The 5 Best Lights for Leopard Geckos

Leopard Geckos December 2, 2019
light for gecko

The 5 Best Lights for Leopard Geckos

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light for gecko

The leopard gecko is a nocturnal species of desert lizard. These reptiles are known for their spotted coloration and their wide tails. Leopard geckos make very interesting and entertaining pets, but you must remember that they are nocturnal animals, so you can’t expect them to be very active during the day. This is one of the challenges you’ll have to face when choosing lighting for your gecko terrarium.

In this article, we’ll talk about lighting a leopard gecko habitat and provide some tips for choosing the best leopard gecko light. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best leopard gecko lights.

Quick Links: The 5 Best Foods for Leopard Geckos  

  1. Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp Best Overall
  2. Zoo Med Day/Night Light Combo Pack Runner Up
  3. Exo Terra Daytime Heat Lamp Budget Affordable
  4. Zoo Med Reptisun T5-HO Terrarium Hood Best Durable
  5. Exo Terra Night Heat Lamp 100 Watt Best 100 Watt Lamp
IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in wattages 50 through 150 watts
  • Provides the right degree of heat at night
  • Won’t impair natural nocturnal behavior
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  • Comes with daylight and true red bulb
  • Affordably priced for two light bulbs
  • Helps mimic natural desert conditions
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  • Broad spectrum light, ideal for daylight
  • Increases ambient air temperature in tank
  • Can be put on a timer for day/night cycle
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  • High-output lighting with low-profile design
  • Easy to install on most screen-top terrariums
  • Highly energy efficient and rapid start-up
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  • Simulates natural moonlight at night
  • Produces heat to maintain ambient temps
  • Simple to install in a standard hood lamp
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What to Look for in Lights for Leopard Geckos 

The type of lighting you need for a reptile terrarium depends on the type of reptile you’re keeping. Leopard geckos have unique requirements because they do not bask and they do not require UVB to absorb calcium. You can get away with a simple day and night bulb as long as the cage is heated.

Here Are Some Important Things To Look For In Leopard Gecko Lights:

  • Wattage/size. You’ll want to choose a lighting option that illuminates the tank and mimics daylight without it being too bright – choose a low-wattage bulb for this purpose. At night, red light is best.
  • Temperature. If you are using a heating mat in your leopard gecko cage, you don’t need to worry about choosing a UV light for heating purposes. Leopard geckos are not a species of reptile that requires UVB lighting to absorb calcium and they do not bask.
  • Color. For daytime lighting, a white bulb is the best option as long as it isn’t too strong. At night, your leopard gecko will appreciate a red light that doesn’t disturb its natural behavior.
  • Fixture. The type of lighting you choose will determine the type of fixture you need, and vice versa. If you want to go with a simple option, a dome lamp you can place on top of the cage is the easiest option and there are both day and night bulbs readily available.

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a leopard gecko light, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best lights for leopard geckos.

Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Leopard Gecko Light:

Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp

Specs:

  • Type – Infrared
  • Size – 50 watt
  • Features – Infrared, 4 wattages
  • Price$5.39

Pros:

  • Available in wattages 50 through 150 watts
  • Provides the right degree of heat at night
  • Won’t impair natural nocturnal behavior

Cons:

  • Higher wattages may be stronger than necessary
  • Some tanks don’t require heating at night

The daytime temperature in your leopard gecko tank needs to be a bit warmer than the nighttime temperature in order to mimic natural desert conditions. As long as you have an under-tank heater to keep one side of the tank warm, you don’t need much to maintain the proper ambient temperature. This Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp is available in four sizes ranging from 50 watts up to 150 watts, so it can be used to keep the tank warm at night without overheating it or being too bright.

Zoo Med Day/Night Light Combo Pack

Specs:

  • Type – Daylight, true red
  • Size – 60 watt
  • Features – Two-bulb combo pack
  • Price$13.99

Pros:

  • Comes with daylight and true red bulb
  • Affordably priced for two light bulbs
  • Helps mimic natural desert conditions

Cons:

  • Some found the daylight bulb burned out quickly
  • Heat lamp may not be strong enough for some tanks

If you plan to light your leopard gecko tank both during the day and at night, consider the Zoo Med Day/Night Light Combo Pack. This pack comes with a 60-watt daylight bulb and a true red glass heat lamp for nighttime use. The two-pack is very affordable and is also available in a 75-watt size.

Exo Terra Daytime Heat Lamp

Specs:

  • Type – Broad spectrum
  • Size – 60 watt
  • Features – Broad spectrum
  • Price$7.76

Pros:

  • Broad spectrum light, ideal for daylight
  • Increases ambient air temperature in tank
  • Can be put on a timer for day/night cycle

Cons:

  • Higher wattages may produce more heat than needed
  • Should only be left on 12 hours a day

To boost the ambient temperature in your leopard gecko tank during the day, consider this Exo Terra Daytime Heat Lamp. It comes in wattages ranging from 15 to 150, so you can choose the one that is ideally suited to your tank. It produces broad spectrum light as well, so it looks completely natural.

Zoo Med Reptisun T5-HO Terrarium Hood

Specs:

  • Type – Hood
  • Size – 24 inches
  • Features – High-output, highly efficient
  • Price$65.58

Pros:

  • High-output lighting with low-profile design
  • Easy to install on most screen-top terrariums
  • Highly energy efficient and rapid start-up

Cons:

  • Hood design may not work for all terrariums
  • T5-HO lighting may be too strong for some tanks

If you’re looking for a simple solution to daytime lighting, consider the Zoo Med Reptisun T5-HO Terrarium Hood. You simply install the light bulb and place the hood on top of your terrarium for daytime lighting. It is highly efficient and features a low-profile design with a convenient on/off switch.

Exo Terra Night Heat Lamp 100 Watt

Specs:

  • Type – Nighttime
  • Size – 100 watts
  • Features – Moonlight
  • Price$7.19

Pros:

  • Simulates natural moonlight at night
  • Produces heat to maintain ambient temps
  • Simple to install in a standard hood lamp

Cons:

  • May produce too much heat for some tanks

If you’re looking for something different than the typical red nighttime light, consider this Exo Terra Night Heat Lamp. It simulates natural moonlight for a more natural nocturnal environment and helps maintain higher tank temperatures.

Tips for Lighting Your Leopard Gecko Tank

Leopard geckos are not the most demanding of pets, but they do require care that is different from a dog or cat. Your leopard gecko will spend the majority of its life in its terrarium, so it is your job to make sure that terrarium mimics the gecko’s natural environment and allows for natural behaviors. Lighting is just one aspect of creating the ultimate habitat for your leopard gecko.

Here are some simple tips for lighting a leopard gecko tank:

  • Remember that leopard geckos are nocturnal animals, so avoid lighting that is too bright during the day or it might bother your gecko.
  • Choose a low-wattage light for your daytime lighting and set it to a timer to stay on for no more than 12 hours per day – you want to mimic the natural day/night cycle.
  • Leopard geckos have no need for a basking light or UVB lighting – they are nocturnal animals, so they will be hiding during the day.
  • If you choose to light your leopard gecko tank at night, choose a low-wattage red light that won’t disturb your gecko or impair its natural behavior.
  • Check your lighting often to make sure it is still working properly – follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often to replace the bulbs.

Now that you have a better understanding of lighting for a leopard gecko, you’re ready to start shopping around. Take what you’ve learned here and put it to use in choosing the best lighting for your terrarium.

Final Remarks

Choosing the right lighting for your leopard gecko tank is just one piece of the puzzle. It all starts by choosing the right terrarium and then you can choose your tank equipment. Make sure the lighting you choose works well with your choice of heating elements and arrange the tank in a way that supports your gecko’s natural behavior. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a leopard gecko light, try out one of the top 5 best leopard gecko lights we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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