The Ultimate Bearded Dragon Lighting Guide
Setting up a terrarium for your dragon can be very hard if you are a beginner. It is very important that you get the right bearded dragon lighting, but especially lighting is a very complicated topic for beginners. You need the right temperature, UV radiation and so on and so forth.
Before you start reading I want to point out that this is the lighting I recommend, I do not say, that this is the best lighting in the world or whatever. All I say is, that I had a positive experience with the lights I recommend.
What you are going to learn from this article
- How to choose the right light for your dragon.
- How to get the right temperature.
- How to choose the right UV Lighting
- Further I am going to show you what lighting I use and where you can buy it.
- What you should not do!
You need light!
There is one mistake most people make when it comes to reptile lighting: They think that that every lighting will spend light and warmth. However that is not the case. Not every lamp will provide warmth and a lot of lamps which provide warmth do not really provide enough light.
However it is extremely important for bearded dragons to get enough light. Why? Well they are from Australia, they are used to get a lot of light and you should always try to create a habitat which is very close to their natural habitat in Australia.
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Light stimulates their appetite and it is very important for their mental well-being. Further it should be white light, since bearded dragons do not so well with other types of light. I will show you below which light I use for that.
So other than Hugh Jackman, bearded dragons can´t get too much light.
Get the right UVB Lighting!
Okay I do not want to go too deep into this topic, because in my opinion this can be a very dry subject.
However you should know that bearded dragons need UV lighting to stay healthy. If they do not get UV lighting it will have an huge impact on their behavior and on their mental well-being and they will get sick.
Providing the right UV light prevents metabolic bone disease. It promotes the synthesis of Vitamin D3. Without that, their bones will become soft and that will cause deformation of the bones and so on and so forth.
Sounds ugly, huh? It is!
So here is the lighting (click here) I recommend for that plus the fixing, which you are also going to need.
This lighting does not only provide UVB, it also provides a good looking white light and as I said, you wanna make sure that your bearded dragon gets enough light.
And I am not the only one who thinks that the Repti Sun is awesome. This product has a ton of reviews on Amazon with a very high rating. Do I need to say more?
This is one of the few UVB lights I really recommend. I would not go with another light than this. The reason for that is very simple. There are UVB lights which cause I problems on bearded dragons, needless to say, that I would never recommend those lights. I do not want to tell you the name of the manufacturer here, because I do not want to get in trouble.
Simply get the Repti Sun, it is a really good UVB light and it is very cheap in my opinion. There are other UVB lights which cost $50 or more, the Repti Sun is much cheaper.
However there is one thing I recommend you to do. Every six months you need to switch the UVB bulb, because the bulb will not provide enough UVB anymore then. Instead of getting a ReptiSun 5.0 bulb, I recommend to get the ReptiSun 10.0 bulb (click here). It provides a higher amount of UVB, which is more suited for bearded dragons.
Get the right temperature!
If you want to get the right temperature, you have to know what temperature is good for your dragon. The average temperature in your tank should be around 78-88°F during the day and around 70°F at night.
Besides that you need some very hot spots. Bearded dragons like to lie in the sun on huge stones. Especially in the morning, since they need to get the right body temperature. Those hot spots should have around 95°F – 105°F …yepp that´s hot! Your bearded dragon is black all day? Your temperature might be too low!
You do not have to buy very expensive reptile heat lamps for that. In fact a normal heat lamp from the DIY market is okay. I recommend to go with 100W, but it depends on your tank size. You can also regulate the temperature by hanging the heat lamp a little higher above the tank.
So you can simply use this normal 100W light bulb from Amazon here and get this clamp lamp to place it on your terrarium and of course a thermometer like this one so you can see if you get the right temperature. I recommend to go with the ReptiTemp here. Simply point and click to check the temperature 🙂
Beside warmth, the light bulb also provides a lot of white light, which is excellent. Besides that it is very cheap.
Why I do not use any reptile heat lamps
There are some good reasons to not use all the reptile heat lamps out there. If you search heating lamps for reptiles in Amazon, you are going to get tons of results for that.
In my opinion, most of those lamps are very bad. First of all they are really expensive. Especially beginners are afraid of doing something wrong and rather take a reptile heat lamp than a normal 100W light bulb. Do not spend your hard earned money on overpriced products like those reptile heat lamps.
Secondly those heat lamps are known for being very short-lived. Many people on Amazon say that those lamps only last a few weeks. I think that is ridiculous.
So, don´t be afraid, just take the normal 100W light bulb with the clamp lamp and everything is going to be alright 🙂
What you should know
The UVB output of those lamps will decrease over time. I recommend to change the UVB lights every 6 months.
Dragons need 12 hours of light
Bearded dragons need light for around 12 hours, turn the lights off at night. Please make sure that the temperature at night is not below 65°F. That could cause health problems.
Do not use coil lamps
I do not recommend that you use any coil lamps for your terrarium. It is known that those coil lamps cause eye problems for example. I stay away from that completely, no matter if it is a heating lamp, or if it is a UVB lamp.
What lighting do you use for your bearded dragon? What lighting would you recommend? How often do you change the UVB lights? Tell me about it in the comment section below!
If you have any questions on bearded dragon lighting, leave it in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out!
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.