Lighting For Reptiles

Reptiles require both a heat source and an ultraviolet (sun) light source to fulfill their needs.

We recommend:

  1. A Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 u.v.b. light placed no more than 12 inches from a favourite basking spot with no glass in between the light and the reptile.  Replace this bulb every 6 months since the u.v.b. component is decreased after this time.

  2. A Zoo Med 75 watt basking light for during the day.

  3. A Night Glo 75 watt black heat bulb at night if necessary to maintain your reptile at the optimum temperature.

Your reptile’s tank temperature should be monitored carefully both day and night to ensure you are keeping it within your reptile’s optimum temperature zone.  Ideally a gradient of temperature should exist (hotter on one side, cooler on the other) with a hot spot for basking.

 See below for preferred optimum temperature zones for a variety of reptiles. 

As a general rule, at night decrease by 10°F (5°C) and during the day have a hot spot for basking which is 10°F (5°C) higher.

Temperature (°F)
Temperature (°C)
Common Green Iguana
84-90° 29-32°
Leopard Ground Gecko
77-85° 25-29°
Green Anole
73-83° 23-28°
Jackson's Chameleon
74-80° 23-27°
Veiled Chameleon
80-90° 27-32°
Water Dragon
75-85° 24-29°
Bearded Dragon
84-88° 29-31°
Savannah Monitor
77-80° 25-27°
Crested Gecko
72-80° 22-27°
Red Eared Slider
75-80° Basking
85-90° Tank

Please note internet information sources can be extremely valuable to exotic pet care, but you must be careful to determine that the source of your information is scientifically based.