Can You Use LED Lights for Bearded Dragons?

Yes, LED lights can be used for bearded dragons. But when choosing the lighting setup, it still depends on their lighting requirement. Most LED lights don’t generate heat or ultraviolet light. Beardies need to get enough heat around their enclosure. But LED lights can only be used to provide extra lighting for bearded dragons.

These reptiles need to have the type of lighting that is similar to the sun. The light they require should produce ultraviolet rays and heat.

It’s best to get your bearded dragon a UVB bulb specifically made for reptiles. That way, they can absorb the ultraviolet light and stay warm at the same time.

Bearded dragons need to have both light and heat inside their enclosure. It should have enough heat for the beardie to feel comfortable.

Make sure to also provide them enough space to eat, drink, and urinate. Beardies can adjust their body temperatures instead of just sleeping all night. It will also avoid the risk of health concerns.

If possible, the enclosure should also be designed for bearded dragons to get enough sunlight. Provide your reptile a basking area to bask and stay warm.

It will help them to keep their bodies healthy and strong while maintaining their body temperature. You also need to use the right type of lighting for the bearded dragon’s enclosure.

Beardie needs to always receive the right amount of light exposure. It’s best to place the enclosure where it can be exposed to daylight.

But if it’s not possible, you should ensure to have your pet exposed to bright light. Install the basking light and UVB lights to mimic the sun rays inside the tank.

Can I Use LED Lights for Reptiles?

Yes, you can use LED lights for reptiles. A lot of people believe that if you provide heat for your reptiles, that’s good enough. But it’s not just all about having the basics. LED lights can provide more than just adding lights to your reptile’s enclosure. If you want to be creative, you can use it to make your reptile habitat more attractive.

As an example, you can use LED lights for night and daylighting setup. Providing different lights for day and night will allow your reptile to see better inside the tank.

With the LED cycle, your reptile will have a better sense of time. It will also allow you to train your reptile to eat at a specific time of the day. This will help to boost your reptile’s appetite.

Why Lights Are So Important for Reptiles?

Most reptiles are nocturnal which means that they sleep during the day and are active at night. Although some reptile species are active during the daytime.

Using the LED light cycle will mimic their natural environment. It will help to decrease the stress levels of daytime reptiles and help to maintain their health.

It’s important to take note that not all reptiles like the same colors of light. Before setting up the LED light for the reptile tank, make sure to do your research.

Many reptiles are nocturnal or they are active during dusk and dawn. That means they need to have lights for them to see in the dark.

Like other animals, reptiles need to be able to hide from their predators. It’s best to provide them with the light they need that has a nighttime cycle.

You don’t have to turn the lights off for them at night. Instead, provide them different color light to be able to see through the dark.

If your reptile is diurnal, meaning it’s active during the daytime, you have to mimic the natural daylight. You can provide this by using white or blue light during the day.

Just switch it off at night to provide them with the darkness they need to sleep properly. Using LED lights for this is a good idea.

LED Strip Lights for Reptiles

There are specific requirements that you have to know when you choose to use an LED bulb for your reptile. LED can get very hot and can burn the reptile if you’re not careful.

When choosing an LED light for the reptile tank, it’s best to go for the long strip light. Reptile tanks are normally deep so they should reach the appropriate depth as well.

Use a 135 lumen white or blue LED for the day cycle and use a 72-lumen red LED at night. The number of lumens will depend according to the size of the reptile tank.

Although these numbers are the standard lumens for reptiles enclosure. Some reptiles such as chameleons don’t like often color changes in their lights.

You should adjust the LED light to look like the natural lights with a little to no color change instead to provide consistency.

Like other animals, reptiles also prefer to have their habitat look consistent. It will stress them if they experience a lot of changes in such a short period. Try to mimic the natural lighting instead to avoid this issue.

Are LED Light Strips Bad for Bearded Dragons?

When it comes to reptile lighting, LED strips are a popular choice. You might feel concerned if your bearded dragons will be fine with LED strips to be used as a regular fixture for them. It’s not bad for bearded dragons. The technology used for LED light strips can even be beneficial for them.

It will not cause any problems for your bearded dragon. This is safe and can provide more UVB light compared to a fluorescent bulb.

The best thing about it is you can put a timer on them. That way, it will turn off automatically when your beardie is asleep. It’s more energy-efficient and will not disturb the sleep cycle of your pet.

Using LED light strips is generally safe for reptiles. Just make sure to turn it off at night or cover the enclosure with a sheet or barrier. It will provide your bearded dragon heat as well as UVB.

This will also serve as a full spectrum light for your bearded dragon. Its brightness will mimic the sun rays they usually get from the wild.

Do LED Lights Affect Bearded Dragons’ Eyes?

No, LED lights will not effect your bearded dragon eye because beardies can only see lights in the wavelengths between 250 nm to 300 nm from LED lights. It can’t penetrate the sclera which means it’s not going to damage their eyes.

In the wild, bearded dragons don’t sleep with any lights. That means they don’t need to have lights on at night in captivity. Some lizards can see up to 1 mm infrared wavelengths.

Beardies, on the other hand, developed to see their surroundings day and night. It allows them to blend in with their habitat and move freely during the daytime.

Beardies are nocturnal when they are in the wild. They are not dependent on light for them to see around them and can navigate around their natural environment anytime.

As juveniles, they can sense UV radiation from their skin to avoid getting sunburned. Bearded dragons evolved to see even without lights in nature.

There’s a myth about LEDs releasing UV rays that will harm the eyes. Although some LEDs have visible light emitting from them, most of them don’t have that.

The wavelengths that are being radiated by an LED device depend on how its made. Some LED lights release UV rays. You should consider it when choosing the light source for your reptile.

Can You Use LED Light for Basking?

The basking light should help bearded dragons to keep them warm. It can also regulate the day and night cycles within the enclosure. The heat aids with their digestion and boosts their appetite. Without it, the beardie will suffer from impaction. Food will get stuck in their stomach without being digested.

Based on studies, LED is shown to create a small amount of UV. The amount of UV is not enough to use a basking light. It’s due to the phosphors in an LED lamp that converts the UV light into white light. The amount of UV it emits is not enough for your bearded dragon to thrive.

If you’re using a full spectrum UV light source, it will require 12 to 14 hours daily during summer and spring. In winter and fall, 8 hours is required for bearded dragons.

Avoid covering in between the UV bulb and your beardie. UV rays cant go through glass or plastic. It will cause your bearded dragon not to absorb enough UV radiation it needs.

What Kind of Lights Do You Use for a Bearded Dragon?

When choosing the bulbs for your bearded dragon’s enclosure, you have to consider the light fixtures and where you will affix them. The bulbs must be placed around 12 inches above the beardie. Make sure to mount the bulb in a tight spot and place it on a wire mesh surface.

You can also hang it above the enclosure. Nothing should be between the fixture and the beardie. Some fixtures have reflective material from the sides.

They are shaped to allow direct light and heat inside the enclosure. Others are open with a wire cage that can heat around the fixture. Below are the type of lights you can use.

1. Fluorescent Bulbs

Direct sunlight is the best lighting source for bearded dragons. But if it’s not available, other sources can provide UV rays for your reptile. Fluorescent bulbs can provide different levels of UVA and UVB rays as well.

Although it can run out of UV rays before the lights burn out. Make sure to replace it every six months or follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Beardies need to have 8 to 10% output of UVB radiation. It should be marked from the packaging of the fluorescent bulb. Place it 12 inches above the bearded dragon to allow it to soak itself to the UV rays.

Don’t place the bulb on a glass surface, plastic, or plexiglass. UV rays can’t penetrate through those materials and your beardie can’t absorb the ultraviolet rays it needs.

You may need to ballast the full spectrum fluorescent bulb unless you choose to have the compact fluorescent bulb instead. These lighting fixtures are dual purposes.

It has sockets for incandescent or halogen bulbs from the fixture. It’s best for small spaces but make sure that it can handle the wattage.

It will melt the fixture if the bulb gets too hot. Choose the fluorescent fixture with a reflector as well. If you can’t find one, use aluminum foil instead. It will serve as the reflector inside and increase the UV rays.

That way, your bearded dragon can absorb plenty of UV radiation it requires. But it’s better to go for the one with a reflector since it will look better for the enclosure.

2. Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Another light source to use for the bearded dragons enclosure is the mercury vapor bulbs. It serves more than one purpose for your reptile.

These bulbs emit both UVA and UVB rays as well as heat for the enclosure. It only requires you one bulb to use to provide heat as well as two types of ultraviolet radiation for your beardie.

Mercury vapor bulbs can also last longer compared to fluorescent and heat bulbs. It’s more expensive but lasts longer and also provides more benefits.

Some owners also observe that their bearded dragons improve their appetite, coloration, and energy when using this type of bulb. But there is some discussion that mercury vapor bulbs might be dangerous for reptiles.

The reason for this is due to the intensity of the UV rays it produces. But it’s not proven yet so you can still give it a try. If you choose to use a mercury vapor bulb, make sure to provide a lot of shade within the enclosure.

You should use a ceramic socket and keep it between 12 to 24 inches away from your bearded dragon. Its recommend to use it for large enclosures where beardies have a lot of space to roam around.

3. Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

It’s similar to the regular fluorescent bulbs but this one can be screwed to incandescent fixtures. The compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy and also last longer. But these bulbs can provide UV rays that may be too much for bearded dragons.

If you decide to go for this bulb, create a variety of hiding places and shades around the enclosure. That will help to regulate high levels of UV and keep your bearded dragon safe.

4. Heat Bulbs

An additional heat bulb is needed unless you have a mercury vapor bulb for your bearded dragons enclosure. It will provide the heat they need to stay healthy. Depending on the beardies’ age, the temperature may vary.

Baby beardies need more heat compared to adults. They need to have a range of 90 to 110 F. While it’s only 80 to 93 F for the adult bearded dragons.

The basking area should be the hottest spot of the enclosure. Bearded dragons should also require to have separate zones. When they begin to overheat, they need to go to the cool area of the enclosure.

The temperature must also drop by 10 F during the night. If you’re using fluorescent bulbs, it cant give off enough heat for your beardie.

Using heat bulbs is much safer than using heat rocks than can cause burns. Some heat bulbs also provide UVA rays which your bearded dragon needs.

Heat bulbs are also a must during the colder months, especially around the winter. It will help your bearded dragon to stay warm.

5. Ceramic Heat Bulbs

Ceramic heat bulbs don’t provide visual light around the enclosure. It provides heat and is ideal to be used at night. Like other incandescent light bulbs, it also comes in a variety of wattages.

The wattage you need depends on the size of the enclosure. It’s best to note that the bigger the bearded dragon’s enclosure, the higher the wattage it needs.

This type of bulb lasts longer than regular incandescent bulbs. It’s more cost-effective since you don’t have to replace them as much. Although it doesn’t emit ultraviolet rays. You still need to use a full spectrum fluorescent light along with this. Avoid placing it directly on any surfaces or it will melt.

6. Incandescent Heat Bulbs

It’s a type of bulb that emits light, UVA rays, and heat. The incandescent heat bulbs are available in different wattages as well. It also comes in different shapes and sizes as well as the colors of light.

The daylight bulb is a regular white light. The nightlight bulb comes in blue or purple lights while the nocturnal lights are red.

These bulbs don’t provide UVB rays. It means that it cant prevent metabolic bone disease for reptiles. This bulb uses an incandescent fixture which is a screw-in bulb socket.

Most bulbs can fit into this fixture. Depending on the size of the enclosure, the wattage needed will vary. If you’re using other heat bulbs, you may need less wattage

Every shape of these bulbs serves different purposes. As an example, the basking light is shaped to provide heat directly below the bulb.

The entire tank is normally shaded on the sides. It will direct the light around the enclosure. Choose the right shape for what purpose it will use if you decide to use incandescent heat bulbs.

7. Halogen Heat Bulbs

The halogen heat bulbs do the same things as incandescent heat bulbs. Although it costs more it emits more light, heat, and UVA rays. Compared to the same size of an incandescent bulb, this one is better. It lasts longer and is more energy-efficient. The only downside is that it doesn’t emit UVB rays like other bulbs.

If you decide to use the halogen heat bulbs, not that they can also fit the incandescent fixtures. But it will be better to use a halogen fixture. It’s best to make sure that the bulb will fit the fixture properly before buying it.

Halogen fixtures are different from other fixtures. Unless it is stated from the packaging, use the halogen bulb with the right fixture.


How to measure the temperature inside the bearded dragon’s enclosure?

Use temperature gauges so you can continuously measure the inside temperature. It will allow you to know if your bearded dragon is getting enough heat. Use two thermometers to use one directly for the basking light and the other for the cool side of the enclosure.

It will help to ensure that the temperature gradient is right. If you have a bigger beardie enclosure, use more thermometers.

Are red lights bad for bearded dragons?

Red lights are bad since they can cause damage to your bearded dragon’s eyes. It’s better to avoid using red lights. It can interrupt the bearded dragon’s sleep cycle as well.

If the red light is used at night, it can cause stress, lack of appetite, and can even compromise the beardie’s immune system. It’s not recommended to be used as their light source.

Does your bearded dragon need heat at night?

Yes, bearded dragons need heat at night especially if it gets cold where you live. Beardies need to be at a temperature of at least 68 F at night. Ideally, it should be warmer to allow your pet to have a good sleep.

Although this range should be enough as long as it will not go down below this threshold. You can use heat mats to keep your beardie warm at night.

Its recommended to not exceed 75 to 80 F in the warm part of the enclosure. That’s the same temperature on the cool side during the day. It’s fine for bearded dragons to create a temperature shift.

This will help them tell the difference between day and night and is good for the circadian rhythm.

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