If you’re a reptile pet enthusiast, you’ll know that some species of lizards require UVB lighting in their tank setup to keep them healthy. However, not all lizards have the same requirements. Crested geckos – for example – are a common reptile pet, but when setting up their enclosure, the requirements are a lot different from those of other lizards. So, do crested geckos need UVB?
Crested geckos do not need UVB because they are nocturnal, but basking them in low-level UVB lighting for 2-6 hours per day can improve their overall health. You do not need to provide any special lighting and heating for the lizards to be happy and healthy.
Do crested geckos need UVB or UVA?
Crested geckos need light to help them maintain their circadian rhythm and bodily functions. Therefore, provide Ultraviolet light (UVA) in the enclosure to help the gecko regulate its natural rhythm of day and night. Also, provide UVB light for a brief period to help crested geckos synthesize vitamin D3.
When setting up their vivarium, it is also important to provide some UVC as well in their enclosure to help kill germs and pathogens that can cause the reptile health problems.
Unlike other lizards such as bearded dragons, crested geckos may not require UVB lighting for heat production and synthesis of vitamin D. The gecko can live and thrive in an enclosure that does not have light at night because they are nocturnal (active at night).
What type of light does a crested gecko need?
Crested geckos need natural light during the day to maintain their circadian rhythm. Therefore, during the day, crested geckos should have access to natural light or at least the standard fluorescent lights for a short period of basking.
Do not provide any lighting for the crested gecko during the night because the lizards are nocturnal and will not require any light. In addition, providing any lighting will interrupt the reptile’s activity and even the normal cycle of day and night, which will not be healthy for them at all.
Should I leave my crested gecko’s light on at night?
Crested geckos do not need light at night because they are nocturnal creatures. Leaving a light on at night will disrupt the natural cycle of day and night, leading to behavioral problems. It is best to let them access natural light for 4-6 hours only every day to keep them healthy.
When you provide too might light during the night, crested geckos will find it uncomfortable staying or even moving about in their enclosure. So they will end up hiding in a few dark spots in the enclosure, which means they will not eat properly or even move around freely to drink water.
The result will be a stressed crested gecko. Even worse, failure to eat will lead to problems of being underweight or even a dehydrated crested gecko. That is how important it is for you to switch off the light of your crested gecko’s enclosure at nightfall.
Best Light for Crested Geckos
Even though you won’t need any lighting to keep your crested gecko happy and healthy, you might want to add a UVB lamp to keep the gecko warm and provide a basking spot in the vivarium.
There’s scientific evidence that exposure to UV light can help the geckos remain naturally healthy. Here are two best lights for crested geckos:
Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent
Zoo Med has been in business since 1974 and they are one of the leading manufacturers in producing reptile supplies not just for lizards but for other reptiles too, like snakes or turtles.
The Reptisun 5.0 fluorescent is an excellent lamp for your crested gecko due to the following features and benefits:
Features and benefits:
- Balanced UVB output
- Energy efficiency
Zoo Med ReptiSun’s UVB lamps have a balanced spectrum of light. In addition, the lamp is equipped with the latest technology for energy saving and offers up to 12% more UV rays than other ZooMed products.
Maintaining your crested gecko’s health by providing it with the proper lighting is vital, especially because they are nocturnal. That means you will need a Zoo Med ReptiSun Mini Compact Fluorescent Light to provide enough basking time during daytime hours so that your pet reptile won’t experience any stress or discomfort from a change in day and night cycles.
Zoo Med Reptisun Led Terrarium Hood
Another top-rated lamp I would recommend for your crested gecko is the Zoo Med Reptisun LED Terrarium Hood. This light produces 5% UVB rays and 30% UVA rays.
Here are the features:
- Provides warmth to your crested gecko’s vivarium
- A 13-watt bulb uses less power, making it a great choice for those conscious of the environment and their bill.
- It offers a balance between UVA and UVB lights to keep your pet lizard healthy.
If you’re setting up an enclosure for your crested gecko, you can choose from these two lamps to keep your lizard happy and healthy. Remember to add safe plants to your crested gecko’s enclosure to provide the pet with some hiding and climbing areas.
Do crested geckos need a heat mat?
You may need to place a UVB lamp in some enclosures to help with lighting and heating. Pet owners sometimes use the light as an alternative to a heating pad. But do crested geckos really need a heat mat?
That depends on the temperature in their enclosure. So, if you’re keeping your crested gecko in an enclosure that is 72-80 F, they will not need a heat mat and can depend solely on their basking light for warmth.
Suppose you are raising them in an environment with temperatures below 72 degrees Fahrenheit or in wintertime when the outside air temperature falls below 70 degrees. In that case, providing some supplemental heating may be necessary to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Therefore, to answer the question:
Crested geckos do not need a heating pad if the temperature of their enclosure is 72-80 F. However, since they depend on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature, provide them with a heating pad if the temperature drops below 72-80 F and also during winter.
Therefore, it is important to know the signs that your crested gecko is feeling cold so that you know when to provide adequate light and heat in the form of UVB lamps within their basking spots.
Keep in mind the following about temperature:
- If it is too cold (below 72 degrees Fahrenheit), your crested gecko will show signs such as a lack of appetite, lethargy and decreased activity.
- If crested geckos are too warm (above 80 degrees Fahrenheit), they will have signs such as a constant panting or drooling that may seem excessive, bright colors from red to blue on the crests around their head area and dehydration.
- If it is too hot (above 82 degrees Fahrenheit), your crested gecko will feel stressed and want to escape the heat by hiding or going into a crevice in their enclosure.
- If you can provide light and heat needs for them, they won’t need any supplemental heating besides basking spots with UVB lamps during the daytime.
Heatstroke can easily kill the lizard, so it is important to closely monitor the enclosure’s temperature if you’ve added a heating pad to prevent any heat-related problems.
If heat stroke does happen, the gecko will be lethargic and lack appetite, which can lead to coma or death if left untreated for too long.
Lighting Tips for Crested Geckos
Keeping your cresties in an enclosure with UVB-producing bulbs is essential for their health because it provides them with Vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption and reduces the risk of metabolic bone disease in crested geckos caused by insufficient amounts of calcium. It’s not just about lighting either; temperature plays a vital role too. The ideal ambient temperature for these animals ranges between 70°F and 80°F.
Crested geckos do not require a specific type of light to maintain their vitamin D levels and do not need an ultraviolet source to synthesize Vitamin D3. However, having a UVB bulb in the enclosure will promote natural behaviors like basking, which some scientists believe to have health benefits such as improved immune systems and increased longevity.
Here are tips for setting up light in the enclosure of your crested gecko:
- Position the UVB light at one end of your enclosure and place a heat lamp on the opposite side. The crested gecko will use both lights as needed, depending on where they are in their enclosure.
- Add an incandescent bulb to illuminate any dark areas or add a nighttime viewing light if desired.
- If you have two lamps working together (i.e., UVB + Heat), make sure that each is positioned at no more than 12 inches between them for optimal heat distribution and lighting throughout the cage.
- Allow for total darkness during the night so that the lizard can become active and hunt. Crested geckos are nocturnal and the lack of exposure to light will help regulate their sleep cycles.
Can crested geckos see red light?
Red light spectrum is between 600-700nm wavelengths. Crested geckos can see this range of red light. Therefore, it is not a good idea to install red light bulbs in the lizard’s enclosure as this will interrupt their day-night cycle and cause them stress.
As already discussed, crested geckos prefer total darkness at night when they’re active, so it is best not to provide any bulbs in their enclosures unless they do not receive any direct sunlight during the day.
Can you use blue night light for crested geckos?
Blue light has a wavelength between 400 and 525 nanometers, which crested geckos can see. You can install a blue light bulb in the gecko’s enclosure, but make sure you switch it off at nightfall because the light will interfere with their normal sleep-wake cycle.
While you can install a blue light in the tank, only use it for your vision and for short times, but not when providing light for your crested gecko. You can also use blue light for the daytime cycle, but keep in mind that this is when the crested gecko will be sleeping the most.
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