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LED lighting for general lighting of viv.

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Lighting' started by Joetheyido, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

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    Hello I'm getting a couple of new vivs soon and wanted to see if I could light them with LEDs. I'm just wondering weather they are ok to use?
    Will they hurt the torts eyes at all?
    Thanks joe
  2. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    I’m pretty sure leds are fine for just lighting. I think zoo med sells a combo fluorescent/led light strip.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    This is something new to the hobby. I don't think most people have any experience with LEDs over reptiles. I just got three new cages from animal plastics and Ive installed 6 LED units in them, but I haven't put any tortoises in them yet. I'm still working out the heating. My usual 65 watt bulbs are way too hot, so I went down to 45 watts and those still gave me a basking temp of 109 and ambient of 99, so I need to go lower. I'm going to try those little 35 watt floods and see it that works. If not, I will just go back to the 65 watt bulbs and put a rheostat on them.

    But anyway, LEDs… I haven't heard anything bad yet and I think they are okay, but more experience needs to be had by the reptile community to confirm this.
    Bambam1989 likes this.
  4. DE42

    DE42 Well-Known Member

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    I used LEDs for my crested geckos. They worked well and I had great plant growth. I could not see any negative effects by using them.
    That's all the experience I have.
    Tom and Cowboy_Ken like this.
  5. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

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    Cheers. Just don't want to damage there eyes. Got a 8x2x2 Viv and a 6x2x2 Viv comming soon so just getting ideas on how to set up and if I can use LEDs for the lighting and if it's strong enough for plant growth. What led units do you all have access to? Being in UK Arcadia do t8 and t5 led tubes to replace normal fluorescent, seen white python LEDs to.
  6. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    LEDs are good options and certainly good for growing plants. I would stick with the better ones marketed for growing plants. I would also definately stick with a T5 fixtue to give yourself options if you ever want to try other things. There is no contest at all with fluorescents in that T5 bulbs are far superior to the now outdated T8. Much brighter, more energy efficient, and last way longer. The LED tubes have about the best quality of light now available for plant growth. However T5 fluorescents are very close. The LEDs should run cooler, but that can be a problem as our closed chambers are hotter environments than most bulbs are meant to operate in. That will degrade the bulb much quicker and the quality of light put out starts to shift as they degrade. With LED's they run best at 75°F. However, they are "rated" to run for up to 100,000 hours. It seems they do start to degrade considerably at about 15,000-20,000 hours and even sooner if run hotter as in our chambers. But that is still comperable to what you would get out of a good T5 fluorescent. A T5 fluorescent will run a good 20,000 hours before it even starts to degrade light output by a slight 5%. An LED would probably be down about 40% by then. A T5 fluorescent runs optimally at 95°F. So that part is perfect for our enclosures. However, with bulbs running at 95°, multiple bulbs will start to overheat a good enclosure quickly if it is a totally closed chamber and a lower height.

    Whether LED or fluorescent, be sure the color of the light is right, especially if you want to grow plants. Most grow lights are 6500K. That is optimal for vegetative growth - and that is what we want for our tortoises. IF you want flower/fruit/seed production, you will have to add some 3000K lights. For tortoises I run the 6500K fluorescents along with one reptile T5 d3 bulb in one of the sockets. That combined with two low watt incandescent flood bulbs for their heat and 2500K color makes a nice enclosure. I always have two thermostats on my enclosures set up this way. One on my CHEs to ensure the ambient minimum at night. The other on the incadescent flood bulbs. That thermostat I set for 100° with the probe near the basking area. I run my timer conrolling my basking bulbs off that thermostat. This way there is a fail safe that turns off my basking bulbs if the temp rises above 100°.

    I think in your 6 foot enclosure you will find anything more than two 4 foot bulbs (54 watts) will overheat the enclosure at 2 ft tall. But one grow light with one D3 reptile bulb should work OK. You might be able to run up to 4 - 4ft tubes in the 8 foot enclosure. At 2 ft tall that will probably be a max.
    Tom likes this.
  7. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    What are y'all's opinion about using LED flexible tape lights? Alot of them are water proof which would be great in the high humidity. I was considering using some in a future build myself..
  8. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The light quality of those is normally quite poor. A good LED has several different diodes to properly balance color that is expensive. Led strips are normally a minimum type of diode just to give a color for effect. Not meant for lighting in general
  9. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure, I have seen 6000k strips which was close to what you were recommending for color, I know nothing about lights/ lighting and am trying to learn.
  10. DE42

    DE42 Well-Known Member

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    6000 is good. 5000-6500K is the range you want to be in. I know nothing about those lights. But that spectrum is good.
  11. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Do you have a link to a flexible strip that says it's 6000K? I'd like to look at that. You could get a 6000K value but no color balance with a very blueish looking white light. That is the problem with a lot of the cheaper LED white lights. Like the LED Christmas lights you see...
    DE42 likes this.
  12. DE42

    DE42 Well-Known Member

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    This it true.
  13. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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