Aim of this database is to make sharing of reptile lamp tests easy. It is a collection of measurements (Solarmeter, spectrometer and others) that everyone can access and get some reference values for the lamps they use. Watch the video to get a quick idea how to use the databse.
Important to know: Brand – Lamp Product – Lamp ID
Each measured value is linked to a Lamp ID (e.g. "BP18a"), an individual lamp belonging to one Lamp Product (e.g. "PowerSun UV 100W"). Different Lamp IDs belonging to the same Lamp Product will differ from each other, due to - partly unavoidable - fluctuations in production. For each Lamp ID a date is included. This would ideally be the production date and batch number, but all we usually know is the purchase date, so this is given.
Anyone adding new measurements to the database creates his own unique(!) Lamp ID for each lamp measured. Most people use a scheme like "First letter of the family name" + "first letter of the product or brand name" + "number" OR "First letter of first name" + "First Letter of family name" + "number".
Important to know: Limitations
Please consider that most measurements are done by laymen. People who provide measurements for this database usually can not afford a professional laboratory environment nor do they have professional education and instruction for the use of the meters. The meters themselves may also be of lower quality than professional equipment. The database often contains only a small number of samples taken from one batch. Whether the measured values from one sample will be similar to those of another sample from the same or another batch can not be predicted. Fluctuations during production process from batch to batch prevent general statements about products. Due to different method of operation andf different specification of the meters, results from different people or different meters are only comparable to a limited extent.
The database does not give any recommendation for the use of lamps for reptile keeping or about the quality and suitability of products. The database only offers a collection of data, that aim to form a basis for an individual decision together with information provided by the manufacturer and personal experience. Above all general recommendations are impossible as different applications may need different products. We recommend would-be distributors to have lamps tested by independent professional institutions - the data in the database are not comparable to this type of measurement. (Even so, the same limitations apply when only a small sample is tested professionally.)
Personal Note (April 2020)
More than 10 years ago I set up a database containing reptile lamp spectra. This database automatically calculated several parameters for any uploaded spectrum, like colour properties, ability for vitamin d3 production and several others. Access to the database was restricted to friends. Originally I planned to make the database accessible to everyone once it reached a decent maturity. Over the years versions of the programming language used and configurations of the webspace changed and the lamp database was no longer running.
I now updated the main parts of the database to the latest version of the used framework (cakephp) and despite its very immature status it will be public. If someone feels he or she could add something to this project please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Help could be in the form:
(a) Donation of own measurements, either spectral or irradiance measurements. For irradance measurements the easiest way is to fill in this excel form and send it to me by email.
(b) Uploading donated spectra and general maintanance of the data through the database frontend (no technical knowledge neeeded).
(c) Improving and expanding the code (php knowledge and cakephp4 knowledge needed - I am no expert myself).
I hope this database is as useful for others as for myself.