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Old 11-19-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
Ria P
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Default Red lights

Hamsters can't see red lights but they help us to see them when all the other lights are out and the hamsters think that we have gone to bed but we (voyeristic humans) are really sitting in the "dark" watching out for our elusive, nocturnal friends to start going about their hamster business.

Now is the time to buy those lights and stock up on them should they conk out during the summer when none are available in the shops.

Just bought a set of red Santa boots at Aldi for 3.99 incl batteries and put them up around Gordon's tank.

Henry's red snowflakes from last year are still working fine but Percy upstairs needs red boots so back to Aldi's tomorrow.

Had to pass on this bit of information which i also learned here to newer members.

Who was the inspiration? Coco and her reindeer lights i think.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:04 PM   #2
sushi_78
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Default Re: Red lights

That's a good idea about red lights. I too like watching my hamster at night but she's bothered by normal lights.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:01 AM   #3
Ithuviel
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Default Re: Red lights

I didn't know about the red lights. Thank you for information
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:30 AM   #4
Flossypet
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Default Re: Red lights

Thanks so much! This will be really useful to me.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
EmmaAndChester
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Default Re: Red lights

I've been curious about this for a long time; has anyone got any solid proof that red lightbulbs dont bother hamsters?

I have a hedgehog & a leopard gecko; both species requiring some form of heat source. For both species, red lights are a big no-no because while no, it is believed that they cannot see the red, they can still see the light emitted from them and may perceive it as a colour other than red. Like someone who is colourblind and can't see green or something; that doesn't necessarily mean that they can't see the green traffic light - it just means that they see it as a different colour than you.

I've also read additional arguments being that red bulbs aren't just producing 100% red light - it is white light, being passed through a red coloured bulb and thus, it is still visible.

Honestly, to me at least, it seems likely that hamsters can indeed see a difference when a red light is switched on. Mine have all reacted; and I dont think its a coincidence that they just happened to assume meerkat position as soon as the red light switched on. Personally I haven't found any solid proof that states that hamsters cannot see red light at all; it honestly seems like some sort of myth created by someone who thinks infrared and red are the same thing.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:27 PM   #6
mikatelyn
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Default Re: Red lights

EmmaAndChester, I was wondering the same thing!
I did find this you tube video that offers some anecdotal evidence that it works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEOZE4C-ujA&t=154s

Maybe it depends on how completely the red filter filters out the other wavelengths of white light. I can't seem to find anything definitive online.
I know for sure IR doesn't bother him. I have a pet cam that uses IR and he runs around completely undisturbed with it on.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:30 PM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: Red lights

I suppose i don't look into things that deeply and can't give any proof that hamsters can't see red lights but mine are not bothered by them unlike normal lights.

I put them around their cages ca 50cm away and not directly on them. Yes, the lights are white in a red casing, they are Christmas fairy lights.

Works for my hamsters and that's good enough for me.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:29 AM   #8
Ithuviel
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Default Re: Red lights

I just got my red lights today, they are red LED lights not white in a red casting. I will test them and keep you updated.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:01 AM   #9
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Red lights

I used to have red Christmas tree lights in my hamstery and the hamsters used to notice those but I recentely replaced them with red LEDs and the hamsters don't seem to notice them in the same way so maybe it does depend on the type of bulb, it's difficult to know for sure.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:09 AM   #10
alpacassei
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Default Re: Red lights

Hamsters, like most mammals, cannot see infrared. They can however see regular red lights, maybe not as well as white lights as its closer to infrared but it’s still produced from the same visible part of the light spectrum as other coloured and colourless lights. And studies in lab rodents have proven red coloured lights such as LEDs still trigger a circadian rhythm response.

Red lights though generally arent as bright and intrusive as white and certain other coloured lights which is why they aren’t as bothered by them. Dim lights in any colour would work just as well tbh. Essentially they can see the light but not the colour
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