Best Lighting For Chameleons 2021: What Is The Best Bulb?

Best Lighting For Chameleons

We are Chameleon owners, too. So we know how hard it is to pick the best lighting for Chameleons.

They are one of the reptiles that can not live without light.

They may not have the UVB radiation required to preserve optimum health without sunlight.

The proper lighting for Chameleons therefore highly significant.

Your pet needs UVB and light every day to prevent metabolic bone disease and other developmental disabilities.  

Thus, before making any purchase, it is highly important for you to take all the different lighting and heating products into consideration.

In case you still confused, we hope our article will assist you to have a clearer understanding.

We also listed some good products we have tried and their reviews, so that you can choose your best suitable one.

The Top-Rated Lighting For Chameleons (Recommendations)

#1. ZOO MED REPTISUN T5 UVB FLUORESCENT LAMP – TOP UVB PICK

#2. FLUKER’S BASKING SPOTLIGHT BULBS – BEST FOR BASKING SPOT

#3. ZOO MED REPTI BASKING LAMPS 75 WATT– BEST BUDGET

#4. MEGA RAY MERCURY VAPOR BULB – BEST HEAT LAMP FOR CHAMELEONS

#5. LUCKY HERP REPTILE UVB– BEST COMPACT FLUORESCENT LAMP

#6. EVERGREEN UVB REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN MERCURY VAPOR BULB

#7. ZILLA UVB FLUORESCENT BULB


Related:

What Do You Need To Know About Setting Up The Best Lighting For Chameleons?

Lights For Veiled Chameleons

1. The Importance Of Lighting

Chameleons are visual animals, which means their vision is strongly established, and light fuels it.

There are proofs that they see through our human spectrum.

Photos taken with UV spectrum cameras display a dazzling variety of chameleon shapes.

Thus, this is why light is necessary for this species. For your pet to have healthy growth, the chameleon cage must be bright and fully lighted.

Sunlight has numerous effects, including a view for navigation, UVB for vitamin D3 development, and warmth for control body temperature.

Nowadays, we have a lot of products that have evolved to reproduce the sunshine components: vision, heat, and UV radiation.

For each of these elements, the most common and powerful technologies need different bulbs. In fact, Mercury Vapor bulbs can provide all three factors.

Full Spectrum Lighting For Chameleons

Today, as we experienced, the best light source so far is the high output T5 fluorescent bulbs.

These are the most powerful bulbs to provide vision illumination.

A linear fluorescent bulb of 6500K T5 is the safest option for keepers who prefer bright daylight.

We suggest you use one 6500K T5 and one UVB bulb for a chameleon.

Separating fittings for daylight and UVB bulbs will be the optimal case.

2. Lighting Schedule For Chameleons

Uvb Lighting For Chameleons

Many of them perform better with a 12 – 12 hours light cycle, which means that you turn on the light for 12 hours and keep it off for the next 12 hours.

However, some certain species that live far from the equator can demand daylight vary from 9 to  15 hours per day all year round.

The difference of light will play a role in signaling the mating times, so an optimal initial set up at this time is 12 hours daytime and 12 hours nighttime.

You have to check carefully and reproduce the daylight differences due to the country of origin of the chameleon.

3. What Types Of Light Your Pets Need?

Lighting Schedule For Chameleons

Heat light:

This is vital because chameleons can not control the temperature of their body so they need the natural sun or artificial light to regulate it.

A heat lamp gives your pet a spot to bask and also helps to regulate the cage’s environmental temperature.

UV light (especially UVB):

This is also important as UVB rays are required for Chameleons to develop vitamin D3 to absorb calcium from their diet.

Without it, several health problems may occur, particularly MBD (metabolic bone disease ), which is extremely painful for them.

Chameleon Lighting Setup

Grow light:

In fact, this is a nonessential light to the wellbeing of your animal, but a strong light to illuminate the enclosure will best reveal the color of the animal.

It makes them more comfortable and involved.

A grow light is also very useful for the plants in the enclosure because it allows them to thrive even in poor conditions.

However, remember that grow light can not replace heat lamps or UVB bulbs since it gives off no rays or heat.

It is just an optional addition to the chameleon cage.

4. UVB Lighting

When you keep any species of reptile, make sure that you provide enough lighting and heating tools.

The illumination inside the enclosure can imitate the full benefit of natural sunlight to help your animal grow effectively.

Proper Lighting For Chameleons

(Cre: Reptile advisor )

The requirement lighting must consist of three elements: white light and red light (the luminosity and color of the natural sun shine), and blue light (the soft glow of moonlight).

By replicating the illumination of day and night, your pet will thrive in his enclosure and so does the survival of the plant in your terrarium.

UVB rays are vital to the development of vitamin D3 by sun-basking reptiles.

Whereas a small quantity of vitamin D3 in the food they eat can be used, nearly all are unable to keep the vitamins adequate without the sunshine.

Vitamin D3 helps these reptiles to digest calcium and without it, metabolic bone disease can rapidly be developed.

It is essentially a calcium leaching from the bones which results in a number of deteriorating health problems. Therefore, lighting and UVB is a must.

5. Light Placement

The below is an example of a temperature gradient:

Best Heat Lamps For Chameleons

The whole terrarium should not be saturated to an evenly disbursed heat by your chameleon lighting.

The key thermal source can be easily accessed by putting the hood on one side of the inserted ceiling, with the perimeter flush, that is, on the other hand, with a dimmer lamp on the other.

Only one heat source can be installed.

Pick both sides and work across for full coverage hoods.

You can also change the height to light to achieve the same result if you do not have a dimmer on your light.

The higher the light you put, the cooler the enclosure.

Best Lighting For Chameleons Shortlist (Updated List)

Product imagesProduct namesEditor's ratingPrice
ZOO MED REPTISUN T5 UVB FLUORESCENT LAMP4.6Check
Price
FLUKER’S BASKING SPOTLIGHT BULBS4.4Check
Price
ZOO MED REPTI BASKING LAMPS 75 WATT4.6Check
Price
MEGA RAY MERCURY VAPOR BULB4.5Check
Price
LUCKY HERP REPTILE UVB4.5Check
Price
EVERGREEN UVB REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN MERCURY VAPOR BULB4.3Check
Price
ZILLA UVB FLUORESCENT BULB4.6Check
Price

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The Best Lighting For Chameleons: What To Choose

Best Lighting For Veiled Chameleons

#1. ZOO MED REPTISUN T5 UVB FLUORESCENT LAMP – TOP UVB PICK

See Latest Price

  • Item dimensions: 23.82 x 2.17 x 0.98 inches
  • Wattage: 24 watts

Our top pick in the UVB bulb category for reptiles always goes for the Zoo Med Reptisun T5 UVB Fluorescent Lamp.

It gives a better output for both UVA and UVB more than the other products.

The high-performance T5 lights are excellent for big and large enclosures, ensuring that your reptiles are safe and comfortable with effective UVB penetration.

The bulb can be used properly on different terrariums with different hoods and lengths.

Therefore, it is a good product for Panther Chameleons since they require a semi intense UVB light source.

The Zoo Med bulb is used in accordance with the protection and reliability of UVB provision.

To ensure optimum quality, the highly polished reflector is curved.

Pros:

  • Eliminate the risk of vitamin D3 overdose from synthetic sources
  • Help to induce the reproductive behaviors
  • Safe and beneficial for use with all types of reptiles

Cons:

  • Risk of smoking
  • The price is a bit high

#2. FLUKER’S BASKING SPOTLIGHT BULBS – BEST FOR BASKING SPOT

See Latest Price

  • Item dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Mirror lighting type: Incandescent
  • Wattage: 100 watts

 Fluke’s is a popular brand for reptile owners.

Fluker’s Basking Spotlight Bulb is cheap and available in different sizes to suit the needs of various reptile cages.

However, for the chameleons, we suggest you use the 75W and 100W ones.

The basking place and several other areas in the cage will also be heated up.

A higher wattage will heat up the entire cage and save your time, but the chance of burning or overheating also increases.

Moreover, the light color is bright, but its hue is warm enough, thus your pet will not blind when looking at it.

Depending on the chosen wattage, you can use a suitable ceramic socket to ensure that the light is not burnt out.

 Pros:

  • Direct heat and light toward a specific area for basking reptiles
  • Great value
  • Different wattage options for different needs

Cons:

  • Some buyers receive the broken bulbs (but can be replaced or refund)
  • Gets quite hot on the surface of the bulb

#3. ZOO MED REPTI BASKING LAMPS 75 WATT– BEST BUDGET

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  • Item dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Wattage: 75 watts

Zoo Med Repti Basking Lamp is an alternative for chameleons that is more moderating and affordable.

Zoo Med basically took from above the same concept for the double reflector and decreased the wattage.

You will get 4 bulbs per purchase, which means that it is far cheaper than any of the items on our list.

Furthermore, 75 wattage is a recommended one for a standard size tank.

You should place it from 6 – 7 inches above the basking spot for the best heating.

Pros:

  • Spotlight bulb for focus on defined areas
  • Unique patented double reflector
  • Strong UVB output
  • Long-lasting (for 2+ months)

Cons:

  • Claimed to burn quickly
  • Poor shipping package may lead to broken bulbs when receive
  • Will not heat the cage entirely

#4. MEGA RAY MERCURY VAPOR BULB – BEST HEAT LAMP FOR CHAMELEONS

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  • Item dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Wattage: 160 watts

Mega Ray Mercury Vapor is one of the best lightings for Chameleons that supply both UV rays and heat available on the market today.

It produces more UVB than the other ones with the new design, it is also safer for the keepers.

This self-ballasted bulb supplies the Chameleons with UVB, UVA, and heat.

The decay rates of this bulb are one of the best pros so far.

While the other mercury vapor bulbs’ decay rates over time by as much as 80%, Mega Ray bulb decay by less than 30%.

This light scatters available UVB at a maximum of 20 inches on a 30-inch circumference. Thus, it is ideal for all chameleon cage styles.

Pros:

  • UVA UVB output
  • Perfect for amphibians and reptiles
  • High wattage for lighting and heating
  • Long lifespan (+18 months)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Could break easily when shipping

#5. LUCKY HERP REPTILE UVB– BEST COMPACT FLUORESCENT LAMP

See Latest Price

  • Item dimensions: 6.7 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Wattage: 15 – 23 inches

 Lucky Herb Reptile UVB is suitable for all desert reptiles but is also useful for chameleons.  

It has a stable UVB output and a low fade rate. Furthermore, no dangerous UVC rays emitting, thus you do not have to worry about that.

This UVB reptile light has 4 options: UVB5 15W, UVB5 23W, UVB10 15W, UVB10 23W. We suggest using the UVB10 ones for chameleons, which they need to produce calcium and vitamin D3.

Use as instructed every day to avoid the metabolic bone disorder.

The special glass tube is made with reliable and high-quality machines.

This bulb can also be presumed to be of the best quality for a long time.

 Pros:

  • Affordable price for a high-quality product
  • A good and stable UVB source
  • The manufacturer provides a 1-month assurance service

Cons:

  • Low wattage
  • Only for lighting and producing UVB, not for heating and UVA

#6. EVERGREEN UVB REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN MERCURY VAPOR BULB

See Latest Price

  • Item dimensions: 6 x 8 x 6 inches
  • Wattage: 100 watts

 Evergreen UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is one of the best well-known UVB bulbs.

This is because of the price combined with the high efficiency of the product.

This 100-watt bulb gives the UVB and UVA rays required by the chameleons.

Moreover, the bulb provides the ideal heat to bask during the day.

The Evergreen UVB Mercury Vapor is self-ballasted for protection and does not contain UVC that can damage your pet.

 Pros:

  • Compatible with virtually all enclosures
  • Tested for quality and lifespan
  • No harmful UVC
  • Excellent source of UVB, UVA, heat

Cons:

  • Fragile and could break easily when shipping

#7. ZILLA UVB FLUORESCENT BULB

See Latest Price

  • Item dimensions: 2.1 x 19.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Wattage: 15 watts

Zilla Fluorescent Tube is a suitable product for medium to big cages.

It provides a complete lighting range that enhances the natural colors of the animals themselves and their living environment.

The best thing is their ability to cover a vast field regarding fluorescent tubes.

Contrary to the compact bulbs, T8 bulbs provide the whole cage with an eve supply of UV illumination.

The potential to be mounted anywhere in the enclosure is another benefit of this product.

It can be placed vertically on top of the enclosure.

Being mounted vertically, the bulb can penetrate the parts of the cage that are difficult to reach.

Pros:

  • Provides both UVB and UVA
  • Up to 3500+ hours lifespan
  • Full-spectrum lighting
  • Perfect for medium and large cages

Cons:

  • Fragile and could break easily when shipping
  • Must be used with a T8 strip light fixture

What Makes Good Lamps For Chameleons

Lamps For Chameleons

We will address some features that we think you should take a look at before making a purchase for your best lighting for Chameleons:

1. Bulb type:

Many different lighting bulbs are available on the market today, but only 34 of them are ideally suited for Chameleons.

They are compact fluorescent, linear fluorescent, metal halide, and mercury vapor.

The advantages and price differences of each light vary due to each type and the manufacturer.

2. Wattage output:

 The most important thing is the output heat of the bulb.

Know the appropriate wattage depends on the type of bulb used, but at least at 75 W.

Having a 75 W bulb would provide the basking spot and the entire enclosure with enough heat.

More than 175 W can burn your pet. However, to provide both UVB rays and heat, you will need a higher wattage one.

The exception is the mercury vapor with double duty.

Panther Chameleon Lighting Setup

3. Heat range:

The basking bulbs have either thermal or general heat in most situations.

Even though just one bulb can work very well for a basking area, but heating a chameleon cage requires a larger spectrum of heat.

Always make sure that you test the temperature and spectrum range of every bulb you buy.

Besides, remember to place the bulb high above the tank.

The chameleons may eventually hit it and be burned.

4. Long-lasting:

Heating lamps, like those used for the basking areas, appear to have poor durability.

They only last two weeks, in the worst situation.

The best lighting for Chameleonswill usually lasts up to 2 months.

Lighting For Chameleons

5. Socket:

As heating produces a lot of heat, they store a lot of heat in the bulbs as well.

Depending on the brand and configuration of the lamp, where it connects to a socket may get very hot.

Make sure that if your lamp needs a plug or not.

In certain cases, a ceramic socket is required for a heating bulb.

Without breaking or melting, the ceramic manages higher heat easier.  

Watch this video for further details about choosing a good  UVB lighting for your pet: UVB Lighting For Chameleons! | Choosing The Right Light! – YouTube

Choosing The Best Lighting For Chameleons: Frequently Asked Questions

Best Lighting For Panther Chameleon

1. Can I Keep The Light On During The Night?

Some new keepers are suggested to use a red heat bulb for heating all night.

However, this is needless and dangerous.

Chameleons can see the red light and it disturbs their sleep habits.

They like to sleep in an area that is as dark as possible.

Moreover, additional heating at night is not really required, it is even unhealthy most of the time.

A decrease in the temperature at night is significant, especially for Jackson’s Chameleons.

If nighttime heating is needed in certain situations, do it without light.

2. Do Chameleons Need Blue Light?

Correct Lighting For Chameleons

Yes. The blue light makes sure that your pet is sufficiently asleep and retains its day-night cycle.

There are those who say you even need to provide more things to mimic this cycle, such as reducing the time using lights in winter months or supplying blue and red light to imitate the moon.

3. What Are The Signs When My Pet Gets Cold?

We can say if they are getting cold by the sign that they wear their residual colors all day long or whether they are already dark struggling to get as much light as they can.

The dark colors mean that more or more heating sessions are needed.

There are other factors in the wild that could cause the chameleons to die, but their life can be lengthened by the captivity where everything is controlled by their keeper.

Veiled Chameleon Lighting Setup

4. Why Does My Pet Curl His Tail? What Does It Mean?

When they get nervous, they will even curl their tails.

Much as their color varies, a curled or uncurled tail is a means for the owner to know their mood.

It may be nervous or concerned whether a chameleon is sitting with a curled tail.

Usually, they have a straight tail while they are happy.

Automatic Misting System For Chameleon

5. What Is The Suitable Temperature Range For A Chameleon?

During the day, the cool zone should range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius while for Jackson’s Chameleons the warm region should be 80 to 90 degrees F (27 to 29 degrees C), or for Veiled Chameleons from 90 to 100 degrees F (32 to 38 degrees C).

Until your home sinks below 65 to 70 degrees F at night, night heating is not required.

Conclusion

Lighting and heating are important for the strong bones of Chameleons.

Just supplying calcium and vitamin D3 from a regular diet is never enough.

With the right UVB bulb, it is solved easily.

You, as the keeper, must take a moment to check and pick the right one before purchasing.

There are a variety of different products to decide and you have to keep an eye carefully.

From our previous experiences, ZOO MED REPTISUN T5 UVB FLUORESCENT LAMP is our top pick for a UVB bulb.

Of course, you will need other lighting and heating supplies, but nothing can beat Zoo Med lamp on supplying the required UVB rays.

MEGA RAY MERCURY VAPOR BULB is an ideal all-in-one choice if you do not have time or experience in setting up a pet cage.

Hopefully, after reading our article, you have known more about how to choose the best lighting for Chameleons. All the options are good so all you have to do is considering the current situation and what you need to pick your right one.

Further Reading:

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