Leopard geckos are one of the most popular lizard species in the world. With their unique spotted pattern and dynamic behavior, they are a joy to watch.
They are also very easy to care for, making them an ideal lizard for beginners. You just need to make sure you have the right equipment to keep your leopard gecko happy and healthy!
The right light can make a difference in the health and happiness of your leopard gecko. It can also influence their activity level, which is important to know when caring for a diurnal reptile like them.
There are two types of light that leopard geckos need in their cage: ultraviolet (UV) and regular light.
Tube lights are one of the most popular light bulbs used in reptile keeping. They are called tube lights because of their shape and how they are constructed.
Tube lights have a certain wattage, or power, rating. More powerful tube lights have higher wattage ratings, meaning it takes more time to warm up and produces more heat.
Leopard geckos do not need very powerful light bulbs as they are nocturnal reptiles. A low-wattage bulb that takes a while to warm up will work just fine!
The color of the bulb is also important. Reptiles perceive some colors better than others, so what looks white to you may actually be another color. Buying a white bulb that actually is white is important!
Budget-friendly options: Try purchasing LED bulbs for your cage lighting and switching to lower wattage ones to reduce cost.
Compact fluorescent lights are a great option for leopard geckos. They are typically shorter in length than normal bulbs, meaning they fit better on smaller shelves or cages.
Compact lights typically have a diameter of around one inch, whereas normal lights can be up to five inches in diameter. This makes a big difference in heating and lighting!
Since leopard geckos are surface temperature animals, compact lights work great as they put out enough warmth. Make sure to pick ones that use soft white light instead of blue-ish or purple though.
Just make sure the wattage is high enough so it provides enough coverage for the cage. One downside to compact bulbs is that they cannot be replaced, so if one burns out then the whole bulb must be replaced. This can get expensive!
Budget-minded buyers may want to stick with normal length bulbs to avoid buying multiple sets of bulbs.
Halogen lights are very bright bulbs that produce a yellow-orange color. Many reptile keepers have moved away from using these lights due to their high temperatures.
Leopard geckos, like other reptiles, regulate their body temperature through their environment.
A too warm environment can result in the animal shedding less often, which can be a problem when trying to breed them.
Also, if the cage is too warm, the lizard may spend more time outside of its hide box because it is too hot. This can be dangerous as it may be exposed to predators or other threats.
Because these bulbs produce such a strong color, it makes it difficult to pick up other colors such as blue and green on the gecko’s skin. This can make them look lighter or more plain than they actually are.
While incandescent lights are not as popular as they once were, many gecko keepers use them. These lights work by heating up a wire until it produces energy. This energy is then transferred to a glass bulb where it is reflected and emitted as light.
Unfortunately, these lights are very inefficient. A large amount of the energy put into the wire is lost as heat instead of light. Also, these bulbs require very long time to cool down which makes it difficult to change out colors quickly.
Most geckos do well with these lights, but some species may struggle due to the lack of brightness. Geckos that are nocturnal will spend more time exploring and hunting on these bulbs since they do not produce much light intensity.
A type of lightbulb that is becoming more and more popular is the fluorescent bulb. These bulbs come in a few different kinds, including warm-white, cool-white, and purple.
Warm-white fluorescent bulbs mimic the color temperature of natural sunlight, giving your gecko the full spectrum of light needed to maintain health. These need to be replaced more frequently, however.
Cool-white fluorescent bulbs have a cooler color tone than natural sunlight and are used in manufacturing environments where high temperatures would inhibit other lighting types. These do not provide the full spectrum of light needed for geckos.
Purple fluorescent bulbs provide no direct benefit to reptiles aside from mimicking moonlight. Since most reptiles depend on various levels of moonlight to hunt or retreat, this can be a helpful bulb to have.
More and more people are turning to LED lights due to their efficiency. LED lights have been growing in popularity since they first appeared on the market.
LED stands for light-emitting diode, and these bulbs use pulse-width modulation to regulate the amount of light they produce. This makes them very efficient, as they use a controlled amount of energy to produce their desired effect.
The problem with LED bulbs is that not all of them are compatible with all fixtures. For example, some LED bulbs will not fit into a standard incandescent bulb socket. So, before you spend money on an expensive LED bulb, make sure it is compatible with your fixture!
Unfortunately, geckos do not need bright lights, so an LED lamp will work just fine for your pet.
Sunlight bulbs are a great option for leopard geckos. These bulbs are known for producing large amounts of heat, which is not what leopard geckos need.
They need warmth, but not too much heat as they are an underground species. Due to this, sunlight bulbs are not the best choice as they take away the coolness that leopard geckos like.
They also tend to produce less light than other bulb types, so your gecko may not get enough light if you use this type of bulb.
Sunlight bulbs are also very bright which can disrupt your gecko’s sleep schedule. Since they are awake during the day, this would be too bright for them and cause problems.
For these reasons, we do not recommend using sunlight bulbs for leopard geckos. Maybe try experiment with them to see if there is a difference in their temperament, though.
Tube light bulbs
While normal bulbs are fine for normal reptiles, leopard geckos need special infrared bulb heat sources. This is because they are nocturnal, meaning they are more active at night.
They use their environment to detect when it is warm enough to be active and hunt for food. Because of this, they need a warm environment to comfortably hibernate during the day.
Infrared bulbs mimic the sun and provide warmth to your gecko’s enclosure. These are expensive, but worth it for your leopard gecko! They last a long time too, so that is another plus.
Some cheaper alternatives are tin tube light bulbs. While these do produce some infrared light, they do not produce enough to fully warm up your lizard’s enclosure. Therefore, we do not recommend using these.