I was told that I should only use white light for my bearded dragon and that red bulbs can actually be detrimental to them. The pet store sold me an expensive red bulb to use, so I am confused whether this is true.

Should only white bulbs be used during the daytime for my bearded dragon? Is this true of most pet lizards, or is it just because of the type?

To sum it up, my question is what is the proper way to provide heat and lighting for my bearded dragon?


1 Answer 1


Note: This will be true for most, if not all, lizards, but not necessarily for snakes and possibly turtles, as their eyes are different.

The idea behind the red bulbs was that reptiles couldn't see the red spectrum of light. With this in mind, the idea was you could have the red light on all night, keeping them warm, but not keeping them awake.

It's pretty well accepted to be false now, as there wasn't any research to back the claim up, and research has shown that reptiles, while they see things differently than us, are capable of seeing color and lights (If you watch TV with your dragon, you might notice him watching it with you).

So unless you give your lizard a really nice place to hide out of the light, it will keep them from sleeping well. Think of it like if you slept in a room with the light on each night. You might be able to sleep, but you might not sleep quite as well as you would with the light off.

As far as red lights in the day: in my opinion they're just colored lights, and I'm not aware of any long-term effects from having them as day lights. But they won't give off any UV light, and they likely won't give off enough heat for a bearded dragon, so they're effectively useless to have.

For a bearded dragon, you will want a good UV light that's meant for desert reptiles, and a good heat lamp that will keep the basking side at about 100 degrees fahrenheit. Personally, I use ReptiSun 10.0 UV lights ( the straight tube not the coils), and a ceramic bulb for the basking area.

I've actually used normal 100 watt light bulbs for my basking lamp before and they worked fine. Although they burnt out too quickly for my taste (about once a month), which is why I switched to a ceramic lamp.

  • So I can use a regular 100 watt light bulb for my basking area?
    – user7004
    Apr 8, 2016 at 13:05
  • @Tracy Yup, all that matters is the temperature. Although I did find out that they burn out fairly quickly because of the heat. I was replacing them once every month or so. I've switched to a ceramic bulb since, and I think it's ended up being cheaper in the long run.
    – Spidercat
    Apr 8, 2016 at 13:50