet another European member in this forum. In my opinion and after reading (a lot) of papers about this subject “light” in particular and “enrichment” in general I can only say – go for it.

You are right, even “nocturnal” animals do bask, maybe not as obvious as a sun loving snake or lizard but they do it if they have the opportunity. Leopard geckos will stay in their hiding with most of their body but will extend their tail to bask (and use the provided UVB for Vitamin D3 synthesis). The same has been seen by many other species who use foliage to hide against predators but extend part of their body into direct sunlight.

So in short, I would use a full spectrum LED for ambient light and a Metal Halide light for heat, light and UVB. You can use something as arcadia lights for this, but since you are located in Europe you might actually be able to get the “BrightSun” from “Lucky Reptile”, they have an even better output of UVB. Make sure to get the “Jungle” version from either brand, they provide a better light spectrum, the “Desert” version has a bright light with lots of “blue” but a generally bad spectrum for plants.
Thank you so much! I couldn't have asked for a more detailed answer! I am definitely gonna check the links out!

I guess now I'll have to convince my boyfriend to add the UV light...

Let me just ask another question. Jaguar (my boyfriend's python) only rarely hides in her hideout...so will it be safe for her to have the UV light on for the whole day? Or is it better to turn on just for a few hours?

Again thank you so much for the help!
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Old 07-28-19, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

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Originally Posted by CarlotaPita View Post
Thank you so much! I couldn't have asked for a more detailed answer! I am definitely gonna check the links out!

I guess now I'll have to convince my boyfriend to add the UV light...

Let me just ask another question. Jaguar (my boyfriend's python) only rarely hides in her hideout...so will it be safe for her to have the UV light on for the whole day? Or is it better to turn on just for a few hours?

Again thank you so much for the help!
You are very welcome!

When the first UVB lights came into production, some had a problem and produced levels of UVB (and even UVC) which were dangerous and harmful for the animals. These flaws are long solved, the output you get today is not dangerous if you install the lights correctly. Most lights have a minimum safety distance, so you have to install them in a way that your snake can’t come to close to the glass of the bulb, but we are talking about some cm here, this safety distance is a necessity simply because (in the case of metal halide lights) the bulb gets hot and direct contact will burn your reptile.

If you provide UVB you have two options, the metal halide lights I mentioned and florescent lights which also emit UVB. As I said, the MHL emits visual light, UVB and heat (IR light), but it does that only locally on one spot. Most brands have the “normal” bulb with a rather tight (concentrated) beam and a “Flood” version of the bulb with a larger emission angle. I usually use only the “flood” versions to get a larger spot of heat and UVB. The florescent light is just your usual light which emits UVB in addition, but it does not provide any heat. The UVB is emitted over the full length of the bulb, so if it covers the full length of the enclosure the UVB level in the enclosure stays the same. Florescent lights have usually an information like “6 % UVB” (jungle versions) or “12 % UVB” (desert version), that means that 6% (12%) of the total light this bulb emits is light in the UVB spectrum, 94% (88%) of the total emission is (more or less) visual light.

Both light methods have their use, the florescent light can be used in setups where you don’t want additional heat or where you want an even level of UVB in the whole enclosure. I use the MHL to create a local hot spot, a basking area which is the brightest, hottest spot in the enclosure, the farther you get away from this spot the cooler and less bright it will become, creating a gradient of bright light to (in some of my larger enclosures) stray light, top temperatures of >32° C (90° F) to room temperature and “high” levels of UVB to no UVB.

To give you an example, here is a picture of one of my enclosures for a pair of semi adult Montpellier snakes (Malpolon monspessulanus).



The glass terrarium (not the white plastic enclosure on top of it) is 120 x 60 x 80 cm (ca 4 x 2 x 3 ft) length x width x height. I use a LED light for ambient lighting over the total length of the enclosure and a 70 W metal halide light for light, heat and UVB. You can see this MHL sitting on top of the glass enclosure at the right side (the black, dome-shaped light) right on top of some flat stones for providing a basking spot. The MHL is sitting on a mesh screen for ventilation, if it would be on top of glass the glass would filter the UVB, so no UVB would get into the enclosure. From the light to the top of the glass enclosure is a small distance, so even if one of the snakes would stretch and touch the mesh it would not burn itself. The MHL creates the brightest spot in this enclosure right on top of that pile of stones. The stones get warm and start to radiate the warmth by themselves, the surface temperature of the stones might be as high as 35° C (95° F) which is OK for a sun loving Mediterranean snake and the UVB right there reaches an UVB index of 1,5 (that’s a way to measure and evaluate the amount of UVB). The beam of the light extends pretty much over all of the stone pile, but at the fringes the temperature and the UVB start to drop. Direct light from the MHL reaches up to the halve of the enclosure, creating a UVB index gradient from 1,5 to 0, the temperature at the left end of the enclosure is room temperature. So the snakes can choose the temperature and the UVB intensity they want or need, but can also avoid it completely.

So for your Morelia I would place one MHL outside of the enclosure on top of one of it’s basking branches, with enough distance that the snake can’t burn itself and other branches it can choose with no direct light from the MHP. It depends on the enclosure size what wattage you might need, for a smaller enclosure a 50 W (or even a 35 W) might be enough, otherwise I would use a 70 W light.

Metal halide lights cannot be dimmed, they are either on (and use their full power) or they are off, you can’t turn them down. Most of them also need a ballast to start them, the arcadia lights don’t need an external ballast, they have a built-in ballast in the bulb.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting

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Originally Posted by Roman View Post
You are very welcome!


So for your Morelia I would place one MHL outside of the enclosure on top of one of it’s basking branches, with enough distance that the snake can’t burn itself and other branches it can choose with no direct light from the MHP. It depends on the enclosure size what wattage you might need, for a smaller enclosure a 50 W (or even a 35 W) might be enough, otherwise I would use a 70 W light.

Metal halide lights cannot be dimmed, they are either on (and use their full power) or they are off, you can’t turn them down. Most of them also need a ballast to start them, the arcadia lights don’t need an external ballast, they have a built-in ballast in the bulb.
Thank you so much, Roman, you are a lifesaver! I'm going to talk to my boyfriend about all these and hopefully, he'll listen!
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