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How to find your light bulb.  Things we need to know to help you.

How to find your light bulb.  Things we need to know about your light bulb.
Important lighting specs when matching or replacing light bulbs

Important lighting specs when matching or replacing your light bulb.


                                                  Its best to bring in your light bulb so we can match it exactly. 
                                                  If you can't bring it in or your describing it over the phone, here is what we need to know.

Checklist of light bulb Specs - Look at the bulb tell us what you see.

                                                  1) Voltage - Wattage 
                                                  2) Base Type                                 see base type chart     see miniature chart
                                                  3) Color-Color Temperature
                                                  4) Shape                                         see bulb shape chart
                                                  5) Technology  ** Optional **


(1) Voltage - Wattage

The voltage and wattage is usually on the metal or glass base, sometimes its printed on the top of the light bulb.

Example:  120v 100w (American Light Bulb),  220v 100w (European Light Bulb)

(2) Base Types  ** see base type chart

Base types vary alot. There are various screws, push pins, side prongs, single contact, double contact etc. 

(3) Color or Color Temperature

Colored light bulb include: red, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple, black, etc. Ceramic (opaque) or transparent colors are also available. Unusual multicolor light bulbs can include color gradients, stained glass, happy faces and RBG color changers. Shades of white include warm white (2700K, 3000K, 3500k), cool white (4100k), daylight (5000K) and full spectrum (6500K or higher).

White Light - Color Temperature Space Planning and Uses

  • Warm White - soft yellow white (2700K, 3000K, 3500K)
    Uses: Living Room, Family Room, Bed Room
  • Cool White - soft stark white (4100K) Night Stand Reading Lamp, Uses: Front Door, Back Door
  • Day Light Natural Light - pure white (5000K)
  • Full Spectrum - bluish white (2700K, 3000K, 3500K) 

 light bulb color temperatures

(4) Shape   ** see bulb shape chart

Light bulbs come in a large variety of shapes. Common shapes are round, pear shaped, tubular, circular, flame, torpedo, mushroom, and pencil but there are many, many more.  Describe it as best as you can or even better show it to us.

(5) Technology  ** Optional **

If you don't happen to know what you have it will probably be one of these light bulb technologies. 

  • Incandescent
  • LED
  • Fluorescent
  • Halogen
  • HID
  • Neon 

Kelvin and CRI
There are two different Kelvins. Degrees Kelvin is used by photographers as a unit of measurement of the color temperature or the degree of combination of blue, red and yellow. Physicists use Kelvin degrees (K) to measure absolute heat temperature.

The Kelvin value, based on degrees Kelvin, is that which resembles the quality (the wavelengths) of light at high noon. The Color Rendering Index (CRI) rates how a light compares to the natural sunlight at high noon; high noon light is assigned a CRI value of 100. No artificial light source attains a CRI of 100. Expensive bulbs, and some bulbs used in herpetoculture and aquaculture, usually (but not always) have the CRI indicated on the package; the higher the CRI, the more closely it resembles the sunlight at noon.


Lumens and Lux
Another measurement is of the intensity (volume) of radiation produced by the light. Think of a 25-watt white incandescent bulb and a 150-watt white incandescent bulb. The CRI they produce is the same, but the intensity of the light (the amount of radiation) they produce is very different.

The intensity of a 100-watt light six inches from the source is very different from its intensity five feet from the source. At six inches, far more light is hitting a tank than the amount of light from the same bulb would if placed five feet away. The light that actually hits the tank is called illuminance and is measured in lumens per square meter of surface. The ratio of lumens to surface is known as lux. In other words, lumens measure the light as it leaves the source, and lux measures the light that actually reaches the target. So, while the lumens emitted by a 100-watt bulb is going to be the same regardless of the bulb's distance from the target, the lux will vary depending upon how far away the target is from the light.

At this point, I can hear you asking "So what?" Well, the next time someone asks you what wattage heat light they should use, you will be able to help them more effectively by discussing exactly how they plan to use the light.

Ultraviolet Light
Ultraviolet light is broken into short- or middlewave (285-315 NM) and long- or nearwave (315-400 NM) which accounts for 90 percent of the solar ultraviolet spectrum.

As with all light, the amount of UV that actually reaches the ground is dependent upon several factors: latitude, atmospheric conditions, the elevation of the sun, and the amount of cloud cover. The greatest amount of UV reaches the surface at high mountain elevations where the air is thin, in the tropics where the rays are most direct, and in the highly reflective deserts.

Exposure to UV in the middlewave 295-320 NM range (UVB) results in the synthesis of D3 in the skin. While excessive exposure to the shorter UVA wavelengths can be dangerous, causing blindness, skin damage, immune dysfunction, and even death, moderate exposure is beneficial. In diurnal reptiles, it increases activity levels, promotes basking and feeding and, through its influence on the pineal gland, can positively affect reproductive cycles in some species.

Mercury vapor lamps are often mentioned as a source of lighting for herps. Studies with desert iguanas (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), collared lizards (Crotophytus collaris), and rainbow lizards (Agama agama) showed dramatic increases in male threat behavior during the time these sunlamps were on. The aggressive behaviors started within two minutes of the lights being turned on. While the physiological mechanisms at play here may be poorly understood, evidence suggests that sensitivity to UV intensity may play a role. Another possibility for the aggression is suggested by the fact that many reptiles can see in the ultraviolet range, and many bear markings which either reflect or absorb UV. For example, certain anoles have UV-receptive cones in their eyes (in the 365 NM range) and have UV reflectance patterns on their dewlaps and at the corners of their mouth, areas exposed during threat displays. Femoral pore secretions of desert iguanas are visible under black light and probably appear as dark markings against the bright background of the desert sand; tongue flicking then provides additional information about the iguana who left the trail of pore secretions. Many desert flowers absorb UV which may help the desert iguanas and tortoises locate food. This may also be part of the appetite promoting mechanism exhibited when reluctant or inappetant feeders are exposed to UV light for a period of time.