Alright dragon masters, for this lesson we’re taking a deep dive into optimizing lighting and heating for your bearded dragon. Proper temps and exposure to UVB rays are critical for these desert reptiles to thrive in captivity.

UVB Requirements

UVB allows beardies to synthesize vitamin D3 for proper calcium absorption. Lack of it causes bone disease.

Strength Needed

Experts recommend a UV index of 0-6.0 across the enclosure, with the basking spot reaching 6.0. Measure with a solar meter.

Bulb Types

Linear fluorescent tubes provide better coverage than compact coils. T5 high output bulbs are top notch.

Supplemental Heating

In addition to UVB, concentrated heat overhead creates a hot basking zone.

Basking Bulbs

Use a 50-100W incandescent or ceramic bulb to hit 95-100°F at the basking spot when combined with ambient temperatures.

Safety Distances

Position bulbs 8-12 inches above basking areas to prevent burns. Measure to dial this in.

Signs of Lighting Issues

Monitor your dragon’s behavior and body for clues that lighting needs adjustment.

Behavioral Cues

Lethargy, loss of appetite, and glass surfing signal something is off.

Physical Symptoms

Metabolic bone disease causes limpness, bowed legs, and brittle bones over time.

Day/Night Cycles

Match natural desert photoperiods.


Provide 14 hours of daytime light in summer, 10 hours in winter. Gradually shift in between.

Lights Off at Night

Allow 12 hours of complete darkness at night for proper sleep. No night lights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Advanced Bearded Dragon Lighting

T5 high output linear fluorescent tubes paired with a halogen basking bulb work excellently to provide UVB and targeted heat.

For safety and optimal heating, position overhead basking lights 8-12 inches above where your dragon will sit under the beam.

No, complete darkness at night is crucial for their health. Provide 10-14 hours of daytime light, and turn off all lighting for night.

There you have it reptile enthusiasts – everything you need to know to provide top-notch lighting and heating for your beardie! Let me know if you have any other advanced husbandry questions.

Leave a Reply