When setting up a habitat for a new pet lizard or other reptiles, you need the correct heat and light sources to provide your reptiles with the necessities of life. For instance, your reptiles will need visible light and specific types of light. This includes things like UVB lights to help them synthesize vitamin D.
Your pet will need heat at specific levels as well, which may also come from their lamp (depending on what light bulb you choose). Here are some of the mistakes you should avoid when setting up reptile lighting in your new habitat.
1. Setting up near something meltable or flammable
Because reptiles often need warmer-than-room-temperature environments, many reptile light bulbs provide additional heat as well as light, meaning the bulb can get quite hot. This means you'll want to keep the bulb far away from anything that could melt (such as plastic) or that could burn (such as paper or hay).
2. Setting up without a timer
Reptiles typically need defined daytime and nighttime periods, meaning that you'll need to set up your lighting to run on a timer so it will switch off at night. Without this timer, the light source won't shine only at the correct times unless you turn it on and off manually each day.
A light that shines constantly, or doesn't turn on and off reliably, can disrupt your pet's circadian rhythms, which could cause health problems related to stress. A UVB light that shines constantly can cause additional health problems as well.
3. Setting too high up or too low
Your reptile needs to be able to move in and out of the light as needed to accumulate UVB rays and regulate body temperature. Because reptiles don't have internal temperature regulation like mammals, they have to use their environment to warm up or cool down. Setting the light too far away from the bottom of the terrarium could mean your reptiles are unable to get warm enough.
Likewise, placing the same light too low down and close to the ground could make the basking spot too warm and unusable, or could even heat up the entire tank too much. Use thermometers to make sure your light placement is creating the correct temperatures to keep your pet healthy.
These are just a few errors to avoid when adding a reptile light to your new terrarium. For best results, be sure to read all the instructions that come with the light and follow the recommendations of the pet shop where you acquired your reptile so you can create the ideal setup for your new pet. Contact a company that provides reptile lighting for more information.