Radiant Heat Panels

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Biker Dave
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Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Biker Dave » June 21st, 2015, 11:32 am

Does anyone here use these in their enclosures? I'm thinking of converting from incandescent bulbs to RHPs.

I know they are a bit pricey up front but what's the long term cost? Lifetime of unit and electricity consumption.

What should I look for or stay away from?

Thanks

VICtort
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by VICtort » June 21st, 2015, 1:54 pm

Biker Dave,

Greg Maxwell, author of The Complete Chondro (pg. 182 , 2005) and other books, likes them and recommends the: Pro Products of Mahopac, NY panels. These are pretty popular with the arboreal pythons folks, you might want to ask that same question on one of the python forums.

I hope you get some informed answers, I am wondering the same thing.

Vic

Kfen
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Kfen » June 21st, 2015, 5:08 pm

I don't have any personal experience using them, however I have only ever heard good things about them. I even heard a claim ( I think from Pro Products) that respiratory infections in ball pythons were cured using only rhp's. I have seen them on some friends cages and on vendor displays and like them. I just haven't taken the plunge yet either, mostly because I have so many glass aquariums. To me, they do seem like a much more natural approach.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Kelly Mc » June 21st, 2015, 10:05 pm

Heat panels behave in such a better way for heating spacious environments. So much better then hi wattages blasting away all moisture in the air that the animals breathe.

For glass tanks there is a way I have applied conventional UTHs to replicate a helix dynamic. I describe if PMd.

Jimi
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Jimi » June 22nd, 2015, 8:38 am

Hi Dave,

I have several RHPs. They're getting pretty old but show no signs of wearing out, acting funny, etc. Mine are 40-watt models. For what they are doing for me I consider that quite energy efficient.

I love them and strongly recommend them, assuming your needs are a good match for what they do, and don't do:

* They provide a nice heat gradient that diminishes rapidly with distance from the unit. They do not heat the air. If the unit is radiating onto something with thermal mass (brick, rock, etc), the heat gain of that object can lead to air temp rise. But if the unit is just radiating into space (e.g., into the air of a tall cage, from the cage ceiling) then your cage air won't warm up.
* They perform great in humid environments - they tolerate misting etc just fine.
* Their surface remains cool enough to not pose a burn hazard to your animals. This is in stark contrast to all lights except LEDs, and also to ceramic heat elements. They also pose a vastly lower fire hazard to your house, than things that get hot.
* They provide no light, so they don't interfere with nocturnal behavior.
* They need to be used with a thermostat and heat probe (feedback to the thermostat). Stick the probe wherever you think the animal will be. If the animal would or will climb, a series of perches at different heights below the unit will allow the animal to choose its basking temperature.

It can be tricky or not exactly intuitive to scale (wattage & dimensions) and locate the unit in your cage. The best thing to do is call or write a good vendor (e.g., Bean Farm, Pro Exotics, etc) and explain your intended use. They will hook you up.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Kelly Mc » June 22nd, 2015, 9:19 am

Jimi brings up a constantly overlooked point in thermostat probe placement that is also same with where thermometers are placed.

So often temp gear is positioned somewhere up in a corner or wall. It leads to irrelevant readings and misdirection in settings. This goes for all types of heating styles. Over familiarity with the space a keeper can rationalize readings on sight or touch with a moved over probe but when setting up its a must to target Animal optimum.. 'where he be at' temp.
Panel type heating can also be pluralized in a corner strategy to create firmer areas of heated air, into a nice predictable pocket that the animals use very well. I've eliminated the need for bulb type radiant heat some circumstances, and in others used bulb for a finessed day spot with less dependency and a better blend of thermals in the env.

Jimi
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Jimi » June 22nd, 2015, 10:11 am

Yeah I wouldn't bother with guessing the temps - it's best to get the thermo-controlled unit up and operating based on your initial thinking ("I want this particular basking spot to be 88F" or whatever) and then break out your temp gun and check all over, to verify what you're actually getting. Then dial the thermostat up or down, as needed.

It's also good to have a separate thermometer some place you expect to remain safely cool. That way you can tell if the coolest spot in your cage is actually bumping up into not-so-happy territory.

Background - I can't tell you how many people I know or have met who've lost animals or most/all of their collections due to runaway heaters. I'm pretty neurotic about keeping stuff cool, all heating appliances are on redundant thermostats and my background room temp is 73-75F (heated to that point, from an ambient basement temp in the 60's). This is another reason I adore the RHPs - it's just harder to cook animals with them, than with CHE's, heat lamps, high-powered space heaters, etc.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Kelly Mc » June 22nd, 2015, 6:33 pm

I remember jimi how we discussed the magic of a good room in the groovy mid 70s..

Everything is better and you can keep everything - open air, wood, glass, baby bins. With a lighter touch on wattage outputs and just a beautiful canvas of ambience over all.


Oh nope over so much so long, no guessing. I know 88 degrees like the back of my hand - literally!

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 23rd, 2015, 5:16 am

Kelly Mc wrote:I remember jimi how we discussed the magic of a good room in the groovy mid 70s..
I was only a few years old then, so I don't remember. :lol:

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by Kelly Mc » June 23rd, 2015, 6:06 am

Although its certain you actually realize a room in the 70s meant its helpful, stability fostering daytime ambient you bring up a sentimental point, it was a neat-o time of intense, well made toys that had welt producing projectile capacities, great cartoons, summertime forts and secret codes :thumb:

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 23rd, 2015, 5:28 pm

Kelly Mc wrote:Although its certain you actually realize a room in the 70s meant its helpful, stability fostering daytime ambient
Of course, but I was feeling a double meaning play on words type thing. 8-)
you bring up a sentimental point, it was a neat-o time of intense, well made toys that had welt producing projectile capacities, great cartoons, summertime forts and secret codes :thumb:
Yep.

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csalemi731
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Re: Radiant Heat Panels

Post by csalemi731 » July 26th, 2015, 2:44 pm

I use the pro products panels in my carpet python enclosures and love them.

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