As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure your pet is safe, happy, and comfortable. When it comes to owning a reptile, the matter of lighting is crucial to ensuring good quality of life for your pet. Here are a few things you need to know about the matter to help you achieve the best lighting for reptiles.
1. Understand the difference between heat and illumination
When looking at lighting this important area for your not so furry pet, it is crucial to understand the difference between lighting and heating needs. Most reptiles require some sort of heat in order to stay healthy and maintain their body temperature safely. While lamps can be used to create heat and illumination, it is important to make sure the light offers the right amount of heat. For example, LED will give you the right illumination levels, but produces nothing for heat whereas a halogen lamp might give you more heat but less illumination. What many reptile owners choose to do to create this careful balance of illumination and heat is to use separate heat lamps for heating purposes only and supplement it with illumination focused solutions that produce only minimal heat overall. While some heat can come from supplemental lighting, the main source of heat should be found in approved heat lamps.
2. Consider safety first
The reason to consider separating the tasks of illumination and heat production into separate solutions rather than choosing one solution to do both is for the safety of the reptile living in the habitat. Most heat lamps for temperature regulation offer better controls over the heat produced than simply using an illumination solution that produces high heat levels by way of inefficient conversion of energy to illumination, which is all a heat emitting illumination fixture is really doing when creating heat. The safety of your reptiles should also be the top priority for any responsible pet owner.
3. Play with color temperature
When looking at the illumination sources in the living habitat, pay attention to color temperature. Not related to palpable heat, color temperature refers to the appearance of the light. A higher number on the Kelvin scale will offer a white light that is almost blue the higher the number goes on the scale. A lower number indicates a warmer or yellow tinged temperature. When it comes to reptiles, it is smart to choose options which more closely resemble natural daylight so choose around 4000-4700k for their living habitat.
4. Use light to regulate sleep cycles
For most reptiles, sleep is signified by a lack of light. This is important to the health of the reptile, so it is important to choose lights which mimic daylight to signify waking up as well as knowing when to dim those lights and eventually shut them off altogether to ensure a night of restful sleep for your reptile.
5. Install some extra trimmings to the setup
When it comes to managing the lighting components of the living habitat to ensure proper heating, illumination, and sleep cycle regulation, there are a few extras to consider. Installing a thermometer to the habitat is a great way to make sure heat lamps are functioning properly and the right temperature for the comfort of the reptile is being achieved. Another smart move related to lighting is to install timers, so the lights will dim at a specific time or shut off to signal sleep.
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