Bringing a reptile home can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. Reptiles are generally easy keepers, but did you know there is a lot of thought that has to go into making sure they are cared for correctly? We often get asked, “how do I decide what kind of light/heaters to use for my reptile?” While it is true, reptiles don’t require daily exercise like dogs, we do need to consider the fact that it is up to us as owners to create the perfect habitat for them to thrive in. Since reptiles are ectothermic, they obtain their body temperature in the environment they naturally live in. In the wild, if a reptile needs warmth, all they need to do is move into the sunlight. Unfortunately, they don’t have that option in their terrariums. When creating the perfect habitat for your reptile, we must consider what the appropriate lighting and heating sources will be for them. In the wild, reptiles live in a place that is conducive to what they require to live happy and healthy lives.

Nature provides the exact humidity levels and light that each reptile species needs to survive. When we adopt a reptile, it is our responsibility to make sure we are supplementing the correct amount of humidity and light since they will be relying on us to create this habitat for them. It is important to remember that all reptiles are created differently! Each one has their own unique natural environment and each species require different lighting and humidity needs. For example, some reptiles only require 8 hours of light daily, while others require up to 12 hours of daylight. It is also important to remember that light and heating are two different things. Providing the correct heat and light is super important when creating their habitat. Here are some lighting and heating tips to keep in mind as you prepare the perfect habitat for your new friend.


Lighting and Heating

Keeping the light and temperate just right for your reptile is critical to them living their happiest and healthiest life.  Any incandescent white light lamps or basking lights can be used for daylight lighting and heating as well. Be sure to check the wattage of the bulbs as some higher wattage will put more heat out there so these can be used a little further away from the animal than lower wattage blubs. Infrared heating lamps are also perfect for daytime heating.

It is important to have a nighttime heating bulb as well as to not disrupt the sleep cycle of your pet. There are a variety of great night heat bulb lamps on the market today. These bulbs will help you observe your reptile’s nighttime activities while maintaining his day/night sleep cycle as these bulbs act as moonlight and provide that perfect tropical temperature. Having the correct lighting for your reptile’s sleep cycle is crucial to help regulate their energy levels and contribute to their overall behavior.

No-light Heating Sources.

You can purchase reptile heating pads and place it at the bottom of your reptile’s tank. These mats deliver warmth that your reptile can absorb to elevate his body temperature. These pads can run 24 hours a day to keep your reptile comfortable, are energy efficient, and come in a variety of sizes and wattages. Be sure to test your setup first to make sure it reaches the correct temperature for your reptile.

We know picking the best lighting and heating for your reptile can be complicated, but we are here to help! We have a variety of heating and lighting sources at Fins and Feathers that are perfect for any reptiles you own. Please stop in and let us help you find the best heating and lighting sources for your reptile!