How Close Should a Light Be to the Birdcage?

How Close Should a Light Be to the Birdcage?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Editors note: this is a related 2-part answer.

The question is how close should a light be to the birdcage?

Catherine Tobsing wrote:
Dear Janet

The closer you can get to the top of the cage the better. Setting directly on top is fine. If you have to remove to install a cage cover each night you may wish to hang the light above like a swag or clamp the lamp to a shelf or arm above the cage.

3 clamp on light over budgie aviary

It should shine straight down on the bird, not off on an angle. Yes, it seems bright but so is the sun. We and the birds don’t sit and stare up into the sun but we know it is there.

Janet C. wrote, (follow up)

Due to reading your articles regarding bird lighting I recently purchased a fullspectrum light for my cockatiel. It is a 60-watt LED bulb.

I have the ability to put it over his cage, but I need to know how far away the bulb needs to be. Right now it is positioned to provide somewhat off-to-the-side indirect bulb exposure while still providing light for the cage.

Your help is very greatly appreciated. Thank you…

Hi Janet,

Here’s a chart of actual lumens by height that will be helpful

ZooMed avian light box panel with LUX statistics



 Part 2


I have been researching light for parrots and would like to know what the CRI is on this bulb.


Sharon R.

Respectfully, Sharon, we don’t know the bulbs CRI and the birds don’t care.

For the record:

CRI, which stands for Color Rendering Index, is a metric used to measure the ability of a light source to accurately reveal the colors of objects when compared to a natural or ideal light source, such as sunlight. In other words, CRI helps us understand how well a light source can show the true colors of the objects it illuminates.

CRI is typically measured on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 representing perfect color rendering, where colors appear as they would in natural light. A higher CRI value indicates that a light source has better color rendering properties.

When you’re choosing lighting for various applications, it’s important to consider CRI because it can have a significant impact on how you perceive the colors of objects.

For example:

Home Lighting: In your home, you may want high CRI lighting in areas like the living room, dining room, or kitchen, where accurate color perception is essential, especially when you’re reading, preparing food, or enjoying art.

Retail and Commercial Spaces: Stores, art galleries, and retail spaces often require high-CRI lighting to showcase products accurately. This can influence purchasing decisions, as people want to see products in their true colors.

Hospitals and Healthcare: In medical settings, accurate color rendering is crucial for diagnosis and treatment. High-CRI lighting can help doctors and nurses accurately assess skin tone, tissue color, and other visual indicators.

Photography and Film: In the world of photography and film, CRI is vital to ensure that the colors captured by the camera match the actual colors of the subjects being photographed or filmed.

Workplaces: Offices and workspaces benefit from good color rendering as it can reduce eye strain and improve overall comfort for employees.

It’s worth noting that not all light sources have the same CRI. For example, incandescent bulbs and natural sunlight have high CRI, while some types of fluorescent or LED lighting may have lower CRI values.

Therefore, it’s essential to consider CRI when selecting lighting for specific applications to ensure that you achieve the desired color quality and visual comfort.

We advocate full spectrum lighting but that’s not necessary.

The only thing that matters is duration time, that’s what a bird’s pineal gland is tracking using the movement of melatonin cells that act like micrometronomes that tell birds when to sleep, mate, and migrate. 

Respectfully, CRI has no bearing on a bird’s behavior.

Here are about 100 articles we’ve written on birdcage lighting

We employ lighting over all our birdcages (see featured image at the top) using timers for 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.



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