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Picking The Right Basking Bulbs

halogen basking bulb

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Bearded dragons are a species that comes from a warm climate and being cold-blooded it is highly important to keep them warm enough. Beardies can get sick or they won’t thrive if they aren’t being kept as warm as they should be. So when prepping the habitat for your bearded dragon, paying mind to proper basking bulbs and heat lamps is imperative. But first, lets make sure you have the correct background understanding!

The general temperature you should be keeping their habitat at is between 90 and 95 degrees when it’s daytime. Basking is an important part of daily life for your bearded dragon, as heat helps them to properly digest their food and light helps with absorbing their nutrients. Their basking station should be around 100 degrees for optimal heat and light absorption.

Your beardie’s habitat should stay warm overnight, but your heat lamps should be turned off at night time to ensure the heat isn’t too intense for your pet. UV rays are so important in keeping them healthy so the proper UV bulbs are going to help you as an owner ensure they stay well and comfortable.

Wattage also plays an important role in ensuring the right amount of light and heat for your habitat. But what kind of bulbs and heat lamps should you consider for a proper habitat for your buddy? Let’s talk a little deeper about your options so you’ll be plenty prepared to set up your beardie’s new home.

Basking Bulbs

The right kind of basking bulbs to consider for your bearded dragon are halogen bulbs that doesn’t put out any color. A basic white bulb that is between 50 and 150 watts depending on the size of your terrarium and the size of your bearded dragon. The sweet spot to typically aim for is about 75 watts if you’re worried the bulb is too low or too high of a wattage.

EXO TERRA Sun-Glo Basking SpotExo-Terra has such a wide range of basking products that provide the right range of light and heat for beardie basking purposes. Their Sun-Glo bulbs come in a variety of wattages and shapes so you can either give a tight beam of light or specific width for your beardie’s size or their terrarium’s size. These basking bulbs are also specifically designed to give off UVB rays to ensure proper digestion and nutrient absorption for your bearded dragon. Click the following link to get caught up on your UVB knowledge for bearded dragons.

These bulbs give off a lot of heat so it is important to have the right kind of lamp in order to accommodate them. A 4 pack of these are energy-efficient and will last you a good long while so they’re worth the price.Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp

Another great option we highly recommend is the Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp. This one also comes in a range from 50 to 150 watts but has a tighter range of light that it provides. It is an affordable option though and very reliable so you don’t have to worry about replacing too often.

Nighttime Heating

Exo Terra Night Glo Reptile Bulbs

Your beardie still needs to stay warm at night, but the aim for bedtime is for the light and heat to be less harsh. But what are your options for nighttime heating and lighting? There are a few options you can consider.

Nighttime bulbs like the Exo Terra Night Glo Reptile Bulbs provide a dim 15-75 wattage light in dark reds or blues to provide warmth without the harshness of daylight. These bulbs help keep the terrarium at a proper temperature without being too bright and disrupting your beardie’s sleep schedule.

Another option is something like a ceramic heat lamp that provides heat but no light so you can be sure your beardie’s home is always at a consistent temperature. These also come in wattage from 50 to 150 and the singular purpose of these ceramic lamps just to provide heat. It is important to use a porcelain socket because anything like plastic or other materials are subject to melting due to the level of heat these give off.

For ceramic heat lamps, we recommend both the Wuhostam Ceramic Heat Lamp or Fluker’s Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter. Ceramic is recommended because it reduces issues, injury, and mishaps that can happen with other materials. Ceramic conducts heat in a safe way without risking burning or dehydration for your beardie.

Wuhostam Ceramic Heat Lamp

Alternative Options

You could also consider something like a Mercury Vapor Bulb as they can be helpful for larger terrariums and provide heat and UV rays. Because they can be so concentrated in the heat they produce, they aren’t recommended for smaller beardies as the heat can be too intense. Zoo Med has a great option for Mercury Vapor Bulbs, so if that’s the route you’re wanting to go you can find a wide range of wattage options.

Another interesting heating element is something like a substrate or under tank heater. They can keep your beardie warm without being too intense as they go underneath the substrate or the tank and warm through the floor. Just make sure to monitor the temperature either way so the heat doesn’t get out of hand.

Final Thoughts

Whatever route you decide to go for heating and lighting your bearded dragon’s new home, it is important that you pay special attention to your individual pet’s needs.

Honestly, if my apartment didn't allow dogs I never would have had the chance to see how cool Beardies were. Me and my little guy are best buds! I've done a lot of research over time, so I figured I'd just share some info to help others on their bearded dragon journeys.

Important: is for informational purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always consult a veterinarian for bearded dragon concerns.

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