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momy442000

lighting

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Is there a difference between full spectrum lighting and a plant light that gives off artificial sunlight to plants? I cuurently have avian fullspectrum lights, but am wondering if and when I have to replace bulbs could i just go get a plant light bulb...they seem easier to get your hands on.

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Any lamp with a CRI (color rendition index) of greater than 92, and Color Temperature of 5000-5800K will suffice...I'm looking it up now online to see what the bulbs you can get at places like WalMart have...

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One note on "Full Spectrum" lights of any type in regards your Bird getting the UVA or B needed for vitamin D absorption in the Body.

 

The labels you are reading that give stats on the color temp and CRI is basically a general public indicator of how well the color balance in your home or any other environment, say for photography or the like and the amount of lumen's and hue the objects the light output hits will take on.

 

This by no means, that your Bird is receiving any UV at all or sufficient to produce vitamin D through its Feathers absorbing the UV Rays.

 

Being an engineer in the Imaging field for many years and knowing the critical part that the "Light Spectrum" affects the subject being captured and the resulting image information received from the reflected light that is not absorbed by the subject, gives tons of information about what colors and wave lengths of light the subject actually absorbed.

 

With this being said, unless you are going to place basically a tanning light that outputs UVA and B over your Grey for a few hours a day, they are not gaining anything in the Vitamin D3 area through their feathers, which is what what owners place the lamps over the Cages for.

 

This means that the foods your Grey receives must contain Vitamin D3, Calcium and the other important vitamins for their health and well being.

 

Personally, I have 4 - 96'' 75 watt Fluorescent Lamp fixture in the room my Parrots are in. This provides the required daylight hours for the normal wake/sleep cycle for good health and sleep.

 

Just my 2 cents, but I just wanted to ensure that new bird owners understand that shining a full-spectrum or UV light on their bird does not guarantee or provide the necessary Vitamin D production needed for Calcium absorption and good health... :-)

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Actually, Birds see in a "fuller" spectrum of colors than humans...that is the big reason why you should use full spectrum lighting. If your parrot is on a proper diet they are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D. In the body, the liver manufactures a chemical known as 'precursor D' (7-dehydrocholesterol) a "good" cholesterol. This substance is released into the bloodstream, where in humans, it is exposed to the middle range of UV through the skin, becoming "previtamin D". This is sometimes confused with D2 (calciferol), a form of the vitamin which is found in plant sources. In most birds, the preen gland (uropygeal) collects the raw pre-D from the bloodstream, and concentrates it in the gland oils. These are then exposed to sunlight by spreading on the feathers during preening. The bird then ingests the UV exposed material when it preens again, and the oils enter the body again as previtamin D. The natural temperature of an organism then rearranges this substance further, forming a weak D3, or cholecalciferol. This is what is generally available as a dietary supplement in fish liver oils. To become fully active as Vitamin D, the liver and the kidneys make other changes in the chemical, resulting in true Vitamin D3 (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol). In any warm blooded animal, once a source of calciferol or cholecalciferol is introduced, UV of any sort no longer plays a role in the synthesis. This is evidenced by animals who are nocturnal, fur bearing, or burrowing, and receive no UV exposure. They acquire proper levels of Vitamin D from dietary sources. It is the same thing with birds. Several species of tropical birds, including African Greys and Red Front Macaws have underdeveloped or non-functioning preen glands. Other species, such as Cockatiels, Conures, and Budgies obtain the vast majority of their intake in the form of calciferol. This calciferol is found in the fresh grains which form the bulk of these birds diets. From this perspective, any birds which receive a balanced diet, rich in calciferol or cholecalciferol, seed eaters who have access to fish oils does not require either sunlight or full spectrum light to have adequate Vitamin D3 levels.<br><br>Post edited by: BMustee, at: 2007/11/29 15:56

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My point exactly without going in to the engineering specifics side of "Why" UVA and B is not needed via the light source... B)

 

The point of Vitamin specific foods that provide the correct balance for absorption is the critical item to pay close attention to and not assume your grey is getting sufficient vitamin D produced through it's black wings as they receive most their vitamin D from in the wild. B)

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Ok, I just found one thing that's kinda helpful. For a lightbulb to be sold as Full Spectrum, the CRI rating must be greater than 80...so the lights at Walmart would be very, very close to what you should have.

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I may change the lighting in my family room, thats where the birds are but I am going to have to read Dan's and BMustee's posts again and again to get it through my old brain, not working properly today. Thanks guys for the information.

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I'm going to be going to WalMart in the next day or two so I will be sure to go look at the lights and see if they have the CRI and Temp ratings on the boxes and let you all know...cause I'm itching to know now.

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I have a metal halide pendant light that I used on a reef aquarium in the past. Would that work, if I fit it with 5000 - 5800K lamps?

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If you want a basic understanding of light, so you at least know what CRI, Color Temp and the types of light and bands each emits, please go to this GE link and read about it.

 

It will save me thousands of words (which you know I don't have a problem with) and I don't have time right now at work B)

 

http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/education_resources/learn_about_light/

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I have a pretty good understanding of light from my days of running a reef aquarium. I'm not an expert by any means, but color temp and spectrum are not foreign concepts to me. The metal halide fixture I used for my aquarium puts out some heat, so I was wondering if it should be avoided when designing lights for Oliver? Flourescent is much cooler, but since he needs a warm environment, might the metal halide be appropriate?

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Hi KatB,

 

Your correct, the Metal Halide is not correct for use to illuminate a bird room. As you know, Aquarium and plant lighting is a completely different application and environment.

 

If you need to heat the room your Grey is in, then heat it normally, not through a lamp :-)

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Thanks. I was hoping I could reuse a $500 light fixture if possible since full spectrum MH bulbs are available. But the heat aspect did concern me. Guess I'll go shopping for a new flourescent fixture. Do you hang yours above the cage, or do you just use the full-spectrum bulb in the ceiling fixture in your bird's room?

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I use a large 4 96" 75 watt Daylight (300nm to 675nm spectrum) each tube fixture that illuminates the entire room. It's actually built recessed into the ceiling so it looks like a normal part of the house.

 

You may not be able to do this depending on the room you are keeping your Grey in.

 

If you are going to place a flourscent just above the Cgae, then I would suggest something like this:

 

http://www.avitec.com/24-Inch-Fixture-p/ff24.htm

 

I hope this helps.

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Back when I was breeding reptiles(I know not greys but will make sense) we needed UV bulbs for vitamin D3 production in our lizards. I've used several different brands and really found no real difference between the cheap walmart lights and say vitalite. Also there are UV testers out there for you to check the output of your lights. We still have one somewhere. The UV bulbs will stop producing UV after a couple months but will produce light for six months or more. Also I read an article by one of the colleges that was doing a study on UV and its affects and basically it said that 30min outside once a week was more beneficial than 8hrs a day 7days a week under UV type lamps. It also went on to state that all animals including humans need UV. I can remember a few years back there were high end spas doing UV treatments. You will see things on the news in the winter about cabin fever and how to eliminate it. One of the things they will suggest is UV lighting. So basically is UV lighting necessary not really if you can get your bird out for some sun every now and again, and you have a good balanced diet. Of course they couldn't hurt either.

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To my thinking, the main reason for providing lighting would be to provide a sunup/sundown routine. Living inside and not being able to go outside, especially in the winter, has got to be depressing for the birds. I know it would be for me. Then there's the extra dimension bird vision has that BMustee referred to. I imagine not having the full spectrum of colors in their environment would be like losing full range of hearing or killing a taste bud might be to us. Anyway, I noticed Oliver seemed much happier when I got a clue and began providing supplemental light for him. I still don't have full spectrum, but I'll take care of that within the next few days.

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I am familiar with the term "cabin fever" that everyone refers to in the winter time when they are closed up in the house and it is because the sun isn't out much and the extra light is good for that.

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Can T12 lamps (bulbs) be used in T8 fixtures? Yesterday afternoon I visited 2 hardware stores (Home Depot and Lowes) and Walmart looking for a full-spectrum flourescent setup. I found lots of T8 fixtures and lots of T12 full-spectrum tubes, but no T12 fixtures and no T8 full spectrum bulbs. Am I missing something? The pins on the T12 appear too large to fit a T8 fixture.<br><br>Post edited by: KatB, at: 2007/12/02 14:21

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Hi KatB,

 

No, you can not place a T12 in a T8 fixture. The recepticals are different sizes and the Electronic ballast is designed with different electrical specifications.

 

It's very odd that Home Depot did not have any T12 fixtures. Perhaps they keep them in a diferent area or are out?

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