Are Red Lights Bad for Bearded Dragons? A Detailed Analysis

Dedicated pet owners always aim to provide the best environment possible for their animals. For *bearded dragon* enthusiasts, understanding the crucial role of lighting is a must. This guide addresses common questions about bearded dragons’ lighting needs, including the debated topic of red lights.

The Controversy Surrounding Red Lights for Bearded Dragons

Contrary to some pet store claims, red bulbs can harm your bearded dragon’s health. Their eyes are sensitive to the red spectrum, causing potential harm to their vision, inducing stress, and disrupting their sleep cycle. Thus, **red lights are not recommended** for these unique reptiles.

Red Lights During Daytime: Yes or No?

Even during the day, red lights should be avoided. Bearded dragons, being diurnal creatures native to Australia’s bright and warm landscapes, need daylight-mimicking conditions during their active hours. Using red lights can cause confusion and unnecessary stress.

The Night time Heating Question: Does Your Bearded Dragon Need Heat at Night?

Yes, but it depends on the room temperature. Bearded dragons need a cool-down period at night. If your room temperature doesn’t drop below 65-70°F (18-21°C), additional heat might not be necessary. However, if it’s colder, supplemental heat is required.

Beyond Red Lights: Other Heating Options for Bearded Dragons

There are several alternatives to red lights, such as ceramic heat emitters or under-tank heaters. These offer a heat source without the harmful effects of red light, allowing your bearded dragon to enjoy a healthy basking experience.

The Ceramic Heat Emitter: An Ideal Choice?

Ceramic heat emitters can be an excellent choice. They provide a good heat source that lasts longer than regular bulbs without emitting any light, which ensures your *bearded dragon* can maintain its natural sleep cycle.

Duration of Red Light Exposure: How Long Should It Be On?

Since red lights can harm your pet’s health, the simple answer is: they shouldn’t be on at all. But for proper lighting, UVB lights should be on for 10-12 hours during the day, mimicking a natural light cycle.

Colour Preferences: What Colour Lights Do Dragons Prefer?

Bearded dragons can see a wide range of colors but don’t have specific preferences. However, they respond best to lights that mimic their natural environments, such as bright white and UVB.

The Importance of UV Light for Beardies 

UV light is vital for bearded dragons as it helps them synthesize Vitamin D3, essential for calcium absorption. Bearded dragons can develop serious health issues without proper UV exposure, like Metabolic Bone Disease.

Red Light and Sleep Patterns: The Connection

Red light can disrupt your bearded dragon’s sleep pattern. Unlike humans, these reptiles lack eyelids to block out the light, meaning any light, including red light, can disrupt their sleep.


Understanding your bearded dragon’s lighting needs is essential in providing a healthy habitat. Avoid red lights and provide appropriate heat and UV exposure to keep your pet thriving.


1. What type of light should I use for my bearded dragon’s habitat?
A: Combining bright white lights for basking and UVB lights for Vitamin D3 synthesis is ideal.

2. Can I use heat rocks as a heat source for my bearded dragon
A: Heat rocks are not recommended as they can cause thermal burns. Instead, use a ceramic heat emitter or under-tank heater.

3. How many hours a day does my bearded dragon need light?
A: Usually, a cycle of 10-12 hours of light and 12-14 hours of darkness is beneficial to mimic their natural environment.

4.Can I use a regular household bulb for my bearded dragon?
A:A regular household bulb can provide visible light but doesn’t produce UVB light. Therefore, using a UVB bulb for your bearded dragon’s health is essential.

5.Why is my bearded dragon not basking under the light?
A:Several factors can cause this behavior – the temperature might be too high, the light might be too bright, or your bearded dragon could be sick. If your pet consistently avoids basking, it’s recommended to consult a vet.

Remember, lighting and heating are essential aspects of bearded dragon care. Please provide them with a well-maintained habitat, and these friendly reptiles will lead a healthy, content life

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