NEC T10 UV lamp test information

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by gomeztime, Feb 15, 2008.

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  1. gomeztime

    gomeztime Active Member

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    Hi all,

    A month or so ago there was a thread that discussed UV-B performance from different lamps and the NEC T-10 was mentioned. I personally have taken an interest in UV-B performance of different lamps and have my own UVB meter from Solarmeter. Since I don't own an NEC T-10 to test myself I promised in teh earlier thread to check that I would ask someone who knew what the performance for this lamp is like. The following extract was written by the author of uvguide.co.uk which is an excellent reference for Herp keepers wanting to know more about UV-B performance from different lamps and how to improve the UV-B exposure you might be offereing your animal.

    In no way do I want to cast any aspersions towards those using NEC T-10's or the relevance of UV-B to different animals. I know people that use no UV and seem to maintain excellent health in their collections. Instead I've followed this through just so everyone know's what the T-10 is like when compared with more expensive lamps.

    The extract commences here and is reproduced with the owners permission.

    They (NEC T10) are old-fashioned blacklights, also I think, once used as UVA
    tanning lamps, but I don't think they are actually used for tanning any
    more.

    The T10 describes just the diameter of the tube (1.5 inches)
    The one I was sent was 24ins long and has the following designation:
    NEC T10 Blacklight FL20SBL - 24.

    They are manufactured in Japan for NEC Pty.Ltd. (http://www.nec.com.au)
    and they look well made, but not intended for retail sale. There are no
    instructions for use, or any product information, supplied with the
    lamp which is packaged in a thin cardboard sleeve. Apart from the
    word "black light" there is no indication printed on the lamp or on the
    sleeve that this product even emits UVA or UVB. There are no warning
    symbols of any sort either.
    For those of you who haven't seen a blacklight - they look like regular
    white tubes (as opposed to a purple-black "blacklight-blue" disco tube)
    and when you switch them on, you see a pale grey-blue dim light.

    I tested it with all the usual equipment including the Solarmeters and
    the spectrometer. (I must write the report up properly..)
    The lamp is emitting an enormous amount of UVA. It is a very powerful
    UVA lamp - but it is not emitting very much UVB at all.
    If you are after a lamp for producing a lot of vitamin D3, I'm afraid
    this one isn't it, however, it will produce just a little bit. Which is
    why, I guess, they are still used and why they presumably *just* enable
    a reptile given a good diet with vit D3 in it, to stay apparently free
    from MBD...

    With my UVB meter, UV Index meter, and lux meter, I got the following
    readings:
    2" - 57µW/cm² - UV Index 1.2 - 690 lux
    4" - 31µW/cm² - UV Index 0.6 - 366 lux
    6" - 21µW/cm² - UV Index 0.4 - 253 lux
    8" - 15µW/cm² - UV Index 0.3 - 185 lux
    10" - 12µW/cm² - UV Index 0.2 - 144 lux
    12" - 9µW/cm² - UV Index 0.1 - 117 lux

    The lamp is not emitting any UVC except within 0.1" of the surface (3
    µW/cm² - this is normal for almost all fluorescent tubes)

    So you can see what we have here is a tube that is only emitting about
    the same UVB as tubes marketed in the reptile trade for species with
    very low UVB requirements, usually called "daylight" or "natural light"
    tubes, typically 2.0 or 2%UVB. However, the tubes actually sold for
    this purpose typically have a comparatively intense visible light
    output. This has a very, very poor visible light output.

    The output from this lamp in the range which will promote vitamin D3
    synthesis is very low at reasonable basking distances. At 8 to 12
    inches away from the lamps, the UVI is between 0.1 - 0.3, which are
    typical readings found in heavy shade under trees, close to sunrise or
    sunset, or in winter under overcast skies.

    But it also has an extremely high UVA output. I've uploaded a spectrum
    temporarily here:
    http://www.uvguide.co.uk/images/NECblacklight-fullUV-visSpectrum.gif
    If that link breaks try:
    http://tinyurl.com/3y8ach

    I don't have a UVA meter to give you comparative figures at different
    distances. (The spectrum was at 10cm.) But that is a lot of UVA. About
    half of it - the wavelengths above 350nm - may be visible to reptiles
    as a "colour" so it may look brighter to them than it does to us....
    but I wouldn't count on it.

    I would certainly be concerned about letting a reptile sit too close to
    this (in an effort to get more UVB) because UVA can penetrate to the
    back of the eye, to the retina, so in some ways, huge amounts of UVA
    shining in the animal's face from a dim lamp (whose brightness doesn't
    make a reptile look away) could be more hazardous than UVB.

    A lot of our lamps are rather low in UVA and I suppose this lamp might
    be useful in some circumstances, *just* to boost UVA, if USED VERY
    CLOSE TO OTHER LAMPS and not too close to the lizard.
    With it, you'd need (1) another lamp which could supply intense bright
    light (to stop reptiles gazing into it)
    AND (2)for all sun-basking reptiles, you'd need another lamp to supply
    much better UVB.

    But on it's own, as a tube for supplying UVB to captive reptiles? No,
    there are far, far better lamps on the market today than an NEC T10
    Blacklight.
     
  2. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    thanks for posting that info,...i couldnt imagine something that cheap would be as good as the reptiglo/sun ones. :)
     
  3. cris

    cris Almost Legendary

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    Sounds like something written by someone trying to sell the rip off ones to me. Heaps of ppl have been using them for ages and never had any problems. Notice how the article rambles on without any good arguement, a sure sign of BS IMO.

    There have been problems caused by some of the rip off brands NOT from using NEC blacklights(to my knowledge)
     
  4. expansa1

    expansa1 Suspended Banned

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    Greg Fyfe of the Territory Wildlife Park did a scientific paper on UVB output of NEC T10's and found that the UVB output was 2 1/2 times higher than that of any fluorescent tube sold in Petshops including Repti-Glo, Repti-sun etc etc and seeing how they are about 2 1/2 times cheaper than the crap you get in Petshops, and seing how we have been using them exclusively for the last 8 years with our turtles, Frillies, Beardies, netteds etc then that's what I'll continue to use and to promote. We have not had soft shell problems, or any probs with our lizards either!!

    Cris, I have to agree with you. 8 years of successful use is good enough for me, as well as someone who is reputable like Greg Fyfe giving them the all clear!

    Cheers,

    Craig
     
  5. expansa1

    expansa1 Suspended Banned

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  6. gomeztime

    gomeztime Active Member

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    Hi Craig,

    I have seen the test results from the web site you mention before and they seem credible; even if the results condradict the results from Uvguide.co.uk. Go to uvguide and read what's on it; it's excellent. They do not sell anything, it's purely for enthusiasts.

    The NEC test is each example we're discussing is not scientific, because in each case only a single lamp has been tested, rather than a group with a control. What I find credible about the UVguide's finding is that they also backup my observations and understanding of UV-B lamps. UV-B lamps shouldn't happen by accident, and if it did the manufacturer would need to state warnings to this effect on the lamp after discovering that this was the case. UV-B lamps usually have a much higher mercury vapour presure than a normal flourecent lamp that essentially uses the same material at a lower pressure.

    Your point relative to not having any problems after using these lamps for some time in my opinion does not necessarily say much about the lamp. As stated in my post, I know people that don't use any UV-B and they still have great success with their collections perhaps by providing excellent diet and heating.

    If you're still in doubt, please do debate the issue on the uvb meter owners group on yahoo groups. There are over 400 members who discuss their findings relative to their reptile collections. Also you can put all doubt asside by purchasing your own solarmeter 6.2 from the solarmeter web site as I have done.

    cheers
    Mal
     
  7. Duke

    Duke Very Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that the 4foot variety of NEC tubes is over twice as powerful as the one tested here.
    http://www.nelt.co.jp/english/special/special.htm 8.0W compared to 3.2W for the shorter tubes.

    As far as the UVB warning or whatever you're talking about. Well the spectrum you read is within all accuracies identical to the one supplied by NEC
    [​IMG] compared to [​IMG]

    And these "BL" series from NEC are specialised tubes. People aren't buying them as party lights. Most lighting stores you get them from will ask you quite clearly you need a UVB tube for. If anything they're harder to obtain then the standard quarium tubes.


    Looking back over it.... UVA is much less dangerous than UVB is. So having much more of it is probably a good thing.
    And it's also good to remember that ANY tube you buy pretty much ANYWHERE doesn't compete to the real sun. Especially when you list the UV index of each tube. The BOM lists anything less than 3.0 as only moderate.
    Also, remember that the sun typically outputs anywhere from 1 to 30 MILLION Watts of energy per square meter.
     
  8. expansa1

    expansa1 Suspended Banned

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    Hi Mal, not really interested in what the UK has to say as I know Greg Fyfe personally and so do a lot of respected herpers here in Australia. He is one of the most knowledgeable herpers in Oz and a great bloke. I have some turtles that have never seen daylight and do not ever have soft-shell problems with them. BTW, Greg Fyfe, who did the tests while working at the Territory Wildlife Park is also not selling anything. He did the study for the benefit of Australian herpers.

    As far as happening by accident, who cares, it works, works better than the others, is cheaper and that's all that matters. Most discoveries happen by accident. Teflon being one of them.

    I also do not wish to debate it on another site as I know what works for me, has worked for a long time and has saved me a lot of money by not purchasing from Petshops over the years.

    I do not need to purchase a solarmeter as I once again, stand by Greg's findings and my successful results.
    Maybe the meters you recommend are inferior compared to the professional scientific ones that Greg used in his complex study? Who knows.

    Lets just say, we'll have to agree to disagree and that I will continue to promote these lights because of the success and cost saving that I have had over a long period. I'm not interested in a UK site and am not in it for a debate and appreciate that somehow your findings have been different. How many years have you trialled NEC T10's with your animals?

    Just because they weren't originally purposely made for UVB doesn't mean that they can't work and you should not use them if they have been proven to put out higher UVB, work well and save enthusiasts lots of money considering that all fluoro's need to be changed every 6 months.

    Cheers,

    Craig
     
  9. xycom

    xycom Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Chris, I've stumbled upon a few aricles on UV lights that mentioned the NEC T10's and they all have said good things about them.


    Per
     
  10. gomeztime

    gomeztime Active Member

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    Hi Craig,

    I think you're right that we'll agree to disagree, but I thought I would make one last appeal to you to review UVguide.co.uk for information about UV lamp decay. You mention the 6 month rule of thumb and I think the information you find there would save you some money. My measurements of lamp decay agree with those published on the site and these would be relevant for any UV emitting lamp, including the NEC T-10.

    Cheers
    Mal
     
  11. herptrader

    herptrader <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#B200FF;">Herp

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    Greg Fyfe's UV light data sheet is available as a word document link off the lighting page on the Herp Shop's web site: http://herpshop.com.au

    It is beside the NEC T10 flouros about 75% of the way down.
     
  12. Ozzie Python

    Ozzie Python Very Well-Known Member

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    Where can i get the NECT10's from on the Gold Coast? Was looking for them yesterday
     
  13. Chimera

    Chimera Very Well-Known Member

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    Order them through the Herpshop, I have never had any trouble getting them delivered.

    Craig, did Greg's original paper cover any follow up testing over multiple T10 globes or have the results been imperial observations?
     
  14. Earthling

    Earthling Suspended Banned

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    Kortum drive, Burleigh has an Electrical shop on a corner...not sure if its Leda st corner, but around there somewhere. They sell the T10's, I think they were around $9. 70 or something last time I bought.
     
  15. hornet

    hornet Almost Legendary

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    would you use this with a normal white light tube or are the fine on their own?
     
  16. herptrader

    herptrader <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#B200FF;">Herp

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    They are pretty much fine on their own.

    For our frogs I have 3 2' battons which gives good illumination:
    1. NEC T-10
    2. Normal "daylight" tube
    3. growlux tube for plant growth
    6 years down the track the frogs, plants and owners are doing fine.
     
  17. meshe1969

    meshe1969 Well-Known Member

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    For frogs it is recommended to put them with another tube that emits more light, even if thats a grolux/biolux for plants, not sure about reptile use.
     
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