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Thread: New Mega Ray Mercury Vapor UVB bulb

  1. #1

    Default New Mega Ray Mercury Vapor UVB bulb

    Hello all

    I just got a Mega Ray UVB bulb from Reptile UV. While searching around I heard good things about this product, even though it's new. I talked for a while with the owner, and he seemed very knowledgable and caring. I decided to try it out. I got the unit with external ballast, and a sixty watt bulb. Mega Ray claims that their product lasts longer than the others because of its external ballast. Also, when light goes out, you just replace it, and still use the same ballast. they have a longer guarantee also.
    I'll keep everyone updated.

  2. #2
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    Sounds good. Please keep us updated.

    Rick

  3. #3
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    I would be very tempted to see how they compare to certain other bulbs, but truth-be-told, I don't buy the "our bulb lasts longer because of the external ballast". Other than perhaps being more efficient during powering up/down cycles, the way ANY bulb works is electricity is used to excite a filament or current carrying gas (mercury vapour is the general choice for UV producing bulbs) to a heightened state whereby EM waves are emitted in the infrared/visual/ultraviolet spectrum. However, due to the nature of our universe and the laws of entropy and thermodynamics, there is no such thing as 100% conversion (from electrical energy to our EM waves of choice), and a significant amount of the input energy is lost as heat, through the combustion of the filament or exciteable gas. This has NOTHING to do with the ballast, it's what is in the bulb's construction.

  4. #4
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    I doubt the external ballast helps the bulb last longer, but I do imagine it will help lower the price of replacing bulbs when they do go.

    Rick

  5. #5
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    tupinambis....is there ANYTHING you don't know... :

    Just kidding...your knowledge of tegus...and electricity is always appreciated
    Elliot

    1.2.0 blues
    1.0.0 red
    0.2.0 family

    ...and way too many fish

  6. #6
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    Recently I tried a couple of the Mercury Vapor "reptile lights" on the market that are so popular these days just to see how well they worked. I was VERY disappointed with the amazingly short life span of both brands that I tried (both had ballasts that were internalized in the bulb). Neither lasted more than 2 months before dying and this seems to be a common complaint. And neither was cheap. I won't be experimenting with them again.

    On the other hand I've used Metal Halides with external/remote ballasts on my large herps for many years (probably close to 10 years now) and had great success with them. The UV output is great, they help heat large cages, they're very energy efficient, and they last for ages. I think that I'll stick with them.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, there's actually a lot I don't know. There's the typical problems with the opposite sex, and the one that tends to put a bhur in my derrier is how many of my students think university is supposed to be easy. But seriously, I've spent 10 years taking science based courses (and still am) in university, I have touched on a lot of subjects.

    As far as EA7770 said, he's quite correct on the typical "reptile bulbs". My earlier statement wasn't at all a plug for them. In fact, if anyone's read some of my earlier posts on the UV subject, you'd see I pretty much hate them. They're all over-priced and over-hyped junk that can generally be outperformed by some cheaper hardware store supplied bulbs. In my ignorance, however, I did overlook the "internalized ballast" bulbs he was talking about, mainly because I've never used them and they aren't readily available outside the US. With the extensive collection I have and limited funds, I'm always stretching my dollar and have to be creative at times over hardware like that (for instance, my newest chameleon set up utilizes a portable tanning bed I'd scavenged as the UV source - I've never seen an animal respond so positively to anything short of natural sunlight). As for remote ballast set ups, however, and this isn't a jab at any particular brand, out of the 10 I've bought so far, 4 were complete junk from the start. 40% failure is pretty crappy.

    However, there is a word of caution I always try to get out when people are talking about the area of UV and which products are better. Whereas it is shown that UV is not only beneficial but infact necessary for a lot of reptiles, there is NOTHING in tested literature to indicate that "stronger is better". In the current topic, longer lasting is indeed better, but reptiles are not immune to irradiation damage. Compare a wild, freshly caught lizard with any indoor-kept captive one, and not only is the general colour usually brighter, but their pigments are often darker. There is a reason for that - UV protection. Melanin and other pigments in the skin act as something of a "shield" to help absorb dangerous UV irradiance before it reaches deeper tissues and causes dimerization of DNA or other photo-induced damage. With UV, more or greater is probably NOT better. People often have the misnomer that desert reptiles and others have a need for stronger UV sources because of the environment they're in, but the truth of the matter is most desert reptiles spend a lot of time avoiding the sun. On the flip side, even we need UV to produce vit D3 and avoid SAD, but we all know where too much exposure can lead us.

    My strategy on the matter is to approach the situation that reptiles are like batteries - a slow, mild trickle of charge (or UV in this case) will keep them topped up, but a strong or sudden jolt can cause a lot of damage. Trouble is, most bulbs on the market hardly even provide the "slow, mild trickle".

  8. #8
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    Default uv

    Just to throw my 2 cents in. I'm currently using the Zoo Creatures brand, REptisun 10.0 dessert UVB, it is a 26 watt bulb, which helps with conserving energy. It is said to put out 10 percent UVB and 33 percent UV. So far I'm pleased with the longevity of this product. I have thought of using a mercury vapor bulb, however they are quite costly, and after reading this thread, I'm now quite skeptical of them!

  9. #9
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    tupinambis wrote
    In fact, if anyone's read some of my earlier posts on the UV subject, you'd see I pretty much hate them. They're all over-priced and over-hyped junk that can generally be outperformed by some cheaper hardware store supplied bulbs.
    I am always looking for a cheaper way to supply what my animals need. I have an extensive collection of turtles and other reptiles that all need UVB. Can you recommend an equivalent to Mercury Vapor Reptile Bulbs?

    In my experience, for my purposes, the Mercury Vapor bulbs are a better choice to florescents. 1) They produce heat along with UVB = one less fixture per cage. Heat is need for the proper absorption/utilization of UVB. 2) They last longer and have less degradation over time. (I have had occasional bulbs die early, but most have lasted a year or more. Not moving them while hot is crucial to long life.)
    Thanks
    Shari

  10. #10
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    Mercury Vapors are fine but I'd use a real one that actually has a real ballast. Not the ones that are marketed to the reptile industry that use the crappy "ballast" internalized in the bulb. That's what makes them crap out so quickly. Go to a Home Depot type store and buy one that's used for a security light or whatnot. Better yet, go with a Metal Halide. Probably a bit more expensive but it's more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shari
    tupinambis wrote
    In fact, if anyone's read some of my earlier posts on the UV subject, you'd see I pretty much hate them. They're all over-priced and over-hyped junk that can generally be outperformed by some cheaper hardware store supplied bulbs.
    I am always looking for a cheaper way to supply what my animals need. I have an extensive collection of turtles and other reptiles that all need UVB. Can you recommend an equivalent to Mercury Vapor Reptile Bulbs?

    In my experience, for my purposes, the Mercury Vapor bulbs are a better choice to florescents. 1) They produce heat along with UVB = one less fixture per cage. Heat is need for the proper absorption/utilization of UVB. 2) They last longer and have less degradation over time. (I have had occasional bulbs die early, but most have lasted a year or more. Not moving them while hot is crucial to long life.)
    Thanks
    Shari

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