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crested gecko lighting

Lighting is an important feature of crested geckos’ habitat. Lights support temperature control and help maintain the right humidity in a reptile’s tank. That’s why it’s important for owners of pet reptile to buy the crested gecko lighting.

There are different kind of lights, all of which come with different benefits. The kind of light you choose greatly depends on your gecko’s immediate and long-term needs. There are UVA, UVB UVC, florescence, night light bulbs, etc. Some lights, like UVB for example, help your geckos attain better bone health.

What benefits do these lights offer to your crested gecko? How does light affect temperature in the terrarium? These and more will be discussed in this post. Once you’re done reading this article – you will be a crested gecko lighting expert!

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Is Crested Gecko Lighting Necessary?

You need to look at crested geckos’ native environment to determine if it needs supplemental lighting or not. Crested geckos are native to the southern region of New Caledonia in three major areas.

Areas where these reptiles spend most of their time receive about 10 to 14 hours of light every day. Crested geckos are active at twilight hours and don’t get too much exposure to light. Most crested geckos fancy the covering of leaves and branches to rest during daylight hours.

From all observations, crested geckos may not need extra lighting during the day. Crested geckos will be fine with regular ambient lighting of your surroundings. However, if you live in areas that don’t get enough hours of light every day, supplemental lighting could be necessary.

Nighttime for crested geckos is usually moonlight across regions in New Caledonia. With this observation, crested geckos don’t need nightlights as captive pets either. Crested geckos can rely on light from the moon to move. Apart from the moon’s light support, crested geckos have advanced night vision capabilities.

Why Should You Choose Lights for Your Crested Geckos?

Crested geckos could be hyper-sensitive to light based on their habitat, the kind of lighting, ambient temperature, and so on. Choosing the wrong light could spell doom for your crested gecko’s overall health. Crested geckos have to be within a temperature range of 70 – 80°F at all times.

Different Lights And Their Benefits To Your Crested Gecko

UVA light

This light when used in small amount is useful to your crested gecko. Studies show that UV-A helps reptiles regulate their natural behavior and is great for the overall health of your gecko.

UVB lights

There are many speculations about crested geckos and UVB lights. While some owners argue that the light is unnecessary, others advocate for using the lights for a few hours daily.

UVB lights help to provide vitamin D3 to reptiles. Some crested gecko owners use UVB lights for this reason. Others that object to UVB lighting offer insects dusted with vitamin D powder, thus eliminating the need for artificial lights. The choice to use supplemental crested gecko lighting rests entirely with you.

If you do opt for UVB lights for your reptile, several options in store will undoubtedly provide you more benefits.

Check out this light that has both UVA & UVB lighting:

UVC light

UV-C lighting does nothing to help your crested gecko, and doesn’t help other reptiles or animals at large. The light helps to kill bacteria, thus reducing the risk of illness. But when an animal is exposed to it for too long in huge amount, it could prove fatal.

Fluorescent light

Lights from standard fluorescent bulbs could support your reptiles. Fluorescent lights are energy-efficient and provide several flexible options for easy placement. You could get some fluorescent bulbs that emit over 20W per socket.

Several sizes are available and could be great for your crested gecko’s lighting needs during the day. Fluorescent lights can fit on most Exo Terra terrariums and provide spread illumination for your reptiles.

If you need ample UV lighting for a bigger tank, you can select CFL products from several brands on Amazon.

Night light crested gecko bulb

With a nightlight, you get 24 hours’ of heat directly to your crested gecko. But even with this feature, it provides very little light (visible light). The low ambient light of this fixture is to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt your reptiles’ sleep pattern.

Here’s the night light bulb we use for our crested geckos:

The bulb is perfect for owners that love to watch their reptiles’ activities at night without startling them. The bulb is designed for heat transfer, creating the best condition for your crested gecko.

If you plan to maintain a steady temperature and humidity in your crested gecko’s tank, this bulb could be handy. However, if you’re keen on ensuring a precise temperature and humidity, you may need a misting bottle, thermometer, and hygrometer.

Benefits of Lights To Crested Geckos

Behavior adjustment

Although crested geckos are nocturnal in nature, light is necessary to help your crested gecko adjust to a night/day pattern. Sticking to a regular night and day pattern helps your gecko maintain its health. Proper lighting in a dark area helps your gecko light up a room with no natural light.

Reduced stress

Not having a night/day pattern will cause stress to your reptile, putting it at risk of illness. Light is also important to help live plants in the terrarium grow. If the plants are artificial, the crested gecko itself still requires a little UV-A light to regulate its natural behavior. If you live in colder climate, lights are very important to generate heat for your crested gecko.

Plant growth stimulation

If you decide to use real plants in your gecko’s terrarium, lighting is important for growth to continue. Most plants need some level of light, even if the intensity varies. Wild plants are exposed to natural sunrays. Even if your lights don’t offer the full spectrum of natural rays, indoor plants will grow with artificial lighting.

Nurseries and gardens use two types of lights to provide a full spectrum for their plants. LED lighting is one of the most potent light forms that are eco-friendly and energy efficient. However, desist from using full spectrum lights in your crested geckos tank. Not all phases of full-spectrum lights are beneficial to crested geckos.

Focus on fluorescent lights in your crested geckos’ tank. Even if fluorescent lights are less-efficient, your crested geckos will benefit more from this lighting source.

Connection Between Light And Heat

Crested geckos have been termed the simplest reptiles to care for. They do very well at room temperature and will usually not need any extra heat source.

But this is not always the case, owing to the fact that some places are colder than others. If we live in cold conditions, the room temperature may not be proper for our crested gecko.

In this case, we will need special equipment to keep our terrarium warm. Some of this special equipment includes heaters, lights, etc.

There are lights built specifically for the purpose of heating and illumination. Knowing the nocturnal nature of crested geckos, lights for heating purposes should be enough, as geckos have excellent night vision.

For crested geckos, a moon light is just fine. Moonlights provide heat and minimal light, mimicking natural illumination. Moonlights do not disrupt the natural day and night pattern of geckos. These lights also help gecko owners who like to watch their pet activity at night.

If you live in cooler region, please make sure to monitor the temperature in the terrarium. A thermostat comes in handy to make sure the temperature in geckos’ tanks don’t fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crested geckos do not need too much heat. They do not need a basking spot. So when providing additional heat for your crested gecko, avoid halogen bulb, basking bulb etc. Such high heat bulbs could make your gecko’s terrarium unbearably hot. Your gecko could suffer several health problems due to overheating, which could prove fatal later on.

Tips For Using Lights In A Crested Gecko’s Terrarium

Avoid direct sunlight

Avoiding direct sunrays is important because crested geckos do not need too much heat. Temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit are bad for them and can make them sick (heatstroke). Prolonged heatstroke could cause a crested gecko to turn over and eventually die.

Avoid backlights

These bulbs give off UV-A rays, as discussed earlier. UV-A in large amount can harm your crested gecko. Ensure you make the right selection to protect your geckos from intense, harsh rays that may stress it out.

Avoid mercury vapor lights

These bulbs are another source of heat that could cause heat waves to your crested gecko. However, smart placement of these bulbs in an extremely-cold environment could work. Mercury vapor lights could die out on short notice, so you’ll have to replace them from time to time.

Best UVB Lights for Crested Geckos

Fluorescent bulbs that emit UVB lights come in three versions – 2.0, 5.0, and 10.0. Two versions – 2.0 and 5.0 – are ideal options for crested geckos terrariums. If you’re not using a large terrarium, don’t buy a 10.0 version UVB light. 10.0 lights could be harmful to your crested geckos too if it’s not a desert specie.


How much light does a crested gecko need?

Crested geckos need no more than 12hours of fluorescent light to complement their lighting cycle. Special UV lighting can be fitted in a gecko’s tank, however these reptiles may not need special bulbs to thrive.

What lighting is best for crested geckos?

There is some evidence that crested geckos can benefit from being exposed to low UV light. The overall health and behaviors of crested geckos could get a boost with correct lighting.

How much UVB does a crested gecko need?

Crested geckos require only 6 hours of UVB lights every day to thrive. Overheated tanks could cause a range of problems for your reptiles and affect it’s habitat’s humidity. However, you can leave UVB lighting out entirely, as crested geckos can thrive at room temperature.

Do crested geckos need light during the day?

If crested geckos get the right amount of vitamin supplements in their diet, they may not need daytime lighting at all. Crested geckos with enough vitamin D3 do not require lighting at any time.

Can crested geckos see in pitch black?

Crested geckos can see at night and in areas with very low light. Even if crested geckos have difficulty transmitting colors like humans, they can see in pitch-black conditions.

Should I leave my crested geckos light on at night?

Crested gecko lighting isn’t necessary at night. These diurnal reptiles have excellent vision in the dark. However, you can fit a dim light or nightlight in the room where your crested gecko’s tank is.

How cold is too cold for a crested gecko?

Crested geckos can tolerate temperatures around 60°F on cold nights. These reptiles can also withstand cold temperatures of around 50°F if there is a source of warmth nearby. Crested geckos exposed to extra-cold temperatures may suffer negative consequences, which may lead to death.

What time do crested geckos wake up?

Crested geckos are diurnal and will sleep for 12 hours every day and wake before or after dusk. These reptiles will remain awake until dawn.

Final Thoughts: Crested Gecko Lighting

Guaranteeing proper crested gecko lighting is important to maintain your reptile’s overall health. Crested geckos need some form of lighting regardless of your location. However, if you live in a very cold region, your gecko could need more light. Crested geckos are native to arid areas and could need lighting as a source of heat or illumination.

Select correct gecko lighting that won’t disrupt your pet’s day and night pattern. You don’t want to disturb your crested gecko’s sleep pattern. These diurnal reptiles need enough sleep every day to prevent stress symptoms from building up. With adequate crested gecko lighting, you can give your reptile all the support it needs.