Do Leopard Geckos Need UVB Light? How to Measure

Gecko's Habitat / UV / Temp / Humidity

UV Light that we receive helps to naturally convert that light into natural vitamin D3, Our skin produces Vitamin D3 from Sunlight. Vitamin D3 is actually a group of 5 Fat Soluable molecules.

These Molecules help us with the absorption of Calcium in our Bone. For Reptiles lack of Vitamin D3 Can result in abnormally formed limbs, swollen Joints, Poor Health, Limping, Arthritis, Called Ricketts, or Metalic Bone Disease

Why We Need UV Light Lizards / People / Geckos

Ricktes is a softening of the bones growth. Leading to deformity, because of lack of calcium for bone growth at critical points. Bowed Legs.

Dermal Vitamin Synthesis

When dehydrocholesterol is hit by UV Light, from the Sun, it is converted to D3 (cholecalciferol). Then the lizard liver and kidneys convert that to Calcitriol.

This begins building Bones and nervouse systems.

Scientist give credit to Vitamin D in helping prevent these diseases

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease

This is Amazing Process is where Lizards Bodies convert Light into essential ingredients for a healthy gecko.

There are 2 main forms of Vitamin D (Cod Liver Oil)

Why do Leopard Geckos need Light

Leopard Geckos need UV Light for two reasons. The most important fact that UV-B is crucial for your Gecko to be able to absorb calcium and prevent bone and nervous conditions. Sunlight will provide it, but many times Geckos are in cages and tanks where it is hard for them to be able to bask in the sun.

In Nature your Leopard Gecko would stretch out on a rock and absorb the UV rays they need. The sunlight also helps them stay warm.

Pet owners have overcome this problem in two ways.

  • Adding artificial light, via tropical light bulbs
  • So by Adding Vitamin D supplements into the Geckos food sources. This can be done by a dusting of their insects, crickets, and worms for them to get the proper nutrition
  • Gut Loading – You can feed your insects, worms, you Lizard feed with food that will naturally increase the nutrition levels of their insect foods. It is recommended that you do not feed your geckos with the nutrition-packed insects. Have an interval of 12 hours between feeding the insects, and then feeding the insects to your Leopard Gecko’s

How much UVB does a leopard gecko need

The Amount of UV=B Light that need depends also in which lizard you have. Desert Lizards will want more light. Geckos that are in tropical climates will have vegetation shading etc.

So You need to consider the natural habitat of your Lizard. You want to give them enough light to be healthy but not to burn (sunburn) them

Your equipment can be put on times to make it labor intensive.

What Kind of Light do Leopard Geckos Need

Zilla UV Reptile Habitat Light Guide

There are Three Main Types of UV Light.


Natural Instincts. How Bees and Reptile see thier food. So They can locate and hunt. Its the rays they need to help their well developed eye systems for survival. light helps regulate behaviors such as feeding, diurnal movement, mating and similar activities


Used to synthesize Vitamin D3, All Reptiles need this for bone grownth, and how their joints and limbs form. Abesence – Rickets, MBD ( Metabalic Bone Disease) light allows the synthesis of vitamin D3, which helps to absorb calcium, light is not required for reptiles, but it can help kill bacteria. It’s important to note that at high levels of exposure this light can be harmful to most animals.


UV-C Rays from the sun are usually filtered by the ozone and if animals get too much, can result in sterilization. Breaks Down Biological materials.

How To Measure UV Light

When youn install your Tropical Lights for your Leopard Gecko, you can measure the lighting intensity with Several meters. Using UV Merters, held at a distance of 12″. UV lights loose their intensity as they gfet older, and brightness doesnt necessarily translate into Amout of UV-B light that is being immeted.

Do Leopard Geckos Need a Light

All Lizards and reptiles need lighting for them to obtain optimal health. Leopard Geckos are native to the dry and semi-deserts of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and also Northwestern India.

Its best to try to replicate their native habitats. Pet owners feel that since Gecko is nocturnal that they can get most of their Vitamin D from nutrition. But to replicate their environment they would need it.

Can Leopard Geckos Get Too Much UVB

Leopard Geckos cannot get too much UVB Light. They are normally most active at night being nocturnal. Duplicating day time and night time lighting times will keep them happy and healthy. You can put all the lighting on timer systems.

Leopard Geckos cannot get too much light, they can get too much heat which would be harmful to them.

How long can a gecko go without a heat lamp

Geckos are cold blooded reptiles , they will get slower and move less the colder they get. Their ideal temp ranges are for heating are these.

  • Cool Side –  75-80°F
  • Warm Side –  80-85°F
  • Basking Temps –  90-95°F 

Leopard Geckos can survive approximately 1 month at approx 60 F temps. When Leopard Geckos get cold they go into Brumation – type of dry hibernation. Needing less activity, food and heat.

Gecko’s are not able tp produce their own heat. So they get all their heat from their enviornments. In captivity they can get it from

  • Heat Bulbs
  • Under Tank Heaters
  • Heated Rock

What light can leopard geckos not see

Can Leopard Geckos see red Light
  • White Light – They can see this lighting – Their Eyes dialate to adjust the amount of incoming light.
  • Ceramic Heat Bulbs – They do not generate light just heat
  • Infra-Red Light – Animals, People and Reptiles are not able to see infrared Light.

Can Vitamin D Be added By Food Additives

Vitamin D can be gotten from the Geckos exposure to the sun, but most Pet Owners do both and also provide it by nutrition. Many Reptile owners dust all their insects with mineral Supplements.

Gecko's Diet

Insects / Avoid InsecticideOccasional SnacksToxic FoodsSupplements / Dusted Insects
TerminatesWild Bugs / So Gecko will not Refuse Shop Purchased FoodsBugs That Light UpCalcium
Earth WormsGecko's Body not Designed for VegetablesWild Bugs / InsecticidesVitamin D3
GrasshoppersWax worms / FatWild Bugs / Parasites'Multi Vitamins
Pinkie Mice / FrozenButter Worms / FatAmino Acid Complex
CricketsSuper Worms / Fat
Tomato Worms
Repti worms
Silk Worms
Horn Worms
Baby Manti
Cricket Crack
Indian Stick Insects
House Flies
Blue Bottle Flies
Phoenix Worms
Meal Worms
Gut Load Insects 12 Hours Before Feeding to Gecko's
Diet that your Pet Gecko Likes
Young Gecko's Fed Every Day
Healthy Adults Every Other Day
Sickly / once per day until healthy
Fed Early in Evening - Time they woul Feed in the Wild
If He is a Problem Eater / Leave Worms in a dish
Understanding Reptile Supplements

Vitamin D Toxicity

Can be gotten by taking too many supplements. It leads to elevated Calcium Levels. It can Cause these problems as their bodies try to get excess calcium out. Takes an enormous amount of liquids to flush excess levels/

  • Heart Arryththmias
  • Decresed Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased Urination
  • Nasuea
  • Vomitting
  • Disorientation

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