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Thread: Lights and BPs

  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran O'Mathghamhna's Avatar
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    Lights and BPs

    So I'm a member of a Facebook group called "Ball Python Enthusiasts." This particular group appears to be VERY anti-light when it comes to BPs, so much so that if someone posts that they are using a red or blue heat lamp instead of a CHE, they are instantly berated with "OMG U MUST REMOVE THE LAMP ASAP IT IS STRESSING OUT YOUR BP" type posts. I know UVA/UVB light is not a necessity for BPs, and excessive light can stress them out, but can anyone weigh in on how detrimental a red or blue heat lamp could be for a BP?
    Last edited by O'Mathghamhna; 02-06-2020 at 08:35 AM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: Lights and BPs

    There is much debate on this subject. I use a CHE for heat but I do have a uvb light on during the day. I think the most important thing is that they don't have light 24hrs a day. I provide mine with a day night cycle. The light stays on for 10 hours during the day and is off at night

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    When in doubt, try to mimic what the natural environment would be like. Ball pythons spend most of the day hiding in burrows and such, where humidity is higher and light shining in from the outside during the day or not at all depending on how deep the snake is hiding. Direct light shining on it is not necessarily a bad thing... There are always exceptions to the rule... So if it is eating, shedding, healthy and the light is on a cycle, it can work. The snake will usually tell you what works and what doesn't. If you want to use light for display only, led is a better choice so it won't mess up with the temps in the cage that you already had it dialed in. If you need ambient or additional heating plus viewing at night, infrared (not red) is an option. Ambient lighting would be as close to what they would experience in the wild. That is, if heating is not a concern.


    CHE is recommended because we 'think' they can see the spectrum of light at night from other bulbs. In lizards, yes, but scientific evidence is weak in that department and none exists for snakes at this time (or probably ever. Snakes are not the greatest test subjects because they respond to almost every stimuli the same way...and the way they measure it for lizards are disruption in sleep patterns. How do you observe (short from implanting nodes inside and outside the head) that from a snake with no eye lids?

    So people err on the side of caution and suggests CHE over infrared bulbs. But lizards and snakes evolved so far apart from each other in thousands of years time... The comparison is practically apples and oranges. Also, CHE comes with risks too: fire hazard if used with the wrong fixture (common mistake), must must must be on thermostat because of how hot it gets, and dries up the tank. CHE is best for those cold snaps if controlled properly. It must also be kept where cats cannot jump and knock it down in fear of fire hazard.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran O'Mathghamhna's Avatar
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    YES for sure, my BP got slightly burned several weeks ago because I didn't have my lamp on a dimmer/thermostat. I have since switched to RHP, which is purrrfect now with excellent temps/humidity. But it just irks me how much people in that group panic over a red or blue bulb that is on a dimmer/thermostat and doing a fine job of maintaining appropriate temps/humidity. They're saying absolutely no lights whatsoever and I just haven't seen the research to agree. I mimic natural conditions as much as possible--the LED light in her tank is only on a few hours a day, during daylight hours, so I can see inside the tank and make sure all is well without disturbing her.

    Thank you for your input!
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    Registered User Naginii's Avatar
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    I use a red heat lamp and a CHE for ambient heat levels in my bioactive tank. The snake had no noticeable change in behavior when I installed the red heat lamp. She comes out every single night still and explores just like she always has. She does try to climb to get to the red light at times but that's the only thing I have noticed from it. It lets me view her well at nighttime and I like that. She eats just as well as she always has. I now have a T5 bulb system (for the plants) that really gives her a strong daylight/nighttime difference and she almost always comes out about an hour after the T5 turns off.

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    Re: Lights and BPs

    Just a thought but I am guessing those people who are screaming about ball pythons being freaked out by light (which by the way I am 100% sure the are exposed to on some levels in the wild) are also people who keep their snakes in tiny plastic tubs on paper towels with nothing but a water bowl. I know everybody has there own way of doing things and I will most likely get a rude comment or two but I just don't feel like that is in the best interest of the animal for the long term. Yeah, I get it if you are a breeder with a ton of babies that will eventually be re-homed but not for the life of the animal. I am not bashing bins either. I have seen people who use bins and still provide their animals with enrichment but it seems most who keep snakes in racks in little plastic tubs do not provide anything except water and a rat one a week or so. Lol didn't mean to go on a rant but it just irritates me the way people act like their opinions are fact. Also on that note I would like to say that everything I just said is my OPINION and what works for me.

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    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    In my opinion, if it's a possibility that snakes can see the red light and be bothered, why would I use them? There's no benefit. May as well use a CHE, which accomplishes the same thing with no light.
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  12. #8
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    I've been using the dark purple bulbs for many years. I've never noticed any adverse effects at all. Within the past few years I've tried using CHEs and have noticed absolutely no difference in behavior at all. I still use the purple bulbs on two enclosures.
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    Re: Lights and BPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    I've been using the dark purple bulbs for many years. I've never noticed any adverse effects at all. Within the past few years I've tried using CHEs and have noticed absolutely no difference in behavior at all. I still use the purple bulbs on two enclosures.
    Nothing wrong with that.
    I prefer the dark purple lights myself. I bought a 100 watt che and used it for a short time but I put it away cause I seen the purple 100 watt seemed to heat the tank ambient better imo. I didn't care for the brightness of the red infrared bulbs especially when trying to sleep in the same room and I think snakes get more scared with the infrared red's imo. But with the Zilla black light (favorite) you can hardly tell they are on so they are almost like a che. I have used the zoo med moon light they are pretty good but didn't seem to last as long for me as the Zilla' black lights.

    Tip for beginners: Thermostats are not only safer for the animal but make the night lights last a lot longer because the are not on as often. It's kind of like tires. They are not wearing down while sitting in your driveway/road it is when they are moving they wear out. Same with bulbs.

    Day time I use room light plus 24/7 night light and then turn off the room light at night.

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    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Lights and BPs

    Quote Originally Posted by ballpythonsrock2 View Post
    Nothing wrong with that.
    I prefer the dark purple lights myself. I bought a 100 watt che and used it for a short time but I put it away cause I seen the purple 100 watt seemed to heat the tank ambient better imo. I didn't care for the brightness of the red infrared bulbs especially when trying to sleep in the same room and I think snakes get more scared with the infrared red's imo. But with the Zilla black light (favorite) you can hardly tell they are on so they are almost like a che. I have used the zoo med moon light they are pretty good but didn't seem to last as long for me as the Zilla' black lights.

    Tip for beginners: Thermostats are not only safer for the animal but make the night lights last a lot longer because the are not on as often. It's kind of like tires. They are not wearing down while sitting in your driveway/road it is when they are moving they wear out. Same with bulbs.

    Day time I use room light plus 24/7 night light and then turn off the room light at night.
    Yeah, the dark ones from Zilla are good. I've actually had good luck with the ones at Walmart too, although I can't for the life of me remember the brand, but not a known brand in the hobby that I'm aware of.
    I used to sleep in the same room as the snakes too, until they outgrew the room and now have their own. But my quarantine enclosure is still in the room I sleep in. And I run a purple bulb on that one. It's so dark it's almost a cool, peaceful mood light.
    ...life is beautiful...

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