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Harnessing Technology: Replicating Natural Light and Heat Cycles

Hognose snake basking under his UVB lamp

Replicating natural light cycles (circadian cycles) has been a dream of reptiles keepers for many years. 


For years we have used UVB lamps to illuminate our animals. Going from darkness to full midday sun (and back to darkness again) in the flick of a switch. Not very natural! 


Our heating systems have also done exactly the same. 

It doesn’t have to be this way


With the new app controlled Arcadia LumenIZE T5 UVB kits and Arcadia LumenIZE Jungle Dawn LED bars we can recreate a natural 24hr cycle. Moving from complete darkness to midday sun over a few hours – mimicking dawn and then later in the afternoon replicating dusk into night.


When it comes to heating, naturally this will follow the same cycle. This can be replicated using a  Microclimate Evo Connected Thermostats (also app controlled).   With these we set the time we want the daytime temperature to start increasing and the temperature we want to reach. Then using the ramp time we set how long we want it to take to get to that temperature. 

With these we set the time we want to start increasing the heat and the temperature we want to reach. Then using the ramp time we set how long we want it to take to get to that temperature – replicating the sun raising the temperature. We do also of course need to set the temperature to reduce at night too. 


What about Seasonal changes? 


The Arcadia LumenIZE app is very easy to log in to and make an adjustment to replicate the seasons which your animal would naturally experience. 


With the Microclimate Evo Connected Thermostat you can set your Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter in the app.


How will this affect our animals? 


I think this is where it is going to get really interesting… 


We have been using the Microclimate Evo Connected Thermostats in store for a while on a few of our vivariums and terrariums and have found that our snakes have spent more time on display basking under the lamps in the morning which is great to see. 


As for the lighting this is so new we are just starting to use them, so need a bit of time to see how they work. But I expect there to be improvements in breeding, Fergusson zone 1 species needing to spend more time basking in the morning and afternoon. 


I think replicating natural light and heat cycles is going to lead to a huge leap in welfare standards.


With further research I can see that we will soon be encouraging keepers to offer dormancy periods for temperate species such as corn snakes. And this I expect will help reduce obesity too… 


What do you think will happen? 


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