Bird Cage Lighting Questions

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I am trying to figure out the best lighting option for my birds. I recently bought the Prevue Hampton breeding cage from you and I have two pairs of lineolated parakeets in the cages.
I am uncertain how to tell if the lights you offer are both UVA and UVB or not. I’m thinking of a floor lamp but I’m also not sure if one floor lamp will be able to get light into both cages. Can you offer any input? Thanks!
 
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Cindy
 
Hi Cindy,
 
Great choice on the new Prevue Hampton breeding cage. Most of the full spectrum bulbs that we offer are both UVA and UVB with the exception of our economy full-spectrum bulbs. That said it’s important to remember certain laws of physics about light one of which is called the inverse square law.
 
Let me first address your last question which is about using the floor lamp for lighting both cages I have to say it would not be my best choice because of the height and the width of the cages. The Hampton is 37 inches wide so I’d recommend two overhead lights one for each cage section so as to give maximum light exposure to the birds.
 
Now let’s get back to our physics lesson of the day. There’s no doubt that full-spectrum lighting inclusive of UVA and UVB will enhance the production of vitamin D in animals and humans for that matter. We have two issues with the premise. If you are feeding your bird nutritiously there’s really not that much of a need to enhance vitamin D production it should be supplied in the food your bird are eating now perhaps with the addition of a multi vitamin.
 
The other issue is how light behaves and here’s your physics course of the day. Because of the inverse square law if you have one of your full-spectrum lights 1 foot from the top of the cage and the bird is at the top of the cage your bird will receive “X” amount of lumens.
If you bird doubles his distance from the light to 2 feet your bird will receive 1/4 of the lumens it was receiving at 1 foot and if you bird moves the bottom of the cage it is now 4 feet away from the light and is receiving 1/16th of the amount of lumens that it recieved at the top of the cage.
 
Because of this, we feel using lighting with UVA and UVB is fine for reptiles who are content to lay out a rock for 5 to 6 hours at a time with a set distance from the light.
If you’re relying on your lighting to help enhance vitamin assimilation short of strapping your bird down to a given point on the cage chances are the effectiveness of the light for the sake of vitamin enhancement alone is not going to be very effective.
 
So which two lights to I suggest for over the cage? The swag lights are fine if you can have access to ceiling hooks, The Capital shade lights will work fine for attaching them to the top of the cage. If your do-it-yourselfer you can get our economy full spectrum bulb without UVA/UVB and use a couple of cheap clamp on lamps from your local hardware store
 
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Hope that helps,
 
by Mitch Rezman

 

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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