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Thread: low costs DIY uvb+uva light for turtles.

  1. #1
    DIYFK member jc92195's Avatar


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    low costs DIY uvb+uva light for turtles.

    hi guys

    i have been looking at uvb light for turtles.
    these are very expensive light bulbs over $100 from branded names like zoomed, exo-terra etc...
    they are called mercury vapour bulbs and they have very short life span about 6 months.

    i came across some german reptiles forum using household HQL/HWL bulbs which is also called mercury vapour bulbs.
    does anyone knows if those household Osram or Philips HQL/HWL bulbs produce uvb?

    thanks and have a nice day.

  2. #2
    DIYFK member Avoscotto's Avatar


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    I only used the zoomed ones, they were only about $20 in my region. I would email customer assist for Osram or Phillips and ask them directly

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    DIYFK member jc92195's Avatar


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    hi bro Avoscotto,

    thanks for advice.
    the Zoomed mercury vapour bulbs in my region are very expensive. Exo-terra mercury vapour bulbs are slightly cheaper. but all near $80-$100++
    and they consume about 100-160watts... and also they last only about 6months...

    the compact UVB bulbs are cheaper at about $25-$35. but compact UVB bulbs doesnt produce any basking heat. so need another heat bulb and another set of light fixtures... so add up costs is about the same as buying a single mercury vapour bulb...lolz

    have you used the newer HQI Sunray bulbs before?

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    Moderator zclark's Avatar


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    for all of my reptiles I run 2 light fixtures. One with just heat light and one with a CFL UVB bulb. The mercury vapor bulbs are way to expensive.

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    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jc92195 Click here to enlarge
    the compact UVB bulbs are cheaper at about $25-$35. but compact UVB bulbs doesnt produce any basking heat. so need another heat bulb and another set of light fixtures... so add up costs is about the same as buying a single mercury vapour bulb...lolz
    You can make a DIY dual bulb fixture out of sheet metal, or even a wood frame lined with a cheap aluminum baking pan for cheap... On the US ceramic light bases are about $1, a few bucks more for electrical boxes and wires and you can be golden for cheap...

  6. #6
    DIYFK member jc92195's Avatar


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    hi zclark

    yes MVB mercury vapours are very expensive. and worst they dont last long...

    i saw this all in one UVB bulb from china.
    world.taobao.com/item/521350650104.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.dLLNJq#deta il

    they are suppose to be metal halide HQI lamps. example of famous brands exo-terra called "sunray" and lucky reptile called "MegaRay"
    i am just curious if this china product can be trusted anot? lolx....
    looks cheap at $40... comes with ballast, clamps and socket....really all in one UVB lamps...

    thanks and have a nice day

  7. #7
    DIYFK member Avoscotto's Avatar


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    It's hard to rely on new brands for bulbs as it isn't always easy to test them, that's one of the reasons I'd recommend sticking with the more common brands. At least with the exo-terra and zoo med they have a history of doing what their intended too. I would always be nervous that the fancy bulb is just a gimmick and not doing what I need it to. Maybe someone else will have a more positive outlook on that for you

    I would recommend just using 2 bulbs. 1 for heat and 1 for UVB. Sure its more room on top of the tank but it avoids having to buy those expensive bulbs. I know that I would occasionally have issues where I would break a bulb during cleaning or something really shortening the life span of the bulb. Having 2 cheaper bulbs wouldn't hurt your wallet as much as having to replace 1 of those combo bulbs.

    Meep suggested building your own fixture for cheap, if the fixture cost is holding you back definitely go his route. Watch some youtube videos on how to wire a dualbulb fixture to get familiar if you're not already. I would recommend running 2 bulbs versus 1 combo bulb

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    DIYFK member Amoque's Avatar


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    You did not mention how many watts of light you require, but there are UV LEDs - Digikey has them starting at 83 cents each - they range in price to $435. Of course one LED isn't a solution and there is still circuitry and enclosure and... On the "high" side, specs for LEDs are published (so you can know exactly what you're getting), they last a long time, and they're scalable and modular.

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    DIYFK member jc92195's Avatar


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    hi guys,

    thanks for advice. yeah i am worried about "china products" too...
    so far i have been using zoomed reptisun10 and exo-terra reptiglo10 compact with a small halogen bulb for heat.
    UV LED at $400+ is way off the budget for me.
    i will just stick to zoomed/exo-terra compact uvb for now.
    i will go to some DIY home store to look for generic lamp fixtures. the "branded" lamp fixtures are just over priced.

    thanks and have a nice day

  10. #10
    DIYFK member It'sMeMario's Avatar


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    I know this is all about DIY, but the best thing that I have found are mercury viper bulbs. They do both things and can fit into normal lighting stands.

  11. #11
    DIYFK member Finster's Avatar


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    I use the compact fluorescent UV bulbs and a separate 100 watt incandescent for heat. Each has it's own 7.00 Ebay clip on reflector. Turtles are doing great.

  12. #12
    DIYFK member dejuc's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Avoscotto Click here to enlarge
    I only used the zoomed ones, they were only about $20 in my region. I would email customer assist for Osram or Phillips and ask them directly
    Zoomed ones is a great choice and will save a lot of money.

  13. #13
    DIYFK member techhnyne's Avatar


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    a bit off topic but I love turtles I wish there was a salt type that was a mini sea turtle! I so would have them lol

  14. #14
    Moderator zclark's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by techhnyne Click here to enlarge
    a bit off topic but I love turtles I wish there was a salt type that was a mini sea turtle! I so would have them lol
    Look at fly river turtles They are about as close to a sea turtle look.
    They can reach 22 inches in the wild captivity they usually stay under 14"
    http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Car...ver_turtle.htm

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