Reptile Vivarium Lighting Guide

Getting the right levels of light to your reptile isn't just a matter or atmosphere - it often directly relates to their health. Pets at Home stocks a wide variety of lighting solutions to ensure your reptile has the perfect environment for them. 

Vivarium lighting is an essential part of your reptile’s home. It helps to regulate your reptile’s sleep cycle and mating habits and is good for their overall health and wellbeing.

And when it comes to choosing the right lighting, there are many different options available to you. Read our comprehensive guide to vivarium lighting to find out what you need for your pet.

Types Of Vivarium Lighting

The first thing to ask yourself is whether your reptile is nocturnal (active at night) or diurnal (active during the day). This will help you determine what kind of vivarium lighting they need.

Basking Lamps

Basking lamps are a popular type of vivarium lighting for many reptiles. In the wild many diurnal reptiles like to bask in the sun and a basking lamp (or basking spot) will mimic this environment.

We’d recommend lighting your vivarium with a basking lamp rather than a normal household bulb as they’ll also produce heat. However, they don’t produce UVB so this will still need to be catered for separately.


Exo Terra PT2131 Daylight Basking Spot 50w

Komodo Basking Spot Bulb BC 50w

Exo Terra Lamp Sunglo S25 Tight Beam Reptile Basking Spot Lamp 150W

UVA/UVB Lights

UVB helps your reptile produce vitamin D, which gives them stronger bones and helps prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. In turtles and tortoises, a lack of vitamin D can also result in a potentially fatal condition called “soft shell”. UVA light is needed for healthy eyes, skin and scales and a good immune system. In its natural environment, your reptile would get UV light from the sun but in a captive environment, you’ll need to provide this using a UV bulb.

Komodo Compact Lamp UVB 10% ES 15w

Komodo Fluorescent T8 Bulb UVB 10% 18w

Komodo Compact Lamp UVB 10% ES 26w


Nightime Vivarium Lighting

Reptiles rely on a distinct light cycle so day should be light, and night should be dark. You should never use white light in your vivarium at night as this will disturb its sleep cycle (or confuse nocturnal reptiles).

If you need to use lamps to provide extra heat at night, make sure they don’t give off any light. Using a red, blue or green basking lamp is the ideal solution as they provide dim lighting that won’t disturb a diurnal reptile’s sleep, or make nocturnal reptiles feel stressed.

Komodo Infrared Spot Bulb R80 BC 100w

Komodo Infrared Spot Bulb R63 BC 50w

Komodo Infrared Spot Bulb R63 BC 75w