Can the Herpstat be used with overhead basking lights? 

Question: 
Can the Herpstat be used with overhead basking lights? 

Answer: 
Thermostat control of lamps that provide visible illumination is not ideal. Lamps change brightness during regulation and then turn off when the target temp is reached. In order to get reasonable control we have a special feature called Basking Assist available in Herpstat 1 Basic, Herpstat 1, Herpstat 2, and Herpstat 4 (V2), Herpstat 6, and all SpyderWeb models that prevents the lamp from turning off when its close to the target temp. Enter the menu and select the output configuration that is controlling the lamp.  In that menu you will find the basking assist option.  Enabled it. 

 

PROBE PLACEMENT:

 

The probe must be inserted through the ceiling right next to the lamp shade and the probe tip needs to dangle in mid air about 3-4 inches below the bulb.  Placing the probe anywhere else in the enclosure will not work. If you have other lights in the enclosure place the probe on the opposite side of the lamp you are controlling away from the other lamp so that the probe does not see heat radiating off the other lamps.  You will be regulating the heat in the area around the probe which means you will want a seperate thermometer with a probe mounted at floor level to monitor your floor temps.  Then adjust the thermostat until you get a temperature that keeps the lower part of the enclosure comfortable but does not overheat or pose danger to the animal should it climb or reach the upper part of the enclosure.  If your temperature does not reach your desired temperature and the thermostat is reporting 100% power it means that your bulb needs to be upgraded to a higher wattage bulb.

 

Using a bulb as a heating device can work for a single temperature 24hr a day but does not work well for seperate night/day temperature changes.  The reason is during the switch over from day to night the temperature needs to cool down and how fast that happens depends on the room temperature and your enclosure.  Not cooling down fast enough can look like an overshoot of temperature to the thermostat and cause it to turn off the power for safety.  If you intend on trying this the best option is to enable the ramping and set it for a long ramp down time (several hours).  This way it gives it time for the enclosure to cool at the same rate the thermostat expects.  If you experience the light turning off prematurely then increase the ramp time and adjust your night cycle start/end times accordingly.

 

If you are trying to do mimic sunrise/sunset lighting this is best done with a low wattage bulb and using the LIGHTING (DIMMING) mode instead of the heating mode.  The lighting mode does not provide temperature feedback or regulation so this is strictly for illumination and should only use bulbs that do not overheat the enclosure.  Then use a seperate heating device that does not produce light on seperate thermostat controlled output for the actual heating.  For top heating radiant heat panels and ceramic heat emitters are popular choices.

 

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