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Can you leave a bearded dragon’s heat lamp on at night? Bearded dragons are most energetic during the day, meaning they are diurnal and love the sun. If you didn’t know, these reptiles have a parietal or third eye, which uses bright light to set a dragon’s circadian rhythm and activity patterns. Hence, bearded dragons strongly rely on UVB lighting, and they need plenty of bright and white light for good energy, appetite, and mental health.
Some bearded dragon owners use fluorescent bulbs because it does not produce too much heat but still provide plenty of good quality UVB. However, we still have plenty of options to choose from.
For this topic, we will focus on the bearded dragon heating setup. Keep in mind that a proper heating setup is essential to our pets’ habitat. So, please stick with us to learn everything about the proper bearded dragon lighting setup.
Why Heat and Light Are Important to Bearded Dragons
Before we dive deep into the most recommended heating lights and other critical information for bearded dragons, let us discuss the importance of these lightings to our pets and why they need them to thrive.
Many first-time bearded dragon keepers are still not aware that understanding this reptile’s natural habitat and planning ahead of time can save them and their pets lots of stress in the future. For instance, we must ensure that our dragons’ tanks have direct light during the day and darkness during the night. While these reptiles enjoy the heat, they have trouble sleeping if the light is available at night.
We all know that a reptile-like bearded dragon, native to Australia’s desert weather, worships the sun throughout the day. Despite that, at night time, they need a colder temperature. According to reptile experts, bearded dragons can still strive in a colder temperature during the night since it helps them rest and gain more energy for the following day.
We don’t have to worry about them feeling cold, especially in the morning, since these cold-blooded creatures will warm up naturally as they bask under the sun or a heating light.
If it’s still hot at night, your bearded dragon might become ill, so it is essential to only increase the night temperature when it is super cold. For instance, if you live in a cottage and it’s too cold (temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit), you will need something like a ceramic light to keep the vivarium warmer.
Why is heat so important among bearded dragons? Because these reptiles originated from the Australian desert. As keepers, it is our responsibility to replicate their natural habitat. Also, unlike mammals, reptiles like bearded dragons cannot generate their body heat. They can only obtain it from the wild, which leads them to dwell in warmer environments. However, if they need to chill, they burrow into the ground or find a shade.
Moreover, heating is particularly crucial for bearded dragons because it helps them move their muscles, catch prey, run from danger, and digest food. If you didn’t know, heat could also help our pets efficiently reproduce, circulate blood, and maintain a healthy immune system. But on the other hand, these ectothermic animals don’t require much energy and can survive without food longer than warm-blooded animals.
Bearded Dragon Heating Requirements
Reptiles like bearded dragons need more warmth than others, including iguanas, anoles, and Chinese dragons. Therefore, we, as keepers, should invest in high-quality daytime light. If you want your little buddy to live a long and healthy life, we need to provide an environment that closely matches the conditions of their natural habitat.
Please keep reading to know the best heating lights for bearded dragons.
What Are the Best Heating Products for Bearded Dragons?
Heat Basking Light
A heat basking lamp is one of the most sought-after for bearded dragons. These products are incandescent bulbs specifically designed to provide enough heat for beardies. Usually, these bulbs range from ten to 150 watts and come in different styles.
We highly suggest using a heat basking light for bearded dragons since it offers a much longer life than an ordinary incandescent bulb. Also, a basking light with a dome-style fixture is an excellent choice because it can hang over the enclosure safely and has a high heat ceramic socket.
Ceramic Light (Heat Emitters)
Ceramic lighting gives off radiant heat without any visible light. If you prefer this, all you have to do is mount the heat emitter in a light fixture similar to basking.
Nighttime bulbs are also specifically designed for reptiles like bearded dragons. These products are usually incandescent bulbs with low wattages and supple very little light and heat. However, the light is not visible to our beardies, making these lights more interesting.
Understand Heat Pads
Sometimes, undertank heat pads are also called substrate heaters. These products are flat pads that you can stick to the side or bottom of your pet’s terrarium to give off low and gradient heat. However, we only recommend this on glass enclosures since it can catch fire on wood and other materials. Most bearded owners use undertank heat pads during colder winter months.
Can You Leave a Bearded Dragon’s Heat Lamp on at Night?
Is it okay to leave the heat lamp on during the night? No. We should not leave it on overnight since basking should only occur during daylight hours. Leaving the heat or UV lamp on will disturb your pet from resting and maintaining a very high temperature in his enclosure. This intense heat can stress your beardie and can lead to health problems.
Bearded dragons can perfectly adapt to day and night temperatures. Therefore, we don’t have to keep the enclosure warm during nighttime. We all know that heating laps are light emitters and our pets require total darkness.
So, if you leave the heat lamp on at night, your bearded dragon will move away from the open basking spots and will try to find a darker place to stay safe overnight. He will also feel like he is exposed to predators, limiting his ability to rest. Remember, the cooler and darker the place, the more comfort and security our bearded dragons feel.
How Long Should I Leave My Pet’s Heat Lamp On?
We understand that leaving the heat lamp on for longer hours can be tempting, especially during winter. However, this can put our little animals at risk. If you want to keep the tank warmer during colder nights, you have safer options where your bearded dragons can still rest well.
In this section, you will know how long should you keep the heating lamp on. For your information, it varies throughout the year since we aim to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature for our bearded dragons’ homes all the time. If the season changes, we need to adjust the heating lamps, too.
Here are the exact details:
- Spring – 12 hours
- Summer – 14 hours
- Autumn – 12 hours
- Winter – 10 hours
During daylight, the basking area should be around 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the cooling area should be at least 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the night, the entire enclosure should be 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Creating these “microclimates” can allow your cute little pet to make choices and feel more comfortable.
You can use a thermometer to monitor and record any temperature change throughout the day. It can also provide evidence of whether your heating lamps are malfunctioning or not.
Alongside these microclimates, we should also be taking cues from the amount of light our bearded dragons receive. During the warmer months (spring and summer), we should provide at least 12 hours of light and UV exposure, while during the colder months (autumn and winter), our beardies only need approximately ten to twelve hours.
Even if the temperature drops dramatically during the night, bearded dragons can still adapt since it also occurs in Australian deserts. They use this time to rest, recoup, and hideaway. If it’s too cold, non-light emitting bulbs like ceramic light may be essential.
Tip: We highly recommend this hide hole for bearded dragons.
As bearded dragon keepers, we need to understand that one of the essential factors to consider in setting up our pets’ tanks is the lighting and heating system. We can guarantee that our bearded dragon can grow happy and healthy with the correct temperature and brightness.
Many heating lights are available online and in pet stores, but each of them plays a different role in keeping our bearded dragons healthy.
However, during the colder nights, we need to provide some warmth without disrupting their sleep. Fortunately, plenty of them is now available online and in pet stores. A good example is a ceramic light, which possesses heat without any visible light. Avoid leaving the ordinary heat lamp on overnight since it can cause stress and health issues to your bearded dragon.