leopard gecko 3d book mockup
Learn everything you need to know


This book is packed with easy-to-understand information on selecting and setting up a habitat, feeding, breeding, and all other aspects of proper leopard gecko care.

Best Light For Leopard Geckos: Wattage And Bulb Guide

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of heating lamp options available for your reptile?

As a responsible pet owner, you want to provide the best possible environment for your leopard gecko, but with so many choices out there, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for your furry friend.

Don’t worry ; you’re definitely not alone in feeling this way!

That’s why we’re here to help with our handy guide to the best light for leopard geckos. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from wattage to bulb types, to make sure your pet is happy and comfortable in their home. After all, your pet deserves the best!

The best lights for leopard geckos need to heat the air well and provide a day-like natural light to help regulate the pet’s light cycle. The wattage may fluctuate from 75-120 watts depending on the type of bulb used.

Zoo Med Day Night Reptile Bulbs (60 watts) Combo Pack
  • Pack of two bulbs - one daylight blue and one nightlight red
  • Blue bulb provides heat with bright naturalistic light for day
  • True red glass heat lamp offers 24 hour heating
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Look ahead for our buyer’s guide, detailed review of each product, and commonly asked questions about each product.

leopard gecko in enclosure

What Makes The Best Heat Lamp For Leopard Gecko

Selecting the ideal heat lamp for your leopard gecko’s habitat is essential for their well-being. When searching for the perfect heating solution, several critical factors come into play.

Here’s what makes the best heat lamp for your leopard gecko:

Optimal Temperature Control

The top heat lamps offer precise temperature control, ensuring that your gecko’s enclosure remains within the recommended temperature range.

Full-Spectrum Lighting

A quality heat lamp should provide a full-spectrum light source, replicating natural sunlight. This not only aids in thermoregulation but also supports your gecko’s overall health.

Safety Features

Look for heat lamps with safety features such as built-in thermostats and auto-shutoff mechanisms to prevent overheating and accidents.

Energy Efficiency

Consider energy-efficient options to reduce long-term operating costs and environmental impact.


Invest in a durable heat lamp that can withstand the demands of constant use and heat exposure.

Size and Wattage

The size and wattage of the heat lamp should be suitable for your gecko’s enclosure size. Smaller enclosures require lower wattage, while larger ones may need higher wattage.

UVB Emission

Some heat lamps also emit UVB, which can be beneficial for your gecko’s health. Ensure the lamp you choose meets your pet’s specific UVB needs.

Ease of Installation

Look for lamps that are easy to install and compatible with your Leopard gecko’s enclosure setup.

Type Of Lights

There are different types of lightbulbs you may stumble across when searching for reptile light and heat lamps for a Leopard gecko lighting setup.

Sadly, not all of these are good for leopard geckos, who are nocturnal creatures.

They don’t need as much heat from above and need it to come from closer to the ground.

This is why most owners start with a ceramic heat emitter, heat lamps, heat mat or heating pad and add a heat light to even things out a little.

Here are the different types you may stumble across, along with brief descriptions:

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent is the standard light bulb most people will use.

This light bulb produces a good amount of heat and visible light for a Leopard gecko lighting setup, though it won’t last as long as an LED.

These don’t produce much UVB lighting to speak of, but this is just fine.

Leopard geckos don’t need it.

These bulbs are often the most affordable of the types, and when they die, they die.

There’s no drop in output until the end of its life.

This is one of the bulbs we recommend for leopard geckos.

Halogen Lights

Halogen is an exciting bulb type with high wattage and produces heat, visible light, and UVB lighting.

Generally, this is a fine choice for reptiles, but this isn’t the case with leopard geckos.

Don’t use this kind.

halogen light

They last a reasonable amount of time, but they gradually lose UV output and are unobservable without a meter.

They often cost more.

Infrared Lights

Infrared light bulbs look kind of funny to most people.

They don’t seem to have light bulbs on them at all, but a flat disc that works as a ceramic heat emitter.

These guys last a long time, are energy-efficient and put out a good amount of heat.

infrared light

We recommend this type as heat lamps for leopard geckos.

They may require a special socket in the lamp.

Ceramic or porcelain will do the job.

These usually cost a little more, but this is often offset by how long it lasts.

LED Lights

LED lights are all the rage now with many sorts of lighting needs.

These lights are tiny and very efficient.

They last an extremely long time.

Usually, these lights don’t give off any heat, so this wouldn’t be the best choice for heat lamps.

But if your Leopard gecko’s requirement is just visible light and the heating mat is good enough for heat, an LED light may be what you want.

For this article, we won’t be looking at LED and instead focus on heat lights specifically.

Bulb Wattage

Wattage is the amount of energy used by the bulb.

In general, the higher the watts on the package, the more heat is put out.

This differs depending on the type (halogen has higher numbers but doesn’t put out equal amounts of heat compared to other bulbs at the same watts).

Leopard geckos hide most of the day, so the air temperature isn’t as critical as the ground heat.

Because you’ll be using a heating mat, the bulb doesn’t need to be as powerful as other desert reptiles.

A range of 60-100W bulbs should be enough.

Make sure to check the temperature regularly to make sure it’s right.

For reference, leopard geckos need a 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) temperature at the ground and an air temperature no lower than 72° degrees Fahrenheit (22° C).

Bulb Lifespan

The bulb’s lifespan isn’t something most people think about right away, but this light will be on for 12 hours per day.

It’s going to run out quicker than most other ones.

A cheaper product won’t last as long, and you’ll be spending to replace it more often.

In the long run, you may not save money.

We’ll mention each product’s general lifespan in our reviews and let you decide what’s acceptable.

Bulb Price

Price is essential for any budget-conscious owner.

Typically, heating lights will be the second-highest cost of owning a leopard gecko behind food and vitamin supplements.

Don’t just go for the highest or lowest priced option, though.

You may end up with something outside your needs, but do keep it in mind.

We’ll mention general price ranges in our reviews below, but be sure to click any buttons to check the most current pricing (including sales) on Amazon.

Bulb Color

The color of the bulb may not seem like a big deal, and it mostly isn’t.

There’s some debate whether blue, white, or yellow is best for daytime.

Some owners say white and yellow are the closest to natural light from the sun, and the leopard gecko will enjoy it the most.

Others say yellow and white are too bright when this is close to the reptile, so blue is the way to go.

In our opinion, this isn’t a big deal, but if you have a preference one way or another, pick which one you like best and think looks best with your tank.

Socket Required

Whatever heat light you decide to get, make sure you know what type of socket is required.

While all bulbs will mostly fit any lamp and work, the hotter ones may end up melting the lamp socket if it’s not tough enough.

Do some research if you’re going away from our list, but we’ll mention what each product needs below.

Usually, a reptile heat lamp will come with a ceramic socket to better absorb and handle the high heat.

uvb light for leopard gecko tank

UVB Light Or Heat Light?

All this talk and you may notice we don’t mention UV lighting much when it comes to leopard geckos.

As we’ve touched on before, leopard geckos are nocturnal.

Specifically, they are most active at sunset and sunrise.

During the day, they hide and absorb heat from the ground.

At night, they burn this heat energy to do their bug hunting.

Because they’re nocturnal, they don’t need any UVB lighting at all to stay healthy.

Experts agree a UVB lighting won’t help their health, but it won’t hurt either.

So it’s up to you.

However, if you keep live plants in the tank safe, these will need UVB lighting to stay healthy.

Heating Requirements for Leopard Geckos

Whether you’re using a ceramic heat emitter or a heat mat, here’s a detailed chart, outlining the heating requirements for a Leopard gecko:

Enclosure Area Temperature
Warm Side89 to 94 °F in the day
84 to 90 °F at night
Cool Side75 to 80 °F in the day
68 to 75 °F at night
Basking Spot90 to 90 °F in the day
87 to 90 °F at night
Humid Hide86 to 90 °F in the day
83 to 86 °F at night

Leopard Gecko Lighting and Heating Schedule

Most Leopard Gecko owners, especially new ones, are quite confused when it comes to the Leopard gecko lighting and heating schedule.

Therefore, to make things easier, here’s a detailed lighting and heating schedule chart to help you get started:

Leopard Gecko Lighting and Heating in Summer

Heating & Lighting EquipmentDaytime
(8 am to 10 pm)
Night Time
(10pm to 8 am)
UVB Light
Ceramic Bulb
Light on
Heat source on
Light off
Heat source on
Basking Bulb
Ceramic Bulb
Heat lamp on
Heat source off
Heat lamp off
Heat source on

Leopard Gecko Lighting and Heating in Winter

Heating & Lighting EquipmentDaytime
(9 am to 9 pm)
Night Time
(9 pm to 9 am)
UVB Light
Ceramic Bulb
Light on
Heat source on
Light off
Heat source on
Basking Bulb
Ceramic Bulb
Light on
Heat source off
Light off
Heat source on

Review Of The Best Lights For Leopard Geckos

best light for leopard gecko

This section covers each of our picks for Leopard gecko lighting and discusses their features in practical terms.

Use this information to help you decide which is right for you.

Zoo Med Day & Night Reptile Bulb Combo Pack

Zoo Med Day Night Reptile Bulbs (60 watts) Combo Pack
  • Pack of two bulbs - one daylight blue and one nightlight red
  • Blue bulb provides heat with bright naturalistic light for day
  • True red glass heat lamp offers 24 hour heating
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This Zoo Med combo pack is one of the most popular Leopard gecko lighting choice for reptile owners.

This affordable product gives you two bulbs, each with its specific purpose.

Each bulb is incandescent; this is perfect for leopard geckos as it won’t blast them with too much direct heat.

The bulbs are 60W, suitable for heating the air, but not enough to heat the ground.

This is just fine for leopard geckos as the primary heat source comes from the heating mat you’ll need to use.

What makes this product unique is the use of colors with each bulb.

One is blue, and one is red.

The blue one is meant to be used during the day.

It provides a soft and clear color that some owners feel is gentler in the reptiles’ eyes.

The other bulb is red for use at night.

Since leopard geckos are nocturnal, you may want to look at your pet without blasting it with bright light and disrupting its sleep cycle.

The light also works as a heat source.

This would help some reptiles who need more heat all the time, but not the leopard gecko as much.

Still, using the light to watch your pet may be fun, but this other bulb shouldn’t be on all the time.

The drop in temperature is good for your pet at night.

For lifespan, this bulb is about average and nothing to write home about.

Some owners have said it lasts up to a year, but most agree you’ll get around six months out of it.

Pros For This Product:

  • Good heat output for leopard gecko
  • Lasts a while
  • The blue color is gentle on the gecko’s eyes
  • A red bulb for nighttime may be enjoyable for the owner

Cons For This Product:

  • May have trouble heating a 20-gallon or larger tank

Zilla Premium Reflector Domes

Zilla Premium Reflector Domes 8.5 Inches
  • Powder-coated black on the outside and reflective white on the inside for added luster and long life
  • Ceramic socket that lasts under high heat
  • 6-foot power cord with on/off switch
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Zilla’s medium-priced dome isn’t a light in and of itself, but it provides a vital part of the whole setup.

This dome is essentially the lamp.

You’ll need to get a bulb to use it with, so this product should be where you start.

We always recommend the reflector dome for reptile owners because of its quality and durability.

The specialized socket handles all bulbs at high heat, so you don’t have to worry about melting down.

The outside is coated with a powder black to keep electric parts cool, while the inside of the dome is treated white and shaped to reflect more energy out into the tank.

This helps make even mediocre heating bulbs more energy-efficient and powerful.

It comes with a spring clip allowing you to clip it on any tank easily.

Many users rave about the 6′ foot cord and on/off switch, making it easy to use.

This lamp will last for many years before it has any problems.

It’s designed to be used with many bulbs over a long time.

In the leopard gecko’s lifespan, you probably won’t even need to buy another one.

Pros For This Product:

  • Safe for all bulbs
  • Last for years
  • Easy to use
  • Attaches anywhere on the tank

Cons For This Product:

  • No bulb included

Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp 100W with One Digital Thermometer

Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp 100W with Digital Thermometer, Infrared Ceramic Heating Non-light Lamps Emitter 110V
  • Perfect 24 hour heat source for all types of reptiles, amphibians, birds, hamsters, and one digital thermometer included
  • 99% high thermal efficiency, the non-light heater lamp will not disturb animals sleep pattern
  • Solid ceramics element has a good heat radiation feature(also works in sealed box), which can works
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This Zacro heat lamp is a more pricey Leopard gecko lighting option, but the features and efficiency of this ceramic bulb make it all worth it for many.

As a ceramic bulb, Zacro’s product is more efficient than other types of bulbs.

This bulb uses infrared heat to warm up the air.

The flat disc-like shape allows for heat to expel into the air faster.

This bulb uses 100W, which is enough to heat even a larger tank for a leopard gecko.

The lifespan of one of these is much longer than a standard bulb.

Expect it to last at least one year.

Additionally, the bulb comes with a digital thermometer to help you get better readings on what the tank is heating up to in different places.

Take note; however, you MUST have a ceramic socket in the lamp part when you use this.

The heat put off by the bulb is too strong for standard lamps to handle.

Pros For This Product:

  • Puts off a lot of heat
  • Energy-efficient design and infrared heat
  • Lasts a long time
  • Handles the air heating in a large tank

Cons For This Product:

  • Requires a ceramic socket
  • May need to add more visible light to simulate the sun.

Exo Terra Sun-Glo Basking Spot Lamp

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This Exo Terra basking lamp is an affordable product without many extra features.

It merely produces good heat and bright light, so check this product out if this is all you want.

The incandescent light comes in different wattage amounts, including:

  • 25W
  • 50W
  • 75W
  • 100W
  • 150W

For leopard geckos, we recommend the 100W or the 75W option.

The 150W is too strong, and less than 75W is too weak.

It produces a good amount of heat with bright natural light.

Combined with a good lamp or reflector dome, this will be enough to heat some of the air.

The lifespan is shorter than other bulbs.

Some report it lasted only a month, but most users experience it lasting 2-3 months.

The lower price will offset this shorter lifespan for some.

As a basking lamp, this bulb will heat one spot much more than others.

This is fine for leopard geckos as long as the ground temperature doesn’t get much higher than 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C).

Leopard geckos may respond well to such a variety of temperatures (hotter by the light and cooler away from it).

This will allow them to choose where they are and regulate their body temperature.

Pros For This Product:

  • Affordable
  • Provides good heat
  • Lights up the tank like the sun

Cons For This Product:

  • Doesn’t last as long
  • May heat one spot too much

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps Incandescent Bulb

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps Incandescent Bulb, Day White, 75W
  • Provides ambient heat that creates a healthy environment for reptiles
  • Heavy-duty filaments yield hours of performance
  • Recommended for use with Zilla Reflector Domes
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This Zilla bulb is a medium-priced bulb designed to heat a space of 10 to 20 gallons.

This is the recommended habitat size for leopard geckos.

The bulb is a simple heat lamp like the last product with more quality in its construction.

The heavy-duty filaments help the bulb last longer than other incandescents, at least six months on average.

Its color is a bright white but still soft enough to not hurt the gecko’s eyes.

The bulb comes in at 75W, which is within the range you’d want for geckos.

Zilla designed this bulb as the perfect match for its reflector dome mentioned above.

Pros For This Product:

Cons For This Product:

  • May not heat edges of the tank

Commonly Asked Questions

What Lighting Do Leopard Geckos Need?

Leopard geckos need, at the least, a light to help regulate the day-night cycle.

In some cases, the heat mat will be enough for heat, but you still need a light to tell the gecko when it’s rest time and active time.

Should I Turn My Leopard Gecko’s Light Off At Night?


The rule for all reptiles is 12 hours lights and heat on and 12 hours lights and heat off.

This simulates the day-night cycle.

As cold-blooded creatures, reptiles like the leopard gecko need these changes to tell them when to rest and store energy.

Without it, their bodies get confused and stressed out, causing other health issues.

Do Leopard Geckos Need A Heat Lamp?

Yes and no.

While it’s possible to get away with the correct heating without a heat lamp or heating pad, it’s still strongly encouraged.

The light will help even out the air temperatures and help keep a moist hide with higher humidity.

Check out our post on critical things leopard geckos need for a must-have list of items for your pet to thrive.

Are LED Lights Safe For Leopard Geckos?

Yes! High wattage lights aren’t needed for leopard geckos, and halogen should be avoided.

LED may produce light only or low heat, both of which are fine for a leopard gecko as long as the heat mat gets the temperatures up to where it needs to be.

Are Red Lights Bad For Leopard Geckos?

The jury is out on this one.

For some reptiles, there seems to be evidence a red light will affect their eyes negatively.

For leopard geckos, it doesn’t seem to cause a problem. However, if you’re nervous, don’t use it.

Remember, no heat lamp should replace a heat mat for leopard geckos.

They MUST have heat rising from the ground to absorb the heat properly.

the Best Leopard Gecko Lighting to Keep Your Friend Warm and Cozy

As a proud owner of a leopard gecko, we are sure you want to provide the best care for your little friend!

One of the most important aspects of creating a comfortable living space for your gecko is ensuring that the lighting and temperature is just right. But with so many lighting and heating options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one.

Don’t worry! In this helpful guide, we have put together everything you need to know to choose the ideal light and heat options for your leopard gecko’s enclosure.

From keeping the air temperature optimal to creating a natural day-night cycle, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to confusion and uncertainty; with our help, you’ll create a cozy, well-heated and well-lit environment that your pet will love!

Leave a Comment