We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Right Type of Lighting for a Bearded Dragon?

Dan Harkins
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The bearded dragon, or Pogona barbata, is native to Australia as well as to thousands of home habitats worldwide. It needs not only the right type of omnivorous diet and at least a 55-gallon (208.2-liter) tank to stretch out, but also a heating light that provides a simulated natural environment. Lighting for a bearded dragon will contain sun-simulating ultraviolet rays to keep the temperature in a basking area between 95 to 100&deg F (35 to 37.78&deg C). Elsewhere in its enclosure, the bearded dragon should have a temperature of between 78 and 88&deg F (25.56 and 31.11&deg C).

The cold-blooded bearded dragon will not be able to digest its food — ranging from crickets and vegetables to small, "pinky" mice and mealworms — without a properly heated and lighted tank. This does not imply that a bearded dragon's heat lamp should be kept running all day. Many handlers recommend a schedule of 14 hours of "daylight," followed by a natural 10 hours of darkness — just like in the wild.

Using a timer will ensure the bearded dragon's environment is controlled, even when its owner is not there to control it. These timers are available at most pet stores and online. The lighting for a bearded dragon, contained within a reflective dome-type assembly to concentrate the rays, should point downward onto a dedicated basking area. It should not be shining through the glass from the outside, since this will deflect UV rays. This is where a bearded dragon will go when it feels chilly, though this area should not be allowed to get hotter than about 100&deg F (37.78&deg C).

The rest of the enclosure should hover between 78 and 88&deg F (25.56 and 31.11&deg C). This area should contain some climbing branches and even some rocks and a hiding cave. The entire floor should be coated with a substrate like sand, reptile bedding or carpet that can adequately absorb waste. Lighting for a bearded dragon should be maintained on a stringent schedule, and flooring should be replaced or cleaned weekly. The typically docile reptile should return the favor by being easily handled and cuddled.

Properly supplementing vitamin intake with pet store supplements or a balanced diet will complement the lighting for a bearded dragon. These reptiles use the ultraviolet rays of their lights to make the vitamin D required for a healthy skeleton. Keeping the light close to the bottom of the enclosure's basking area — less than 1 foot (0.3 meters) away — will ensure proper metabolism. Another sound investment in lighting for a bearded dragon is a dim, nighttime heating light that can offer a constant heating source for when the lights are out and everyone is sleeping.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.