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. With normal thermostat control 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.  It extends control up to 1 degree above the target temperature.  If the temperature rises more than 1 degree above the thermostat will still cut power to the lamp.  Enter the menu and select the output configuration that is controlling the lamp.  Select the MODE option.  Set the MODE to HEAT(DIMMING) and press the enter button to accept the change.  Then in the configuration menu you will find the basking assist option.  Enabled the basking assist option. You can then set your temperature settings to something reasonable as a starting point.

 

PROBE PLACEMENT:

The probe must be inserted through the ceiling right next to the lamp shade and typically 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 as it will often result in the lamp blinking from a slower response time.  Lamp Fixtures must not have a built in dimmer knob.  Only standard fixtures with a on/off switch are compatible  Some people have reported using a heavy gauge wire to create U shape under the lamp works well.  It needs to be secured to the enclosure.  Then the herpstat probe can be secured to the center of the loop directly under the bulb.  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.   It is normal for the thermostat temperature to have to be set much higher than what the floor temp will read.  Heat naturally rises and the top of the enclosure will always be warmer.  

The most common question is why the probe isn't placed where you want the temperature regulated like on the floor.  There are many reasons for this.  First if the animal ever sat on the probe it would block the heat and cause the thermostat to increase power and could lead to an overheat and animal safety concern.  Secondly it slows the thermostats response time so the temperature swing widens.  Because of that its more likely to cause lamp blinking.  

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.

If you lamp blinks on/off it almost always is caused by the probe being too far from the bulb.  Relocate the probe closer to the bulb.

If you want the lamp to turn off at night enable the nite cycle (or 2nd period on SpyderWeb models) and set its temperature to 1 degree below your normal room temperature.  Make sure ramping is disabled or set to zero hours/minutes.

If you want to have the bump dim down to a lower setting at night (but not turn off) you will need to set up the night cycle (or 2nd period on SpyderWeb models) and also enable ramping.  You will need to adjust the ramping time longer than the natural cool down time of the enclosure.  One way to figure that out is to let the enclosure come up to temperature and then unplug the heating device while monitoring the temp on the herpstat.  Let the temperature drop to your desired night time temperature while keeping track of how long that time takes.  Your ramp time setting should be longer than this time.  Reattach your heating device and adjust the settings.  If you get blinking during the ramp from day to night cycle you need to increase your ramp time.

Trying to regulate temperature using basking lamps can be finicky.  Not every enclosure will have acceptable results.  If these tips do not provide good results then its time to consider switching from a lamp bulb to a heating device that does not produce light.  These include deep heat projector bulbs, ceramic heat emitters, or radiant heat panels.

 

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