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Discussion Starter #1
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! :)
 

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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 :)
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
I really want to avoid total darkness, if we can. We have a basement apartment and no windows, which means it's darker down here than I think most people would be used to, but there are still lights on in strategic places.... Which for her might only be a dim glow, but I'd like to not be in pitch dark if avoidable, since we are also up late.... I'm getting some lamps and a timer so that we can gradually up her lighting throughout the day to simulate daytime better. :)

Thank you lilysmommy! Now hearing that it's called a thermostat that makes perfect sense, but sometimes that's only in hindsight. :p
 

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Also a suggestion - if you don't want it to be super pitch black, but not as bright as a lamp, you could get a night light. I have one for my girl, it's a simple plug-in wall one. It's warm white though, not LED :)
 

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I too live in a basement apartment, with two tiny windows (one of which is under a deck, so next to no light there…), so my girl is currently using an artificial light as well to get her "daytime" hours in. I am currently using an Exo Terra day/night LED, which I absolutely love. http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/day_and_night_led.php
Its only the 2W one, so it is really minimal on power, and it is LED so it doesn't give off any extra heat to worry about interfering with her CHE set-up. I do not have it on a timer though, just cause I work in the mornings, so I turn it on when I get up (at 7) and turn it off at night around 9, so that she does get a bit of a sunrise/sunset effect, where there is still light filtering into the apartment at that time.
It does have a blue moonlight option, but I don't use it just cause on mine it is really, really blue and makes the whole inside of her cage glow. It doesn't seem to bother her, but it bothers me lol.
At night when it is off, we have a kitchen light that filters a little throughout the basement, which provide enough light to pick up where she is in her cage, but thats about it.

As for heating, I actually have her on a manual thermostat with a 100W CHE in a 150W, 8" flukers lamp that sits directly over the cage in the middle, so there is constant coverage. I haven't been able to find any automatic thermostats anywhere I've looked (except online, but I don't buy online so thats a moot point), but thankfully the basement here is stable enough in temperature that I can keep it middle of the road at 75º and it covers any temperature fluctuations so it doesn't go past 72 or 80.
 
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