Best Light For Leopard Gecko

A good source of light for most reptiles is direct sunlight, but this may be problematic for some species. For example, if your leopard geckos are spending too much time in the sun, it can cause them to overheat and suffer from heat stress or even death.

If you must expose your lizard to natural light, make sure that they have adequate shelter and shade. They will need at least 10 inches of shady retreat per inch of body length. An easy way to provide such shelter is by using glass aquariums as covers. You can also use empty plastic containers with lids or towels under the tank to help protect them from overheating.

In addition to protecting your reptile from overexposure to light, knowing which type of light is best for different types of animals is important.

Bright light

As mentioned before, leopard geckos prefer bright lights to aid in activity regulation. For example, if you want your lizard to wake up and be active during dusk or night time, then there should be an adequate amount of natural sunlight or bright lamp exposure.

Just make sure that the light is not too strong, otherwise it may cause phototaxis (moving away from light) and thus sleeping.

Geckos will also require frequent changes of lighting environments as their skin responds differently to different wavelengths.

For instance, golden geckos like blue light, so they would enjoy a low-keyed white bulb with some green tingeing it. Whereas, redheaded geckos are stimulated by warmer, more reddish bulbs, just remember to never use warm fluorescent tubes because they could potentially burn them!

Something important to note is that although most lizards can survive being outside at night without a cage or shelter, they still need to retreat under cover at bedtime to avoid getting hit by moonlight or other external sources of light.

Fuzzy, natural light

best light for leopard gecko

As mentioned before, leopard geckos prefer indirect sunlight to direct sun exposure. This is because they need UV rays to help promote healthy skin and bone growth.

Indirect sunlight is also better for their general health as it helps lower stress levels. Since geckos are diurnal lizards that spend most of the day active, this makes sense!

However, you should never completely cover your lizard’s enclosure with dark shades or curtains. This could cause overheating since they would be unable to regulate body temperature properly.

Instead, use white plastic sheeting or paper to create shade in the shelter area. You can even use black cloth if needed, but make sure it is removable so you don’t end up with burnt fur.

Low light


For reptiles, low-light conditions are an important factor in determining their activity level. When they become inactive, it can be due to death or sleep.

When lizards lose muscle tone, they enter stage 2 diapasonal rhythm where they remain active only enough to breathe and circulate blood. This is called torpor!

Torpedo box lizards use this tactic when they feel threatened by predators. They also use it during winter hibernation when there’s not much food around.

By having adequate exposure to lower intensity light, your leopard geckos will find it easier to go through these stages and therefore enjoy more time with them.

Types of bulbs

There are several types of cool white fluorescent bulbs that you can use to create indirect sunlight. These include A19 tubes which have a 19% efficiency rating, R26 bulbs which have a 26% efficiency rating,and HO9 bulbs which have a 9% efficiency rating. You should aim to get 24 – 30% efficiency ratings as most species can survive just fine on 10%-20% of direct sun exposure!

Lengthy exposures beyond one hour may cause overheating and stress on your lizard, so look for shorter exposures if possible.

Undefined light


For many reptiles, eating is a pretty basic task. They rely heavily on taste or sight to tell them when it’s time to eat something.

For most lizards however, digestion takes longer than for other species. This means that they cannot quickly determine if an item is nutritional by looking at it!

By having a variety of natural sunlight sources available to your lizard, she will be able to find her optimal diet more easily.

There are two main reasons why this is important. The first is that leopard geckos have special sensory cells in their mouths and skin which help regulate body temperature. If these don’t get enough sun exposure, then they won’t function properly.

This could cause overheating and death, so ensuring that your leopard gecko has adequate UVB rays from the sun is very important. The second is that some vitamins in food can be detected by how brightly they glow under certain wavelengths of light.

Finding his ideal balance of nutrition may require professional assistance, but not being aware of what he needs can be deadly for him.

Excessive heat

best light for leopard geckoAs mentioned before, reptiles need adequate exposure to light to regulate their body temperatures. However, too much sunlight can be detrimental to your leopard geckos!

Exposure to excessive amounts of bright light can cause your lizard to overexpose its skin layer, which then reacts by producing more pigment or “tanning”. This process happens when lizards try to protect themselves from further sunburn by clumping together or hiding in darker areas. If this is done for long periods of time, it can actually impair natural behaviors such as eating, mating, and/or swimming!

Because leopards are nocturnal animals that usually roam around during night hours, they are at greater risk of overheating due to lack of activity under dimmed lights. Nocturnal lizards also tend to conserve energy so they use less internal body temperature than diurnally active species do.

Lack of ventilation


As mentioned before, light is one of the most important factors in determining how well your geckos are doing. A dark tank makes it more difficult to identify lizards in the box which may lead to them giving up or hiding even when they need to eat or breed!

If possible, try to have at least an inch wide gap between the top of the water surface and the tank’s cover. This way, there is limited exposure to darkness due to the cover. Also make sure that any bright lights you use are shielded properly so that none of their rays get reflected back onto the lizard.

Sunlight can also be helpful if used correctly. Some species of leopard gecko will not grow healthy if exposed directly to strong sunlight during midday hours, as they require lower levels of vitamin D to function properly.

You can help this by using either shade cloth or shades (also called sunshades) to block off some of the direct sunlight. You want to make sure these do not touch the tank though because that could cause heat stress.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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