Artificial lighting - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Health, Maintenance, and Safety Discuss parrot health, parrot care, parrot safety and maintenance.

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Runnergirl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 123
Thanks: 15
Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Artificial lighting

Hey all, I have been looking into artificial lighting for my fids and was wondering if anyone has good experience with it. Ideally, I'd like to be able to utilize the same lighting for my birds and to keep my herbs and assorted other plants going through winter. Logically, it makes sense they should be able to be the same spectrum, but obviously I am well aware that may not be the case. I am looking into T5 high output fluorescent lights. They are suitable for plants specifically so if they won't work the birds take precedence over my winter garden. When I lived in a warmer climate I grew almost all of my own herbs and veggies year round, so I am trying to find a way to make it work, for me and for my fids to have fresh veggies in the cold months!
Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
Runnergirl is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Runnergirl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 123
Thanks: 15
Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 7
High pressure sodium is another option. Trying to keep it economical both with utility bill and original cost.
Runnergirl is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 05:50 AM

catalinadee's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,661
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 100
Your best bet is to go for the safest option and buy bird specific light that gives off D3 I think it has to be full spectrum too. Most of my birds live outside so I don't use it myself yet but I will do when my outdoor bird room is sorted. I'm going to be going with Arcadia, if you could look into that I think it's a very reputable lighting system!

- Alexandrine parakeets Kona, Peaches, George (missing), Holly (RIP), & Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Runnergirl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 123
Thanks: 15
Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Thanks, I definitely will!
Runnergirl is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 08:25 PM
Abby's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 5,750
Thanks: 734
Thanked 474 Times in 379 Posts
Rep Power: 43
Hi Malia! Don't think we've talked before, so nice to meet you! I've been away off and on. Anyways, I have full-spectrum lighting for my African Grey and it has really done wonders. I suggest researching specifically how many hours a day is recommended for your bird. My Safe Bird Store (online parrot store) has the same lighting I have and it is great, so I suggest purchasing from there!

DIGBY 4-year-old male Congo African Grey
Abby is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Abby For This Useful Post:
Kyoto (03-07-2015), Runnergirl (12-13-2014)
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 01:23 PM

Flapping Mama's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,647
Thanks: 1,255
Thanked 933 Times in 718 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Flapping Mama is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Nova Scotia
Age: 30
Posts: 47
Thanks: 3
Thanked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 0
What a great post! Where do you folks place said lamps in relation to your bird cage? I am also looking into setting up full-spectrum lighting.
Kyoto is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Nova Scotia
Age: 30
Posts: 47
Thanks: 3
Thanked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I did find this article which was helpful for me; Not sure how UTD the info is, but I'm finding it consistent with the other tidbits I've found around the web.
Kyoto is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 27
Thanks: 2
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Talking about lighting, I was told that a Zoomed Daylight Blue reptile Bright naturalistic daylight bulb for heating, tru blue glass (not painted) provides UVA and it's 45 w would be good for my birds. It would probably be like 2 ft. away. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks so much!
dianeac is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 12:16 PM

Mr Peepers's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 5,409
Thanks: 1,411
Thanked 662 Times in 575 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Originally Posted by dianeac View Post
Talking about lighting, I was told that a Zoomed Daylight Blue reptile Bright naturalistic daylight bulb for heating, tru blue glass (not painted) provides UVA and it's 45 w would be good for my birds. It would probably be like 2 ft. away. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

I would ask the store where you buy your bulb from what distance it should be placed to give the proper amount of light to your birds.

When I bought my UV light I was told the best distance from the lights source to the birds was 6-8 inches above them and no higher, as the UV rays won't reach them if the light is any higher.

My UV light doesn't offer any heat just the benefit of the Vitamin D it gives through its light.
Mr Peepers is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Mr Peepers For This Useful Post:
dianeac (06-28-2015)
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 05:09 PM

Kate's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outer Sydney Australia
Age: 68
Posts: 887
Thanks: 135
Thanked 235 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 37
UV lights for birds must have the full spectrum of UV. That is UVA, UVB and UVC. They need to be replaced every six months as the Vit D depletes. After a recent conversation with an Avian Vet friend she told me that there have been some extensive tests done in Europe by some specialists vets as the Reptile lights are pretty much the same as the Avian and some brands don't even keep their UV for 3 months. At this stage she has not had time to find the articles to give me an idea of the brands. I believe the reports were in the Australian Veterinary Journal. But you may be able to find something on the internet about it. My birds are outside so I don't worry about using them so have not worried about trying to look it up yet.

Just something to be aware of as many people don't even realize that they have to be changed at least every six months.
Kate is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kate For This Useful Post:
dianeac (06-28-2015), Mr Peepers (06-25-2015)
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 05:24 AM

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Auckland NZ
Posts: 464
Thanks: 129
Thanked 287 Times in 179 Posts
Rep Power: 15
There is a lot of confusion on adding lighting.
One of the problems arising from adding lighting, is the increase in the number of cataracts being seen by vets. Even in fish and reptiles. This was from Scott Echols, whom I trust 100% when he posts this sort of comment from life experience.
You will not beat a few hours of good outside light, non filtered by glass. As this blocks most UVB which is the one you are looking for. Even out of direct sunlight there will be enough for your birds. If you are going to use FSL please do not use the very bright ones close to your birds. Low energy may be just as good as the high wattage ones.

Authorr. Becker'
Is your pet bird soaking up enough rays? just as humans need sunshine and vitamin D to prevent disease and be optimally healthy, so do your avian friends. Pet Birds Need Exposure to Natural Sunlight Domesticated birds like psittacines (parrots) and passerines (finches, canaries and other perching birds), need natural direct sunlight in order for certain metabolic processes to occur, and for a number of other health reasons as well.Just like those of you who don’t have access to year-round sunny, warm climates, birds can also become UV deficient when not sufficiently exposed to it. However, if you do happen to live in a warm climate and have the time to supervise your bird outside, I highly recommend allowing it to spend several hours outdoors. Nothing man-made can ever completely replace the health benefits nature provides in clean, fresh air and sunlight. Why is Ultraviolet Light so Important for Your Bird?
1. To promote vitamin D synthesis and absorption Just as humans do, birds need vitamin D to aid in nutrient absorption and bio-assimilation. Your pet bird has an uropygial or “preen” gland above the base of the tail. This gland secretes oil. As your bird grooms, it spreads this oil over its feathers. This oil contains a compound that produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So as your bird grooms under an ultraviolet light source, it’s actually mixing up a healthy batch of vitamin D on its feathers. As your bird re-grooms his feathers coated in oil, he ingests the vitamin D. The vitamin D in his system will then be converted by his kidneys and liver to active vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Another way your bird absorbs vitamin D is through his eyes. The lens of the human eye is trichromatic, which means it contains cones that absorb only three color spectrum's – red, blue and green. The human lens filters out ultraviolet light. Not so with birds. The lens of a bird’s eye absorbs not only red, blue and green spectrum's, but also UVA and UVB rays, making their vision pentachromatic. Your bird has better vision than you do, and he can also see more hues and colors than you. This enhanced vision helps birds locate certain food sources and even helps them select a mate. Your bird’s eye is also different from yours in that he has an additional gland around his retina called the Harderian gland. The Harderian gland aids absorption of UV light into his retina and communicates with his pineal and pituitary glands to help regulate his bird’s breathing, molting, and day/night cycles as well as his migration pattern. Your bird’s basal metabolism and overall health are in large part regulated by the pineal gland and the pituitary gland, which means the condition of the Harderian gland is also pivotal.

2. To prevent your bird from developing UV deficiency-related illnesses A vitamin D3 deficiency frequently results in hypocalcaemia or low calcium levels. Symptoms can include: Low egg production/hatching and poor shell quality
Bone fractures
Shortage of vitamin D3 can also cause physical abnormalities, including a soft or overgrown beak, splayed legs, and bent keels. The avian disease stargazing (twirling) is associated with vitamin D deficiency, as is Conure Bleeding Syndrome and increasingly, many types of cancer. If you happen to own an African gray, you know how susceptible your bird is to hypocalcaemia. Recent research is pointing in the direction of a vitamin D deficiency rather than low calcium levels. Since vitamin D is required for adequate calcium absorption, lack of direct sunlight or another appropriate ultraviolet light source may reduce the effectiveness of the calcium fortified pellets you feed your gray. This can result in chronically low calcium levels.
3. To improve your bird’s overall well-being and quality of life In my experience as an avian veterinary medicine (AVM) practitioner, I’ve seen exposure to ultraviolet light positively affect not only the physical health of my bird patients, but also their mental processes and emotional well-being. Access to direct sunlight or an alternative appropriate source of UV light can improve conditions as varied as:

Destructive behavior like feather picking
A poor feather coat
Organ dysfunction
Immunologic disorders
Poor mood and temperament
Using Ultraviolet Bulbs
Except for the lucky few who live in warm, sunny climates and can have their pets outside for several hours a day, most of you will need to provide your birds with indoor UV lighting to ensure they get the exposure they need for good health.Putting your bird in front of a window won’t do the trick -- glass filters out the beneficial components of ultraviolet rays. There are a number of UV bulbs for birds available on the market. You will want to buy the kind that provides both UVA and UVB rays.

And make sure you’re buying UV bulbs designed for birds. The UV spectrum in aquarium bulbs is in the blue range. If you happen to breed birds, you probably already know that blue spectrum light rays produce more female than male offspring. So avoid aquarium or fish bulbs, and plant or grow bulbs. Stick with UV bulbs specifically marketed for birds. Place the light about 12 to 18 inches from your bird’s perch. Some keep UV lights on their birds for around eight hours a day. You can go up to ten, but the minimum I recommend is four hours.

A word of warning about FSL lighting.
There is a danger of causing cataracts, so please do your research. this has been now seen in many animals under strong FSL.

A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.

Last edited by clawnz; 10-21-2015 at 05:27 AM.
clawnz is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to clawnz For This Useful Post:
Kate (10-21-2015)
Closed Thread

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Talk Parrots Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome