Crested Gecko Lighting – Complete Guide for Beginners

One of the best things about crested geckos is that they thrive at room temperature. They don’t need any special lighting and heating as long as you are not living in a chilly area or want to grow real plants in the terrarium.

There are many types of lighting and heating equipment available in the market that can aid in maintaining optimal temperatures in your crested gecko tank. However, we don’t recommend placing your pet near windows as it can become very hot too quickly. While the plants may benefit from the light, your gecko does not receive the beneficial UVB through the glass in the window.

In this article, we are going to cover crested gecko lighting and heating requirements in detail.

Is Lighting for Crested Geckos Necessary

To assess whether or not crested geckos require extra lighting, look at their natural environment. Crested geckos are found in three primary areas of New Caledonia’s southern region.

Every day, these reptiles are exposed to around 10 to 14 hours of light in the areas where they spend most of their time. Crested geckos are active during the twilight hours and are not exposed to excessive light. During the day, most crested geckos prefer to rest under a canopy of leaves and branches.

Observations suggest that crested geckos may not require additional lighting during the day. Crested geckos will be alright if your surroundings have consistent ambient lighting. Supplemental lighting may be required if you reside in a region where you don’t get enough hours of light each day.

In most parts of New Caledonia, crested geckos spend their nights in the moonlight. Crested geckos, based on this observation, do not require nightlights as confined pets. Crested geckos can move by relying on moonlight. Crested geckos have strong night vision abilities in addition to the moon’s illumination.

Natural environment

Crested geckos are native to New Caledonia’s south coast. Three distinct populations of crested geckos can be found:

  • Isle of Pines
  • Blue River (Grande Terre)
  • South of Mount Dzumac (Grande Terre)

Crested geckos are crepuscular lizards that are active most of the night, with peak activity at dawn and dusk. It’s a good idea to check at the typical length of daylight in their natural environment to see if crested geckos require light for proper health. New Caledonia has an average length of daylight ranging from 10 to 14 hours depending on the season, as shown in the table below.

Crested geckos are most active during the twilight hours, which are dawn and dusk. As a result, in the wild, crested geckos don’t get much sunlight. They will sleep under the cover of leaves or branches for most of the day.

At night, crested geckos will be active as well, with only the moon and stars to illuminate their surroundings. Crested geckos, on the other hand, are accustomed to living in dim light and can see just fine.

What role does light play for crested geckos?

Although crested geckos are active during periods of low light, this does not negate the importance of light in their lives. In fact, both heat and light are vital to the survival of your crested gecko.

When the sun sets, a crested gecko awakens and remains awake until the sun rises. The biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, is influenced by a number of elements, one of which is light (and heat).

This clock can be deregulated if a crested gecko is kept in a room with no windows and no natural day/night cycle. A crested gecko with a malfunctioning biological clock may grow anxious and develop health problems.

Crested geckos require a light cycle to know when to wake up and when to go to sleep, but they do not require the heat that some lights provide. Crested geckos thrive in room temperatures and will only require additional heating if the terrarium is kept in a cold environment (for example, if you live in a colder region).

Do crested geckos need UVB light?

The illumination requirements of diurnal lizards have been studied extensively. The day gecko is an excellent example of a diurnal lizard that is active during the day. In summary, diurnal lizards require special UVB lamps in their terrarium to support natural behavior and aid in vitamin D3 synthesis.

However, it’s unclear whether crested geckos, as nocturnal lizards, require UVB lighting and, if so, for how long. There are many diverse perspectives on the requirement for crested geckos to be exposed to UVB rays. Some argue that a small amount of UVB light is useful, while others argue that it is unnecessary.

As a result, many breeders and crestie owners do not utilize UVB lighting, and their crested geckos thrive. Others utilize UVB lights for a short period of time, perhaps 4 to 6 hours every day, and their crested geckos turn out beautifully as well.

Do crested geckos need light to see?

Although crested geckos can see in the dark, it is still preferable to have a terrarium light if you keep your crestie in a room with no windows. This light will not only help you see your crested gecko better at night, but it will also help your crested gecko see better.

It’s worth noting that when the so-called night lights are turned on, your crested gecko could not become extremely active. For example, when I utilized the Exo Terra Day & Night Led, I discovered that a crested gecko becomes more active at night when the led light is left on.

So, in my instance, the terrarium receives only light from the windows, and a crested gecko appears to be alright with very little light and can see and explore the terrarium.

Why Should You Choose Lights for Your Crested Geckos?

Crested geckos may be hypersensitive to light depending on their environment, lighting, ambient temperature, and other factors. Your crested gecko’s general health could be jeopardized if you use improper light. Crested geckos must be kept in a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

The Effects of Different Lights on Your Crested Gecko & benefits

UVA light

This light is beneficial to your crested gecko when used in tiny amounts. UV-A has been shown in studies to help reptiles control their natural behavior and is beneficial to your gecko’s general health.

UVB lights

Many theories exist about crested geckos and UVB lighting. While some owners believe that the light is superfluous, others believe that it should be used for a few hours each day.

UVB lamps assist reptiles in obtaining vitamin D3. UVB lights are used by certain crested gecko owners for this purpose. Others who are against UVB lighting give insects that have been powdered with vitamin D powder, which eliminates the need for artificial lighting. You have complete control over whether or not to employ supplemental crested gecko lights.

If you choose UVB lamps for your reptile, there are various variations available in the market that will surely provide you with additional benefits.

UVC light

UV-C illumination is ineffective for your crested gecko, as well as other reptiles and animals in general. The light aids in the killing of microorganisms, lowering the chance of sickness. However, if an animal is exposed to it for an extended period of time and in large quantities, it can be lethal.

Fluorescent lighting

Standard fluorescent bulbs may be able to help your reptiles. Fluorescent lights are energy-efficient and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them ideal for a variety of applications. You might be able to find fluorescent lights that produce more than 20 watts per socket.

There are several sizes available, and they could be ideal for your crested gecko’s daytime lighting needs. Most Exo Terra terrariums can accommodate fluorescent lights, which provide distributed illumination for your reptiles.

On Amazon, you may choose CFL items from a variety of companies if you require more UV lighting for a larger tank.

Night light crested gecko bulb

A nightlight provides 24 hours of direct heat to your crested gecko. However, even with this feature, it only provides a small amount of light (visible light). This fixture’s low ambient light ensures that your reptiles’ sleep patterns are not disturbed.

The bulb is ideal for reptile owners who want to keep an eye on their pets at night without frightening them. The bulb is designed to transfer heat, ensuring the greatest possible environment for your crested gecko.

This bulb could come in handy if you want to keep the temperature and humidity in your crested gecko’s tank consistent. A misting bottle, thermometer, and hygrometer may be required if you want to maintain a precise temperature and humidity.

Benefits of using Lights in Crested Geckos Terrarium

Behavioral modification

Despite the fact that crested geckos are naturally nocturnal, light is required to help your crested gecko acclimate to a night/day cycle. Maintaining a regular night and day routine is beneficial to your gecko’s health. Your gecko can light up a space with no natural light by using proper lighting in a dark place.

Stress reduction

Your reptile will be stressed if it does not have a night/day schedule, placing it at danger of sickness. Light is also necessary for the growth of live plants in the terrarium. Even though the plants are fake, the crested gecko requires a small amount of UV-A light to maintain its natural behavior. If you reside in a colder climate, lights are essential for keeping your crested gecko warm.

Plant growth stimulation

If you choose to utilize real plants in your gecko’s terrarium, proper lighting is essential for continued growth. Even if the intensity fluctuates, most plants require some form of light. Plants in the wild are exposed to natural sunlight. Indoor plants will flourish under artificial illumination, even if it does not provide the entire range of natural rays.

To provide a full spectrum for their plants, nurseries, and gardens utilize two types of lighting. LED lighting is one of the most powerful eco-friendly and energy-efficient light sources available. In your crested geckos’ aquarium, however, avoid using full-spectrum lighting. Crested geckos do not benefit from all phases of full-spectrum lighting.

In your crested geckos’ aquarium, concentrate on fluorescent lights. Despite the fact that fluorescent lights are less energy-efficient, your crested geckos will benefit more from this type of lighting.

View your crested gecko at night

You’ll need to have exceptionally good eyes or utilize a lighting fixture to see your crested gecko at night. Some night lights, such as the Exo Terra Day & Night Led (Amazon), will allow you to watch your crested gecko without disrupting its natural behaviour.

As I previously stated, you may not require this light because your crested gecko is more active without it. In this situation, another alternative for keeping an eye on your crestie’s nocturnal activities is to use a night vision (web)cam. I use the Wyze cam (Amazon), which is a simple to use and reasonably priced night vision camera.

Heat And Light Connection

Crested geckos are said to be the easiest reptiles to keep. They do well at room temperature and normally do not require any additional heat.

However, due to the fact that certain regions are colder than others, this is not always the case. If we reside in a cold climate, the room temperature for our crested gecko may be too cold.

Crested geckos should be kept in 60 & 80 degrees Fahrenheit (16-27 C), without dramatic swings. These are the safe minimum and maximum ranges. Going lower into the 50s at night is also safe as long as they are not kept at this temperature for long.

We’ll need specific equipment to keep our terrarium warm if the temperature drops below the minimum range. Heaters, lighting, and other specialized equipment are among the items available.

There are lights that are designed specifically for heating and illumination. Given crested geckos’ nocturnal propensity, lighting for heating purposes should suffice, as geckos have great night vision.

A moonlight is sufficient for crested geckos. Moonlights resemble natural illumination by providing heat and a little amount of light. Geckos’ natural day and night cycle is not disrupted by moonlight. These lights are especially useful for gecko owners who want to keep an eye on their pets at night.

If you reside in a colder climate, keep an eye on the temperature in the terrarium. A thermostat is useful for ensuring that the temperature in geckos’ tanks stays above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crested geckos don’t require a lot of heat. They don’t require a place to rest. So, when it comes to supplying extra heat for your crested gecko, stay away from halogen bulbs, basking bulbs, and the like. Your gecko’s terrarium may become extremely hot as a result of these high-heat bulbs. Overheating could cause a variety of health problems in your gecko, some of which could be fatal.

What UVB light is suitable for crested geckos?

UVB lighting for crested geckos is sold by a variety of companies, and not all of them use the same terminology. Some of the most popular brands, as well as the lights that are compatible and safe for use with crested geckos, are listed below.

The (fluorescent) bulbs are normally available in three different sizes: “2.0”, “5.0”, and “10.0”. The percentages represent the bulbs’ UVB output. If the distance between the light and the “basking point” is respected, both 2.0 and 5.0 are safe to use.

The distances for the 5.0 can be found in the Zoo Med handbook. DO NOT USE THE 10.0 BECAUSE THESE LIGHTS ARE INTENDED FOR DRY SPECIES OR EXTREMELY LARGE TERRITORIES. The 2.0 is more than adequate for a crested gecko terrarium of medium size. To keep safe, the 5.0 must be positioned far enough away from the terrarium.

Keep in mind that the wattage of the bulb is determined by the temperature of your space as well as the size of your gecko’s terrarium. A 26-watt bulb is recommended for a 20-gallon tank.

Photoperiod

The duration of light exposure, commonly known as the photoperiod, is critical. It’s preferable to mimic the photoperiod of your crested gecko’s natural environment. You have the option of turning off the lights yourself or using a power center. You can easily adjust the hours of light and darkness with power centers.

What about the night lights?

You can buy bulbs with a red (infrared) or blue spectrum that are designed for all-night use (moonlight). These should only be used to heat the terrarium for short periods of time in the evening or early morning.

This is due to the fact that these lights may interfere with your gecko’s typical nighttime habits. Instead, use a red-colored glass bulb, which will provide a less intense and disruptive light while still allowing you to see your geckos in a chilly, spooky light.

How to set up lighting in a terrarium

Because UV light is filtered by glass and plastic, you must set the lamp in an area where it is not filtered. Most terrariums include a screen top that allows UV light to flow through while also providing ventilation.

In a terrarium, you can use one of two types of lighting fixtures:

A Dome lamp fixture, which is installed on top of the terrarium’s screen cover. This type of fixture may be found in popular brands like as Repti-Zoo, Zoo Med, and Fluker’s.

• A Canopy light fixture, which is perfect for small fluorescent bulbs. It illuminates the entire terrarium, making it ideal for bigger terrariums.

Tips For Using Lights In A Crested Gecko’s Terrarium

Keep out of direct sunlight

Because crested geckos don’t require a lot of heat, it’s crucial to keep them out of direct sunlight. Temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit are harmful to them and can cause them to become ill (heatstroke). A crested gecko that suffers from heatstroke for an extended period of time may turn over and die.

Backlights should be avoided

As previously stated, these bulbs emit UV-A rays. UV-A in high doses might be harmful to your crested gecko. Make the appropriate choice to safeguard your geckos from powerful, harsh rays that could stress them out.

Mercury vapor or halogen lights should not be used:

These bulbs produce heat, which will stress your crested gecko and perhaps cause heatstroke. They’re another source of heat that could cause your crested gecko to overheat. However, in an exceptionally cold setting, clever positioning of these bulbs might work. Mercury vapor lamps can burn out unexpectedly, so you’ll have to change them on a regular basis.

Replace the (fluorescent) bulbs on a regular basis

Because the UV power of the bulbs decreases over time, they must be replaced after 3,500 hours (usually around 12 months).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimum lighting for crested geckos?

There is some evidence that exposing crested geckos to low UV radiation can help them. With the right lighting, crested geckos’ general health and behavior could improve.

What amount of UVB does a crested gecko require?

To survive, crested geckos only need 6 hours of UVB light per day. Overheated tanks can cause a variety of issues for your reptiles, as well as influence the humidity in their habitat. Crested geckos, on the other hand, can flourish at room temperature without UVB lighting.

Is it necessary for crested geckos to have access to light during the day?

If crested geckos consume the proper amount of vitamin supplements, they may not require any daylight lights. Crested geckos that have enough vitamin D3 don’t need to be lit at all.

When it comes to a crested gecko, how cold is too cold?

On chilly evenings, crested geckos can withstand temperatures as low as 60°F. If there is a source of warmth nearby, these reptiles can even endure frigid temperatures of roughly 50°F. Crested geckos exposed to extremely cold temperatures may experience adverse effects, including death.

When do crested geckos get up in the morning?

Crested geckos are diurnal, sleeping 12 hours a day and waking up before or after nightfall. These reptiles will stay up till the sun rises.

CONCLUSION

Maintaining the general health of your crested gecko necessitates the use of correct crested gecko lighting. Regardless of your location, crested geckos require some type of lighting. If you reside in a particularly chilly climate, your gecko may want extra light.

Crested geckos are arid-adapted animals that may require lighting for heat or illumination. Choose gecko lighting that won’t interfere with your pet’s natural day-night cycle. You don’t want to upset the sleeping schedule of your crested gecko.

These diurnal reptiles require enough sleep each day to avoid developing stress symptoms. You can provide all of the assistance your crested gecko needs with proper crested gecko lighting.

I am the editor-in-chief at MyPetReptiles.com, a site that is devoted to reptiles and the people who love them. I have been keeping and breeding many pet reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, chameleons, etc. for over 10 years now.

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