Leopard gecko is a nocturnal animal that is mostly active in the dark and dormant at daytime; however, the habitat they live in still needs to be properly illuminated for some reasons. Be sure to understand leopard gecko lighting requirements, to install proper light source in its terrarium, and to understand how to plan the dark-light cycle of the terrarium. We will discuss more about that below.

Why Does Leopard Gecko Need Light Source?

There are several reasons why you should install proper light source on your leopard gecko’s enclosure.

  1. Your lovely pet needs to know when it is a daytime and when it is night. Their life cycle and all associated activities and behaviors rely on light cycle in their enclosure.
  2. Leopard gecko needs to heat up their body. Their favorite place to get heat is an illuminated basking spot. This is the reason why although they are a nocturnal animal, they may go out from time to time at daytime to heat up their body.

What Kind of Leopard Gecko Lighting Is Needed?

When it comes to planning your leopard gecko lighting, there are several types of lamp that you can use to illuminate their terrarium.

UV Light

UV light bulb functions as an artificial sun for your leopard gecko. It not only illuminates their terrarium with its bright white light, but also provides them with warmth. As mentioned above, leopard gecko occasionally goes out from their hiding place to heat up their body in a basking spot. You can use UV light to illuminate that spot.

It is important to understand, though, that the use of UV light in a leopard gecko terrarium should be properly controlled, or even limited. Leopard gecko is a nocturnal animal. Although they may heat up their body at daytime, they do it very rarely, so heating up under the sun is not something that is very essential for them to remain comfortable. An illuminated basking spot is not always needed, especially if you use a mat heater. In fact, excessively exposing your pet to UV light might be dangerous for them because the light may cause stress.

If you worry about your lizard’s bone development, worry not because leopard gecko is unlike other lizards, whose bone health relies on sufficient exposure to UV ray. Leopard gecko’s bone will remain healthy even with very minimal exposure to UV ray.

Black or Red Heat Lamp

Black or red heat lamp is a better option for your leopard gecko lighting. It is completely harmless if compared with UV ray. You can use either lamp to illuminate your pet’s terrarium and to recreate the day-night cycle inside the terrarium.

Planning Your Leopard Gecko Lighting

You should use the light to recreate the day-night cycle your pet is accustomed to. Remember that your pet will hibernate at daytime and become active at night, so be sure that they can still distinguish daytime from nighttime when they move to your house. Set a timer to turn on the light for 14 hours or 12 hours in the summer and winter respectively and to turn it off for the remaining time in a day. This rule applies even if you use a mat heater. Leopard gecko lighting is still needed even if the mat is heated.