Choosing the right light for your leopard gecko is an important part of her habitat. Since leopard geckos are desert species, they require a certain amount of heat to thrive.
Heat is provided through the bulbs that surround the cage. These bulbs must provide adequate warmth to satisfy the needs of your gecko. Too little heat will cause health issues and too much can cause death.
When choosing a heat bulb, it is important to know what temperature it produces and whether or not it produces a yellow or orange tint. These things must be matched correctly to the setting your gecko needs.
This article will discuss some of the best lighting options for leopard geckos and how to match the temperatures and colors needed by them.
Why are these lights good for leopard geckos?
All of these lighting options are great because they produce very little heat. Since leopard geckos are from warm climates, they do not need a warm environment.
A cool environment is all they need to be comfortable. Too much heat can cause issues with digestion and reproduction, so it is important to keep it at average temperature.
All of these options provide UVA and UVB light, which helps your gecko’s skin regeneration process. This is important because it prevents skin diseases such as melanoma.
Some reptiles require visible light as well as ultraviolet light to regulate certain processes in their bodies. These bulbs give your leopard gecko the necessary light needed for proper health.
These are fairly inexpensive bulbs that you can buy at most pet stores or online. It is important to replace them after a while, however.
What about heat lamps?
Heat lamps are a common tool used to provide temperature elevation for reptiles. Many people use them to help create basking spots and warm up the cage.
However, in the case of leopard geckos, this is not advised. Because they are desert reptiles, they prefer higher temperatures in their habitat and environment.
Heat lamps can also cause burns if the lizard gets too close or it is set too high of a temperature. Since leopard geckos like warmer areas, this could potentially be dangerous for them.
Since they are nocturnal, they do not need light to regulate their circadian rhythm either. Removing this source of heat could prove detrimental to your lizard!
Therefore, heat pads or bulbs are a better option for providing warmth instead of heat lamps.
Does my gecko need a light?
Yes, your leopard gecko needs a light in order to thrive. Geckos are nocturnal reptiles, which means they are more active at night and sleep during the day.
They use light to navigate their habitat and find food, so a light is a necessity. How bright the light is does not matter, as long as it is bright enough to help them navigate.
Geckos have poor eyesight, so they rely more on their senses of smell and touch to find their way around. The best lights for leopard geckos are red lights. These lamps emit little or no visible white or blue light, which interfere with the circadian rhythm.
A circadian rhythm is a biological clock that regulates physiological functions such as sleep-wake cycles and digestion. Red lighting helps the gecko sleep during the night and be more active during the day.
What about UV rays?
Most reptiles need UV rays in order to properly regulate their body functions. In particular, reptiles need UV rays to properly digest and use the nutrients in their diet.
Because leopard geckos mostly eat crickets and mealworms, they require nutrients such as choline and biotin from their diet. These are found in insects, so if your gecko’s diet is rich in insects, it should not have a problem getting enough of these nutrients.
In addition, reptiles use UV rays to synthesize vitamin D3. This is important for keeping your reptile healthy as it helps regulate the internal regulation of bones and other bodily functions.
Therefore, it is important to have proper lighting that emits some UV rays. Unfortunately, cheap lights do not emit any UV rays so you will have to buy a more expensive one. Make sure it matches your needs by checking its wavelength.
Which bulbs are best?
When choosing what bulb type to use, the main thing to look at is the wattage. Most leopard geckos require a low to medium wattage bulb, usually around 100 watts.
Some leos like it warmer, so if your leo always hides under the warm rock or in the cozy hide when it is cooler outside then you should get a higher wattage bulb.
The other important detail is the color of the bulb. Most reptiles require a light that mimics natural sunlight as much as possible. This means getting a combination of orange and blue lights.
Most bulbs are now compatible with these two colors, so just make sure you get a high quality one that is reptile safe.
What about natural sunlight?
While sunlight is great for your leopard gecko, too much heat can be a problem. The best light for a leopard gecko is one that mimics natural sunlight as closely as possible.
Regular bulbs are too hot and will cause the lizard to stress and possibly get sick. It can also cause the lizard to bask in less heat, which can potentially kill it.
A bulb that mimics sunlight will also require changing more frequently due to the less powerful light output. This can become costly over time, so just stay aware of that!
The last thing you want is your pet getting sick because of the lighting in its habitat.
What about different colors?
While color-changing bulbs are fun, leopard geckos do not care about the colors they produce. They only see white and black, so what you see as colorful may be plain to them.
Bulbs that produce orange and red shades are nice for warming up the tank temperature and for an interesting look. For observation, plain white or warm white bulbs are best.
Geckos can see ultraviolet light, so uv bulbs are useful for them to identify objects around their tank. They can also use this to detect insects they would want to eat!
Like we mentioned before, it is best to stick to warm colors like red or orange for heating purposes, but if you want a more vivid look, try some brighter colors like blue or green. These do not help with the tank temperature however.
What should I pay attention to when buying a light for my leopard gecko?
When choosing a light for your gecko, you should pay attention to the following features.
Power – Choose a light that provides enough power to stimulate your leopard gecko’s activity. This means it needs to be warm enough to move them to crawl around.
– Choose a light that provides enough power to stimulate their activity. This means it needs to be warm enough to move them to crawl around. Color Temperature – Pick a light with a color temperature of between 5,000K and 10,000K. Lower temperatures resemble natural sunlight more and are better for your leopard gecko.
– Pick a light with a color temperature of between 5,000K and 10,000K. Lower temperatures resemble natural sunlight more and are better of your leopard gecko. Lifespan – Look for one with a long lifespan so you do not have to replace it often. This way, your pet will have a stable environment.