Posted: April 3, 2013, 10:30 a.m. PDT
Full-spectrum lights provide essential UVA and UVB light for your pet bird.
Full-spectrum lighting is light that covers all wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, from infrared to ultraviolet (e.g., UVA and UVB). Commercial full-spectrum light bulbs mimic sunlight and can be used in place of sunlight during the winter or periods of low light.
Full-spectrum lighting has several practical applications. Because it mimics sunlight, it is sometimes used by artists and paint manufacturers to ensure color uniformity and matching. It is also an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition characterized by depression during winter months when natural sunlight is limited. Because it contains the same wavelengths as natural sunlight, supplementation with full-spectrum lighting is especially helpful for people suffering from this disorder. In addition, full-spectrum lighting is often used in gardening to supplement natural light.
For pet birds, light is a very important part of life. On a day-to-day basis it dictates sleep cycles, and on a month-to-month basis it regulates the pet bird's reproductive cycle in addition to being important for physical and mental health. Sunlight is responsible for the absorption of Vitamin D and calcium, and without adequate light birds can develop problems with poor eyesight, dull and damaged feathers and depression. Inadequate sunlight can even affect their immune systems, making them more susceptible to disease. Full-spectrum lighting can be used for pet birds much in the way it's used for SAD in humans, so even if you can't safely take your pet bird outdoors on a regular basis, you can still provide your pet bird with the next best thing.