Basking bulbs for bearded dragons may be one of the most common questions you need to figure out when beardies are on top of your list from the numerous pets you have handpicked. You have concurrently preconceived that basking in the sun is one of the usual activities bearded dragons require. How so?
Bearded dragons originated from Australia, with a zoological name “Pogona”, and are commonly called “beardies”. World Atlas identified reptiles, where bearded dragons are categorized, as the 4th leading pets owned in American homes. These adorable 4-legged miniature dragons obtain their modest popularity nowadays as household pets.
Some may question “why” such preference? Because others say, the creature looks pulse-bounding, especially to those who are experiencing herpetophobia. However, its peaceful and calm nature truly takes possession of others’ interests. Apart from inexpensive ownership (because anyone can purchase it cheap), it is determined to be as easy as ABC to nurture.
Food identification and environmental modification are crucial to promote health and prevent illnesses in our pets. A complement to maintaining a disease-free physique is through dwelling disinfection, especially for those keen to keep their beardies fit. However, this article will not impart information on managing pet-related nutritional requirements, rather its warmth and heat environmental needs.
Regular basking in the sun is part of our pet’s typical hustle and bustle to promote and at the same time obtain heat which is the core of their existence. That is why we will discuss the most common types of basking bulbs for bearded dragons.
The topics outlined in this article are the following:
- Sex Reversal and Warmth
- Lighting Requirements
- Commonly Used Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
- Bulb Wattage
- Basking Lighting Setup
- Top-rated Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
- Key Takeaways
Table of Contents
Sex Reversal and Warmth
You may ask, “why is this topic covered, and how is this related to the need for basking?” A warmer environment before eggs hatches is linked to sex reversal, which I know may have captured your curiosity.
In fiery conditions, male bearded dragon eggs have the innate ability to evolve and internally configure themselves into an opposite-sex genetic makeup which can generate physical and behavioral changes. It can be achieved when the embryos are incubated at a constant temperature of 32-degrees. Of course, dipping your thermometer into the tank will enable you to regulate your pet’s habitat.
What may happen is that male eggs convert into gender-reversed female beardies during the incubation. The sex reversal results in having physical and behavioral features that compel them to be active and bolder than their normal female counterparts.
Thus, the need for basking bulbs for bearded dragons may turn out to be useful, especially when you prefer to have valiant female pets someday. Armed with this knowledge, it will help you identify what to expect and how to nurture your pets and assist with their future functional demands.
Your bearded dragons need varying temperatures to live normally. Their bodies require a warmer environment with a heat intensity of up to 93-degree Fahrenheit for adults and 113-degree Fahrenheit for juveniles, along with a cooldown period of as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Predominantly, your pet requires a warmer temperature to perform diverse behavioral and physical activities to assist in normal functioning.
You have to remember that if your pet is cold, it may be in danger of slow digestion that can cause deadly poisoning and sluggishness of the entire system. The worst-case scenario is when your pet won’t be able to wake up or even sustain a demise, which will have you urgently warrant an emergency transport to a vet.
Commonly Used Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
Lamps and bulbs may technically be interchangeable. That being said, lamps may sometimes be specific to carrying a housing or a capsule that provides a murky effect and is very much suitable during the night without unsettling the warmth.
Similarly, your pet requires heat and darkness to sleep sufficiently. Apart from red lamps, frosted or clear lamps may be suitable for your beardies during cold daylight.
As such, here are the common basking bulbs for bearded dragons used these days:
- Ultraviolet (UV) lamp
There are three types of UV light. These are UVA, UVB, and UVC. Can you use any of the three? No! The only UV light that is safely recommended for bearded dragons is the UVB.
It is known that UVA delivers the least light spectrum to yield Vitamin D3, whereas UVC delivers too much. UVC lamps are considered hazardous to any living organism’s health during prolonged exposure. Therefore, UVB is the most suitable animal-level UV lamp for your beardies.
One of the most common diseases beardies experience is “metabolic bone disease”, as a consequence of imbalance nutrition because of increased protein and vegetable intake. We can address this through diet modification and Vitamin D3 supplements.
Additionally, we are well aware that Vitamin D helps synthesize calcium that prevents bone diseases and can be acquired from sun exposure. Amazingly, UV lamps produce Vitamin D3 due to protein interaction on the skin during UVB exposure.
So, one of the management to promote the health of your beardies and prevent metabolic bone disorder is using adequate UVB lighting, with appropriate and sensible handling.
- Infrared ceramic (IR) heat emitter
Infrared light has long been studied, and outcomes reduce skin inflammation and soothe skin damages and irritation. It detoxifies the body, improves circulation, and regulates sleep.
Naturally, all objects emit IR waves and can be seen around different appliances at home. But if you own an infrared light for your pet, it can deliver more heat and could certainly be adjusted compared to regular appliances.
Is it safe to use? Yes, but it may also cause potential damage to the cornea, retina and lens of the eye in prolonged use, and certainly, it doesn’t hurt when one uses eye gear in implementing this component.
Now, if your IR comes with a ceramic emitter, it produces a long heatwave suggesting a broader and longer light access that could efficiently provide warmth to your beardie.
- Spot lamp
A spot lamp produces a profound projection of light which emits a directional illumination. It also confines heat on a certain area where you cast the lamp.
One best feature of this type of lamp is its unique function of flexible adjustment. So, you could indeed easily manipulate the lamp anywhere you’d like it to face to provide warmth to your pet. You may opt for this light source, especially when you’d like to isolate more heat on a particular side of your pet’s tank. You may click this link for an incredible 2-bulb special I’ve learned about recently.
Halogen lamps are preferred over spot lamps because of their considerable illumination capacity. One of the disadvantages of owning one for your pet is the limited control of heat emission. Its use requires supervision because of the possibility of burn accidents to your pet. But it can provide superior heat.
The regulation requires the appropriate repositioning and proximal placement on your pet’s tank. Remember that the halogen bulb is hotter compared to the regular incandescent bulbs.
- Regular incandescent bulbs and lamps
The advantage of purchasing this type of bulb is due to its affordability along with its capacity to do its job because it can also unquestionably provide your pet with the heat it needs.
It appears that the only drawback is because of its omnidirectional feature, where light waves are scattered and cannot be contained in a small space akin to your pet’s tank. You will likely not produce a cooler side anymore unless partitions or lamp cases are obtained. But overall, it can get the job done.
At this point, I have summed the entire lighting options for bearded dragons. I’ve come up with a comparison chart to classify each type of bulb choice according to its affordability, safety and health benefits, as well as heat effectiveness.
I used small to large circles to signify its classification from least to greatest. You may examine the table below:
A Comparison Chart of Different Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
After careful thought, it shows that the more expensive the lamp is, the loftier its benefits are, which is not that surprising anymore.
The UVB Ultraviolet-B light and Infrared ceramics (IR) advance their healthy option for cellular replenishment. And when it comes to a reasonable buy, again, UVB light and Infrared ceramic are pricey but again are healthier options. Even though they are quite expensive to a certain extent, the long-term health benefits outweigh their extravagance. And at the same time, it accomplishes the temperature regulation requirement of your pets.
Heat is always necessary to our cold-blooded reptile since its body cannot produce heat on its own. On that account, as long as you have bulbs available at home or even a regular bulb. It can suffice your pet’s need, unless and otherwise, it is frosty outside.
Nonetheless, it still boils down to one’s priorities, considering the budget and fondness of his pet.
Now that we have learned the commonly used lamps, certainly, you might be curious as well on the wattage requirement of our light sources.
Wattage is not by any means far from the heat output it emits. A 100-watt bulb may transmit about 100-degree Fahrenheit temperature. The farther the distance from your pet, the less temperature it gets, and the nearer your pet is from the light source, the more warmth it gets. Easy, right? In addition, more heat is also confined depending on your tank materials and setup.
As a general rule, I have mentioned in the “lighting requirements” section that the cooldown temperature requirement is to be as low as 80-degree Fahrenheit or about 26-degree Celsius, and basking of about 90-degree Fahrenheit or about 32-degree Celsius. You have to note that Juveniles require a higher temperature than adults.
Researchers have recommended regular UVB lamps of about 10-12 hours daily to help regulate Vitamin D3. According to their findings, Bearded Dragons can tolerate slightly higher levels of up to 13 to 150 W/cm2 (microwatts per square centimeter).
Basic Basking Lighting Setup
The essential setup of your pet’s lighting in a tank will have three parts. They are the cool, warm and basking site. Substrates will not be discussed here, but remember that these are also necessary to add warmth to our beardies’ habitat.
Ultraviolet-B (UVB) lamp emerges to be the most important lighting in your bearded dragon’s tank and has been established for use to prevent common bone diseases to your pet. Particularly, UVB light should occupy the warm and basking side or about two-thirds of the tank. It requires different designations for the cool side, the warm and the hot or basking site, along with your white, cool, and dark lamps appropriately and sequentially arranged.
The cool and dark light will occupy and divide two sections of the UVB. See this image below to understand the basic lighting placement clearly:
Top-rated Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
Knowing what basking bulbs for bearded dragons are and how they are set up, I think you are now primed to learn more facts and current buzz in the market. We will now move forward to one of the best sought-after information, which will tell us about the most popular basking lamps.
Top emporiums in online shopping may provide us unlimited information and access to different kinds of basking bulbs. It will also support our wants and needs for our pets, having a multitude of options.
We will examine some reviews and find out the most favored in each basking bulb, such as Regular bulbs, Ceramic infrared heat (IR) lamps, and ultraviolet (UV) light. The reviews will give us an idea of which basking bulbs for bearded dragons are frequently used.
And the winners are
- Spotlight Bulbs for Reptiles obtained thousands of reviews and a rating of 4.4 out of 5.
- Ceramic Heat Lamp Bulb Infrared Reptile Heat Emitter Heater Lamps Bulbs with a-hundred reviews and garnered a score of 4.5 out of 5.
- UVB Lamp for Reptile and Amphibian Use, acquiring a-thousand reviews and a cumulative rating of 4.3 out of 5.
For Spotlight Bulb, people reported satisfaction about the product, and the majority blurted their remarks that they received the product according to what they paid for. It means that it is economical.
In addition, the spotlight bulb is one of the most popular and easy to assemble. And compared to other same types of lighting bulb, this seems to be the cheapest. Alternatively, there were also negative reviews. The most common complaints were related to the product’s quality.
Mostly, a budgeted item has substandard quality. But I am sure pet owners could always find a way to return, exchange or request a refund if necessary.
Ceramic Heat Lamp Bulb Infrared (IR) Reptile Heat Emitter or Lamp features a no-light transmission. The top reviewers said it lasts long, and the common interest was related to the heat lamp feature. Three-quarters of the reviewers rated the product a 5-star. On the other hand, some said that the quality of the product is poor without any warning information on its packet. In short, it is the manufacturer’s issue.
And finally, for our Ultraviolet (UV) UVA UV Bulb. The product’s best features that shared common interest were: its heat output, value for their money, and the product’s longevity. Again, three-quarters of the consumers gave a 5-star rating and stated their gratification for receiving the product.
In which one of the top reviewers highlighted its feature of Vitamin D3 synthesis. Contrary to the majority, one of the critics who gave 1-star mentioned its repercussion on their bearded dragon’s eye health.
Products are continuously evolving, and it is important that before trying out new commodities, one must be fully aware of their use and warnings at the same time, particularly on UV and IR lamps. The review may have also raised awareness of the importance of wearing eye gear and gowning to prevent injury. Not only to the eyes but also the damage it may cause to one’s skin.
To keep your pet hale and hearty, we must organize its regular lighting and nutritional needs. Similar to humans, it needs good nourishment to keep their bodies healthy and prolong life. Consequently, regular dietary requirements need planning to encourage the natural ability of their bodies to absorb calcium and prevent common metabolic bone disorders.
Nutritional and supplementary intake are two alternatives to optimizing your pet’s absorption of calcium. And the most discussed is the basking requirement, whether natural or artificial.
When a metabolic disorder develops, vitamins and minerals may also supplement your pet’s deficiency. Of course, a substitute for vitamin D3 and calcium supplements is basking your pet in the sun. But the flip side is, of course, the limitation and availability of natural light. Therefore, we can employ artificial light.
I have presented some of the most common basking lamps currently circulating in the market, such as the regular incandescent lamp, spotlight bulb, ceramic heat lamp and UVB. Aside from ultraviolet’s artificial source of Vitamin D3, it also maintains the required temperature of our pet’s environment. We might as well consider an individual’s awareness of the pros and cons of each product, especially with newly utilized ones.
A lighting setup with accurate wattage and the availability of different lamp sources are necessary for your pet’s survival and the possibility of gender manipulation. With sufficient knowledge of the necessary basking requirements, one may satisfy our pet’s demands and identify the best basking bulbs for bearded dragons are.