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Red Light for Bearded Dragon: Good or Bad? (Explained)

Bearded dragons are one of the best pets for kids to have. They are very gentle creatures and docile in nature.

That’s not all, caring for them is also quite easier than other pets and they don’t even need regular meals, maintenance, or attention from the owner.

However, we might be told by our pet store owners that we need items that we might or might not need for these lizards. Red lights to keep your creature warm and healthy is one of them.

Let us go over the facts and myths about having red lights for our bearded fellow is good or not down below.

What is the red light for a bearded dragon?

Often people will recommend buying a red light when getting a bearded dragon as a pet. They would tell pet owners that a red light would help the creature at night to sleep better.

However, bearded dragons do not need any kind of light be it red or any other color. Thought to be a non-disturbing light for the animal, it will become a very disturbing light as they can see the red color pretty well.

Can you use a red light for a bearded dragon?          

No, we can not use a red light for a bearded dragon. Lights and bearded dragons do not go two well together.

Furthermore, considering that a bearded dragon is a lizard and lizards can see red lights quite well, having a red color light is a bad choice for basking or night-time heating.

Therefore, we should not use a red light for a bearded dragon either. Bearded dragons do not need any kind of light source for their nighttime, let alone a red light.

Is using red light for bearded dragons good or bad?

Using red light for a bearded dragon is bad. This is a general rule to not let any kind of red light be in the tank or anywhere near the tank. Any exposure to the red light can introduce stress in the creature. That could lead to sleep deprivation and a loss of appetite.

Many amateur pet owners will make the common mistake of getting a red heat light bulb for their lizard pets in tanks. They might be even called red basking lights to help make their pets comfy at night and sleep well.

However, for the bearded lizards, it works the complete opposite of what they think it does. A red infrared light or any of the above types of red lights mentioned can severely harm the health of a bearded dragon.

Below is where we briefly discuss why is it harmful.


Ample evidence goes to show that the red light that every amateur-owner gets for their new bearded dragon on recommendation is visible to the lizards at night.

The people recommending say that the lizards cannot see the red on the color spectrum, this claim cannot be further than the truth. This in turn ruins their sleep schedule and disturbs them throughout the night.

Furthermore, this in turn disrupts the appetite of the creature and induces stress in them. This is not helping the animal in any way of the sort.

Damages the eye:

Bearded dragons are quite sensitive to UV light. Especially they have sensitive eyes, thus they need to protect their eyes. In order to do that they need bright lights to make their eye’s pupils contract.

However, when we use red lights, the rays do not contract the pupils of the eyes due to it not being bright enough and ultimately damaging the eyes. These damages to the eyes can be long-term because of the UV rays.

Disruptive immune system:

Red light induces many problems in bearded dragons that can simply solve by a good night’s sleep. Some argue that the red lights help maintain the lizard’s body temperature.

This is hardly the truth, the heat that the red light makes inside the tank is not enough for the creature anyways. Rather it disrupts their sleep and ultimately disrupts the animal’s immune system, making it fall sick more often.

Do bearded dragons need a red or red light at night? 

When getting a new lizard people usually make the mistake of buying all the accessories in a bulk along with the lizard. The red light is usually recommended for most lizards.

However, for the bearded dragons that color light does more harm than good for the creature. They usually say that the dragons also need the red light to keep them warm at night.

But bearded dragons do not need any form of light to keep them warm depending on the ambient temperature where we live at night.

Usually, during the night, the ideal temperature for a bearded dragon should be at least 68° Fahrenheit or 20° Celsius.

How warm does a bearded dragon’s cage need to be?

Bearded dragons can see the red color spectrum with ease. Thus, making their cage not suitable for sleeping if they contain a red basking light of sorts.

Removing the light bulb would be ideal but the fear of losing a way to warm the creature remains.

But fret not, we will list the amount of the ideal temperatures for the bearded dragons down below so that we can easily monitor the temperature with help of thermometers with ease.

At day:

During the daytime, the creature only requires a temperature of about 75-85° Fahrenheit or 24-29° Celsius. Usually, this temperature is about the same as the general ambient temperature of a normal household.

Thus, it is not required for us to take extra steps of installing colored light bulbs to warm up their bodies.

At night:

During the nighttime, the bearded dragon requires a minimum of 68° Fahrenheit or 20° Celsius. With the ideal temperatures being 70-75° Fahrenheit or 21°-24° Celsius.

Therefore, the idea of getting any kind of light to keep them warm at night becomes irrelevant due to how normal these temperatures are for us.

What light should I use for my bearded dragon at night?

When we get a bearded dragon along with some bundled-up accessories, we might find ourselves with red lights for their cage to keep them warm at night.

However, by now we are well aware of how those are not good for the health of a bearded dragon and rather we are supposed to use any other form of light or alternative to red lights for bearded dragons.

Hence, we made a list of alternatives to red lights below for the bearded dragons at night.

  • Ceramic Bulbs
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Mercury Vapor Bulbs

How to keep a bearded dragon warm at night?

Normally a bearded dragon does not need anything, in particular, to keep them warm at night. However, if the area we live in goes down 68° Fahrenheit or 20° Celsius then a way to keep the bearded dragon warm at night becomes necessary.

Here we briefly list and discuss the different equipment that we need to keep the bearded dragons cozy and warm on cold nights.

Ceramic Bulbs:

The cheaper alternative when compared to the other options here, still a pricey product nonetheless is the Ceramic bulb. Works great for keeping the lizard warm for both day and night.

The fluorescent bulbs only emit UV rays. These heat bulbs will not be able to provide those rays, thus it is best to use these two bulbs in conjunction.

Mercury Vapor Bulbs:

These lights might be expensive than the other bulbs on the list but they last longer and you will not have to change them as frequently as you would change the other bulbs.

The plus point with these bulbs is that they emit both UVA and UVB as well as provide heat for the terrarium of your lizard. Thus, making these bulbs the second-best choice and option to keep your bearded dragon warm at night.

Ceramic Heaters:

The most expensive of the bunch and the best way to help our little friend sleep well in the night.

Getting a ceramic heater will ensure that the bearded dragon gets an undisturbed night of sleep as well as warm temperatures too.

However, they can only heat a rather narrow area. Thus, we need to get larger sizes of these with a higher requirement of watts to match the size of the cage or tank of the creature.

Final thoughts

Since people thought lizards are not able to see the red on the color spectrum, they end up thinking that bearded dragons can’t also see it. However, these lizards are capable of seeing the red light, and thus keeping a red light to keep them warm overnight is bad and harmful for the creature.