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Mercury Vapor UV lamps - the good and the bad

Discussion in 'General Tegu Discussion' started by dpjm, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm putting up this thread because I see a lot of posts about people using Zoo Med Powersun or Exo Terra Solar Glo mercury vapor lamps. I know these are the most easily available and that is why they are the most commonly used. However, you are wasting your money on these cheap bulbs. There is a far superior lamp made by ReptileUV called Megaray. It is superior because 1) the amount of UV they put out and 2) the amount of time that they will output that UV (decay time).

    1) Amount of UV:
    Here is a video showing a side by side comparison of Megaray, Powersun, and Solar Glo.
    If you don't feel like watching it, it sums up like this. At 13 inches and measuring with a Solarmeter 6.2, 100W Megaray produced 148 µW/cm², 100W Powersun produced 18 µW/cm², and 100W Solar Glo produced 32 µW/cm².

    2) Decay Time:
    I used Powersuns before and had to replace them quickly, often in less than 6 months. The phosphors they use to produce UV decay quickly. On the other hand, I have three Megarays running right now, 100W and 160W, that I have not replaced in 2 years. I have a UVI meter to check the output and it is virtually the same after two years of constant use. These are high quality and I will always recommend them over other brands, especially Exo Terra Solar Glo and Zoo Med Powersun.

    They are available at http://www.reptileuv.com/ or http://www.bigappleherp.com/

    I don't get any kickbacks for recommending these lamps, but I have been using them for almost 10 years and have only had good experiences. The owner, Bob, is a stand up guy and will help you with any problems from technical lighting issues to reptile rehabilitation issues. They carry a 6 month warranty and do not require you to ship back the deficient bulb.

    You will not be disappointed.
  2. FluffyGoo

    FluffyGoo New Member

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    Do you know if either of these online sellers are unable to ship to certain cities and/or counties? Whenever I've tried to purchase megaray bulbs on Amazon it says the seller cannot ship to my zip code. I'd much prefer to use megaray but it seems the only feasible way to get them is to purchase them online.
  3. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Just buy them through the ReptileUV website. They should ship everywhere. Amazon can be bad for not shipping to certain places.

    http://www.reptileuv.com/
  4. FluffyGoo

    FluffyGoo New Member

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    Thank you! Will do. :)
  5. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    Thank you djpm! I love my mvbs and to think about them lasting 2 years is just awesome. TBH I think the solar glow is garbage. The powersun atleast creates a hot enough surface and when I used a solar glow it couldnt do it. However, next time I need to replace a mvb I'll go with megaray.
  6. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Great, you will be happy that you did. Now, don't expect that the Megaray will create a hotter basking spot. It might, it might not, I have not ever tested heat output from any of these bulbs. I don't think any type of UV lamp will create a warm enough basking area for a tegu on its own and if you lower the height of the lamp too much to get a warmer basking area, you risk UV overexposure, especially with a Megaray. You should use in combination with another heat lamp to get the basking area warm enough.
  7. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    Yeah I use a flood light instead of another mvb and keep a safe 18" distance.
  8. Vayjining22

    Vayjining22 Member

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    Great lamps... . Interesting customer service when it comes to anything besides posts like these trying to sell you one. 6 month guarantee touted everywhere... Even the box like 4 places. Mine burned out after 2 months of use in a wire fixture. Purchased from Amazon.... Both Amazon seller and mega ray direct won't return contact.... Kind of sucks too because this is the only mercury vapor that didn't put out eye damaging uvc
    Walter1 likes this.
  9. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    This is very interesting. My 4 yr.-old Oscar singed his back on a red light that he renained too clse tp while I was out of tow. He's fine, but I share this for help to one and all.
  10. Vayjining22

    Vayjining22 Member

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    Yea mine had gotten gooey eyes when I used an exo Terra mvb. Removed bulb cleared up in 2 weeks. He does have a scar on his back from a stuck shed. The 160w I use doesn't put out entirely too much heat at the distance I have it. It's a nice safe product, I just can't get it warranted lol.
  11. Skeep

    Skeep Member

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    I tried out one of these Megaray bulbs for the first time recently, and I had to change it out right away and go back to a Power Sun. Even though the Megaray was only 100W vs the 160W Powersun, the UV output was significantly higher and was harming my tegu (her eyes really started bothering her). Also the Megaray bulbs don't get nearly as hot, which is normally a good thing and means more of the energy goes to making the UV light and not wasted in making heat. But if you want the heat then you should consider that as well!

    I intend to go back to the Megaray bulb when I can increase the space between the bulb and the basking platform, but certainly be cautious of using any UVB bulb. And considering how expensive bulbs are, there's no reason not to purchase a UV meter just to make sure they're safe!

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