Hardware Store T5 HO Light Fixture

Falcon70

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Hey all, it's been a while! I've had to take my Russian tortoise inside for the time being while in the process of moving. As a result, I'm looking to overhaul my lighting, and want to move over to the ReptiSun T5 HO line. To save money, is it possible to use a hardware store equivalent light fixture for these bulbs instead of the ReptiSun Terrarium Hood/other Herp specific brands? Any specific suggestions?

Know the old UVB tubes worked in them, but wanted to double check if that's still the case with the HO lamps (don't want to lose too much efficiency... or start a fire).

Thanks!
 

Tom

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Hey all, it's been a while! I've had to take my Russian tortoise inside for the time being while in the process of moving. As a result, I'm looking to overhaul my lighting, and want to move over to the ReptiSun T5 HO line. To save money, is it possible to use a hardware store equivalent light fixture for these bulbs instead of the ReptiSun Terrarium Hood/other Herp specific brands? Any specific suggestions?

Know the old UVB tubes worked in them, but wanted to double check if that's still the case with the HO lamps (don't want to lose too much efficiency... or start a fire).

Thanks!
You must use and HO fixture for an HO bulb. They make the HO tubes a couple of inches shorter, so they won't fit in a standard fluorescent fixture anyway.

@Markw84 ran tests on HO bulbs in different fixtures, and found that it really does make a difference. I'll let him elaborate.
 

Falcon70

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You must use and HO fixture for an HO bulb. They make the HO tubes a couple of inches shorter, so they won't fit in a standard fluorescent fixture anyway.

@Markw84 ran tests on HO bulbs in different fixtures, and found that it really does make a difference. I'll let him elaborate.

HO part makes sense. Don’t mind paying extra if it’s worth it, and it sounds like it is. Exactly why I asked. Thanks!
 

Tom

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HO part makes sense. Don’t mind paying extra if it’s worth it, and it sounds like it is. Exactly why I asked. Thanks!
I've been using the Arcadia brand for years. Very good quality, high UV output and the bulbs can last for years. No need to replace them every six months when you have a UV meter to check them with.
 

Falcon70

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I've been using the Arcadia brand for years. Very good quality, high UV output and the bulbs can last for years. No need to replace them every six months when you have a UV meter to check them with.
I came across them, and am very impressed. Especially with their website, and the species specific lighting guide/UV education portion. I don't personally have a UV meter, but have a friend who will let me use it to set things up/check every couple months. Arcadia supplies are seemingly scarce these days, but I think I'll be able to find one somewhere online.

Hate starting new threads when there's already so much information on here, but from what I've gathered, it's okay for the fixture not to run across the entire length of the enclosure, as that will leave "shaded" portion where they can take a break from UV? Obviously understand the importance of a good UV source, but she is an established adult, and lives in an outdoor enclosure full-time March-November, so I'm not overly concerned about lack of exposure. She's usually out on nice winter days -multiple times a week here- but that's a bit limited at the moment.
 

Tom

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I came across them, and am very impressed. Especially with their website, and the species specific lighting guide/UV education portion. I don't personally have a UV meter, but have a friend who will let me use it to set things up/check every couple months. Arcadia supplies are seemingly scarce these days, but I think I'll be able to find one somewhere online.

Hate starting new threads when there's already so much information on here, but from what I've gathered, it's okay for the fixture not to run across the entire length of the enclosure, as that will leave "shaded" portion where they can take a break from UV? Obviously understand the importance of a good UV source, but she is an established adult, and lives in an outdoor enclosure full-time March-November, so I'm not overly concerned about lack of exposure. She's usually out on nice winter days -multiple times a week here- but that's a bit limited at the moment.
Totally fine for it to not run the length of the whole enclosure.
 

Markw84

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HO part makes sense. Don’t mind paying extra if it’s worth it, and it sounds like it is. Exactly why I asked. Thanks!
@Tom already answered your basic questions.

The fixture does make a considerable difference. Fluorescent tube are not light other lights in that the power required to properly operate the tube is variable. The ballast must be tuned to the type of tube being used. With reptile UVB tubes this is particularly important to get the proper emission levels of the wavelengths the tube / and subsequently the ballast is designed for. I have tested several fixtures and found the difference amazing with the same tube. I stick completely with Arcadia tubes and Arcadia fixtures designed to run those tubes.

There is also a huge difference in the design of the reflector - both its reflectivity and shape dramatically alter the amount and shape of the proper UV levels in the basking zone. Again the Arcadia pro T5 sets are my go to here as the whole fixture is optimized for creating basking zones for reptiles and the tube and fixture come together with a choice of 6%, 12% or 14% bulbs. I do not own stock in Arcadia, I have just found them superior. The drawback seems the problem in getting good supplies in the US. Since I stock them to install in the enclosures I build I have to order lots of them at a time 3-4 times a year when my supplier gets a shipment from Arcadia to last me over the times when they are out of stock everywhere else. Reptile Basics sells them very reasonably priced. They have an alert feature where they will alert you by email when they have them in stock as they do sell out quickly when they do get a shipment. As I understand it, they have a standing order with Arcadia, but are limited to supply by manufacturing and overseas shipping by Arcadia.

I also would recommend not having a fixture cover the entire enclosure. I like about 1/2 max of the enclosure length as the length of the UVB fixture. I use 34" fixtures in 8 ft enclosures, and 22" fixtures in 4 ft enclosures. I believe tortoises need and desire a way to get away from the UVB. The more I research and pay attention to what my tortoises 'tell' me, I believe they are good at avoiding too much UV if given a choice. Some of my tortoises will all end up in the side of the enclosure that does not have the UV if I leave the UV light on very long at all, even though the side with the UV is the side they prefer to stay in all other times. They do bask some when it comes on, but inevitably will all end up in the other side very soon when it is on!!??
 

Falcon70

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@Tom already answered your basic questions.

The fixture does make a considerable difference. Fluorescent tube are not light other lights in that the power required to properly operate the tube is variable. The ballast must be tuned to the type of tube being used. With reptile UVB tubes this is particularly important to get the proper emission levels of the wavelengths the tube / and subsequently the ballast is designed for. I have tested several fixtures and found the difference amazing with the same tube. I stick completely with Arcadia tubes and Arcadia fixtures designed to run those tubes.

There is also a huge difference in the design of the reflector - both its reflectivity and shape dramatically alter the amount and shape of the proper UV levels in the basking zone. Again the Arcadia pro T5 sets are my go to here as the whole fixture is optimized for creating basking zones for reptiles and the tube and fixture come together with a choice of 6%, 12% or 14% bulbs. I do not own stock in Arcadia, I have just found them superior. The drawback seems the problem in getting good supplies in the US. Since I stock them to install in the enclosures I build I have to order lots of them at a time 3-4 times a year when my supplier gets a shipment from Arcadia to last me over the times when they are out of stock everywhere else. Reptile Basics sells them very reasonably priced. They have an alert feature where they will alert you by email when they have them in stock as they do sell out quickly when they do get a shipment. As I understand it, they have a standing order with Arcadia, but are limited to supply by manufacturing and overseas shipping by Arcadia.

I also would recommend not having a fixture cover the entire enclosure. I like about 1/2 max of the enclosure length as the length of the UVB fixture. I use 34" fixtures in 8 ft enclosures, and 22" fixtures in 4 ft enclosures. I believe tortoises need and desire a way to get away from the UVB. The more I research and pay attention to what my tortoises 'tell' me, I believe they are good at avoiding too much UV if given a choice. Some of my tortoises will all end up in the side of the enclosure that does not have the UV if I leave the UV light on very long at all, even though the side with the UV is the side they prefer to stay in all other times. They do bask some when it comes on, but inevitably will all end up in the other side very soon when it is on!!??
Thanks Mark. I was reading through your thread on the topic, and it's tremendous work. Though anecdotal evidence can be useful, evidence through research and numbers is unmatched. It's interesting to see how far knowledge on UVB lighting has come in the last decade or so!
 
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Dcatalano

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I've been using the Arcadia brand for years. Very good quality, high UV output and the bulbs can last for years. No need to replace them every six months when you have a UV meter to check them with.
I'm finding that it's difficult to find the Arcadia HO fixtures in stock.
 

Tom

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I'm finding that it's difficult to find the Arcadia HO fixtures in stock.
The pandemic has caused a huge run on pets. People have been home more of the time and decided to take on new pets. Its been difficult for people to find RHPs right now too.

Puppies and kittens have been in short supply, and lots of shelter pets have been adopted too.
 

Dcatalano

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@Tom already answered your basic questions.

The fixture does make a considerable difference. Fluorescent tube are not light other lights in that the power required to properly operate the tube is variable. The ballast must be tuned to the type of tube being used. With reptile UVB tubes this is particularly important to get the proper emission levels of the wavelengths the tube / and subsequently the ballast is designed for. I have tested several fixtures and found the difference amazing with the same tube. I stick completely with Arcadia tubes and Arcadia fixtures designed to run those tubes.

There is also a huge difference in the design of the reflector - both its reflectivity and shape dramatically alter the amount and shape of the proper UV levels in the basking zone. Again the Arcadia pro T5 sets are my go to here as the whole fixture is optimized for creating basking zones for reptiles and the tube and fixture come together with a choice of 6%, 12% or 14% bulbs. I do not own stock in Arcadia, I have just found them superior. The drawback seems the problem in getting good supplies in the US. Since I stock them to install in the enclosures I build I have to order lots of them at a time 3-4 times a year when my supplier gets a shipment from Arcadia to last me over the times when they are out of stock everywhere else. Reptile Basics sells them very reasonably priced. They have an alert feature where they will alert you by email when they have them in stock as they do sell out quickly when they do get a shipment. As I understand it, they have a standing order with Arcadia, but are limited to supply by manufacturing and overseas shipping by Arcadia.

I also would recommend not having a fixture cover the entire enclosure. I like about 1/2 max of the enclosure length as the length of the UVB fixture. I use 34" fixtures in 8 ft enclosures, and 22" fixtures in 4 ft enclosures. I believe tortoises need and desire a way to get away from the UVB. The more I research and pay attention to what my tortoises 'tell' me, I believe they are good at avoiding too much UV if given a choice. Some of my tortoises will all end up in the side of the enclosure that does not have the UV if I leave the UV light on very long at all, even though the side with the UV is the side they prefer to stay in all other times. They do bask some when it comes on, but inevitably will all end up in the other side very soon when it is on!!??
Thanks for all of this information and the tip on Reptile Basics. I'll look them up.
 

Dcatalano

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The pandemic has caused a huge run on pets. People have been home more of the time and decided to take on new pets. Its been difficult for people to find RHPs right now too.

Puppies and kittens have been in short supply, and lots of shelter pets have been adopted too.
You're so right about the run on pets. RHP's?
 
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