Bearded Dragons Lighting (for Beginners): 6 Types of Lights

Because of its availability, lighting equipment for Bearded dragons makes it possible to keep these reptiles as pets. The correct lighting is one of the most important requirements to keep pet Bearded dragons.

In addition to the regular light rays, a light source for Bearded dragons should also be able to emit ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays. These specialized reptile light sources are available commercially in the form of fluorescent tubes (most common), compact fluorescent lamps, mercury vapor flood lamps, and ultraviolet spot lamps.

Exo Terra’s Repti Glo reptile fluorescent tubes come in a range of sizes, Wattage requirements, and intensities. This one is 43.7 cm / 18 “, needs 15 Watts of power to operate, and has an intensity of 10%. Image from nekojam.com.

Bearded dragon lighting requirements

Not just any ultraviolet light source can be used for Bearded dragons. Rather stick to the ones marked and indicated for desert reptiles. The light intensity is usually a good indicator of the quality of the light. For Bearded dragons, a light intensity of 8% or more is required. The higher the intensity the better.

For proper ultraviolet exposure, the light source should cover and emit as much as possible of the length of the enclosure. It should also be mounted within 30 cm / 12 ” from the main basking area not to lose efficiency. Multiple lamp-type UV light sources might be required to properly emit larger enclosures. To ensure its efficiency most manufacturers will recommend that their UV lighting be replaced every six months.

Light fittings

The light fitting is the electrical part of the light unit that holds the light source. It also connects the light source to the electrical source. Light fittings with cover screens will absorb UV rays, so avoid using them. Fluorescent tubes need fluorescent type fittings and lamps need either a bayonet or screw-in type fitting.

The Exo Terra Light Dome is a great lamp fitting with a built-in UV reflector. Image from exo-terra.com.

Simple, neat-looking fluorescent tube fitting. This one can be mounted to the side of an enclosure. Image from sparksdirect.co.uk.

When choosing a fluorescent tube fitting it is important to note and match it with the same wattage of the fluorescent tube. Larger tubes have higher wattage requirements. Fluorescent tube fittings can be mounted permanently on the inside of cabinet-type enclosures. Specialized fluorescent tube fittings and lamp fittings can be placed on top of wire mesh lids of glass tanks and aquarium-type enclosures.

Reflector screens

Reflector screens are great for increasing the amount of light emitting downwards. Some fittings will include a reflector screen, but can also be purchased separately. In some cases, the inside of lamp fittings will also be covered with reflecting material. When choosing a light fitting, also make sure the reflector screen is compatible with the fitting used.

Reflector screens come in various shapes and sizes. Make sure fluorescent tube reflectors are compatible with the fluorescent tube and the light fitting. Image from amazon.com.

Availability

Commercial Bearded dragon lighting is available from specialized reptile related pet shops, online stores, and some veterinary practices. Always keep the slip and insist on testing the light source before purchase. A less desired (due to the fragility of glass-containing products), but sometimes the last resort is by buying from internet retailers.