New LED UV Light #1

Tom

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ZooMed came out with a new LED UV lamp. It costs about $170, but it makes strong UV and should last a long time. They are using Japanese made precision LEDs that give off light in just the right spectrum for out reptiles to use for D3 production, and there are some other LEDs built in to it for supplemental lighting too. I ordered one, but it arrived broken, so this review is not about that.

I went on Amazon looking for the new ZooMed LED UV bulb and did not find it. Instead I found a few others, and decided to give them a try. They did not look promising, but I thought I'd give them a try. Cost was around $24 and this one uses 5 watts.
IMG 5891
IMG 5879
At about 15 inches I only got a reading of 0.8 on the meter:
IMG 5978

In practice, at about 6 inches from the bulb, through a screen, where the lizard will be basking, I got a reading of 2.5:
IMG 5889
To summarize: This bulb makes very little UV and it makes it in a relatively small area directly under the bulb. This bulb is also very dim, so supplemental lighting would have to be used, which works because you would still need a basking bulb for heat in most situations, or LED if you wanted day light with no heat for something like a crested gecko. This bulb could work for small tortoises in a small hatchling set up, but I don't see much use for it other than that for tortoises.
 

Tom

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The second bulb I ordered arrived a few days later:
IMG 5975

This bulb performed significantly better and gave me readings as high as 1.8 when used in the same fixture at the same distance as the previous bulb. Still not great, but much better:
IMG 5972

In actual practice, through a screen and about 6 inches from where the lizard will be basking, I got readings as high as 5.6. I moved the basking rock over to the right so I could get the meter directly under the bulb. The lizard would normally be sitting right where the meter is in the picture:
IMG 5983

This bulb is a little brighter, and the UV output is actually adequate for the job at hand. Time will tell how long it lasts, but I'm pretty happy with this one for use in my 24x24" starter enclosures for my smaller beardies.

Just for comparison sake. I mounted an Arcadia 12% HO tube over my other enclosure and through the screen, at an odd angle, without trying to maneuver under the sweet spot of the bulb, I get a general reading of around 6.3:
IMG 5984

The Arcadia tube lights up the entire enclosure with bright white daylight, and the UV is still at 3 or 4 even over to the sides, when the meter is not directly under the bulb. These little cheap LED UV bulbs do work, and they do have some applications where they would be at least adequate, but the advantage of the longer tube is very apparent when viewed back to back. I can't recommend either of these little bulbs over the Arcadia tubes, but they do work. I'll review the ZooMed LED UV bulb when I get the new one.
 

ZEROPILOT

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The second bulb I ordered arrived a few days later:
View attachment 339140

This bulb performed significantly better and gave me readings as high as 1.8 when used in the same fixture at the same distance as the previous bulb. Still not great, but much better:
View attachment 339141

In actual practice, through a screen and about 6 inches from where the lizard will be basking, I got readings as high as 5.6. I moved the basking rock over to the right so I could get the meter directly under the bulb. The lizard would normally be sitting right where the meter is in the picture:
View attachment 339142

This bulb is a little brighter, and the UV output is actually adequate for the job at hand. Time will tell how long it lasts, but I'm pretty happy with this one for use in my 24x24" starter enclosures for my smaller beardies.

Just for comparison sake. I mounted an Arcadia 12% HO tube over my other enclosure and through the screen, at an odd angle, without trying to maneuver under the sweet spot of the bulb, I get a general reading of around 6.3:
View attachment 339144

The Arcadia tube lights up the entire enclosure with bright white daylight, and the UV is still at 3 or 4 even over to the sides, when the meter is not directly under the bulb. These little cheap LED UV bulbs do work, and they do have some applications where they would be at least adequate, but the advantage of the longer tube is very apparent when viewed back to back. I can't recommend either of these little bulbs over the Arcadia tubes, but they do work. I'll review the ZooMed LED UV bulb when I get the new one.
Thanks Tom.
I'm also hopeful for the success of LED as a UV source.
This is very informative
 

wellington

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At 170 bucks most will not be buying one. Single tort people usually can't justify spending that much on a bulb. If it lasts for several years that might make the difference. However, I have not found any newer regular led bulbs or the CFL bulbs (not used for animals) to last as long as they say they are suppose too. In fact one LED didn't even last a year.
Appreciate the testing, hope the ZooMed tests good but also hope they find a way to lower the cost a lot.
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom.
I'm also hopeful for the success of LED as a UV source.
This is very informative
@Markw84 is trying out a different and much better one and will share those details soon. I've seen and put a meter under the ZooMed one at the TTPG conference in AZ, and that one was excellent. Very strong UV, bright white light, and hopefully a long working life too.

The second bulb I reviewed above could have some applications for small chameleons too. I thought to your lizards while I was typing it up. There is some good stuff coming up soon, and our options will be expanding.
 

Tom

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At 170 bucks most will not be buying one. Single tort people usually can't justify spending that much on a bulb. If it lasts for several years that might make the difference. However, I have not found any newer regular led bulbs or the CFL bulbs (not used for animals) to last as long as they say they are suppose too. In fact one LED didn't even last a year.
Appreciate the testing, hope the ZooMed tests good but also hope they find a way to lower the cost a lot.
I found it at Petmountain.com for $129. The advertisements say its good for four years. I'm guessing that is at the typical 12 hours a day that most people use UV bulbs. I'm using my UV bulbs for only 6 hours mid day over my bearded dragons, and 3 hours a day over the baby tortoises, so I'm guessing I'll get more than 4 years out of mine. That is how it works for the florescent UV tubes. They say to replace them every 6 or 12 months, but mine are lasting 3-4 years while still putting out good UV. The meter will tell the tale.

As things are refined and improved over time, and as competitor's products hit the market, I image the prices will drop significantly. Regular LED bulbs used to cost a lot more when they first hit the market too.
 
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