Will Full-spectrum Lighting Damage My Bird’s Eyes?

Will Full-spectrum Lighting Damage My Bird’s Eyes?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Rob K. relates, 


Mitch, I have read much and understood all of your points about lighting. My bird is a Congo African Grey.


My concern is that I have also read articles about the danger of eye damage such as cataracts from such closeness and intensity of the light.


At the equator, high noon footcandles range from 9-10,000 and cycle up and down moonlight to moonlight (.01 FC @ full moon) and between dawn & dusk (10 FC).


I have a full spectrum bulb in my ceiling 5′ above his cage.


He spends more time on top, or on the tree next to it, or elsewhere in the house except at night and when we are out.


I would be very reluctant to shine high lumens of full-spectrum including UV at close range practically directly in his eyes 12 hours a day.


Can you help me reconcile these competing concerns?


Thank you, and I love your weekly reads!


Dear Rob

The sun is the brightest thing there is and the inhabitants of the planet do not go blind under it as we/they do not stare upwards at it for extended periods of time. Cage lights are suspended above the birds if hung properly. 


The birds don’t sit and look up directly into the light for extended periods unless they are sick or mentally damaged in some way. 


Windy City Parrot’s permanent full-spectrum lighting installation ~ Video


Yes, some bulbs can be so bright that they can be intrusive and uncomfortable.


Studies were done to see if increasing the lighting would result in more or better Vitamin D3 production which has been disproven.


The lights instead help with hormonal behavior and the brightest light out there is not necessary.


Light cycles are far more important than lumens. Birds rely on the cycle of the sun and moon to determine many actions such as breeding and migation.




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