Bearded dragons spend most of their daylight time actively basking in the warm sun. This is not only to meet their temperature requirements for normal physiological functioning but also to absorb ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Basking in the sun is vital for a Bearded dragon to ensure optimal health. There are various ways this behavior can be stimulated in pet Bearded dragons living in an enclosure. The main component is creating a basking area – usually in a spot on one side of the enclosure. This area should be raised from the floor and can consist of a log or a rock. If the size of the enclosure allows, multiple basking areas can also be created.
The temperature of the basking area can be raised by using a spotlight as a basking lamp. Heat rocks can also be used, but is less natural. The immediate temperature on the basking surface should be about 40 ºC / 104 ºF with a temperature decrease away from the basking area.
In addition to heating, ultraviolet (UV) lighting should also be supplied to the basking area. For this purpose, a commercial reptile UV light, directed towards, or placed over the basking area can be used. UV aids in sight and the absorption of calcium. To be able to supply enough UV lighting, these sources should be mounted within 30 cm / 12 ” from the highest point of the basking area.UV lighting can either be mounted on the side of cabinet-type enclosures or placed on top of the lid of glass tank / aquarium type enclosures.
Unfiltered sunlight is the best source of UV and regular basking will improve its absorption. Natural sunlight is still required, even if a basking area is supplied. If the weather allows, pet Bearded dragons should spend as much time as possible outside – basking in the sun.