Bearded Dragon UV
It has been proved
scientifically that Bearded dragons need ultraviolet (UV)
lighting for both physiological and physical reasons. Light
particles consist of various wavelengths, from very short
(ultraviolet) to very long (infra-red). You might also
recall the light spectrum (or the colours of the rainbow)
from school, namely red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
indigo, violet. Humans tend to see all these basic colours,
but our eyes are not adapted to see the two extremes (very
short and very long). Bearded dragons can also see some
of these colours, but they tend to see the short end of the
scale, namely ultraviolet more brilliantly than us.
Bearded dragon UV
requirements can further be broken down into UVA and UVB
which will be discussed in more detail later.
Note: The Bearded
dragon Lighting section should be seen in conjunction with
Bearded dragon Temperature section.
What Kind Of Light
Does A Bearded Dragon Need?
Remember that Bearded
dragons originates from the desert areas of Australia. They are
desert animals, basking all day in the sun. Now this is not only
for their temperature requirements, but also to absorb some of
the sun's UV rays to fill their UV requirements. Unfortunately for them (fortunately
for us) natural UV rays are blocked out by walls and even windows (yes,
UV does not travel through glass). Thus in captivity, they need
the additional full spectrum UV lighting.
To supply your pet
Bearded dragon with adequate UV, you have one of two
What is more is that
Bearded dragons will benefit from both UVA and UVB.
Bearded Dragon UV
For artificial Bearded
dragon ultraviolet requirements, a full spectrum reptile or
more specifically Bearded dragon UV light should be
installed. These lights are commercially available from
specialized pet shops. The intensity of these UV lights (see
the side of the box for details) should preferably be 8% or
higher. Most commercial Bearded dragon lights will mainly
emit UVB with little quantities of UVA.
Bearded dragon UV
lighting should be mounted no more
than 30 cm / 12 " above the main basking area. Closer is
better. Make sure the UV light is not too close to prevent
the dragon from burning.
UV lighting for
Bearded dragons can be in the form of commercial
fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, mercury vapour
flood and spot lamps.
Generally UV lighting should be replaced about every
(depending on the manufacturer's recommendation). All
lights (including basking lights) should be on for about
hours per daily.
electrical timers can be used for this purpose.
Dragon UV Lighting
It is recommended that
a Bearded dragon still gets natural UV, even if "adequate"
artificial UV lighting is installed. Natural lighting from
the sun will expose a Bearded dragon to both UVA and UVB
How much light does a
Bearded dragon need?
Any natural exposure
is better than nothing, but more UV is better.
should be exposed to at least one hour of sunlight per day,
but two or more hours is strongly advised if no artificial
lighting is supplied.
outdoor Bearded dragon enclosures can be used for proper
Basking reptiles need UVA for proper sight and makes
moving food appear more visible, which indirectly stimulates
feeding and other natural
Bearded dragon behaviour.
Unfortunately UVA is not emitted by all commercial Bearded
dragon lights, but fortunately healthy Beardies are not as
dependant to this group as for the UVB group.
UVB rays are needed
for calcium absorption and bone mineralization. This is the
more important range of the UV spectrum for Bearded dragons.
Although natural sunlight is better, most Bearded dragon
lights will emit adequate amounts of UVB.