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  1. #1
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    Alternative heat source. What are your views

    What are your views, either way. I am willing to learn.

    I used to use Blue old style incandescent tungsten light bulbs to heat my tanks for King, snakes, Milks, rat snakes and corns, and others with similar heating requirements.

    Bulbs a the hot end. And before you panic about burns. These were 25w blue bulbs on a dimmer stat. Even at full power you could touch them without a burn.
    With them dimmed there was little light and they were even cooler. But they did the job of maintaining the temperatures and providing a hot spot.
    Also with the lower voltage from the dimmer stat they were cheep to run.

    Another benefit was that the old incandescent tungsten bulbs were deliberately designed to burn out at full voltage and fail so you would have to buy a new one, making the bulb manufactures more money.
    But with lower voltage going through via a dimmer stat they did not burn out. I still have bulbs working after 25 years. (look it up, it was a deliberate built in weakness to make more money, (try searching the everlasting bulb)

    Also the dim blue light was pretty, and with a dimmerstat with a night drop, hardly any light at night. More like moon light at night.

    I am thinking to use this system again, obviously not for higher temperature requirement snakes.

    Edit: the tanks were melamine chip board and stacked together for heat conservation.

    Any views.
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-14-2021 at 05:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    I still use & prefer incandescent bulbs (red or black mostly) for adding some overhead warmth- & yes, well-dimmed. My snakes obviously like them too. The bulbs are in metal dome fixtures, NOT "in" the tanks, so no chance of a snake touching them. But manufacturers are phasing out those type of bulbs & shifting to more energy efficient types, so you might want to stock up a little if you like them- who knows if they'll think about us pet-keepers?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    That's a good point, I do hear that red is better than blue at night.

    Blue is an awake colour and red resting. that's why computer screens have a red mode for night and we are told we should turn off our phones at night.
    Its natural if one thinks about it. The light in the day is more blue, come sunset it becomes more purple then red tones.

    I have my living room lighting on timers. (I still have main white lights, but do not uses them unless I need to) Starting with Cyan then blue in the day, then nice and overlapping with pink/magenta, in the evening to create purples and ending in pink/magenta, before bed.

    But the blues i used for snakes were so dim at night it didn't seem to affect the snakes.

    However, Taking on board your point, Maybe this time i could make the tanks the same as my living room. Blue for day and red for night? Would not be so gently transitional though and would require timers and two dimmer stats.

    Also, yes I will stock up. I have loads still ok after 25 years as I said, when used on dimmers stats. I believe new low energy bulbs are not so eco friendly as they use a lot of carbon to make and contain harmful chemicals like mercury. if that got on your snakes or us, it could cause serious harm .
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-14-2021 at 05:30 PM.

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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    Living room lighting gradual transition form blue to magenta. (It would be cool i i could find a wat to do this in snake tanks.)

    Last edited by Ascended; 05-14-2021 at 05:43 PM.

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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    When I use an over-head light (for snakes) during the day, I switch to a regular (white) bulb. But at night, the well-dimmed black or red lights don't appear to bother snakes one bit. Some of mine bask & sleep on branches or in baskets right underneath them. And don't forget the real world has moon-light too, most of the time- not to mention all the lights from civilization- not total darkness anyway.

    The newer light bulbs have been touted as eco-friendly, but as you say, they're more toxic to dispose of or if they break. I read somewhere that the big push to switch was actually encouraged as part of a business deal- lining someone's pockets: why don't I doubt that?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    I use UTHs, CHEs, and RHPs on my various enclosures. RHPs are my preferred heat source by far! They give me the perfect basking spot and ambient temps without zapping away the humidity.
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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    I use UTHs, CHEs, and RHPs on my various enclosures. RHPs are my preferred heat source by far! They give me the perfect basking spot and ambient temps without zapping away the humidity.
    Thanks, but acronyms can mean many different things, can you translate the abbreviated letters please, I am not that knowledgeable on them and want to understand.

    Last edited by Ascended; 05-14-2021 at 06:07 PM.

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    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Thanks, but acronyms can mean many different things, can you translate the abbreviated letters please, I am not that knowledgeable on them and want to understand.

    My apologies Ascended.

    UTH= under tank heater
    CHE= ceramic heat emitter
    RHP= radiant heat panel

    I use thermostats to regulate the UTHs and RHPs and a dimmer to regulate the CHEs
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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    My apologies Ascended.

    UTH= under tank heater
    CHE= ceramic heat emitter
    RHP= radiant heat panel

    I use thermostats to regulate the UTHs and RHPs and a dimmer to regulate the CHEs
    No need to apologise, its my lack of knowledge. Thanks for helping me understand EL-Ziggy, We sometimes have different names for equipment in the Uk and so different abbreviations, also I am a bit out of date.
    That post will help me understand in the future on this site.

    I do use under tank heating in the form of heat mats for my tubs in a rack system for ball pythons. heat strips are hard to come by here.
    I have used ceramic heat bulbs in the past, but caging them to prevent burns was a pain. Its cold where I live so they tend to have to run well hot.

    My incandescent bulb thing is more about pretty lighting for me, but I can only use them with snakes that need a cooler temperature than tropicals.

    I do like heat cables. I also use underneath heating in a false floor to boost the temperature for some snakes that need a bit more. combined with some over head heat.
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-14-2021 at 06:31 PM.

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    Re: Alternative heat source. What are your views

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I have used ceramic heat bulbs in the past, but caging them to prevent burns was a pain. Its cold where I live so they tend to have to run well hot.
    This is one of the downsides of a CHE, that and the humidity issues they can sometimes cause. Like El Ziggy I prefer RHPs, and this is coming from someone who's only been using one for a couple of months. It's just so much easier to maintain things inside a PVC enclosure with one. That being said, I have been bouncing the idea around of trying some different bulbs out on my leopard gecko's enclosure, just to see if I get in positive behavioral changes. I've looked at blue bulbs for daytime heat, still prefer either red or a low wattage CHE for night time, but I'd like something a little easier on his eyes than a white lamp, so I might end up trying out blue.

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