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Hi everyone,

I have recently switched from a 60W incandescent bulb to a 100W equivalent LED bulb in the room my budgies are in for at least 6 hours ever day.

I thought the reduced UV light would be better for my budgies, however, after purchasing them I learned of full spectrum bulbs which seem much more suitable for budgies.

Is the 100W equivalent LED bulb suitable, or does it need to be switched for a full spectrum bulb? Up until now (for over a year) I have been using a 60W incandescent bulb, so I'm hoping the LED is at least a little better for them. The only thing I'm concerned about is it blinding them when they are flying, so of course I'll have to carefully select a appropriate shade.

TL;DR:

  • Switched from 60W incandescent to 100W LED bulb in main budgie room.

    Presumed reduced UV light would be better for them, later found out about full spectrum bulbs.

    Unsure whether I should stick with the LED to replace with a full spectrum bulb.

Thanks for reading!
 

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A regular light bulb does not supply the necessary UV light for budgies to process calcium. You either need to provide a UV lamp (Featherbrite is specially made for birds) or take your budgies outside to get natural sunlight.
 

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Hi Jacke
I agree with the other replies.

Just to clarify:
Full spectrum bulbs - The type sold in normal supermarkets (not pet stores), are designed to emit the ‘full spectrum’ of visible (to humans) light, ie. light that appears more natural to us.

Specialised pet bulbs - Tend to be two main types.
1. Bulbs designed for reptile enclosures. These may have different UV requirements and may also have infra red heat output - you don’t want these bulbs!
2. The avian UV bulbs, designed to give out full spectrum visible light plus (invisible to us but visible to birds) UV light. These lights are in addition to the normal room light, they need to be placed above the cage within a specific distance from the top perch and really need to be used with a timer as they are only used for a short period of the day.

Birds in the wild use the UV waves from sunlight to produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is needed in order to absorb calcium from the gut. They could be eating a diet containing plenty calcium, but if they don’t have sufficient vitamin D3, then they can’t absorb it.

Glass windows block UV light. Therefore we have 3 choices in order to ensure our bird’s have enough Vitamin D3 and hence calcium:
1. Keep our birds in an outdoor aviary with access to natural light or ensure that the bird is taken outdoors in its cage and supervised for an hour each day. Obviously the feasibility of this depends upon local weather; a bird that has not been acclimatised to living outdoors will not cope well with sudden changes of temperature.
2. Provide a UV light and ensure that this is kept within the recommended distance and used for the appropriate amount of time daily. These bulbs usually need replacing every 12 months as the UV emissions begin to decrease. If you choose this option, make sure that the bulb is specifically designed for birds.
3. Provide a vitamin D3 supplement; there are different types that can be added to the bird’s water or food.

If you read up on birds and UV light you’ll find other noted benefits, (related to the fact that birds can actually see the UV light) on the psychological wellbeing of the bird.
That being said, I originally had a UV light for my birds, but when I moved them into a larger cage I felt that I could no longer ensure that they would be both a safe and yet effective distance from the lamp (There is a minimum and maximum distance stated with the bulb) and so I switched to supplements. Hand on heart, I have observed no behaviour change at all, they both appear as happy as before.

I suspect that you might actually be talking about the main room light. In that case, either bulb (*incandescent or LED) is fine! Lamp shade wise, I’d simply try to choose one that is not appealing to perch on. They don’t get blinded by looking at the sun, so I wouldn’t worry in that respect. :)
 
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