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Name: Vlad
Status: student
Age: N/A
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Hello, Can you plaese tell me if a mirror can reflect uv rays that are needed for reptiles directly from the sun on to the mirror and in to a shaded section where the reptiles are and will they get a benefit from it?


From what I have read, reptiles' needs for UV light vary from none to a lot.

So, you may want to look into this for your favorite reptile before committing time and effort on providing UV lighting. The part of the UV spectrum generally recommended for providing artificial lighting includes UVA (320 - 400 nm) and more importantly UVB (280-320 nm) wavelength. You can use an aluminum-coated glass, for example, to reflect over 80% of the Sun's UV radiation onto a shaded area. The problem you may encounter is that as the Sun moves, the reflected beam also moves, limiting your illumination time (unless other measures are taken.)

Ali Khounsary, Ph.D.
Argonne National Laboratory


I have to guess. You can use a spectrometer to find out for sure.

First of all, Sunlight is an Electro-magnetic (EM) radiation. Infra-red (IR) radiation is from the lower frequency end of the visible light spectrum, Ultra-Violate (UV) radiation is from the upper frequency end of the visible light spectrum.

I can take many mirrors and focus them on a spot and boil water. This technique is used in the SW USA deserts to generate steam from sunlight to turn turbines to produce electricity. So if you want to shine IR via mirrors to your reptiles, it will definitely work.

I am not so sure about UV rays, but I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't

What it depends on is the frequency response of the mirror. Frequency responses of most devices look like these photos of Ayer's Rock:

At the lower frequencies on the left, little or no response. In the middle, fairly good response, At the higher frequencies on the right, little or no response. So the answer to your question depends on the frequency response of the mirror with IR on the left and UV on the right.

I think the answer is yes, but don't burn a hole in your lizard while you are doing it.

Cheese, (Australian for Cheers)


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