Providing your Beardie with the proper UVA light is essential to keeping them healthy and happy, as it has many health benefits that are important for their well-being.
In this article we will discuss why UVA light is important for Bearded Dragons and how to provide the necessary light for your pet.
Bearded Dragon UVA Light
UVA light is an important part of a bearded dragons’ daily life, providing essential vitamin D3 that helps to metabolize calcium which keeps their bones strong and allows them to be active.
Without enough sunlight or artificial lighting that emits ultraviolet A wavelengths, beardies can suffer from metabolic bone disease as they are unable to absorb enough calcium from their diet alone.
The UV wavelengths uncovered by UVA bulbs also trigger reptile skin cells in order to make melanin – the pigment responsible for their coloration.
How To Provide UVA Lighting For Your Beardie
The best way to simulate natural UV rays indoors is by using fluorescent lamps specifically designed for reptile terrariums or open enclosures such as those made by Zoo Med or Exo-Terra.
These need to be replaced every 6 months and offer higher amounts of Ultraviolet A than any other type of lamp on the market.
LED lights also work, however they don’t provide any vital UVA rays and should not be used instead of fluorescent lamps if possible.
For optimal results, position the bulb at one end of the enclosure so your Beardie has access to both bright areas where they can warm up and dark corners where they can hide away from direct light exposure when needed.
8 hours of daylight followed by 8 hours of darkness should provide enough heat during daytime but you might need additional infrared heat lamps if temperatures tend to drop suddenly at night in fall or winter months in colder climates.
Precaution should still be taken when exposing your lizard directly under lamps as too much soft ultra violet radiation can lead burns just like excessive visible sunlight can sunburn humans!
It is recommended that basking lamps be kept 8-12 inches above your pet’s basking spot but consult with experienced breeders or veterinarian if you’re unsure how close is safe depending on how powerful UVB & UVA output your particular lamp produces.
Why Does My Bearded Dragon Need UVA Light?
UVA light gives off long UVB wavelengths that allow bearded dragons to absorb vitamin D3 which helps them break down calcium.
Vitamin D3 is not only necessary for good health—it’s also required for strong bones and healthy immune systems. Without enough exposure to UVA, severe deficiencies can occur in bearded dragons leading to health problems like metabolic bone disease or poor growth rates.
How Much UVA Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Bearded dragons need a full spectrum LED lighting system with both warm-white glow and UVB lamps built into its base.
Initially, you should provide your beardy with a low level of mild UV (2-5%) during daylight hours by positioning their enclosure approximately 10-12 inches beneath the lamp.
As they are exposed longer to uvb levels over time, increase the exposure slowly until they reach their ideal level after several months of gradual increases up to 7% – 12%.
This can ensure that your beardie is getting a well rounded amount of daily exposure without overexposure leading to potential damage of their skin such as burning or excessive shedding.
What Are The Best Sources of UVA?
One choice for supplying your bearded dragon with UV rays is an incandescent bulb or mercury vapor bulb that emits constant levels of UVA radiation for about 8 hours per day.
However, using this type of bulb does come with some drawbacks in that it produces a larger amount than what reptiles actually need for optimal health, and it doesn’t last very long so it must be replaced more often than other kinds of bulbs.