The Rainforest Terrarium – Part 2 - Lighting

In the first article( The Rainforest Terrarium – Part 1 ) we highlighted some facts about planning and designing a rainforest terrarium. A soon as the terrarium design and the selection of the animals have been completed, you can focus on the most important subject: lighting.

The lighting in the rainforest terrarium does several jobs. Firstly it controls the daily routine (light/dark), and it also ensures the necessary temperature. Remember to select the type of lighting to suit the temperature you require. Another factor is the UV radiation, which is vitally important for some animals, while it is less or not at all important for others.

We are going to show you how to find the suitable type(s) of lamp for a rainforest terrarium.

But first we have to answer the question: “Who’s going to need the light?”. The aspects mentioned above are not only important for the future inhabitants but also for the plants, which also need simulated sunlight. The kind of lighting you choose is really important, since strong tall-growing plants need full spectrum lighting. Tubes, spots and other forms of conventional household lighting don’t meet these demands.

Bright Light and Plant Growth

Many amphibians naturally live in strongly shaded habitats. There they receive comparatively little UV light. The small UV proportion of the JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE is ideally suited for this purpose. The plants also benefit from the full spectrum tubes. The number of tubes used depends on the terrarium size.

Energy-saving lamps provide purely daylight illumination without any increased share of UV. JBL ReptilJungle Daylight .

If you need higher heat emission as well as stronger light, halogen spotlights, such as ( JBL ReptilDay ) or ( JBL ReptilSpot HaloDym ) offer a good alternative. They combine brightness with a high heat emission.

UV Light for Diurnal Dwellers

Many diurnal (day active) rainforest animals need an increased amount of UV light. During the day the animals like sunbathing to “charge their batteries” for their activities. This includes, for example, turtles or tree-dwelling animals. In addition to sun-like full spectrum lights, metal-halide lamps, such as JBL ReptilJungle L-U-W Light alu emit a large amount of heat and UV radiation. Another alternative is the spotlight JBL UV-Spot plus .

Some ground-dwellers need UV light without an increased heat supply. You can find this combination in the UV energy-saving lamps JBL ReptilJungle UV with various UV levels.

Installation of the Lighting

There are installation kits on the market to match the abovementioned lamp types (e.g. JBL TempSet Unit L-U-W , JBL TempSet basic , JBL TempSet angle , JBL TempSet connect and JBL TempSet angle+connect ). The sockets are always attached through the canopy from the outside or inserted into the terrarium by means of a small hole. Don’t forget the build-up in heat when installing a light. The socket and the surrounding elements always need to be heat-resistant, otherwise there will be a risk of fire. That’s why materials developed for space technology are used in the JBL sockets.

Also remember to prevent the risk of the animals touching the light, otherwise they may sustain painful burns. Protective grids ( JBL TempProtect light ) and lampshades ( JBL TempReflect light ) prevent the risk of direct contact and injury to the animals.

We have listed the different types of lighting, according to animal groups, in a “How to” booklet, which, along with this blog article, should help you when making your decision: The right light and heat for your terrarium

© 09.04.2016
Matthias Wiesensee
Matthias Wiesensee
M.Sc. Wirtschaftsinformatik
JBL GmbH & Co. KG

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