Do bulbs expire?

tofuqueen

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Hi everyone,
This may be a silly question, but I don't want to risk any issues with my Russian Tortoise. I use the Zoo Med Power Sun UV 100W bulb for his indoor enclosure. I usually order bulbs and other supplies online, but with delayed shipping issues, I just picked it up at PetSmart. I bought a replacement bulb earlier today and there was a mail-in rebate flyer in the box with the bulb. The offer is good for bulbs purchased 1/1/16-12/31/18 so now I'm concerned that this bulb may be anywhere from 2-4 years old. That may not be the case, but just something I'm now curious about. If the bulb has been sitting around for a few years, would that ruin the integrity of the bulb? Do I have to worry about the UVA/UVB levels? I don't have a UV reader, but I typically replace the bulb every 6 months. I sent an email to Zoo Med, but thought I'd post here as well to ask for advice. Thanks!
 

atx95

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They can 100% “expire” id recommend getting a tester. You can get the most out of your bulbs that way and not have to guess when it’s time to replace. I’ve also heard of some bulbs being weak out of the box so that’s another good reason.
 

Maro2Bear

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I’d say (guess) that if the bulb has been laying about, but not used, then it should be fine. Id think they lose their effectiveness based on hours/duration of use.

Im sure @Markw84 will know the ansr to this one!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Those bulbs aren't good right out of the box.
I tested two last year with my new to me at the time UV meter and got wildly different readings from both. One very little UV. One 7 times the output.
So, even new, there is no uniformity.
I bought 3 and stopped using them after a few days. They're in my closet gathering dust with a lot of other things I bought that disappointed me.
They are also very desicating.
And yes. The UVB and UVA can become less effective over time. Theoretically.
(Because one of mine had almost no UVB new)
And I agree that @Markw84 knows a LOT MORE about the science behind these lights than I do.
 

tofuqueen

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10 Year Member!
Joined
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Messages
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Those bulbs aren't good right out of the box.
I tested two last year with my new to me at the time UV meter and got wildly different readings from both. One very little UV. One 7 times the output.
So, even new, there is no uniformity.
I bought 3 and stopped using them after a few days. They're in my closet gathering dust with a lot of other things I bought that disappointed me.
They are also very desicating.
And yes. The UVB and UVA can become less effective over time. Theoretically.
(Because one of mine had almost no UVB new)
And I agree that @Markw84 knows a LOT MORE about the science behind these lights than I do.
Thanks for this info! Is there a bulb you would recommend that is more consistent? I'm also going to order a UV meter after reading the replies to my post.
 

Maro2Bear

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Joined
May 29, 2014
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14,161
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Those bulbs aren't good right out of the box.
I tested two last year with my new to me at the time UV meter and got wildly different readings from both. One very little UV. One 7 times the output.
So, even new, there is no uniformity.
I bought 3 and stopped using them after a few days. They're in my closet gathering dust with a lot of other things I bought that disappointed me.
They are also very desicating.
And yes. The UVB and UVA can become less effective over time. Theoretically.
(Because one of mine had almost no UVB new)
And I agree that @Markw84 knows a LOT MORE about the science behind these lights than I do.

Good info!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Tortoise Club
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Location (City and/or State)
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Thanks for this info! Is there a bulb you would recommend that is more consistent? I'm also going to order a UV meter after reading the replies to my post.
Easy.
This T5 uvb
I've purchased them from LLL REPTILES and BUG AL'S PETS
Both sell them for about $50
 

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