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Crested Geckos, Geckos, Habitat and Enclosures

Crested Gecko Lighting Guide 101: Do Crested Geckos Need Light 2023?

Updated On

by The Pet Engineers

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When you get a crested gecko home, you also need to bring home a lot of accessories that will help you make the tank of your crested gecko as close to its natural habitat as possible.

One such accessory or piece of equipment that you may need is an external lighting system.

Key Takeaway:
Light plays an important role in a crested gecko’s habitat. Depending on where you keep the enclosure.

You might not need lighting equipment if the sun rays easily get to the enclosure and vice versa. We recommend UVA lights for crested geckos.

Do Crested Geckos Need Light?

Your pet crested gecko may or may not need external artificial lighting in its tank. It really depends on how well its need for lighting is being met by the natural setup of the tank and the room.

If your crested gecko is not getting ample sunlight throughout the day, then you may need to consider getting artificial lighting systems for its tank.

Crested geckos need light for two major reasons:

  • The UVB rays from the sunlight help in the production of vitamin D.

The first major need for sunlight is to produce vitamin D in the body of your crested gecko.

If your pet becomes deficient in vitamin D, its body will not be able to absorb calcium properly.

This will lead to a deficiency of calcium, which can further lead to severe health problems such as metabolic bone disease which can become fatal for crested geckos.

vitamin d
Sunlight helps in vitamin D production
  • Crested geckos need light to maintain their sleep cycle.

Crested geckos are nocturnal animals. This means that daytime is when they sleep and get some much-needed rest.

As soon as the day starts becoming darker, crested geckos start waking up and becoming more active.

So, if your crested gecko does not get enough daytime light, it will impact the sleep cycle of your pet and lead to lethargy, sleep deprivation, health issues, and even behavioral problems such as extreme aggression.

Benefits Of Lights To Crested Geckos

The benefits of using lights for your crested gecko tank are listed below:

  • You will be able to ensure that your crested gecko gets ample rest.
  • Your crested gecko will produce sufficient levels of vitamin D if you use UVB rays for some time every day in the tank.
  • Some lights even emit heat which can help you regulate the temperature of the tank on colder days.

Why Would You Use Lighting In A Crested Gecko Terrarium?

There are two major circumstances under which you will need to use lighting in your crested gecko terrarium:

1 – When your crested gecko terrarium is not getting ample natural sunlight.

When the terrarium of your crested gecko is not getting ample natural sunlight, the first thing you may need to do is find a different room to keep your crested gecko tank.

If for some reason, that isn’t possible or feasible, then you should consider getting lighting equipment to ensure your crested gecko gets light during the daytime.

2 – When your crested gecko is suffering from a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

If your crested gecko is suffering from a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D, it is advisable that you get a lighting system with UVB rays for your crested gecko tank.

The UVB rays of sunlight help produce vitamin D in the body, which in turn increases the absorption of calcium.

Crested Gecko Lighting Requirements

In captivity, crested geckos do not always require artificial lighting.

You don’t need an artificial lighting system if you can set your crested gecko enclosure in a room with enough natural light.

In actuality, not employing a lighting system in that circumstance is advised. Your crested gecko’s circadian cycle will be maintained by natural daylight.

However, you should think about purchasing a lighting system if your enclosed room does not receive enough natural light.

Not only is light required to simulate the day/night cycle, but it is also critical to choose a light source that resembles natural sunshine to ensure calcium absorption in your crested gecko.

What Lighting Do Crested Geckos Need?

There are different kinds of lighting available in the market for reptile pets. Generally, any ordinary fluorescent illumination will suffice.

However, with the abundance of options available on the market, making a decision might become challenging or overwhelming.

The significance, benefits, and drawbacks of various types of lighting are discussed below to help you make an informed decision.

UVA

uva light
UVA light

UVA light replicates the natural illumination of a crested gecko’s environment.

It assists in the management of behavior and supports natural behaviors in crested geckos.

This makes the crested gecko physically, cognitively, and behaviorally healthy.

UVB

uvb light
UVB light

UVB light has been a source of contention among crested gecko breeders and owners.

Some say that UVB is not needed while others believe that UVB is vital for health purposes as it stimulates the absorption of calcium by assisting in the creation of vitamin D3.

The truth is, if you feed your crested gecko vitamin D3-dusted insects, you can avoid UVB lighting.

So you don’t need it for your crested gecko’s health. You can, however, obtain one if you so choose. It will also not hurt your crested gecko.

It’s your call regarding UVB lighting, so to speak. Just keep in mind that your crested gecko should not be exposed to UVB for more than 4 to 6 hours.

UVC

uvc light
UVC light

You should not expose your crested gecko to UVC lights for an extended period of time. It can be deadly.

As a result, you should not use it as a lighting system for your crested gecko tank.

But bacteria can be killed by UVC. So you may use it to deep clean your crested gecko’s tank.

LED

led light
LED light

When you only want light from your lighting system, an LED bulb is ideal. It is general knowledge that light bulbs and other light sources produce heat.

This can occasionally cause the temperature of the enclosure to fluctuate, making your crested gecko uncomfortable.

An LED light will prevent this from happening because it merely emits light and does not heat up.

Bioactive

A bioactive terrarium needs simple fluorescent bulbs that emit UVB rays in limited amounts.

As long as the bioactive terrarium gets natural sunlight, simple fluorescent lights will be enough.

Do Crested Geckos Need Light At Night?

No, crested geckos do not need light at night. In fact, you should not keep visible lights on during the nighttime.

This is when your nocturnal crested gecko becomes active. If you keep the lights on during the nighttime too, it will disrupt the normal sleep cycle of your crested gecko.

Your crested gecko may end up sleeping more, not getting enough physical activity and mental enrichment, and becoming too lethargic.

This can further affect the appetite, health, and mood of your crested gecko.

Do Crested Geckos Need Light During The Day?

Your crested gecko will only need light during the day if it does not get enough sunlight.

If the enclosure is kept in a dark room that does not have enough natural lighting, then you will need to keep the lights on during the day.

This will indicate to the crested gecko that it is daytime and that it should get some rest after a night of being active.

Do Crested Geckos Need UVB Lights?

The use of UVB lights is often a point of debate between crested gecko owners.

However, the one thing you should know is that as long as your crested gecko is getting enough vitamin D3 in its diet, it won’t have a desperate need for UVB lighting.

Much like health supplements for humans, UVB lighting is an optional health supplement for crested geckos.

As long as it is given in limited quantities, it is not bad for your crested gecko. But it is not a compulsive need either.

Do Crested Geckos Need Heating Or Lighting?

Depending on where you live and where the enclosure of your crested gecko is kept, you may or may not need heating or lighting.

If you live in a region that is mostly warm and maintains temperatures between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit on most days, you won’t need a special heating system for the tank.

heat lamp
Crested geckos sometimes need both heating and lighting

Similarly, if you place the enclosure of your crested gecko in a manner that it gets ample natural daylight, you will not need lighting systems.

But it is always better to have these systems in place.

On ideal days, you can keep the heating and lighting systems switched off.

On colder and darker days, these systems will come in handy and make things easier for you if you already have them installed.

It is better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Is Blue Light Bad For Crested Geckos?

Blue lights can be harmful to crested geckos if not used with caution. Crested geckos do not need any light during the nighttime.

Unless you have kept the enclosure in a windowless room (which, by the way, is highly unadvisable), you don’t need to provide any light that mimics moonlight.

You can use blue light in the night to view your crested gecko playing around and being active – but that should only be for some time.

Direct exposure to bright blue light can damage the retina of your crested gecko.

Excess use of any light – blue or otherwise – in your crested gecko tank at night can disrupt the circadian rhythm of your crested gecko.

Crested Gecko Lighting Schedule

If you do opt for artificial lighting systems for your crested gecko, it is better to have a proper schedule in place.

This will prevent any disruptions in the sleep cycle and circadian rhythm of your crested gecko.

How Many Hours Of Light Do Crested Geckos Need?

The lighting system that you use for your crested gecko should mimic the natural day/night cycle.

Keeping that in mind, your crested gecko will need 10 to 12 hours of daylight every day to maintain its circadian rhythm.

When Should Crested Gecko Lights Be Turned On?

The crested gecko lights should be turned on during the daytime and should strictly be dimmed during dusk and completely switched off during the nighttime.

How To Set Up Lighting In A Terrarium

10 gallon tank
Lights should be set above the tank

You will need a light fixture and the necessary bulbs to set up the lighting in the terrarium of your crested gecko. A lampstand is another option that you have.

A hook or a clamp is typically included with light fixtures on top or on the side. Simply screw in the lightbulb, then fasten the fixture to the wall of the enclosure for your crested gecko.

When installing the lighting system in your crested gecko tank, bear in mind two things:

  1. The enclosure should receive light directly. Any type of glass or plastic serves as a screen to block the necessary UVA and UVB radiation.
  2. The lamp should be placed such that your crested gecko receives direct light while being unable to reach the bulbs. This is crucial, especially if you employ a heat-emitting light source. It is preferable to suspend or clip the light to a corner of the enclosure’s roof.

Tips And Tricks For Using Lighting

  1. Never expose your crested gecko cage to direct sunlight. Remember that crested geckos are native to rainforests. With all of the tree cover in a rainforest, there is seldom an area with too much direct sunshine.
  2. Avoid using lights that produce a lot of heat. At room temperature, Crested geckos are at peace (72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. LED lighting is more expensive, but they are environmentally friendly and promote plant growth within the enclosure.
  4. LED lamps don’t emit heat. They’ll keep your crested gecko comfy in terms of temperature.
  5. Never leave the lights on at night. It will interrupt the circadian and sleep cycle of your crested gecko.
  6. If feasible, use lights with dimmable switches. Gradually reduce the brightness of the light during the day to generate an even more natural environment.

Summary

Crested gecko tanks need a lot of accessories that allow you to create a naturalistic environment that makes the crested gecko feel comfortable.

One such accessory is lighting. You may or may not need one depending on how well exposed your crested gecko tank is to natural daylight.

It is still better to have a lighting system in place – you can always switch it off on ideal days of ample natural lighting.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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