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Home » Tegu Lighting Setup: Best UVB, Heat Lamps, and Light Options

Tegu Lighting Setup: Best UVB, Heat Lamps, and Light Options

Tegus are large, active lizards that require a specific lighting setup to stay healthy.

This includes providing them with a basking spot, a UVB light, and a full-spectrum light.

Tegus are ectotherms, which means that they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature.

Tegu lightning setup
Tegu lightning setup

In the wild, they do this by basking in the sun, absorbing heat from the ground, and seeking shelter in cool places.

In captivity, you must ensure their enclosure allows for different “zones” where they can replicate this behavior – having access to UV lights, heat, and hides.


Full-spectrum Lights

The best light for a tegu is a full-spectrum light that emits a wide range of wavelengths, including visible light, UVA, and UVB. The best UVB bulb for a tegu is one that emits UVB rays in the range of 5% to 12%.

This is the range of UVB rays that is most beneficial for tegus. Some popular UVB bulbs for tegus include:

Heat Lamps

The best heat lamp for a tegu is one that can provide a basking spot temperature of 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some popular heat lamps for tegus include:

  • Arcadia Reptile Ceramic Heat Emitter
  • Zoo Med ReptiTherm Basking Spot Lamp
  • Exo Terra Heat Glo Ceramic Heat Emitter

Full-spectrum Lights

The best light for a tegu is a full-spectrum light that emits a wide range of wavelengths, including visible light, UVA, and UVB.

This type of light is beneficial for plants and animals, and it can help to improve your tegu’s overall health and well-being.

Some popular full-spectrum lights for tegus include:


Setting up a basking spot

The basking spot is where your tegu will go to warm up and digest its food.

It should be placed at one end of the enclosure and should be hot enough that your tegu can raise its body temperature to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are two main types of heat bulbs that can be used to create a basking spot: halogen bulbs and ceramic heat emitters. Halogen bulbs emit both heat and light, while ceramic heat emitters only emit heat.

Halogen bulbs are a good choice for creating a basking spot because they provide both heat and light, which is beneficial for both your tegu’s physical and psychological health.

However, halogen bulbs can be quite bright, so it is important to provide your tegu with a hiding place where it can escape the light if it needs to.

Ceramic heat emitters are a good choice for creating a basking spot if you need to provide your tegu with heat without any light.

Ceramic heat emitters are also a good choice if you have a tegu that is sensitive to light.

If you are crafy, considering setting up a Retes stack.

Retes stacks are a popular type of basking spot for tegus.

They are made up of a series of slate tiles that are stacked on top of each other, with heat lamps placed in between the tiles.

The slate tiles help to distribute the heat evenly and create a variety of basking spots at different temperatures.

UVB Light

UVB light is essential for tegus to synthesize vitamin D3, which is necessary for calcium absorption and bone development.

The UVB light should be placed over the basking spot so that your tegu can get UVB exposure while it is basking.

There are two main types of UVB bulbs that can be used for reptiles: T5 bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).

T5 bulbs are more expensive than CFLs, but they last longer and produce more UVB light.

CFLs are a good option for budget-minded hobbyists, but they need to be replaced more often than T5 bulbs.

When choosing a UVB bulb, it is important to select one that emits UVB rays in the range of 5% to 12%.

This is the range of UVB rays that is most beneficial for tegus.

Full-Spectrum Light

A full-spectrum light is a type of light that emits a wide range of wavelengths, including visible light, UVA, and UVB.

This type of light is beneficial for plants and animals, and it can help to improve your tegu’s overall health and well-being.

There are two main types of full-spectrum lights that can be used for reptiles: fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.

Fluorescent bulbs are less expensive than LED bulbs, but they do not last as long.

LED bulbs are a good option for hobbyists who want a long-lasting, energy-efficient light source.

Best Light setup for Tegu Lizards

Setting Up Your Tegu’s Lighting

Once you have chosen the right light bulbs, you need to set them up in your tegu’s enclosure.

Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Place the basking spot bulb at one end of the enclosure and the UVB bulb over the basking spot.
  • Make sure that the basking spot is hot enough for your tegu to raise its body temperature to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the basking spot.
  • Use a full-spectrum light to provide your tegu with additional light and UVB exposure. You can place the full-spectrum light on the opposite side of the enclosure from the basking spot.
  • Turn on the lights in the morning and turn them off at night. Tegus need a 12-hour light cycle.

Monitoring Your Tegu’s Lighting

It is important to monitor your tegu’s lighting setup to make sure that it is providing the right amount of heat, UVB, and full-spectrum light.

You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the basking spot and a UVB meter to measure the amount of UVB exposure that your tegu is getting.

You should also check the light bulbs regularly to make sure that they are still working properly.

UVB bulbs need to be replaced every 6-12 months, even if they still seem to be working.


Tegu Lightning and Brumation

Brumation is a period of dormancy that some reptiles experience during the winter months.

It is triggered by a combination of shorter days and cooler temperatures.

Tegus, which are native to South America, may or may not brumate in captivity.

This is dependent on a number of factors, including the individual tegu’s genetics, age, and health, as well as the environmental conditions in the enclosure.

Many owners choose to embrace the brumation period as a way to save energy consumption and money.

During brumation, tegus will become less active and eat less food.

This means that you can reduce the temperature and lighting in their enclosure, which will save on electricity costs.

If your tegu does decide to brumate, it is important to provide it with the proper conditions.

This includes reducing the temperature in the enclosure to 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and the lighting to 8-10 hours per day.

You should also offer your tegu food every few days, but do not force it to eat.

Make sure that your tegu has access to fresh water at all times and monitor its weight and overall health during brumation.



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