It's hard to find 10+ UVB bulbs. I have a Red Foot Tortoise that needs 10%-12% daily UVB. I've been using the 10s but I've been wanting to use something a bit higher since she gets limited outdoor access. My UVB tester shows that the bulbs do provide... Read more
Regardless of your preferred scaly pet, there’s no replacement for proper, species appropriate reptile lighting and heating. Typically, this will come in both the forms of the previously mentioned heat and UVB bulbs and reptile heating pads.
Remember, different reptiles require varying heating and lighting needs. Factors such as wattage and temperature can vary between species, and what is a bare minimum for one animal can be deadly to another. It will also determine their preference in heating sources.
Certain animals that want to stay close to the ground, such as certain snakes, will benefit from a heating pad. Tree-loving reptiles like geckos would prefer heat that comes almost exclusively from elevated lamps. Typically, however, you can expect your reptile to need a “basking spot” that is hotter than the rest of the tank. You will also want to imitate the day/night cycle by leaving your lights off for 8 hours in the evening.
To ensure that your reptile is comfortable in its environment, be sure to regularly observe it. A happy, healthy reptile should appear clear eyed, consistently eating, and drinking water. If your pet seems stressed, is drinking too much or too little, or spending a lot of time in its hide spots, you may want to adjust your reptile lights. Reptiles can be sensitive animals, and an enclosure that is too hot, not hot enough, or not giving them the UVA/UVB exposure they need can cause serious health issues in the short and long term.
At this point, we have reviewed the importance of reptile light bulbs and making sure that you’re providing adequate heating and lighting for your pet’s species. Your pet will be dependent on whichever heat and light source it needs. Vitamin D and calcium absorption assisted by reptile lights are essential for the development and health of your pet. It is even observed that UVB exposure is important to the immune system regulation of reptiles.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that not providing the proper reptile light bulbs for your pet could cause a range of issues such as lethargy and poor digestion. In fact, your reptile being deprived of lighting for a long enough time could lead to various infections like pneumonia. Certain musculoskeletal issues also pop up when lighting needs remain unmet.
Overall, it is important to do your research on your reptile’s lighting needs before committing to it. Remember, it’s going to need this part of its care maintained for the rest of its life.
As with any electronic device, it is possible for your reptile lighting and heating devices to have issues. In extreme cases your bulbs can short circuit, come too close to water sources, and even explode. Of course, this can result in injury or illness to your pet. In most cases, however, you may experience an extended outage in your vivarium, which is still undesirable.
While there is a small level of risk in dealing with lighting and heating, there’s no need to fear. You can greatly reduce the risk of any undesirable accidents or issues by implementing basic safety precautions:
Remember, staying alert and knowing what to look for are important to keeping any pet’s enclosure well maintained. With the proper planning, you will have a completely safe, worry-free setup for your pet to bask in.
Your pet deserves an enriched, happy life where all of its physical and emotional needs are accounted for. After all, it’s part of your life now. By investing in proper reptile lights and other heating equipment, you are doing your part in giving it the home it deserves.