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Bearded Dragon Heating & Lighting

Bearded Dragon Heating & Lighting

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular lizard species among breeders and hobbyists. Caring for it is very simple, but in order for the lizard to live long in captivity, you need to carefully monitor the lighting and warmth. You'll want to make sure your bearded dragon's cage includes heating and temperature gauges to track UVA and UVB rays (simulating the sun's beneficial rays) and temperature.

    Bearded Dragon's Natural Habitat

    A bearded dragon's lighting should be as close as possible to what the reptile would see in the wild. Deserts are the natural habitat of bearded dragons. Regularly, wild beardies are exposed to ultraviolet light and the heat of the sun. To effectively replicate UV light in indoor enclosures, you need to use high-ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) output bulbs. The two most frequent light sources in the pet world are fluorescent and mercury lamps.

    In addition to making sure the bearded dragon gets the proper light, you also need to make sure that this cold-blooded reptile gets the heat it needs. Solar heat is used by reptiles to control daily bodily functions. As a result, if you are building an internal enclosure, you must consider how to properly heat it. Ceramic heat bulbs or mercury vapor bulbs are the best choice for heat. However, there are many different ways to generate heat.

    What is the importance of lighting to bearded dragons?

    Bearded dragons are thermophilic and must use external heat to regulate their body temperature.

    They utilize the sun as an external heat source for their environment and are so critical to many functions that they would perish without a Bearded Dragon.

    3 lamps/lights can be used in captivity to recreate the great work the sun is doing for the Bearded Dragon.

    UVB lights, basking lamps and ceramic heat emitters are the lamps/lights in question.

    Bearded Dragons need UVB and basking light to survive in captivity, and the use of ceramic heat emitters depends on how warm the tank is at night.

    If you don't provide these external heat sources to replicate the sun, the Bearded Dragon will die.

    Now let's take a look at each light source individually to understand why this is essential, how to set it up, and more.

    Arrangement of lights

    Before you buy a light bulb, consider the lighting fixtures and where you will place them. The bulbs must be planted within 12 inches of the bearded dragon. It is important to put them in the right place. Make sure it is hanging from the top of the cage or on the wire mesh surface with nothing between the fixture and the reptile.

    Most fixtures have reflective material on the sides or are curved to allow light and heat to enter the tank. Other lights have an open design with a wire cage around the bulb, allowing the bulb to heat the entire fixture.

    What light do you leave for my bearded dragon at night?

    At night, the bearded dragon does not need night lights or other lights. In fact, giving them things simply disrupts their normal sleep patterns, irritating them and depriving them of sleep.

    Consider the following scenario. Why should a captive bearded dragon be different? Wild bearded dragons do not require any form of night light (except for the stars). So, why should they? They instinctively connect all the light they see with the sun.

    So, contrary to what pet store reps may try to convince you, your bearded dragon doesn't need a night light under any circumstances.

    Can I use a regular light bulb as a Basking Light?

    Absolutely yes. A standard bulb can definitely be used as a bearded dragon basking light. This is one of the most cost-effective and accessible parts of the bearded dragons collection. Make sure the bulb only produces white light.

    Halogen lamps are my favorite because they produce consistent heat and last a long time. On the other hand, individuals on a tighter budget can always use a regular household fluorescent lamp.

    Depending on the size of the tank, you will need a halogen bulb between 40 and 100 watts. Both the 60W and 75W halogen lamps worked well for me.

    A slightly more powerful fluorescent lamp, on the other hand, does not generate much heat.

    UVB (ultraviolet light) light

    The heart of the bearded dragon setup is the UVB fluorescent light. Without it, bearded dragons would contract MDB (metabolic bone disease), which is fatal to them. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the bearded dragon's UVB lighting.

    What exactly is UVB light and why is it so important?

    UVB (or ultraviolet-B) light has a wavelength in the range of 280 to 315 nanometers and is electromagnetic energy. The human eye is not meant to perceive this spectrum of light, but it is necessary for bearded dragons and many other reptiles to thrive.

    Bearded dragons need UVB rays to survive, and failure to deliver UVB rays results in a long and painful death.

    UVB is also used in dragon calcium metabolism, which promotes healthy development by allowing reptiles (and us humans) to produce vitamin D, specifically vitamin D3, in their skin. Without it, nutritional problems can arise, which can lead to problems such as metabolic bone disease.

    Too much UVB is harmful to bearded dragons, causing DNA damage and problems with vitamin A production.

    Compact fluorescent lamp (COIL)

    Photokeratitis and photodermatitis are associated with compact fluorescent lights, also known as coil fluorescent lights. However, the problem was resolved and the number of instances decreased.

    Tube fluorescent lamp

    UVB fluorescent lamps will offer a wider range of applications. The Arcadia T3 D5 has a reputation as one of the best UVB lamps on the market, especially when used with reflectors.

    UVB fluorescent lamps emit very little heat and do not contribute to the warmth of the environment. This means that there is no need to connect the fluorescent lamp to the thermostat's thermal control unit. But they need to be connected to a timer that turns on and off at different times of the day and night. Bearded dragons do not need light at night and must be rested.

    Fluorescent lights do not need to illuminate the entire enclosure. In a properly set up environment, bearded dragons can manage their UVB exposure and should provide opportunities to escape from UVB and heat as needed. Overexposure carries its own risks.

    A mercury vapor bulb is a kind of vapor bulb.

    Mercury vapor bulbs generate both light and heat, contributing to the warmth of the environment. Because heat and UVB are focused on exactly the same area, it is good for areas that need an increase in heat and can stimulate basking.

    Although mercury vapor bulbs contribute to the heat in the room, they are not thermostat compatible and even dim the thermostat. When using a mercury vapor bulb, make sure you have a margin of safety that includes:

    Use a cage large enough for the bearded dragon to move away from the hotspot,

    The wattage is not high enough that the lighting poses an unreasonable risk. For example, use 100 watts instead of 160 watts.

    What is the right size and location for UVB lighting?

    Bearded Dragon UVB lights are long fluorescent bulbs that span most of the tank to ensure the dragon gets plenty of exposure.

    Correct UVB Bulb Size

    The bulb should cover about 2/3 to 3/4 of the tank, so the length of the bulb will depend on the length of the tank. Use lights that cover most tanks to provide adequate lighting.

    There should always be 1/3 or 4 of the tanks not exposed to UVB bulbs.

    UVB Bulb Proper Placement

    We haven't discussed the bath bulb yet, but the bath bulb and UVB light should be placed in the same area of ​​the tank.

    This is very important as the Bearded Dragon needs a cool space on the other side of the tank.

    This is why Bearded Dragons need them. This is because, in addition to maintaining an ideal body temperature, you also need a 'cool place' where you can cool down and regulate your body temperature if it overheats.

    The second benefit is that while Bearded Dragons spend most of their time under a basking lamp, they are exposed to UVB rays at the same time.

    Do you need to replace your UVB bulbs regularly?

    As UVB bulbs get older, their output moves away from the 280-315nm region. As a result, it is essential to replace your UVB bulbs on a regular basis. Every 6-12 months, the T8 fixture wears out faster, typically around 6 months. T5 bulbs have a lifespan of 1 year).

    Remember that UVB light is invisible to humans. So, while two-year-old bulbs look great to the human eye, they are almost certainly inefficient for producing vitamin D3 in bearded dragons.

    Light of basking

    A basking lamp is a must for any reptile terrarium. It mimics the natural heat of the sun, allowing reptiles to absorb warmth and regulate body temperature.

    Bearded Dragons require a temperature gradient from 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit on the basking area to 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit on the colder side of the cage.

    Best Bearded Dragon Basking Lights

    There are different types of basking lights available for reptiles.

    The most important aspect of a basking light is that it conducts sufficient heat. Basic floodlights with halogen bulbs and Flukers clamp lamps work perfectly and are much cheaper.

    As for the amount of power and location, you can only guess. For me, lowering a 90-100 watt ramp to 20 inches produces a basking temperature of roughly 105-110°F.

    When should the Basking lamp be replaced?

    Basking lights do not need to be changed unless they break down or no longer provide the necessary heat for the Bearded Dragon.

    It's usually a good idea to keep a few extras in case something goes wrong.

    The worst-case scenario is when the lamp fails and there is no replacement lamp available. This could cause some problems with the dragon in the short term until the situation is resolved.

    If I had to give you one piece of advice, it's that light and heat are essential to your Bearded Dragon, so keep an extra light bulb and lamp on hand, and never be without it, even for hours.

    Bearded Dragon's Tank Heat

    Bearded dragons react differently to heat than when they are chilly. Once your body warms up, you'll notice that they are more active, more conscious, eating, and more.

    As a side note, if you find that you need to tame a bearded dragon and sometimes it's okay and sometimes it's not, it's likely a temperature difference. Dealing with the bearded dragon while it's still cool doesn't react very strongly. They become much more energetic and responsive after warming up. Temperature may not be the cause, but it is an important monitoring and evaluation. 

    Create a temperature gradient

    Notice how several "regions" intersect? The temperature gradient is what we call it.

    Basically, changing positions in the water tank will allow the bearded dragon to choose a comfortable temperature.

    So what if you bought all the lights and installed them so you know that the temperature is everywhere?

    Adjusting the light height is the most common way to fine-tune the temperature of the tank. If the tank is too hot, turn on the light (using a paperclip or similar).

    Fixing a system that runs too cool is a little more difficult. In this case, the wattage of the basking light should almost certainly increase. But, as I said before, all halogen bulbs should work (so they shouldn't be terribly expensive).

    Heat bulb (incandescent lamp)

    These are standard heat bulbs that produce varying wattages of light, UVA rays, and heat. Different bulb sizes and shapes, and different light colors are available (wavelengths). The night light is blue/purple light and the night light is red (don't use paint light bulbs). These bulbs on their own do not provide enough UVB light to prevent metabolic bone disease. One

    Incandescent lamps use a conventional screw-in light bulb socket. This kind of fixture can accommodate most heat lamps and ceramic bulbs. Some halogen bulbs are designed to work in both incandescent and halogen settings.

    The amount of power required will depend on the size of the enclosure and whether additional heat lamps are used. The main thing is that it fits perfectly into an incandescent lamp.

    The shape of these bulbs is usually functional. Basking lights are designed to transfer heat to the area just below the light bulb rather than the entire tank and are often shaded from the side to help with this.

    Heat emitter made of ceramic

    The most frequently accepted heat source is a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). No light is produced by the ceramic heat emitter. They are usually purchased in black or white and are hardly distinguishable other than in color.

    Ceramic heat emitters come in a variety of shapes. Different shapes are designed to transfer heat in different ways.

    To maintain the correct temperature, choose a ceramic heat sink with the lowest possible wattage. This might keep it a little longer. If the thermostat is set to high wattage, it will turn on and off continuously as soon as the ideal temperature is reached.

    Heat bulbs with halogen

    These bulbs provide the same features as incandescent bulbs, cost a little more, but emit more heat, light and UVA rays than incandescent bulbs of the same size. They also last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they do not provide UVB on their own.

    Some halogen bulbs are compatible with incandescent bulbs while others are compatible with halogen fixtures. Before purchasing a light bulb, double-check that it will fit your luminaire.

    Halogen fittings are not the same as fluorescent or incandescent lamps, so do not put halogen bulbs in unless explicitly stated on the box.

    Mats to keep them warm

    Is it safe to use a heat mat with a bearded dragon? Heat mats should not be used with bearded dragons. However, it can be a useful addition to your heating needs if it is difficult to keep the heat from above without using a very high power ceramic heat emitter.

    If it's hard to keep warm, it is probably in a cold environment or living in a tank built with glass, windbreaks, or other materials that have insufficient thermal insulation properties.

    Heat mats have two sides that provide heat. A 5mm thick polystyrene sheet over the back should be placed inside or outside the housing to prevent heat leakage.

    Thermal pads should be placed on the wall near the basking area. Heat mats can be used both inside and outside the tank.

    Cool place

    A cool place is just as important as the bathing area for a Bearded Dragons tank.

    They often need to cool down to control the temperature, and the simplest way to do so is to move to a cooler part of the tank.

    They will find shelter behind rocks or wherever there is enough shade to keep them warm in the wild.

    Place a UVB light and a basking lamp on the opposite side of the tank to automatically create a chilly zone.

    It's a good idea to check the tank's temperature regularly, including in a cool place, to see if there's a gradient from the basking area to a cool location so your dragon can choose the ideal temperature at any given time. Time.

    Bearded dragon's Lighting Schedule

    As a new owner, you might be thinking, "How many hours of light does a bearded dragon need per day?"

    When it comes to how long your bearded dragon's lights should be on, 12-14 hours of UVB and heat per day is ideal. This is the most accurate representation of their native environment.

    If you feel the bearded dragon is on the verge of attacking, you can modify the light schedule to help get used to it.

    To simulate a natural environment, it is recommended to leave the lights on for at least 8 hours during winter, but no more than 10 hours.

    Turn on your bearded dragon's lights about an hour before feeding and leave it on for at least an hour after that. This will quench their hunger and will allow them to quickly digest the meal as well as the calcium and vitamins you sprinkled.

    What is the difference between UVA and UVB?

    We can go into the technical details of the various forms of UV rays, but you probably won't be interested. What you really need to know is that UVA light is emitted by almost all light bulbs, but UVB light is not. UVA rays help stimulate a bearded dragon's appetite, but not calcium production. As a result, UVA lighting in a reptile setting is not a good alternative to UVB lighting.

    I'm not sure if I should put the UVB lamp inside or outside the tank.

    UVB tube bulbs should ideally be installed within the tank. This is because glass/mesh tops block a significant portion of UVB rays (usually between 30-50%). The only exception is when using a T5 bulb with a reflector. When using T8 bulbs, the light fixture must be placed inside the tank.

    Is UVB turned off at night?

    At night, the bearded dragon does not need a UVA or UVB source. As a result, both inferior lights and UVBs should be turned off at night. Leaving this light on can disrupt their sleep routine by tricking your beardie into thinking it's still day.

    Leave the lights on for at least an hour after feeding at night to ensure proper digestion of food.

    I'm not sure how to hang the fixture inside my tank.

    The notion of placing lights inside a tank when creating the original Beard Dragon habitat confuses me. In fact, all you have to do is buy a few 3M command hooks, place them inside the tank (on the back wall) and hang them there.

    How long do I have to keep the lights on?

    I suggest you leave the lights on for 12-14 hours every day. Bearded dragons are sensitive to changes in lighting schedules, so it's a good idea to use a timer to automate everything.

    Do I need to heat up the tank at night?

    In general, you don't need to worry about heating the tank at night as long as the temperature in your residence does not drop below 70°F. However, if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, you may want to consider investing in a ceramic heat sink (otherwise the bearded dragon may be scratched). In order not to disrupt the bearded dragon's sleep routine, CHE heats the tank without using visible light.

    Do Bearded Dragons need night heat lamps?

    When it's time to go to bed, turn off the thermal lights as you won't need the Bearded Dragon. As a result, the overall temperature of the cage must be between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 - 26.66 degrees Celsius).

    What is the optimal temperature for this activity?

    The optimum temperature for a breaded dragon is largely determined by its age. Baby bearded dragon's basking zone should be between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Adults, on the other hand, like to be rather cold, between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In a cool place, 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient (regardless of age).


    Now, I hope you understand how to set up the three individual lights for your Bearded Dragon and why they are all so important.

    The most important thing to remember is that you will need a high quality branded UVB bulb and a basking light (which could be a hardware store halogen lamp if you want) that spans about 34% of the tank.

    If the temperature in your Dragons tank at night drops below mid-65°F, you may want to consider using a ceramic heat sink to keep the tank warm.

    If you follow these rules and other suggestions on this page and give your Bearded Dragon 14-16 hours of sunlight every day, you will have a happy and healthy Bearded Dragon.

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    About the author

    I am Paige and I love pets. I have a bearded dragon and a husky. My bearded dragon's name is Bart and he is a lot of fun. He likes to eat crickets and play in his cage. My husky's name is Sandy and she is a lot of fun, too. She likes to run and play in the park. I love taking them for walks and playing with them. They are both a big part of my family.
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