Proper cage lighting is very important. Full spectrum cage lighting not only helps you see more vivid coloration of your animal, but can dramatically affect the health and psychology of your pet. Many materials such as glass in windows or plastic light covers are made to filter the broad range of spectrum birds and reptiles need. Even a cage placed near a window will not get a sufficient amount of UVA/UVB light by the time it reaches the inside of the cage. Birds as well as reptiles and many other animals use UVB in the synthesis of vitamin D3, a critical element for the metabolizing of calcium in your pet's body. Feather and toe picking, restlessness and agitation, decreased immune response, and shortened life span are all symptoms that can be attributed to a lack of proper cage lighting for birds. Some studies show dramatic improvements in breeding with birds that are exposed to full spectrum light when compared with deprived birds. Unlike humans, reptiles are able to see more of the UVA light spectrum. Failure to provide a source of UVA can alter your pet's perception of its environment, causing stress. Skin disorders and frail bones can result from an inadequate amount of full spectrum light, iguanas in particular.
Most bulbs made for personal use are not designed to emit the range of UVA/UVB many animals need because humans receive an ample dose when exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis. In addition, many fluorescent fixtures sold commercially come with a plastic protective cover. This plastic cover will filter the UVA/UVB spectrum you are trying to give your animal even if you have a full spectrum bulb in the fixture. That is why we created a series of wire guards made to fit the fixtures that we sell. This way you can protect your animal from damaging the fixture without filtering the cage lighting. For more info and tips on how to best setup your cage environment see the bird or reptile setup guidelines sections.