In reptiles, ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) are essential for their health as it is responsible for calcium synthesis and some important behaviors.
The importance of UV to humans and animals cannot be overemphasized and so also are the negative effects and so to ensure that you stay within safe limits, and give your pet enough exposure to stay healthy you need a UV meter.
Too much exposure to UV at work or from activities can lead to a number of health problems ranging from mild to severe.
Overexposure is the cause of the bad effects manifesting but with a good UV meter, exposure can be monitored and controlled so you can stay healthy.
You can also give your pet reptile adequate amounts of UVA and UVB necessary for healthy living with a meter that allows you to take measurements.
The presence of UV meters is high due to the need to constantly check UV exposure and amounts and so making the right choice can be difficult.
That is why we have this product review and buying guide ready for you to help you make the right choice so your purchase will give you satisfaction.
After seeing numerous UV meters, we have a pretty solid idea of what features make the best uv meter for reptiles, and the Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter it’s our top choice.
- High Accuracy Measurement of the UV Index
- Simple, One Hand Operation
- NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate Included
Complete Guide for Best UV Meters
UV meters are used to measure the amount of UV you are being exposed to and are necessary to ensure that your exposure to ultraviolet radiation is within safe limits.
We get exposed to some amount of UV radiation from the sun and due to occupation.
In order to avoid the harm that comes with overexposure, it is necessary to monitor and take safety precautions.
Negative Effects of UV on Humans
1. Causes Skin Cancer
The UV radiation is a known carcinogen and it is the most common cause of cancer in the environment. Overexposure to sources of UV including the sun can lead to skin cancer.
Long hours in the sun causes sunburn due to the absorption of radiant energy by your cells from the UV rays. This energy absorption causes the destruction of cells leading to ncreased blood flow to the area to attempt to repair the damage. That is why the area of sunburn appears red.
3. Damage To The Immune System
Overexposure to UV radiation has a suppressing effect on the immune system and depending on the level of exposure, can cause damage. This leaves the body defenseless against diseases and infections in the long run.
4. Causes Damage To The Eyes
Exposure to high amounts of UV or prolonged exposure to UV can cause damage to the tissues of the eye. Exposure to sunlight which is a source of UV increases your chances of getting cataract which can ultimately lead to blindness if left untreated. It is never too late to start protecting your eyes as the damaging effects of UV on the eyes is cumulative.
5. Causes Skin Aging
Long exposure to the damaging effects of UV speeds up skin aging. This is because UV destroys collagen and connective tissue under the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity.
Effects of UV on Reptiles
In the wild, reptiles get the spectrums of UV (UVA and UVB) from the sun. When kept as an indoor pet your reptile can no longer benefit from the sun and so other means of providing UV have to be made.
Ultraviolet radiation is very important to the health of your reptile pets because;
- UVA is necessary for your pet’s behaviors like feeding, mating, and diurnal movement to be regulated.
- UVB allows your pet to synthesize vitamin D3 which is important in the absorption of calcium. This will allow your pet to grow strong bones and shells (tortoise and turtles) and to have better joint movement. Without UVB any calcium supplement fed to your pet reptile would be a waste as it won’t be absorbed. Deficiency in calcium will set in and metabolic bone disease will follow.
- UVC is not necessary for the healthy life of your pet reptile but it can help keep them free from bacteria. Be careful as high levels of exposure to UVC can be harmful.
Different sources of UV bulbs for your pet can be gotten from the store and each has different amounts of UV emission.
It is important that you know the levels of UV the bulbs you purchase emit so you can be sure your pet is getting good enough quantity.
The amount of UVA and UVB depends on your type of reptile and it is important that you know this amount so you can ensure your pet suffers from no deficiency.
Desert reptiles being used to high amounts of sunlight do require more amount of UV light. So if your pet reptile is native to desert areas, you should go for a UV bulb that gives off 12% UVB and plenty of heat.
Rainforest reptiles do not need as much UV to be healthy and synthesize the amount of vitamin D3 they need. At 5 – 7% of UVB they are good to go.
These sources of UV diminish in their outputs over time and so it is important to measure it using a UV meter at intervals to be sure that what it gives is still helpful to your pet.
The Best UV Meters
1. Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter
First on our list of best UV meters is the Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter. It has a compact size and ease of operation that lets you get the most of this device even if you do not have experience.
You can get instant measurements from this meter and it can be used in UV index comparison, reptile lamp monitoring, and also UV index tracking.
To measure the UV being emitted from the source, all you have to do is aim the sensor at the UV source, then press and hold the push-button switch on the face of the meter to get your results.
It comes with a 9V battery that provides you with enough power for multiple readings before requiring any change.
It has a NIST traceable calibration certificate included.
- Easy to use with one hand
- Portable size
- Comes with long-lasting batteries
- Gives accurate readings for wide applications
- Seems to be more specific for reptile care
2. Dr. Meter 1330B Digital Illuminance/Light Meter
Dr. Meter 1330B Digital Illuminance/Light Meter comes with 4 range settings and together with the instant readings makes your experience a wonderful one.
To take care of wrong results that may result from off zero calibration, it has an auto-zero feature and your readings are always pinpoint accurate.
Nothing makes the use of a meter more challenging than a bad readout and that is why this product gives you an easy to read display so that you can get your readings without any stress.
You have more control as you take your measurements as you have the features which include data hold and peak data hold for use when recording information.
It is portable and so you can take it anywhere and do your work with great convenience.
- Has 4 range settings
- Measures with high accuracy
- Easy to read display
- Portable and convenient to carry from place to place
- Great price
- Meter instructions are poorly written
3. URCERI Light Meter Digital Illuminance Meter
This light meter can give an accurate reading for up to 200,000 Lux instantly, making it a great choice for a handy tool for quick and quality readings.
It is easy to use and has an LCD display that allows you to check your readings at any time of the day and gives you a battery indicator also.
To further help you save power, it has an auto power-off feature that turns the device off when not in use for over 15 minutes.
It has a lightweight and compact design, allowing you to carry it conveniently anywhere you go and since it has a wide range of applications, it will definitely come in handy.
- Accurately measures luminosity from 0-200,000 lux
- Has 4 digital color LCD display
- Low battery indicator
- Auto power off
- Compact and lightweight design
- The display is hard to read when under direct light and at right angles to your eyes
4. Sper Scientific 850009 UV Light Meter
The Reptile Habitat Setup Aquarium Tank Kit will be more suited for someone who is just looking to buy the best possible tank for the most affordable price, which has everything that it needs to get started.
So if you are low on funds but still want to get all the important setup tools for your turtle pet, while at the same time get a quality made tank, this aquatic tank should be the one for you.
The tank comes with a setting suited for a turtle that includes a hiding shelter and steps for the turtle to climb comfortably on the platform. A heating lighting bulb is provided alongside with a water filter.
There is also a basking platform incorporated in the kit, but it isn’t displayed in the image.
- The Kit includes reptile food and a free ebook on best methods for managing an aquarium
- It offers everything that you need to get started with your turtle pet
- It’s made out of glass and not acrylic (it won’t get scratched up like the acrylic ones)
- Only suitable for turtles under 4 inches of turtle shell
5. General Tools UV513AB Digital UVA/UVB Meter
We will be rounding up this review of the best UV meters with the General Tools UV513AB Digital UVA/UVB Meter.
It is a UV intensity meter and is capable of measuring UV light in the range of 280 to 400 nanometers.
This range gives you an assurance of accurate and precise measurements in a variety of applications.
You can use this meter in quantitative measurements of UV radiation for radiometry and laboratory equipment, UV curing in off-set printing, checking the intensity of UV lamps, sterilization and a lot of others.
For easy reading of results, there is a backlit LCD that has a four-digit dual display so you can get your readings accurately down to the minimum.
You can manage the remaining power and not be taken by surprise when the battery gets low with the use of the battery indicator.
This allows you to plan your measurements and be more effective.
- Easy to read due to backlit LCD
- Wide range allowing for precise readings
- Low battery indicator
- Has a certificate of traceable calibration
- Readings are easy to understand
- Navigating through functions is complex
Things to Look Out For In a Good UV Light Meter
What separates the best equipment from others are a few factors that are part of the device.
Putting these factors into consideration when making a purchase will help you get the most out of your money.
Measurement Range: Minimum Reading to Maximum Reading
If the device is not sensitive at low intensities, the readings obtained can be very noisy.
The readings will have great variations or the device will provide no readings at all in the presence of noise so it has to be avoided.
An over-sensitive device can also saturate and miss peak readings leading to errors in peak and total integration. To avoid these from your meter, avoid noisy readings and saturation.
Reviews on products can give you information on these and help you make the right choice.
ISO17025 Accredited and NIST Traceable Calibration
The device should have a calibration that is accurate even when tested on other systems.
If your device is ISO17025 accredited then you can be sure of quality calibration as annual audits of the calibration facility are compulsory before this accreditation is given. So check for this accreditation on the product before purchase.
A device that allows you to store data on it saves you time in the event that you have to consult previous readings.
During measurements, the UV meters get exposed to heat and this has both long and short term effects on the device.
In the short term, the readings can increase or decrease when the device heats up and in the long run the life of sensitive components of the device could be shortened.
So you need to choose a meter that will last long and also provide you with accurate readings even if exposed to heat.
Commonly Asked Question About UV Meters
Q: What Instrument Is Used To Measure UV Index?
Spectrophotometers are used to measure the UV index. They measure the intensity of radiation over a spectral range at a large number of discrete wavelengths.
Q: Do Clouds Block UV?
Yes, clouds do block UV, especially UVB.
Q: Are There UV Rays At Night?
UV rays are part of the white light from the sun which does not reach earth at night. The rays are not completely blocked at night but are present in little amounts.
Q: Why Is UV Dangerous?
The sun is the natural source of UV and this radiation is shielded from the earth by the ozone layer. Overexposure to UV can lead to skin cancer, damage to the eyes and low body immunity.
The use of UV meters is the best way to be sure your pet is getting the required UVB and UVA it needs to be healthy.
It is also the best way to measure amounts of UV being emitted from a source in whatever application or research you are carrying out and so it is important that you acquire and make use of only the best.
The products being reviewed here are sure to give you the best performance at all times.
Solarmeter Model 6.5 UV Index Meter comes in a very portable size and is easy to use. So you can get accurate readings conveniently as you carry this meter with you.
Dr. Meter 1330B Digital Illuminance/Light Meter is another device that is portable and gives you accurate readings. It’s easy to read display makes using it easier and stress-free.
No matter the choice you make, you can be sure if nothing but the best from your purchase.