Lighting Help for Newbies (:

mshaverly

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Vhagara
I've been told I should make this, so here it goes LOL. :)

Here is a basic lighting setup for a beardie. The cage in this picture is a 40 gallon breeder, but the same goes for larger and smaller cages as well.
( * = Optional )

DSC008142.jpg


Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months.
**Note: Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, so you shouldn't throw away your used ReptiSuns. Take them to a facility that will dispose of them for you. Some hardware stores such as Home Depot may take your used bulbs for you.

Is there a difference between UVB and UVA?
Yes, UVB rays are a shorter wavelength than UVA rays. UVB rays are from the sun, and they are what cause you to tan. Beardies need UVB rays to process D3 and calcium. UVA comes from any light bulb that produces visual light. So when purchasing a UVB bulb, make sure it says that it emits UVB, not just UVA!

How should I mount my UVB light?
Screen filters out UVB light, so the best way to do it is to mount the light inside of your cage. You can easily do this by purchasing an under-the-counter fluorescent fixture ($9 at Walmart) and 3M command hooks. Just stick the hooks on the back wall of your cage, and hang the light fixture from them.

How many watts should my basking light be?
Since there are a number of things that can affect the temperature in the cage, such as the size of the cage, how well insulated it is, how far away the basking light is, the room temperature of your house, ect. there isn't one light bulb that will work for everyone. For my 40 gallon, I used flood and halogen bulbs there were between 50-65 watts. In my wooden 4x2x2, I use flood lights that are between 30-45 watts. Keep in mind that flood lights, spot lights, and halogen bulbs will be hotter than a regular light bulb because they are more focused in one spot. Wooden cages will also be more insulated and hold more heat than glass cages, so they may need less watts to maintain a good temperature.

Do I need a light on the cool side?
Technically you don't, but it can be helpful. I used a regular house light in mine for some extra heat during the winter, and during the summer I use a coiled "energy saver" light bulb to add some visual light. Otherwise the cool side tends to be rather dark. Since visual light/UVA helps stimulate a beardie's appetite and encourages them to be more active, having more bright lights is never a bad thing!

How should I position my UVB light?
The UVB light should be preferably with in 6-10" of the basking spot, so your beardie can absorb the optimum amount of UVB. The UVB light should also be positioned along side the basking light, for two reasons: So your bearded dragon can absorb UVB while they are basking, and because having a bright white light next to the UVB light helps to protect their eyes from any damage the UVB rays might cause.

How should I heat my cage at night?
Additional heating is only needed if the temps drop below 65*F. A ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is the best way to heat your cage at night, because it does not give off visual light that will disturb your beardie's sleep, and unlike an under tank heater, there is no possibility of it shorting out and burning them during the night.

How should I measure the temperature?
Digital thermometers and infrared temperature guns are the most accurate way to measure temperatures. Dial and stick on thermometers can be as much as 20*F off in wither direction. The Acurite digital indoor/outdoor thermometer (Walmart for $12) can be used by placing the probe on the basking spot, and placing the monitor on the opposite end of the cage to got the temperature readings of the hot and cool side of the cage.

What should my temperatures be?
The cool side should be between 75 - 85*F. For an adult, basking spots should be 95 - 105*F. Babies and juveniles like it a little hotter at 105 - 110*F.

Well, that should answer some of the basic questions. 😉
Hi Jess. I need some direction on setting up my 120 gallon "Reptile Habitats" enclosure for my dragon. It is a 4' x 2' x 2.' I ordered a Reptisun 36 inch hood so it has reflectors. A T5 HO bulb came with it but was only a 5.0. I have now purchased a 10.0 Should I place all the lighting on top of the screen as Dubia Roaches (where I purchased the habitat) is saying the screen won't filter out much UVB because the bulb is so strong? Or should I mount the hood inside the enclosure? Granted, the highest basking point is approximately 16 inches from the screen down to where the dragon will back. It is my understanding on reading the instructions with the bulb is to have the bulb 18 inches to 36 inches away from the pet. Thank you for your advise.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hi Jess. I need some direction on setting up my 120 gallon "Reptile Habitats" enclosure for my dragon. It is a 4' x 2' x 2.' I ordered a Reptisun 36 inch hood so it has reflectors. A T5 HO bulb came with it but was only a 5.0. I have now purchased a 10.0 Should I place all the lighting on top of the screen as Dubia Roaches (where I purchased the habitat) is saying the screen won't filter out much UVB because the bulb is so strong? Or should I mount the hood inside the enclosure? Granted, the highest basking point is approximately 16 inches from the screen down to where the dragon will back. It is my understanding on reading the instructions with the bulb is to have the bulb 18 inches to 36 inches away from the pet. Thank you for your advise.
16 inches is too far and you want it inside the tank --12-15 directly over the basking decor piece - you can hang w/ fishing line --- 3 M Velcro fasteners -- long zip ties or I would recommend picture hanging wire -- its bendable
 

mshaverly

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Vhagara
16 inches is too far and you want it inside the tank --12-15 directly over the basking decor piece - you can hang w/ fishing line --- 3 M Velcro fasteners -- long zip ties or I would recommend picture hanging wire -- its bendable
Ok. Have it all set up with the UVB. I have a 150 watt basking bulb in a deep dome that sits on the top screen close to the UVB and is about 14 inches over the main basking spot. The problem I have now is that I can't get the tank warm enough. Should I buy a 150 watt ceramic heat emitting bulb and place in a deep dome receptacle and place near the basking area?
 

Imoldgregg1991

New member
Beardie name(s)
Chowder
16 inches is too far and you want it inside the tank --12-15 directly over the basking decor piece - you can hang w/ fishing line --- 3 M Velcro fasteners -- long zip ties or I would recommend picture hanging wire -- its bendable
I'm having the exact issue! I was all set to have his head at exactly 12 inches away from the Arcadia HO 12% BUT the back of the box clearly states (without any barrier) that the UVI at 12" is 8.5, 15" is 6.5 and 18" is 4.4. The beardievet did an interview (its about 4hrs, a highly recommended watch) in his studies optimal UVI was around 4.1 to 4.7 for central bearded dragons. I also read an article on effects of to much uvb and the damage it can cause. The struggle and overthinking is real 😫 I am seriously considering reaching out to my future exotic vet for a solar meter. The price on those things is wild for someone that isn't keeping multiple/ breeding.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I'm having the exact issue! I was all set to have his head at exactly 12 inches away from the Arcadia HO 12% BUT the back of the box clearly states (without any barrier) that the UVI at 12" is 8.5, 15" is 6.5 and 18" is 4.4. The beardievet did an interview (its about 4hrs, a highly recommended watch) in his studies optimal UVI was around 4.1 to 4.7 for central bearded dragons. I also read an article on effects of to much uvb and the damage it can cause. The struggle and overthinking is real 😫 I am seriously considering reaching out to my future exotic vet for a solar meter. The price on those things is wild for someone that isn't keeping multiple/ breeding.
Those specs sound like specs for a 14% bulb -- we have always recommended 12-15 inches for a 12% bulb-
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
You can try it I had blazes set at 15 inches from his rock- he has in the last year became vision impaired - he's got a cataract on one eye - so w/ he stopped climbing on his decor- I noticed he started getting head tremors measuring the distance from the floor to uvb it was too far I lowered the fixture to 12 inches above the floor and the head tremors have gone away- that was my experience w/ the distance issue
 

Imoldgregg1991

New member
Beardie name(s)
Chowder
Aww poor thing. Okay I think I'll do a bit of rearranging for the highest bask spot. I've still got time to test run before I pick him up. The vets office informed me they can't give me the solar meter until I'm an actual client🤣
 

Sunshine77

New member
Hi, I'm gathering supplies to get a Beardie in the future. What size of T5 Reptisun bulb, and light fixture from Walmart to do I need? I recently purchased a 40 gallon breeder. The T5 can be mounted under the lid correct? I was told that they sit on top on the screen. Thanks.
 

Staff online

Members online

Still Needs Help

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Any thoughts an knowledge will be helpful. Thank u
Im needing some questions answered about my female beardeddragon, I honestly have no idea on age , she was a recuse, as ive had a couple in my life an have experience. So 9 weeks in , she earing well pooping well getting comfortable, then approx 3-4 days ago the digging started. So I got a dig box set up in her 75 g tank. Well within 2 hours she dropped an egg. Now only one egg an its been 10 hours.shouldiBworried
В санатории "Сукно" вас ждет полное погружение в мир здоровья и релакса. Эксперты санатория разработают индивидуальную программу оздоровления, которая поможет вам чувствовать себя лучше. Для получения дополнительной информации посетите наш сайт putevka.com/krasnodar/sukko
I just set Swordtail's timer for his bath and paused it so I could actually fill his soaking bowl up and he crawled over my phone and canceled the timer 🤣
Mirage came out of brumation on April 26. He was doing great. On May 2 he started acting funny. We just redid his tank, and he keeps going into one of his hides. He just lays there. He shows no intrest in food. HELP!

Forum statistics

Threads
156,393
Messages
1,260,732
Members
76,223
Latest member
Godaxus
Top Bottom