Why is Ultraviolet Radiation so Important for Our Pets
Everyone feels better after spending some time outside on a sunny day – it is like a tonic that keeps us healthy. This is because of the beneficial effects of the sun’s radiation on our bodies. But what about some of our pets who spend most of their lives indoor, away from the sun’s radiation? They need the sun’s UV radiation as much as we do, specifically the UVA and UVB found in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. UVA and UVB help produce vitamin D3 which is a critical component that enables the absorption of calcium from food into the body and strengthens their bones, thus making them healthier. While the sun remains the best and most important source of light and energy, its benefits often don’t make it through the windows of our homes that act like filters and prevent UV radiation from reaching us and our sometimes-furry companions.
Enter UV Lamps…
They enable us to artificially re-create the UV index in a safe way for our indoor pets. When we choose a UV lamp for a small pet, we need to consider the habitat conditions where its ancestors originated and try to recreate that environment as much as we can by selecting the most appropriate source of artificial light. Modern UV lamps are designed with special glass and phosphors that help produce and emit the necessary UV rays. All these lamps have specific characteristics that have to be considered:
- The first characteristics is the percentage of UVB radiation emitted of the total radiation emitted. This is most often only 2% or 6% and on rare occasions 12%. The higher the UVB percentage, the more efficient the lamp.
- Since UVB does not travel far from the emitting source, UV lamps need to be placed as close as possible to the target. Therefore, the design and shape of the lamp becomes very important, in that it should provide for sufficient flexibility to place and direct the light
- Another important aspect is the number of hours that the lamp is required to function daily. Unfortunately, the phosphors that generate UVB radiation wear out very quickly and the radiation gets weaker until the UVB output declines below an effective threshold. Hence, selecting a UP lamp that is appropriately sized for its intended use is critical.
- Lastly, traditional UV lamps also emit UVC radiation as byproduct of UVB radiation. Since UVC has been proven to be harmful, it is important for the lamp to come with a good filter against UVC radiation.
Enter LED Technology…
LEDs help mitigate the shortcomings of traditional UV lamps by enabling us to control the frequency of the emitted UV spectrum while remaining very energy efficient. LED UV lamps minimize UVC radiation to tolerable levels and do not require phosphorus thus extending their life well beyond that of traditional UV lamps.
Since LED’s are our speciality, we are always happy to chat about this technology and its versatile application in day-to-day life. Give us a call at (647) 202-9126 or reach us at email@example.com to learn more about how we can help you on your projects.