Bearded Dragon Lighting

Chris Stephens By Chris Stephens, 30th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Reptiles

All of these heating methods are great to use, but to closely simulate the temperatures as Australia its best to use a mixture of these methods. You can use a incandescent light as a basking light during the day and use an undertank heating pad underneath the basking spot.

Incandescent Heating Lamps

One way of providing heat for your bearded dragons is through incandescent heating lamps. These will provide more than enough heat during the day. They should be placed on top of the tank above the bearded dragons basking spot on some sort of screen. If your bearded dragon comes in direct contact with these lights he can get serious burns. For the bearded dragons basking spot can be a simple branch or a flat rock such as slate. Now as for the wattage needed to heat your tank, you will need to factor in a couple of things, first would be the distance from the ground the top of the tank, and the total tank size. For an example if you have a lamp more than 10-12 inches above the tank or terrarium than that would require a higher wattage. To provide the temperature needed for the basking area and overall temperatures needed inside the tank or terrarium, you will need to play around with the lighting placement and wattage. The incandescent lighting puts out an intense light, so one for the night time is not needed but for night time you should use a night cycle bulb. They will be red, blue, and sometimes black. These will not disturb your bearded dragons while sleeping at night but will generate more than enough heat. Night time temperatures can safely drop down to 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the time during the summer months when the temperatures are much warmer you may not even need lighting during the night time, you will still need the UVB going during the day though. In the colder months you may use these lighting at night and during the day a UVB and incandescent for the basking spot.

Heat Emitters

The next way you may use to heat the tank or terrarium is with a heat emitter. The heat emitters are ceramic lights. These lights can produce tremendous amounts of heat so they will need to be in a ceramic light fixture. You may find these lights and there fixtures at pet stores, hardware stores, or online. These kind of lighting is perfect for night time because they don't emit any light and will generate a lot of heat. For the people who use a florescent lighting fixture may want to use a heat emitter for a great way to add some heat. If there is another light source that's being use then a heat emitter is perfect for a basking light. Also if you use a low wattage heat emitter they may also replace the night time light to maintain warmth for your bearded dragons.

Undertank Heating Pads

Another heat source that may be used is an untertank heating pad. These pads are installed on the outside bottom of the tank. They have two sides to them, one that's smooth, and the other side that has a sticky adhesive. These are great to use to add some more heat for the bottom of the tank for your bearded dragons. If you decide to use one of these, don't make the substrate layer to think or the heat from the heating pad will never reach the surface.

Mix and Match

All of these heating methods are great to use, but to closely simulate the temperatures as Australia its best to use a mixture of these methods. You can use a incandescent light as a basking light during the day and use an undertank heating pad underneath the basking spot. This will create a nice hot spot for your bearded dragon to bask. Then at night you may use a ceramic heat emitter to maintain proper temperatures of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. No madder what you do in order to heat a tank or terrarium be sure to have a thermometer to maintain proper temperatures. Digital ones tend to be more accurate, also they have some that will monitor both high and low temperatures. This is great to have so when you are away you can monitor what the temperatures have been.

Ultraviolet Light

Over time bearded dragons have developed metabolic systems that need sun UV rays in order to properly function. Without exposure to suns UV rays or a simple UVB bulb that produces UV light, your bearded dragons will not survive and will develop a disease called metabolic bone disease. Its also a great idea if you would like to bring your bearded dragon outside as long as its hot enough, this way they can be exposed to the natural sun light and give you a chance to bond with your bearded dragon. While in doors they will need artificial UV exposure which can be achieved by using a uvb bulb found at your local pet store or online. It will need to achieve at least 5-7 percent UVA and UVB radiation. The UVA radiation will help your bearded dragon stay mentally healthy, stimulated, and maintain a healthy appetite. The UVB radiation helps your bearded dragons with metabolize the vitamin D3 and calcium. Bearded dragons needs to have at least 10-12 hours of either artificial or real UVA and UVB radiation daily in order to be healthy. These lights will need to expand across the whole tank or terrarium and be no more than 12-18 inches away from the bearded dragon. Also the UVB bulbs will need to be place on top of the tank or terrarium with a screen, glass will filter every bit of UVA and UVB radiation. The lights after time slowly where away and will eventually just be a single light bulb and produce no UVA or UVB radiation. These lights will need to be changed out every 6-8 months and one year should be considered the minimum, this is to ensure that bearded dragons get maximum UV exposure.


Bearded Dragon, Bearded Dragons, Heat, Heat Emitters, Incandescent, Incandescent Heating Lamps, Lamps, Lighting, Ultraviolet, Undertank Heating Pads, Uva, Uvb, Vitamin D3

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author avatar Chris Stephens
I love animals, computers, fixing and troubleshooting, and helping people.

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