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Mercury Bulb Longevity, Maintenance

Posted: February 28th, 2019, 7:59 pm
by Kelly Mc
This may come in handy for lizard keepers, especially, who have tried mercury uvb lamps but were disappointed with bulbs going out prematurely. The input I'm posting has nothing to do with the uvb output, which falls off over time with use, as a given. It's about the bulbs going out in an inordinately short period of weeks or months, which is a common complaint. The input also may relevant to some halogen models as well, that often fall short of expected use.

What I have found is, that if you put them in a lamp that you've had a long time, make sure the copper contact tab is free of corrosion. You can rub it off with fine sandpaper or a bit of steel wool, and there is even a specific tool for the purpose that's shaped like a small pen, which is convenient foe reaching in the socket.

The lamps we buy, even if marketed for reptile use, all come from the same manufacturing and material sources, and really aren't designed for constant, heavy use. They were made for occasional garage use, etc. So over a few years, things get friable and contacts may influence current in more sensitive species of lights.

So even if your lamps work its a good idea not to get into a switch on&off electrical complacency, and check them and just get new ones if they look worn. That being said, I have had lamps perform well for years with modest wattage ordinary incandescent spots.

If you are using the bulbs with turtles - drops of cool water can be deleterious, so position its face, and your land area within a radius that isn't going to receive a kaplunk splash, you can also use a mesh barrier but that kind of defeats the purpose of the uvb value of the bulb.

For lizard use, I use the widest diameter dome possible and also just cut it away with tin snips if its integrated with the socket.

I recently acquired some theater lamps and trying them out. They are very versatile, seem great for all bulbs but not enough time using them to input.

Re: Mercury Bulb Longevity, Maintenance

Posted: March 5th, 2019, 7:50 am
by Kfen
Always great tips from Kelly. I have also found putting lights on a timer can increase the longevity of both cheap fixtures and of the fragile bulbs. Plus there is not reason not to use timers.

Re: Mercury Bulb Longevity, Maintenance

Posted: March 5th, 2019, 8:36 am
by Kelly Mc
I really need to do that, I do. Sometimes I think I've not to subvert having social obligations (dry lol)

Re: Mercury Bulb Longevity, Maintenance

Posted: March 7th, 2019, 5:29 pm
by Kfen
LOL. Seriously, timers are your friends. I haven't manually switched on reptile lights in probably 20 years.