Sylvania SunStick general purpose full spectrum
bulbs in the shoplight fixture (note: picture taken
during aviary construction)
use (4) 4-ft 40 Watt full-spectrum light bulbs in my aviary.
When selecting a full-spectrum light bulb, there are two types
to choose from: consumer-grade full-spectrum light bulbs and
specialty full-spectrum light bulbs designed specifically to
meet the needs of the pet community (birds, reptiles, fish).
Some specialty full-spectrum light bulbs may do a better job
reaching all ranges of the light spectrum, but they are very
costly. Whether any real benefit can actually be seen in your
bird's health is unclear. The information available is contradictory
and confusing. The following link references many articles on
appropriate lighting for pet birds if you want to try to sort
through the information yourself: Birds
& Lighting General Index.
am not convinced that there is any significant benefit to the
high-priced specialty full-spectrum lighting and so have chosen
the consumer grade Sylvania SunStick (DSGN50) (similar to GE
Sunshine Bulb, [Chroma50]). Both these bulbs have a color rendering
index (CRI of 90) and a color temperature of 5000K. Ideally,
a full-spectrum light bulb should have a CRI of 92 or greater,
but I feel the CRI of 90 is close enough, and a 2-point increase
does not justify the cost difference between bulbs. The Sylvania
Sunstick (4 ft, 40 W) costs $6.29 at Menards (at the time of
aware that the full-spectrum properties of the bulb will be
diminished before the light itself burns out. Full-spectrum
bulbs should be replaced every 1 to 2 years (depending on the
model) when used in an aviary setting. The bulbs are perfectly
useful beyond this time-frame as regular flourescent bulbs.
lights have been pushed as a source of aviary lighting for a
variety of reasons. The most common is to provide a good source
of vitamin D. However, more recent thought says that the best
source of vitamin D is a balanced diet. Nonetheless, birds are
still thought to benefit from full-spectrum lights, particularly
in regard to feather condition. At the very least, full-spectrum
lighting is the best way to view the birds (short of natural
sunlight, of course).
Topic of the Construction
section for information about the lighting fixtures used and
how they were installed.
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