Natural Light Cycle
In order to maintain a natural light cycle for our canaries, we have found this combination of products do the job. Depending on the location of the cages we may add a nightlight in order to be sure a youngster or a breeding female can find their way back to the most comfortable place to spend the night in the nest or on a high corner perch. Most canaries will not fly in total darkness. In some locations we also cover the cage at night if there is other light that might keep them awake. In our bird room, there are windows that bring in some natural light so that pretty much takes care of the dawn and dusk effect.
Walmart carries a product called a “growlight” it is inexpensive under $12.00. It is manufactured by Lights of America Model: 7020GL. We replace the bulb with a more effective bulb as shown below. When you replace the bulb leave the bulb exposed by about 1/2 inch so the filter is not filtering out the additional benefits of the new bulb. Secure the filter with quality tape or Velcro. Be sure you place the light either on the side or top of the cage leaving a “shade” area so the bird has options to sit in the sun or move to the shade.
Philips 221549 – F17T8/TL950 Straight T8 Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb has the correct connections with the light fixture and provides a Color Temperature: 5,000K and CRI: 95 Under $14.00 including shipping on amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Philips-221549-F17T8-Straight-Fluorescent/dp/B002CZ35HG/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1386265941&sr=1-1&keywords=Philips+221549
Add a very convenient timer and you should have the whole system automated. We like this timer as you can put in your latitude and longitude to have the lights adjusted to the local dawn and dusk. Once again from amazon.com under $19.00 We also have heard some of the local hardware stores may carry the product. Leviton LT112 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0040718U0/
See youtube video for instructions on setting the timer. Easy once you have done it.
If you want to Keep it Simple and you have only one or two pet canaries you may only have to find the perfect location in your home and add a full spectrum light close to or on top of the cage. In many cases you can find that in a desk lamp that many office workers use to have correct lighting for art or other projects. Color temperature and CRI are the key factors.