Leopard Gecko UVB Lighting

BeardeddragonDino

Hatchling Member
I was wondering if anyone had any specific preferences for UVB lighting brands and strengths for leopard geckos. I am getting my gecko a new PVC enclosure that will be 36 by 24 inches large. The bulb will be mounted inside, approximately 15 inches up from the gecko's basking spot. Any recommendations for what strength and length bulb I should go for?

Current bulbs I am considering are the reptisun 5.0 T5HO, the Arcadia 6%, or the Arcadia shade dweller. The shade dweller is specifically marketed towards leopard geckos, however, it only comes in a 12 inch long bulb, which I'm not sure would be long enough for the 36 inch long tank.

Thanks!
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Based on what little I know of gecko care, I'd say those options are good. An Arcadia 6% combined with a halogen or incandescent bulb to bring the temps into the 80s during the day is probably good. Investing in a programmable thermostat like a Herpstat might be good too, since you can then program it to ramp up and ramp down the daylight to simulate sunrise and sunset for them. As I understand it, the early morning and late evening hours are most important to them. The Arcadia and ReptiSun brands are both pretty well trusted though, so using the "half power" 5.0 or 6% option of each should do the trick as far as UVB requirements go.
 

BeardeddragonDino

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
CooperDragon":10rw7buv said:
Based on what little I know of gecko care, I'd say those options are good. An Arcadia 6% combined with a halogen or incandescent bulb to bring the temps into the 80s during the day is probably good. Investing in a programmable thermostat like a Herpstat might be good too, since you can then program it to ramp up and ramp down the daylight to simulate sunrise and sunset for them. As I understand it, the early morning and late evening hours are most important to them. The Arcadia and ReptiSun brands are both pretty well trusted though, so using the "half power" 5.0 or 6% option of each should do the trick as far as UVB requirements go.

Great! I am already planning on investing in a herpstat 2 that can be used for both my leopard gecko and my bearded dragon. As I said the tank is 36 inches long, for a leo would you personally go with a 12 or 24 inch uvb?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I have a herpstat2 and like it. I'd probably set up a nice long (hour +) ramping time for the leo and see how that goes. I have mine set up to dim up/down the basking light and the UVB light is just on a mechanical timer that clicks on/off after the ramping time is done (or just before in the evening). I would think that since the gecko is smaller than a dragon, then the smaller light would be OK. When I measure UVB lights for dragons, it has more to do with the length of an adult rather than the enclosure. Since an adult dragon can be up to 24'' long in some cases, the 24'' UVB light allows them to bask evenly. I would guess that the same goes for a gecko. Providing a wide enough basking area (heat and UVB both) to allow for even basking would be the key. I'm not sure if this is as important or not with geckos. I understand the lighting aspect, but am just kind of guessing at their needs based on what I know for dragons. You could probably use the 12'' or the 24'' and be OK. The 24'' might work well if you mount it at a diagnonal across the basking side with a 36'' enclosure.

This is what the 24'' fixture looks like set diagnonally on my 36'' eclosure:
76248-9137766766.jpg
 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
You could go with the 12' vertical like cooper said. The thing about leopard geckos is they need a rock scatter type husbandry, Its a method of light and shade. In the mountains that they hail from there are rocky formations all around them they don't need a long long uvb or a wide beamed bask area because they are not seen directly in thw sun. If you have the longer one just make you give it plenty of shade and places too hide and get out from under it. They are found in between rocks and crevices. The reason for this is they don't sit and soak up high units of uvb all at once like most beardies, found out on a rock getting it from nose to nose to vent. UV rays dont just stop went they hit objects well some objects it does but most objects it travels off. As it does this it weakens in units. Rocks bounce uv very well. Lighter colored thing like a tan rock deflect uv rays sending it bouncing off of things. As you get darker on the color spectrum it starts to absorb for example the tan rock deflect the black rock absorbs. Same goes for heat. But the reason for rock scatter is the gecko is not out basking in the high units of UV found in the open landscape. They sit in between rocks where the UV is believe it or not just in lower levels and they know exactly how much they need all through out the day. Moving from crevices and in between objects getting what they know they need from the uv. So do not fret on getting the longer uvb just put lots of light colored objects stacked and what not around the hot side where you will have the 6% or the shade dweller. This way the gecko has alot of choices and can move around through out the day self regulating.
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I may have went way into debt for no reason because you may already know all this but if not I hope this helps I'm not really a leopard gecko guy myself I have a beardie but I learned a lot about UV since I got her. Good luck friend congrats on your new animal you must be a decent keeper if you took the time to get on one of these forums.
 

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