Summary: Maintaining Your Chameleon's Lighting Systems
The most complicated thing about lighting system is maintaining the UVB levels. The more you rely on UVB for your vitamin D3 the more important it is that you monitor your UVB levels. Your heat and daylight are easy to measure and so this requires simple monitoring.
When the daylight or basking bulb get old and go out they simply stop working and it is obvious they need to be replaced. But a UVB lamp will continue to produce light beyond the point where it has lost its ability to produce UVB. This is another case where having a UVB meter is very helpful to maintaining the proper environment.
If you don’t have a UVB meter you can just replace your UVB lights every 6 months for ZooMed Reptisun UVB lights and every 12 months for Arcadia UVB lights.
The more you rely on UVB for your vitamin D3 the more critical it is to keep on top of this.
Fluorescent Bulb Health
Fluorescent bulb health is greatly dependent on the quality of the fixture that drives the bulbs. Unfortunately, it is not straight forward which fixtures out there have the extra regulation circuitry to ensure proper driving of the bulb. When the bulb is driven too hard then the UVB life decreases. Black bands on the ends of the bulb are tell tale signs of cheap ballasts decreasing the lifespan of your bulbs. One investigation I am doing here is into fluorescent fixtures and how to determine the quality. I look forward to shedding some light on the situation for both the community and myself.
Bump/Earthquake Proof Your Lighting System
It is worthwhile to bump you cage or rack and see what happens. Whether because of an earthquake (I am in California) or a couple of dogs playing in the room you want to make sure that your cage and light system are solid and will not be easily tipped over. It is always worth the extra effort to ensure that anything electrical – especially heat generating devices – are strapped down. I have used lights simply laying on top a wire shelf. If you are using a clamp lamp then using zip ties to cinch down the clamp will help the light to stay in palce in case of the platform being rocked.