Proper lighting is crucial to a happy and healthy reptile, but these requirements are unique to the type of reptile you have. We have compiled a basic cheat-sheet to help you with your reptile lighting dilemma. Reptiles like a natural daylight cycle just like you do. A timer is an asset to ensure they get the correct cycle. It is important to research your specific reptile for its own lighting needs.
Turn Up the Heat
Some reptiles like it hot! They require lighting with UV that can closely mimic natural sunlight and give off warmth. Basking bulbs are a great option, especially for desert reptiles including Bearded Dragons, Tortoises, Monitors and Leopard Geckos. Certain snakes will also benefit from basking bulbs. Because these reptiles like the heat, a Night Red Bulb will provide the heat without the daylight.
Let the Sunshine In
Reptiles that live in tropical climates will require lighting that mimics natural daylight, but not all require UVB bulbs. Green Iguanas and Box Turtles will require lighting with UV. Anoles, Boa Constrictors, Ball Pythons and semi-tropical Tree Frogs need natural daylight but it is not necessary for UV bulbs. Hermit Crabs and Tarantulas do best with a Daylight Blue Blub. Temperate reptiles, such as Crested Geckos, King/Corn/Rat Snakes are similar to tropical reptiles in that they need lighting that will mimic daylight but rarely need UV or heat during the day. Chameleons and aquatic reptiles will require lighting that provides heat and UV.
Nocturnal reptiles will benefit from a Moon Light bulb. Some nocturnal reptiles are not able to hunt in complete darkness. These bulbs provide low heat and enough light to mimic natural moon light.