The Arcadia Reptile Interactive UV Index Guide

Full Sun Baskers UV Lighting Guide
Full Sun Baskers UV Lighting Guide
Our recommended guide for your species.

Ultraviolet Index (UVI)


A – Target basking range 4 – 6
B – Graduated to shade 0

‘It is vital that we provide our pets with an accurate provision of replicated solar energy that includes the correct UV Index, the correct quantity and spectrum of visible light and quantity of Heat (Infra-Red).

Use the graphic above to help you choose the lamp that best suits the developed needs of your species when used over your height of enclosure. Our advice has been worked out from between the lamp and the animal’s head when resting at the centre of the ‘basking area’. This is the area where the UV Index is strongest and where the UVB and heat converge.

If used over a mesh lid, the UV will be partially blocked by about 30% a stronger UV lamp will be used.

For small enclosures, particularly those for young animals, the corresponding linear compact lamp can be used.

It is advised that lamps should never be lowered down into the enclosure to be horizontal to the head. If you are using a tall enclosure you should increase the height of the decoration used to create a basking zone so that the animal can easily ascend towards the lamp as it has need and then self-regulate away from the lamps into total shade within the ‘cool-zone’. This is called ‘The Light and Shade Method’.

Light and Shade Method

The light & shade method

This allows your animal to obtain the exact level of energy that it requires as an when it has need. We must however be careful to ensure that a species is not able to obtain access to a higher UV Index than the highest level shown in this guide.

For more information please do read the information given on the front page of the ‘lighting guide’.

All measurements have been taken with a Solarmeter 6.5 ‘Index Meter’. As such, it is advised that regular checking of your system is undertaken with the same meter. Learn more about UV lighting and Solar meters in our new book “Fire; The sun, Its use and Replication in Reptile Keeping”

We at Arcadia Reptile are constantly conducting research and refining the advice that we provide to keepers. As such we reserve the right to change and amend our advice as we continue to improve. The advice given in terms of UV Index outputs is based on using a quality full-spectrum+UV-B lamp with correct control and suitable reflectors when measured with a fully working branded Solar meter 6.5 UV Index meter. It is also based on the core theory of the ‘light and shade method’.

The light and shade method allows an animal to obtain the correct levels of energy from light when situated in the basking zone. Reversely, it also allows the animal to move freely around the enclosure to find and use a decreasing graduation of energy towards total shade. In this way, the animal is exposed to a decreasing graduation of energy from the ‘basking index’ to UVI 0.00.

In order for this to occur we must pay attention to enclosure design, suitable decoration must be used in order to create hiding/shaded areas as well as areas of access to light. Typically, the ‘basking area’ will only be the total length of the animal or group of animals. In this way, UV lamps are only used over half to two thirds of the total length or area of the enclosure.

Learn more about UV lighting and Solar meters in our new book coming soon

Fire; The sun, Its use and Replication in Reptile Keeping

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