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Lighting Terms Glossary Reptiles


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Reptile Glossaries
There is a wealth of jargon used throughout the reptile world. This is especially true when discussing reptile lighting. Learning this vocabulary allows you to better understand articles and what veterinarians, reptile hobbyists and other reptile owners are saying. The following list of terms, while in no way comprehensive, contains some of the terms used to discuss reptile lighting.

Basking lamp
A light used to create localized heat that mimics the heat and light of the sun.

Black light
Black light bulbs or BL fluorescent tubes used for nocturnal viewing and to maintain nighttime temperatures.

Fluorescent light
A light that supplies low intensity visible light, a uniform UVB gradient over a certain area, and a small amount of heat.

Full spectrum light
A light that produces UVA light, UVB light, the full spectrum of visible light, and infrared heat.

Halogen bulb
An advanced version of an incandescent bulb that produces more visible light and a small amount of UVA light.

Incandescent light
Light that emits heat, no UVB light, and only a little UVA light.

Infrared light
A light used at night to provide a heat source for nocturnal reptiles and allow nocturnal viewing without disturbing natural behaviors.

Mercury vapor bulb
A light that supplies UV light, high visual light, and infrared heat.

Nocturnal lighting
Light used for nocturnal viewing of reptiles that produces very little visual light and some heat.

Photoperiod
The number of hours of light in a 24 hour period.

UV light
Radiation energy in the form of invisible light waves ranging from 300 to 400 nanometers (nm).

UVA light
UV light ranging from 320 to 400 nm that affects reptile perception and behavior.

UVB light
UV light ranging from 290 nm to 320 nm that regulates the synthesis of Vitamin D3 in a reptile's skin.

UVC light
UV light ranging from 180 to 280 nm that is harmful to all living organisms.

Reptile Glossaries Main Page

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