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5 Best Lights for Leopard Gecko


Most recommended
Fluker s Repta-Clamp Lamp Ceramic
  • Color Black
  • Shade Material Ceramic
  • Item Weight 0.99 Pounds
A good choice too
Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Bulb
  • Size: 100 watt
  • Zoo Med
  • 2 x 2 x 2.13 inches
A good choice too
Fluker s 22800 Red Heat Bulbs for Reptiles
  • Size: 75-watt
  • Perfect for Basking Animals
  • Fluker Labs
Zilla Incandescent Heat Bulb
  • Color: Night Black
  • Brand Zilla
  • Item Weight 0.15 Pounds
Zoo Med Day Night Reptile Bulbs
  • Shade Material Glass
  • Brand Zoo Med
  • Wattage 60 watts

Choose the Best Light for Leopard Gecko

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Lights for Leopard Gecko

16 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

18.75% of users selected Fluker s Repta-Clamp Lamp Ceramic, 6.25% selected Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Bulb, 12.50% selected Fluker s 22800 Red Heat Bulbs for Reptiles, 62.50% selected Zilla Incandescent Heat Bulb and 0.00% selected Zoo Med Day Night Reptile Bulbs. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Finding the right light for your Leopard Gecko can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right information and guidance, it becomes much easier to find what you need. This guide will help you narrow down your search by reviewing different brands of lights that are currently available on the market. With this in-depth article, we hope to answer common questions about these products as well as give some helpful tips about how to choose the best lighting for your leopard gecko!

Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp Ceramic with Dimmable Switch – the Editor’s choice!

This top-of-the-line Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp is perfect for heating terrariums and viewing nocturnal creatures. It features an infrared heat lamp that emits just the right amount of heat, as well as a dimmable switch so you can control the light levels.

This lamp is ideal for reptiles at any stage in their life cycle, and it’s affordable enough to fit even the smallest tanks. It has a sleek ceramic design that looks great in any home. In addition, the dimming feature makes it super easy to customize your environment according to your needs.

Pros
  • Great for baby and adult geckos;
  • Good ETR (environmental temperature range) lighting option;
  • Affordable;
  • Great for small tanks;
  • Nice dimming feature;

Cons
  • Can be hazardous and may burn;
  • The warranty is only for a few months;
  • The switch issues are possible;

Make sure your reptile is comfortable and healthy with the help of Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp Ceramic with Dimmable Switch. This professional series infrared heat lamp is perfect for heating terrariums and viewing nocturnal animals. The dimming switch allows you to control the heat and light, making it ideal for reptiles of all ages. Keep your tank at a comfortable temperature and save money with this affordable lamp.


Exo Terra Compact Incandescent Fixture – the best for small enclosures!

Bring the power of the sun indoors with this Exo Terra Compact Incandescent Fixture! This easy-to-use light fixture is perfect for use with Exo Terra compact fluorescent bulbs (up to 26 watts) and fits most tanks by design. The built-in reflector ensures that your terrarium gets the perfect amount of light, and the on/off switch makes it easy to control your environment.

The fixture comes with a sliding rim to mount accessories like the Exo Terra Digital thermometer and hygrometer. The on/off switch is easily accessible, making it easy to keep your terrarium running smoothly.

Pros
  • Good for small tanks and enclosures;
  • The on/off switch
  • Has an in-built reflector;
  • Easy to mount;
  • Also may work as a heater;
  • Can be used in the line of bulbs to lighten the whole enclosure;
  • Fits perfectly with most tanks by design;

Cons
  • The light housing issues;
  • 25-Watt limit;

Keep your pet’s home illuminated and comfortable with this Exo Terra Compact Incandescent Fixture. It’s easy to install and comes with a built-in reflector so you can get the perfect amount of light right where you need it. Additionally, it works as both a light and a heater, making sure your little one is always happy and healthy.


Fluker’s Red Heat Bulbs for Reptiles – the best for durability!

These energy-efficient bulbs provide just the right amount of warmth for your cold-blooded friend and last up to 3,500 hours. Plus, their low-light design is perfect for nocturnal viewing, making it easy to see any nighttime activities your pet may engage in.

These nighttime bulbs provide the perfect amount of low light heat, making them ideal for use in reptiles and amphibians.

Pros
  • 3,500 hours of lifespan;
  • 60 watts of power;
  • Great for observing after nocturnal activities;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Works well with another heat source;

Cons
  • No UVA/UVB option;
  • May produce a lot of heat for a small enclosure;
  • May blow if installed incorrectly;

With a 3,500-hour lifespan, these Fluker’s Red Heat Bulb for Reptiles is a great investment for anyone who loves their pets. 60 watts of power means your pet will have just the right amount of exposure, and the convenient viewing abilities make it easy to keep an eye on any nocturnal activities.


Zilla Incandescent Heat Bulb – the best for ambient heat!

This black bulb doesn’t emit visual light which can be disruptive to the creature or room, making it a great choice for those who want to create a healthy environment for their pets.

These heavy-duty filaments provide hours of dependable performance, while the gentle “moonlighting” mode ensures a healthy environment for your nocturnal reptile.

If you’re looking for a reliable incandescent heat bulb that won’t disrupt the natural behavior of your reptile, look no further than the Zilla Incandescent Heat Bulb. This heavy-duty bulb is designed to provide hours of performance, and it’s perfect for use with Zilla’s popular Reflector Domes.

Pros
  • Great for nocturnal viewing;
  • Good for providing ambient heat as well;
  • Compatible with Zilla’s Reflector Domes;
  • Almost no emitting light;
  • Great price point;
  • Nice “moonlighting” feature;

Cons
  • Not quite durable;
  • Too hot to touch after a few hours of work;
  • Emits very low light level;

See your favorite creatures in a whole new light with the Zilla Incandescent Heat Bulb. This heavy-duty bulb provides hours of performance and is perfect for nocturnal viewing. It emits ambient heat that creates a healthy environment for reptiles, without disrupting their natural sleep pattern. Also, it’s at an excellent price point!


Zoo Med Day & Night Reptile Bulb Combo Pack – the best for a starter lighting combo!

This Zoo Med’s pack includes two bulbs – a blue daylight bulb and a red night light bulb – letting you provide heat and bright, naturalistic light during the day, while also offering 24-hour heating with a true red glass heat lamp.

This pack contains one blue daylight bulb and one red night light bulb, so you can keep your pet’s habitat heated and brightly lit around the clock. The blue bulb provides bright, naturalistic light during the day, while the red glass heat lamp offers 24-hour heating.

And with long-lasting burn life, you can rely on these bulbs to keep your reptile comfortable and healthy for months to come.

Also, the uncoated blue glass allows for optimal heat transfer, so you can be sure your pet is getting the most out of every minute spent under these lights.

Pros
  • Great starter pack for your reptile tank;
  • Includes 2 bulbs – for daytime and nighttime;
  • Long-lasting burn life;
  • Doesn’t disrupt the day/night cycle of your pet;
  • Great for a full-time cycle of the pet;

Cons
  • The red bulb is not durable;
  • Filament issues are possible;

With the Zoo Med Day & Night Reptile Bulb Combo Pack, you get two bulbs that are perfect for your reptile’s needs. The blue bulb provides heat and bright naturalistic light during the day, while the nightlight red bulb offers 24-hour heating. Both bulbs have long-lasting burn lives.


The Buyer’s Guide

These reptiles that live in dark habitats are nocturnal. It denotes that these cute reptiles sleep during the day and see little light.

Unfortunately, they need bright light, which is provided for 12 hours each day. They must raise their body temperature as soon as possible after waking up, necessitating a basking area.

Geckos are nocturnal reptiles that keep their bodies warm during the day by heating themselves up beneath a basking spot. Despite this, you will undoubtedly see them throughout the day as they get heated up under their basking spot. Most likely, not reenacting a typical day with lighting would put your pet lizard into a “half-dormant condition”.

It means that it may be awake at times, but it is never completely active, as a typical gecko should be. When picking the setup with appropriate lighting setup for your gecko, keep this in mind [1]

How to Choose a Lighting Setup?

Bear in mind that geckos are considered as great pet reptiles on Earth, but there are still a lot of myths, disputes, and assumptions regarding their required lighting.

The ideal setup of lighting equipment for a gecko is pretty easy to do.

At night, these pet reptiles only require proper heating conditions. This result can be delivered with a various combination of different distinct lighting and heating components:

Use a Heating Lamp Along with a Nighttime Heat Source

The primary alternative is to utilize a light and heat bulb/lamp combo. Such equipment with bulbs is typically called as daylight/basking bulbs. You should install and light them only within the day to give comfortable heat and light conditions for your reptile. Because of the high ambient temperature, you may require to employ a secondary heat source instead of using a ceramic bulb. In such a simple way, you will keep the tank warm at night

The most well-known ceramic lightbulb is a light bulb. A heat mat, on the other hand, is conceivable.

To adjust the temperature level, consider installing and using a thermostat with both the basking and ceramic bulbs. Thermostats keep the tank at an acceptable temperature by shutting off any faulty components that might cause overheating. It’s also beneficial to gear a heat lamp to an automatic timer. In such a way, you don’t need to remember to do it manually [2]

Install UVB Lighting Setup with 24-Hour Heating Source

The second alternative is to utilize a light-only bulb. These bulbs (you may also call them UV bulbs) are typically applied to simulate daylight. The bulbs designed only for lighting purpose, unlike the basking bulb, do not emit any heat and can’t be used for your pet.

So, there are at least 2 basic lighting options available for you. This setup entails the application of a separate heating source, whereas option two necessitates the usage of a separate light source as well. Within the night and day, the heating source delivers warmth, but the light remains on only during the day. This option is popular among some people because all that needs to be done is turn off and on the light; the heat supply continues to operate without fail.

Option two is popular among keepers since there are extra UV alternatives available as light-only bulbs.

Lighting Setup At Night

Geckos have excellent night vision and do not require any nighttime illumination. Some owners, on the other hand, may choose to keep an eye on their geckos at night. Red or blue lights are ideal in this situation.

The appropriate lights are translucent and emit a soft, energy-efficient glow. They can be utilized for up to 2 hours after being switched off by the light of day, however, they should not be utilized all night. For these nocturnal lizards, full darkness is essential for their health.

Check the pros and cons of each lighting option [3]:

  • Red lights. Geckos, on the other hand, prefer warm red light because it is more attractive to them and comes from a warmer source. This, however, does not apply to red lights in the same way as blue lights do not attract geckos. The brightness of a gecko’s night vision makes the light appear far brighter than it appears to us;
  • Black lights. This UV-A light produces a purple glow. The long-term effects of this sort of light on any kind of Gecko are not well understood. As a result, they should not be utilized;
  • Blue lights. Geckos are blind at night, but humans can observe them because they radiate a blue light, similar to moonlight. Leopard Geckos may still see the light they create while these bulbs are dark. If you use them for more than 2 hours at a time, this could cause your lizard’s sleep cycle to be disrupted;

The Right Daytime Lighting

For daylight, you can either use a:

  • A light bulb (along with a heat source);
  • A light and a heat-producing day bulb (basking bulb/heat lamp);
  • Ambient room lighting (though not direct sunshine and along with a heat source);

It was long believed that pet reptiles don’t require UVB because they are not active during the sun’s peak hours. Many non-UVB-exposed pet geckos have lived lengthy, happy lives.

UVB, on the other hand, is not required by geckos. According to recent studies, however, they may use UVB when it is accessible.

Most experts still think it’s a toss-up whether or not to offer a 10.0 UV bulb, but it is recommended anyway. Geckos can only withstand UV radiation of up to 10%. Higher percentages can harm their delicate skin. 5% UV is also available, and it is perfectly suited for pet reptiles.

The type of light you want to utilize is the first consideration after deciding on a light. There are two kinds of light fixtures to think about: 

  • Dome light fixtures may house a range of bulbs – from ceramic heat bulbs to basking lights and UVB. This sort of fixture focuses light on a specific region. They’re more useful for UVB and heat spots than they are for general illumination;
  • Strip light fixtures are ideal for full spectrum lights since they illuminate a larger surface of the cage. However, they may also be used with UV and incandescent bulbs;

Main Features:

Type Of Lights [4]:

1) Incandescent Lights

The most popular light bulb is incandescent. This light bulb generates enough heat and light for reptiles, but not as much as an LED.

Unlike the red-eyed gecko, they do not produce a lot of UVB. This is just fine since these reptiles don’t require it.

The first type of bulb to use is oftentimes the most cost-effective, and when they die, so do you. There’s no reduction in performance until the end of its existence. This is one of the bulbs experts suggest for pet reptiles.

2) LED Lights

LEDs, which are more efficient and brighter than incandescent bulbs, are rapidly becoming the standard when it comes to home lighting. Many themes of lighting demands can be satisfied with LEDs. These lights are tiny and very energy-efficient. They have a long lifespan.

These lights don’t generate much heat because they are generally used as decorations, so this isn’t the ideal heating lamp. However, if all you need is light and the heating mat is sufficient for warmth, an LED light may be what you’re searching for.

3) Infrared Lights

Infrared bulbs are generally considered strange by the majority of people. They appear to have no bulbs on them, instead, they’re a flat disc. These last a long time and are energy-efficient, while also producing a lot of heat.

This is the most popular light bulb for geckos. They might require a unique socket in the lamp. Ceramic or porcelain would be adequate. These are generally more expensive, but they will typically outlast other types of bulbs.

4) Halogen Lights

Halogen bulbs are a popular bulb type that generates heat, light, and UVB. These pet reptiles are not recommended for this sort of halogen light. This isn’t the case with geckos. This is not the right choice for your pet.

Because they last a while, but lose UV radiation and are unnoticeable without a meter, they’re not ideal for long-term storage. They tend to be more expensive.

Bulb Wattage

The wattage is the amount of energy consumed by the bulb. The higher the watts on the package, the more heat is produced. This varies depending on the type (halogen bulbs have higher numbers but don’t put out an equal amount of heat as other bulbs with comparable watts).

Because pet reptiles spend the day hiding, their air temperature isn’t as essential as their ground heat.

Since you’ll be using a heating mat, the bulb need not be as powerful as other desert reptiles.

A variety of 60-100W bulbs should be adequate. Check the temperature on a regular basis to ensure it is correct.

For reference, a gecko’s ideal temperature range is 90F on the ground and an air temperature of no less than 72F [5]

Bulb Lifespan

The lifespan of a light bulb isn’t something that most individuals consider right away, but this light will be on for 12 hours each day. It will go out faster than the average light bulb.

A less expensive version will not last as long, and you’ll have to change it more frequently. Over time, you may not realize any savings.

Bulb Color

The color of the bulb may not seem important, and it isn’t always. There is some debate about whether blue, white, or yellow are ideal for daytime.

Some people claim that white and yellow are the most like the sun, and pet reptiles adore them the most. Others believe that yellow and white are too brilliant when placed next to the reptile, therefore blue is preferable.

It’s not a huge issue, but if you have a personal preference, go with that option. If you’re unsure, ask around at your local aquarium store or online to see what options are available. Pick whichever one you prefer the most and think looks best with your tank.

UVB Light Or Heat Light?

At sunset and sunrise, geckos are most active. They hide during the day and absorb heat from the earth. They burn this heat energy at night to conduct their bug-hunting search.

Because they’re nocturnal, they don’t require any UVB light to survive. Experts claim that a UVB light will not benefit their health, but it will not harm them either. It is therefore up to you whether or not you want to use one. If you keep live plants in the tank, however, they will need UVB in order to grow and thrive.

Do You Need a Heat Light with Socket or Not?

Make sure you know what kind of socket your chosen heat light requires. While all bulbs will generally fit any lamp and function, the hotter ones may cause the lamp socket to melt if it isn’t tough enough.

The Durability of Light Bulbs

The durability of different incandescent lights varies considerably. While most manufacturers promise a certain lifespan, consumers frequently report that even bulbs from respected manufacturers burn out much faster than expected. Others claim no such issues exist.

The fact that light bulbs are delicate things that can be harmed by rough treatment is only one of the reasons why these bulbs fail. In addition to careful selection, purchasing a long-lasting bulb is a matter of chance.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for using and storing the bulbs. Some are sensitive to overheating, which might occur if they’re crammed inside domes [6]

Is it Safe to Use Ceramic Heat Bulbs For Your Pets?

Despite the claims, some percentage of red and blue illumination from the lights will be visible to your pet reptile. If you detect a change in your favorite gecko’s behavior when using the nocturnal light or if you’re merely cautious a ceramic bulb – also referred to as a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) – might be an excellent answer.

Ceramic bulbs are not real light bulbs since they only produce heat and no light. Ceramic heat bulbs, on the other hand, are genuine infrared bulbs because they emit only heat. They also give natural warmth due to their higher source, such as sunlight or hot rocks above the gecko burrows. Another advantage of CHEs is that they endure far longer than any regular light bulb.

Because of the high temperature, CHEs should be used with porcelain sockets rather than plastic ones. Furthermore, never touch the heated bulb!

If you have a tiny tank, keep in mind that most CHEs generate too much heat for tanks with a capacity of 20 gallons or less. A thermostat is required, but you may also regulate the heat output by using a dimmer switch or placing the bulb high above the tank [7].

Tips For Lighting Your Reptile’s Tank

These geckos have a low level of care needed when compared to many other pet reptiles. However, they do need light in order to live healthily. When you consider that pets spend the majority of their lives in a cage, it’s essential to provide an environment that is as comparable as possible to what they would encounter in the wild.

Here are some easy steps for lighting a tank [8]:

  • Remember that geckos are nocturnal creatures, so need both day and nighttime lighting;
  • Set the lights to a timer for a more natural way of simulating the daily/night cycle;
  • These geckos do not require a basking light or UVB lighting, but a low-intensity UV bulb may be beneficial for several hours each day;
  • There is little need to illuminate your gecko tank at night; too much illumination may frighten or stifle your gecko. Make sure there are covered hiding spots on both the warm and cool sides of the enclosure so that your gecko can relax in peace during the day;
  • Check your lighting on a regular basis to ensure that it is working properly. Replace the bulbs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations;

FAQ

How much light do geckos need per day?

You should follow a daily routine that simulates the day/night cycle in relation to your climate. This is how it should appear:

  • Spring and summer (for 6 months) – 10 hours of nighttime and 14 hours of daytime;
  • Autumn and winter (for 6 months) – 12 hours of nighttime and 12 hours of daytime;

It is critical that you gradually reduce or increase the time between seasons to make the transition more realistic. For a period of 4-8 weeks, these intervals can be reduced or increased by 15-30 minutes each week, allowing your gecko to adapt to the new season [9].

Can you use natural window light for your geckos?

While your window may look lovely throughout the summer, just a few hours of direct sunlight can quickly heat up your gecko’s tank. In addition, most of the beneficial UV radiation from the sun is obscured by windows. This implies that reptiles kept in sunlight from a window can still get metabolic diseases.

It’s better to avoid utilizing natural light, especially direct sunshine, as a source of lighting or heating for your gecko’s enclosure.

What is the best type of light for your pet reptile?

For geckos, 5 to 6% UVB lights are ideal. Made-for-reptiles UV lights are the best type of UV light because they provide controlled amounts of light and UV radiation. The majority of UV bulbs utilize fluorescence technology, however, mercury vapor bulbs also emit UVB [10]

What temperature should the enclosure be?

The temperature should be maintained at a range of 77-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Because heat rocks might become extremely hot and burn the gecko, they should be avoided. The relative humidity level should be 30-40% [11].  

Should light be turned off at night?

These geckos have an excellent nocturnal vision and do not require any light in the dark. Some owners, on the other hand, may want to keep a watch on their geckos at night. Red or blue lights are the ideal choices in this situation. 

Are the LED lights safe?

Pet reptiles thrive in low-light conditions, and high-wattage lights are not required. Halogen should be avoided because it can cause skin burns. LED may only produce light or have a low heat output, both of which are suitable for gecko care as long as the heating pad raises the temperatures to where they need to be.

Is red lighting bad for your geckos?

No, these geckos do not require red lighting at night. They may go about their daily routine without assistance. Using red light during the night will disrupt your gecko’s daytime and nighttime rhythms. The use of red light at night has a detrimental impact on newborn geckos’ sleep patterns [12]

How many watts should a gecko light be?

These reptiles require bulbs ranging from 15 to 150 watts, although 100 to 150 watts is ideal. If at all possible, look for a bulb that produces less UV radiation. The only drawback of this light is that it must be switched off at night, necessitating the addition of a new heat source after dark [13].  

Do leopard geckos require UVB or UVA?

Because these reptiles do not require UVB to survive, UVA/UVB light has been proven to significantly enhance the immune system, health, and well-being of all reptiles, both diurnal and crepuscular [14]

Do leopard geckos require a basking light?

Leopard reptiles are nocturnal, so they don’t lie in the light like other reptiles. However, keeping your tank at a proper temperature is critical. If you use under-tank heaters to keep the correct temperature levels in your tank, you may utilize any normal light bulb as a light source. It’s not a good idea to use your home’s natural light as the source for your gecko’s tank since your light cycle may not be the same as geckos’ native environment.

If you’re worried your gecko’s tank isn’t warm enough (even if you use under-tank heaters), a basking light is the way to go. Because the basking light provides both heat and illumination, you won’t need to purchase additional bulbs [15]

Is a black light good for your pet geckos?

Under a black light, tiny light-skinned geckos’ skeletons will glow. Because it could distort the eyesight, experts do not utilize black lights. However, it’s fascinating to observe. This is an intriguing concept, but unless your gecko is lighter in color and most of the area is dark or vice versa, it may not be effective [16]

What is better for a gecko – heat lamp or heat pad?

A heat mat may be just as important as a heat lamp, but it’s bad logic to believe you can get by without a heat lamp if you have one. These mats slide under tanks easily and are an excellent method to keep tank temperatures stable during the night.

Heat mats are popular among gecko owners since they take up less room in the tank. However, setting up a day-night cycle becomes more difficult without a heat lamp as well.

If you don’t intend to use a heat mat, keep in mind that the gecko tank must be kept at 68F at night. If the temperature in the tank is too low at night, utilize a ceramic heat lamp, which does not give off light [17].

Useful Video: Everything I Use With My Leopard Gecko | Heating, Lighting, Substrate, Tank, etc

Final thoughts 

The right light can change your gecko’s life. So, it is important to do the research and find the best one for you! Hopefully, this guide has helped answer some of your questions about lights available on the market today so that you are able to make an informed decision before investing in a product. Learn more by reading our post or contacting us directly with any other inquiries about these products!

References:

  1. https://beardeddragontank.com/how-to-set-up-the-perfect-leopard-gecko-lighting
  2. https://www.everythingreptiles.com/best-leopard-gecko-lighting
  3. https://www.everythingreptiles.com/best-leopard-gecko-lighting/#Option_1_Heat_Lamp_with_Night_Heat_Source
  4. https://oddlycutepets.com/best-light-for-leopard-geckos/
  5. https://oddlycutepets.com/best-light-for-leopard-geckos/
  6. https://www.terrariumquest.com/leopard-gecko/habitat/best-lighting/
  7. https://www.terrariumquest.com/leopard-gecko/habitat/best-lighting/
  8. https://wereallaboutpets.com/best-lights-for-leopard-geckos
  9. https://reptilesupply.com/blogs/leopard-geckos/leopard-gecko-lighting
  10. https://www.everythingreptiles.com/best-leopard-gecko-lighting/
  11. https://www.colchestervets.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/care-of-leopard-gekkos.pdf
  12. https://reptilecraze.com/do-leopard-geckos-need-red-light-at-night
  13. https://www.everythingreptiles.com/best-leopard-gecko-lighting/
  14. https://www.zillarules.com/-/media/files/zilla-na/us/care%20sheets/zl_leopardgeckos_handbook%20pdf.pdf
  15. https://www.thebeardeddragon.org/leopard-gecko/leopard-gecko-habitat.php
  16. http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/naturalistic-vivarium/42782-black-light.html
  17. https://reptilecraze.com/do-leopard-geckos-need-a-heat-lamp/