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Lighting Requirements for Reptiles


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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3 Lighting Requirements for Good Health

Light is important for herps in many ways. Exposure to full-spectrum sunlight with ultraviolet-B (UVB) light is necessary for many herps to produce Vitamin D and to properly use calcium. Further, reptiles rely on the natural day/night cycle to thrive (indoors, you must mimic this natural cycle with proper lighting). Finally, light sources also often provide necessary heat. To be effective, your lighting setup must strictly satisfy three requirements:

UV requirements - Reptiles are all over the spectrum when it comes to their need for UVB light. Iguanas and many other lizards need high levels of UVB light, as do tortoises. Some amphibians and snakes, such as the ball python, do not require UVB light and will do well with simple incandescent bulbs. Research your pet's needs, and if UVB is required, be sure the bulb information states it produces UVB in the 290-320 nanometer range. Whatever type of light your pet needs, you'll find the right bulbs and fixtures here.

Duration - Some tropical species need consistent cycles of day and night, while species from temperate regions are accustomed to more fluctuation. With the Coralife Power Center, you can regulate the timing of multiple light sources, and easily make seasonal adjustments.

Temperature - Your cold-blooded pet moves from place to place in order to attain the optimum temperature he desires at any given moment. With careful arrangement of rocks, platforms, vines, and heat-producing lamps you can provide the cool hiding places, warm basking spots, and temperature gradients your specific pet needs to regulate his body temperature. Satisfying these heating and lighting requirements is every bit as basic and important as providing the right foods for the health of your pet. Make lighting a top priority.

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