Thermostat Questions and Answers
What thermostat should I use for a heatmat ?
A mat- stat, it is rated for heaters up to 100W and provides a basic on/off type of control, there is also a microclimate mini stat 300 which is rated to 300 watts.
Where should I place the probe when using a heat mat with a thermostat ?
Thermostats measure the air temperature at the sensor probe, when using with a heatmat you need to remember that heatmats do not heat the air. If you were to place the heat mat on the floor of the vivarium and the probe on the back wall as per a normal installation then the surface temperature of the heat mat could reach 50.C and no heat would be hitting the probe therefore the thermostat will keep the mat permenantly switched on. You need to position the probe so that it rests on top of the heatmat. this way it will take a reading from the surface temp of the mat and will not allow it to go any higher than the temperature set on the thermostat.
What thermostat should I use for lightbulbs such as spotlights?
The Microclimate B1 dimming stat is the best option for light bulbs, Normal thermostats will switch a bulb on or off depending if heat is required or not, this constant switching on and off of the lightbulb will dramatically reduce its lifspan. A dimming thermostat will do exactly what it says, rather than switch off the lightbulb it will dim it down or up to keep a constant temperature.
dimming thermostats need a minimum load of 40watts to function and can control a maximum of 600 watts.
What thermostat should I use for ceramic heaters ?
The Microclimate B2 Digital pulse proportional thermostat has been designed to work with ceramic heaters. It controls the heater by sending pulses of electricity to power it. When the vivarium is too hot it slows the pulses of power down, when the vivarium is too cold it pulses the electricity more quickly. If the thermostat was connected to a light bulb it would look like a strobe light in the disco! It is because of this the pulse proportional thermostat is only suitable for non light emitting ceramic heat emitters.