How am I Using Lighting for My Budgie Wrong?

How am I Using Lighting for My Budgie Wrong?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman


I have the Zoo Med Labs Aviansun Deluxe Floor Lamp with Aviansun bulb for my parakeet which I use for an hour in the morning for vitamin D.

It was recommended by the avian vet that I use UVB in the wintertime for my parakeet.

Would it be better to get the full spectrum economy daylight blub? I am assuming that it would fit in the lamp since it’s the same fixture type as the daylight bulb. 



Hi Arianne,

Regrettably and respectfully I say to your vet that light does produce vitamin D in birds. This is because animals must absorb the light through the skin. Feathers prevent this from happening with birds.

There are NO studies connecting light with the production of vitamin D in birds.

In answer to your questions about the bulb – indoor pet birds care little for the quality of light and rely on LIGHT CYCLES.

Lights should be placed no more than 6 inches above the birdcage.

Thus instead of replacing the bulb (which should be done annually) place the light on a timer providing your bird with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

Here is more info on vitamin D light and pet birds.




Thank you for the responses. I’m frustrated because I was told this by an avian vet. So it looks like I wasted money on the Zoolight?
Would it be better to not use it and get one of your lighting systems or to go ahead and keep using it?
I do have a female parakeet, Thea.
Another question – Thea lives in the living room.
Since her light is to be on for 12 hrs on and off, what do I do when it hits 6:30 at night when the 12 hrs is up… Cover her cage and go to my bedroom so she can sleep in darkness or can I cover her up, lower my lights so I can still use the living room?
I grew up with birds but was never taught about lighting, hormones, etc. 
Thank you for your help!
Dear Arianne

Sadly, we find that many vets are not as up-to-date on the birds as they could be.

The Zoolight can still be used.

Your female parakeet will get the best use out of it if used 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

Once the bulb no longer works, you can decide if you wish to replace it or get another lighting option, bulbs. 

No, you do not need to cover your bird when the light turns off. There is always going to be dusk and dawn, times of dim lighting.

In our home we have the lights set to go on at 8:30 am, we may or may not uncover them a bit early, depending on our wake times.

So it is dim in the mornings before 8:30, then the light is on and bright like their sun until 8:30 pm. We don’t cover them until 9:15-9:30, so they do have dim time before they are covered for the night.

Cage covers are not meant to plunge the birds into total darkness. Birds do not suddenly sleep just because they are covered. 

Cage covers give your bird privacy to rest peacefully without the distraction of you walking by, etc. The cover is the leaves on their tree.

A cage cover can be applied loosely with a bit of area uncovered to allow a little room light in. After all, they do wander their cages during the 12-hour lights off to have a bite of food, a drink, or water. They should not be in total darkness, that would be unkind.

No, you do not need to leave the living room. But if the birdcage is next to the TV you may wish to rearrange the room and move the birdcage further away from the TV.

Please note, that birds do not all sleep in total silence.

Total silence can be scary to birds. In the wild, they chirp and call out to each other in the night.
There are lots of natural sounds in the trees, etc by insects and other animals. It is when it is totally silent that a bird can become frightened as silence usually means a predator has come into the area.
This results in birds becoming quiet so they do not bring attention to themselves and possibly be eaten. So sounds are fine.


Mitch Rezman

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