You might have heard that your gecko is a nocturnal creature or it is not in need of light. But this is just because there metabolism does not require light. But in order to stay healthy these pets need to get a certain pattern of light and dark hours.These pets do not demand much when it comes to light.
- 1 Do geckos need light?
- 2 Best light setups
- 3 How much light do the geckos need in a day?
- 4 Is natural window light recommended?
- 5 How to choose the best lights for leopard geckos?
- 6 Top and 7 best lights for leopard geckos
- 7 Buyers guide
- 8 FAQs
Do geckos need light?
One major misunderstanding regarding the leopard geckos is regarding their requirements for light. You will only hear that these creatures are nocturnal and stay active during the night. This will jump you into the conclusion that they wont require any sort of light in the day or in their tanks.
But, this is not the right conclusion that the pet owners are having.
Now the pets are aware if their surroundings, whether it is day or night even if they are sleeping. They have the ability to see day from night and they stay well on that dependency.
Second important thing that you need to know is that they are not at all nocturnal. This means that they are active during dusk. They also have their activities carried on when the night begins.
Leopard geckos are sensitive to the time and for them to maintain a healthy balance they require both dark and light stages.
Best light setups
The best setups that you can use for your pets tank are listed below:
- Incandescent lamp which you can use as daylight lamp
- UVB bulb
- Ceramic bulb, this works for the night time heating and you can use it as a heating pad too.
- Thermostat to control the setup
- Black, blue or red night light that could be helpful if you want to watch your pet in sleep.
How much light do the geckos need in a day?
When you are deciding to provide light in your pets tank you have to consider the middle day- night as well as the Eastern day- night patterns. This means:
Summer: 14 hours in day and 10 in night
Winter: 12 hours in day and 12 in night
You need to ensure that the transition period that occurs between the seasons, you have to decrease or increase the intervals for about 15-30 minutes.
It is recommended that you should make use of the automatic timer which will control the amount of lights. If you are having busy routines then you are likely to forget switching the lights on and off. So to lessen your burden use the timer instead.
If you are a regular owner then you would simply need the controller that is affordable and has advanced options. So, in order to ensure your safety as well you should get the light from a renowned brand or producer. One of the best products for such purpose are from the Zoo Med which will meet your requirements.
Is natural window light recommended?
If you are thinking of using direct window light for your pet you need to be aware that one caution associated with it is overheating. In the bulbs you can control the intensity of heat required, but in the sun rays this is not the case. If the sun rays are reaching your pets tank directly then you should know it is at a risk of overheating.
If the sun does not hit your pets tank directly or if it does and is only for a short period then there is no danger and you can prefer that option as well. But still it is not recommended as the daylight cycles will not go on same tracks as the requirements of your pet. So it is important that you stay aware of such facts when you are breeding the leopard gecko.
If the daylight pattern tend to match those of your pets then you can prefer using it as an option. But another thing that is linked with using daylight is that, the UVB rays wont be passing through the glass or the plastic that the enclosure is of. So, your pet wont be able to get the benefits of using this part of the spectrum.
So in order to know if your pet actually needs a UVB source you should read ahead.
How to choose the best lights for leopard geckos?
Now when we are discussing about the leopard geckos the lights that you can use for them are divided into categories:
- Night bulbs
- Day light bulbs
- UVB bulbs
- Ceramic bulbs
All these lights have their own purpose and use. The daylight lamps helps in stimulating heat and provide similar light as of the daylight. The night bulbs will help you to monitor your pet at night and also provide them heat. The night bulbs have less light as compared to the daylight bulbs.
The UVB bulbs provide the natural sun spectrum and also helps your pet to get the benefits of Vitamin D3. The ceramic ones on the other hand give only heat and in large amounts.
As most of the lamps will emir t heat therefore while you are choosing the one for your pets tank you need to know that the bulb will be affecting the temperature if your tank as well. The lights can be a source of heat or you can even use it as a temperature gradient. Also, you need to be aware that the different bulbs have different heat generation and the amount that they deliver. For instance, the Mercury bulbs might produce way too much heat for the tank.
Since the lizard basks mostly under the light source, the gecko is not too sensitive to the artificial lights that are being used in the tank. In the earlier days it was seen that the pet is nocturnal so they won’t need any UV light. So the tank light was only considered the heating lamp for the geckos. So the heat that was provided by it was considered to be sufficient.
But we have seen that this practice has become a point of discussion over the years.
We see that the geckos are active during the night but they are not nocturnal. They start their activities as soon as the sun goes down so they are regarded to be crepuscular. In their habitats too they receive sunlight and they use it to synthesize Vitamin D for themselves.
But in the captivity the geckos have been kept with the heat lamps. They were able to survive for many years with that heat and could get the Vitamin D3 required from the supplements.
So the idea of providing the geckos with the UVB source is becoming prevalent and makes sense in the communities too. Also, these lizards do not have to fully bask to get Vitamin D3. If some part of their skin is exposed it will speed up the process. Even if your pet has hid his tail or lev it will still manage to get Vitamin D3.
The UVB light is not mandatory if you are providing your pet with the exact amount of supplements which will meet the amount of Vitamin D3 required. And if it is done correctly your pet wont suffer from any of the consequences of lacking the UV light. We are not sure if the leopard geckos suffer in case they do not get exposed to this particular part of the spectrum.
But you can easily find our of your pet is sick. Also, if you care about your pet it is necessary that you provide your pet with both UVB and UVA light source. Do a bulb of T5 or T8 would be best suited. It is better if you try to fix the bulb to one side of the tank so that its provides a UV gradient.
The standard bulbs which are either tungsten or halogen will do just perfect and will act as a primary heat source. These lights would emit red or yellow light without any blue part. This means that they will provide the UVB light in the perfect amount.
You can even use the home bulbs too. There are special bulbs too that will provide the refined requirements. For instance we can consider the Zilla reptile day bulb that provides natural daylight. It makes use of the neodymium glass. This is brighter and also provides white light.
Full spectrum daylight bulbs
These bulbs will emit both UVA and UVB light rays. The amount of UVB light produced by this bulb is just perfect. For instance we can consider the Zoo med repti sun fluorescent lamp will provide 30% of UVA and 5% of UVB.
You need to change this bulb every year and some people change it after 6 months too.
The fluorescent bulbs do not emit large amount of heat so if you want to use it as a heating lamp then this will not be the best choice. You can still use it by combining it with another heat lamp or bulb.
The daylight bulbs are different to the night light bulbs. The night ones do not provide daylight. But they are used to monitor your pet during the night or evening. The night time is when your pet is mostly active and along with providing a little visibility they also provide some amount of heat for your pet.
You will get three kinds of the night bulbs:
- Red light
- Black light
- Blue light
All these are similar but the ideal one would be which will provide enough light for you to watch your pet inside the tank.
Top and 7 best lights for leopard geckos
Now let us jump to the next section of the article where we will discuss the Best Lights for Leopard Geckos that you can use along with their features and pros and cons.
Zoo med day night bulb
This is a pack of two bulbs that consists a daylight bulb and the night bulb. These provide hear along with the bright light for day. The heat lamp will offer 24 hour heating. This is one of the best packs and the popular choices that the customers can get. This product comes with two bulbs which have a certain purpose.
Both the bulbs are incandescent and these are regarded to be the best ones fir the geckos as they provide best but not too much. The bulbs are of 60 watts and the heat is optimum. These are suitable for the geckos and they can act as a primary heat source too. The colors of the bulb make it unique.
These are blue and red. The blue bulb is to be used for the day. It gives clear and soft color and it feels gentle in the eyes of the owners. Also, as these are nocturnal so you would want to notice your pet at night too, so you could use the red one for that purpose. Thee would not disrupt the night cycle of your let and provide them the required amount of heat as well. These are suitable for those who need heat all the time.
Watching your pet would be interesting for you but you should not keep this bulb on for a long time. Most of the owners mention that the bulb works out for about 6 months. For some it lasts for more than that too.
- Lasts for long time
- Good heat capacity
- Red is for the night and lets the owner enjoy the view of the pet
- Blue one is gentle to the eyes
- Might not heat a 20 gallon tank appropriately
Zilla premium reflector dome
This product is powder coated. It is black on the outside and from inside it is reflective white. This is to maintain the luster and to maintain the long life of the bulb.
The bulb is of 8.5 inches and it fits with incandescent, fluorescents as well as ceramic bulbs too.
It has a socket which can stay under high heat too. This is nor basically a light source but plays a vital role in the setup. This is basically a lamp and you need to get a bulb so that you can use it easily.
Also, the reflector domes are preferred because the quality is good and it also durable.
The socket handles can handle high heat therefore, you don’t have to worry about the melting. The outside of the bulb is coated with powder black that will keep the electric parts maintained and cool whereas the inside is white so that it can reflect energy. This helps in providing the bulbs with more energy and power.
It has a spring clip and allows you to clip the bulb with the tank easily. Many users are happy with the foot cord that is of 6 inches and the on and off switch is liked by them a lot.
This lamp can last for a number of years and it is designed which that it can be used for a number of bulbs.
Also, if you use this bulb then you wont need any other over the years.
- Works with all bulbs
- Can fit anywhere on the tank
- Is easy to use
- Last long
- Has no bulb included
Zacro reptile heat lamp 100 Watt
This is a best heat source for all reptiles and can work al day long. It can be used for birds, hamsters, reptiles and even amphibians. The thermal efficiency of this product is 99% and the lamp will not affect the sleep pattern of the animals.
The solid ceramic used in the lamp provides good radiation and it is costly as compared to the other bulbs. The features as well as efficiency of this bulb is what makes it worth for a purchase.
As like the ceramic bulb this product is efficient as compared to some other bulbs.
The bulbs makes use if the Infrared heat that will warm up the air. The shape of this lamp is flat disc like which helps the heat to flow faster. The power used by the bulb is 100 watt that makes it enough so that it can heat the larger tank too. The life time of these bulbs is much longer as compared to the standard bulbs. It can last for about an year. Along with this the bulb comes with a digital thermometer that will help you to get improved readings. And the tank will heat perfectly.
You should have the ceramic socket so that you can use it easily. The standard lamps will not be able to bear the heat that is imparted by the bulb.
- Emits a lot of heat
- Lasts long and can be used for large tanks too
- Energy efficient
- Needs ceramic socket
- Might need visible light
Exo terra sun glo basking lamp
This is a basking spot lamp that is used for tanks. It uses 100 watts of power. Along with this the bulb helps the animals to get a natural appearance.
It helps to increase the air temperature and also helps in creating a basking spot for the geckos.
This is an affordable product which does not have a lot of features. It might not be able to produce large amount of heat that is required for the large tanks. It produces small amount of heat and light. So if you have minimum requirement then it suits the purpose.
The light is available in various wattage amounts, 25 watts, 50, 75, 100, and 150 watts. For the leopard geckos a bulb of 100-75 watts would be recommended. The bulb with 150 watts power would be too strong and the ones which have power less than 75 watts would be weak. The light emitted by this bulb is bright and the heat is also optimum. The life time of the bulb is not that long as compared to the other bulbs. In some cases it would last for only a month, but for some it might even last for 2-3 months.
The basking lamp will heat some spots more as compared to the other bulbs. This is suitable fir the leopard geckos and the temperature does not go more than 90 degrees F. The pet might respond well to such temperatures. This will help them to regulate the body temperature.
- Gives good amount of heat
- Lights the lamp as like the sun
- Will not last much long
- One soot might get heated a lot
Zilla reptile heat lamp incandescent bulb
This provides heat and light enough so that the geckos can bask and regulate their body temperatures.
The bulb helps in creating a natural environment that is stimulated through the day time sun. The lighting which is full spectrum will enhance the colors.
The bulb has a medium range of price and it heats the space of about 10-20 gallons. This is the best and the recommended size for the leopard geckos. The construction of the lamp is of high quality and it provides simple heat. The filament in it keeps the bulb to last long as compared to the other and might work for around 6 months.
The color of the bulb is bright but the light emitted is soft that wont hurt the eyes. Zilla has created this bulb which would be the perfect match for the dome shaped reflector.
- It has a good price
- It is designed for the reptiles
- Can heat tanks of 10+20 gallons
- It might not heat up the edges of the enclosure
Zoo med nocturnal heat lamp
This has a red glass which is knot painted or coated. The lamp is the best source of heat ad would provide it for all the reptiles all day long. The light it provides is very less so that it does not disturb the sleep.
Also, this is a perfect lamp if you want to watch your pet in the evening. It has a spot deflector that helps on focusing heat. It also helps in minimizing the heat glares.
- Provides optimum light
- Does not harm the geckos sleep
- Provides heat
- Might not last long
Evergreen 100 watt UV bulb
This light lamp is very suitable and best for your gecko. If has a powerful heating source which provides both UVA and UVB rays. Along with it, it does not emit the harmful UVC rays. It provides enough warmth that will provide the required vitamins to your pet.
This is suitable for both the reptiles and amphibians. You can use it for turtles or the lizards, chameleons etc. It provides optimum amount of heat that is required by your pet. It can be used with different enclosure like the tanks, vision cages and terrariums.
- Suitable for all reptiles
- Can be used with any enclosure
- UVA and UVB rays are provided
- Might not last very long
The various things that you need to see while purchasing the lamps are mentioned below:
Wattage: You need to see that the bulb or the lighting option you are selecting should help in illuminating the tank. The light is similar to the daylight and is not so bright. You can therefore go for the low wattage bulb. For the nights the red one is the best.
Temperature: If you are making use of the heating mat then you don’t have to worry about the UV light. The geckos do not need UVB to get calcium and they do not even bask.
Color: If you are using it for the day time then the white bulb would be best as it is not too strong.
Fixture: The lighting method you select will help to Know about the fixture you need. If you prefer the simple option then the dome lamp could be the best and can be used for both day and night.
What lighting is required by the leopard geckos?
They need light which can help them in regulating the day and the night cycle. In some cases you cab even use the heating mat that will meet the purpose, but some light is still needed.
Should light be turned off at night?
Yes, the lights should be turned off at night. The pet prefers 12 hours of light with hear and other 12 hours with lights and heat off. This helps in regulating their day and night cycle.
As these creatures are cold blooded they need some changes in order to make them aware that they need rest. If this does not happen they get confused and might get prone to some health issues.
Do they need heat lamp?
Yes, a heat lamp is encouraged to provide the right amount of heat that these creatures need.
This light will help in maintaining the proper air temperature along with the humidity.
Are the LED lights safe?
Yes, these are safe to use. But you need to see that high wattage should not be used.
These lights might produce low hear and that can be used if you are using a heating mat that maintains the temperature.
Are red lights suitable?
For some reptiles it is seen that this light affects them bit for the leopard geckos it is not a problem. But when you are using a heating lamp you need to see it does not replace the heating mat.
Because they need heat from the ground so that they can absorb it.
We have mentioned all the required details in this guide for the leopard geckos so that you can properly decide.
You can check out all the seven products and see their pros and cons to know which is the most suitable. Also, you should do some research too as a caring owner and get the best for your pet.
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