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SparkleBean 05-19-2014 01:49 AM

Heating lamp & Light lamp questions
Trying to get my supplies ready before it's time to bring my little girl home, but I have some questions about lighting and cage placement.

Right now we're trying to decide on the best place for our little girl to be, there are several options throughout the household, but the place I want her the most would be in my room with me.... unfortunately (as far as hedgie ownership goes) I live in the basement with no natural light (as I am also nocturnal, and enjoy having a place where the sun cannot reach me as I sleep :P). I have heard of other folks putting lamps on timers so that they are able to get the "daytime" effect so they still get their 12-14 hours of daylight for sleep times and I'm sure those lamps are different than the heat lamps (which if its cooler, she would need on all the time).

My question is, is this option really feasible? As I said, there are several options for cage placement, but if I can, I'd really like to have her with me, rather than in another part of the house, but I would never put her in danger just to have her with me, so if natural light is the only option, then she could be in any other bedroom in the house, where she would possibly only need the heat lamp.

So, opinions on lights? What kinds would work well? I'm looking at a lot of 'reptile' type lighting, but, I feel pretty lost. :-?

Thanks ahead of time for help! :)

lilsurfergrlsp 05-19-2014 11:45 AM

The room that I have my girl in doesn't have any windows either (we're in a basement apartment). So, I have to rely on artificial light for her daylight schedule.

So yeah, the lights that I use for her "daylight" lights are different from her heat lamp. The type of bulb that I use for her heat lamp is a ceramic heat emitter, so it doesn't emit any light, only heat. Reptile lamp bulbs aren't recommended for hedgies, since they have to be on almost all the time, and the light that reptile lamp bulbs emit can mess up a hedgehog's sleep cycle.

Having a floor or desk lamp on a timer works great. Whatever you choose, it has to be bright enough so your hedgie knows it's daytime. I think there are bulbs that simulate natural daylight so you can probably use one of those bulbs. You can put the lamp near your hedgie's cage, but not too close.

I personally use a few different types of light - I use overhead ceiling lights as her "daytime" lights, and then a desk lamp for at night when we're bonding. Then very little light when I put her in her cage for the rest of the night (her room is almost completely dark). Keep in mind though, hedgies are different when it comes to "night" lighting; some might aren't as active if there's too much light on during the night. You'll just have to test what options work best for your baby :)

zoetheshort 05-19-2014 01:07 PM

I have a clamp lamp on Minnie's house with a regular light bulb in it. It's on a timer for 10 hours a day. Room lights are generally on for about 8 of those hours.

SparkleBean 05-19-2014 04:43 PM

Thanks for the answers, but it leads me to more questions... Does the lights being on timers mean that after they go off she has to be in complete or near complete darkness? Will, say, a floor lamp or our computer screens bother her or make her not want to wake up?

lilsurfergrlsp 05-19-2014 07:49 PM

She doesn't HAVE to be in complete darkness. Like I said, it really depends on each hedgehog's tolerance of light. Some like total darkness, others don't mind a TV/laptop screen, and some (like mine) prefer a moderate amount of light at night. You'll just have to test and see what your baby likes.

Also, if you're worried about her not waking up, most hedgehog owners have to wake their babies up for bonding/cuddling/playtime. Babies sleep a lot, and if left alone, they usually don't wake up until 1 or 2 am. It's important to build a routine to follow daily - that includes turning the lights on/off around the same time every morning and night, cleaning the cage around the same time, and waking your baby up around the same time.

Lilysmommy 05-19-2014 08:14 PM

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That depends on the hedgehog. Yes, having any light on can bother quite a few hedgehogs, they won't come out without complete darkness. Others are less picky & stick to their usual schedule, even if there's a low light on or people around. You'll just have to wait & see how your baby does. But chances are, the floor lamp would definitely bug her, at least, computer screens may or may not.

SparkleBean 05-19-2014 08:21 PM

Ok. She's coming from a house where it's pretty routine for lights to be on and noises/family happenings going on around her, she's only 9 weeks old and I'm hoping to bring her home within the next week. We're throwing a lot of plans out there for options for her, she currently is still with her mana in a sterilite container cage, I'd really like to make a c&c cage so I can have more of a square cage than rectangle to go in the space we'd like to have her in.

SparkleBean 05-20-2014 06:33 AM

Ok, one more question (for now, at least) :

I found the timers for real lamps on the lowes & home depot website easily enough, and we've decided on the one we're going to get. However, in a youtube video I was watching earlier (on my ipad, and it got closed and now I can't find it again to try to comment on it) I saw a girl who had this neat little gadget that the heat lamp plugged into that was able to monitor cage temp, and turn the CHE on and off accordingly to keep the temp stable... but she doesn't say what its called or who makes it!!

Anyone know what this lovely doohicky is called?? :D

Lilysmommy 05-20-2014 11:49 AM

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Yup, that's a thermostat and they're a required part of a heating set-up. :) This is a popular one, but there's others as well - You just want to make sure it says "thermostat" and not "rheostat", which only dim the heat, rather than turning it on or off to keep a stable temp.

zoetheshort 05-20-2014 12:16 PM

A few hours of less intense light at the beginning and end of the cycle help simulate dusk, which (I believe) would be less of a shock than going straight into total darkness.

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