bearded dragon handbook

Get our pet owner's guide for bearded dragons and help your special friend live its best life.

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat (Or Lamp)

Is your power out, and you’re wondering if your bearded dragon is in danger?

Are you waiting for a new UV bulb for your basking lamp and worried about your vivarium temperature?

Are you taking a trip and can’t keep the heating lamp on in the car/plane?

Knowing the limits of your bearded dragon is the difference between a panicked state and a minor inconvenience.

While you should never test out your bearded dragon’s survival limit, it’s still helpful to know what they can handle in an emergency.

So, how long can a bearded dragon go without heat?

A bearded dragon can survive 24 hours without heat as long as the temperature doesn’t go below 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C). They need warmth to survive, so take appropriate measures to keep the temperature in their ideal range.

We dig more into this topic below.

how long can a bearded dragon go without heat

Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat?

Bearded dragons come from naturally warm regions.

Their bodies are designed to function at higher temperatures.

As cold-blooded reptiles, beardies don’t produce body heat and regulate their temperature based on the environment.

They use heat energy to power their bodies.

Without heat for more than 24 hours, they may start to develop health issues.

They also use heat as part of everyday living processes like digestion.

A bearded dragon who is too cold won’t fully digest their meals, resulting in malnutrition and constipation.

A slightly cooler temperature can send signals to the bearded dragon they need to brumate (a version of reptile hibernation).

Bearded dragon brumation is OK and natural, but if done too often can cause health problems.

We have a dedicated post on bearded dragon brumation if you would like more detailed information on the signs, what to do, and an essential guide.

What Temperature Should I Keep My Bearded Dragon Enclosure?

As a bearded dragon owner, you’re probably familiar with the different temperature requirements.

It’s one of the trickiest parts of owning a bearded dragon.

Your pet needs four different temperatures.

Each one serves a different purpose, but they all need to be in place.

You can read our review on the best bearded dragon thermometers to learn more about them or pick up the one below from Amazon.

REPTI ZOO Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Hygrometer Digital Display
  • Accurate measure temperature and humidity in vivariums, hatchers, brooders, propagators, etc
  • Digital display and easy to read on clear LCD screen, two modes of mounting the suction cup make you can put the thermo-hygrometer on the front or side glass of terrariums as your request.
  • Easy to install: suction cup can be adsorbed firmly on the side or back of the terrarium
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Basking Temperature

The basking temperature is the temp directly under the basking bulb or heat lamp.

This lamp is where the reptile rests and absorbs much of the energy needed, otherwise known as a basking spot.

This temperature should be between 100° – 110° degrees Fahrenheit (38° – 43° C) for baby bearded dragons and around 105° degrees Fahrenheit (40° C) for adult bearded dragons.

Test this temp by pointing or placing your thermometer directly in view of the basking lamp.

You can read our review of bearded dragon heat lamps to learn more.

Overall Temperature

The overall temperature of the enclosure should also be pretty high.

Most recommend around 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) for all bearded dragons.

Test this by pointing your thermometer or placing one near the lamp but out of its direct target.

Cool or Hide Spot Temperature

This is on the opposite side of the enclosure from the lamp.

Here is where bearded dragons go to feel safe and destress.

This area should be between 70° – 85° degrees Fahrenheit (21° – 29° C).

Test this area’s temp by pointing or placing the thermometer where you’d like the cool spot to be (usually opposite of the basking light).

Night Temperature

At night, switching off the heat lamp or using a low heat ceramic heat emitter is recommended.

This will change the light level and temperature to simulate the natural cooling at night.

When you switch off the light, the bearded dragon tank gradually decreases to room temperature for a brief period at night before it gets switched back on in the morning.

Check to make sure at its coolest it doesn’t go below 65° – 70° degrees Fahrenheit (18° – 21° C).

Check this by waking up in the middle of the night to ensure the temperature isn’t too low when you first get your enclosure.

Or make sure your room temperature isn’t below the threshold.

It would help if you always had your lamp hooked up to a time switch in case you forget to turn the lamp back on in the morning.

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

Tips For Going On A Trip

If you’re going on a trip, it may not be possible to keep the basking lamp plugged in while you travel in the car.

It’s also impossible to do on planes.

It doesn’t mean you should avoid taking your bearded dragon with you if you want to.

Check out our guide on traveling with bearded dragons for some great tips on accomplishing this.

Because bearded dragons can survive slightly cooler temps with no problem for 24 hours, this is doable as long as the car temperature doesn’t get the enclosure temperature too low.

Just make sure you plug the lamp in when you get to your hotel or destination.

Here are some general tips for helping keep your beardie warm on a trip:

  • Cover the enclosure to keep in heat
  • Keep the ambient temperature in the room up.
  • Use heat packs in the enclosure (make sure they’re non-toxic)
  • Take out your beardy and hold him to warm him up as needed

And if you can’t take your pet with you here’s our guide on what to do with your bearded dragon while on vacation.

What To Do In Case Of A Power Outage/Bulb Shortage

Emergencies can’t always be avoided.

If your heat bulb breaks or blows unexpectedly or the power goes out, you may find yourself in a situation where it’s getting colder, and you’re worried about your beardy’s safety.

First of all, stay calm.

These reptiles are tough, and you will help them make it through with little problem.

Check the temp in the enclosure and your room.

The thermometers most likely are battery-powered or even mercury-based, so they work just fine.

Cover the enclosure with a thick blanket to trap in the heat and keep the temperature up.

Check on the temperature in the terrarium periodically to make sure it stays up above 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C).

If the temperature drops below 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C), you need to start more extreme help.

If the power is on but the heat source is out, heat a water bottle and place it in the terrarium.

Use a heated blanket, hand warmers, or heat mat to raise the temperature.

If the power is out, look for anything to warm him up.

Hand warmers work well, a fire in a fireplace or wood-burning stove, or a warm water bottle.

In the worst-case scenario, you could also take your pet out and wrap him up close to your body.

He may not like this much, but you do what you have to do.

As long as you keep it above 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C) and don’t stay there for longer than 24 hours, he’ll be OK.

Warning! Don’t place the bearded dragon directly into whatever you’re using to warm up.

Use the microwave, fireplace, etc., to warm up a water bottle or blanket and place the object with the reptile.

Woah! Look at this!
Want the ultimate guide to owning bearded dragons?

We've cut out all the confusion of owning bearded dragons in this easy-to-read ebook. It'll help you save money and ensure your pet lives its best life!

  • Save Money
  • Save Time
  • Avoid Mistakes
  • Longer Pet Lifespan
Click to Learn More

What Is The Lowest Temperature A Bearded Dragon Can Survive?

The lowest temperature for safety is 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C).

If you keep the temperature higher, your bearded dragon can adapt by going into brumation.

Even so, if it stays cold for longer than 24 hours, you may want to have a vet check it out for health complications.

Whenever something like this occurs, pay attention in the aftermath to the bearded dragon’s behavior.

If it stops eating, defecating, or moving for a long time afterward, you may need to take a trip to the vet.

While it is theoretically possible for a beardy to survive at lower temperatures, it’s not recommended to consider this an option in any circumstance.

As a hot weather creature, low temps can damage its body quickly.

how long can a bearded dragon go without heat

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without UV Light?

A bearded dragon can go for 1-2 days without UV light before it starts to get malnourished for its vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium.

This lizard is naturally found in places with a lot of sunshine, so it needs those UV rays.

Unlike heat raised using different methods, the only two ways of getting UV rays are from the sun or a UV bulb.

While it’s recommended they get 10-14 hours of UV light every day, this may not be possible in case of a power outage.

Also, it’s important to note they can’t absorb the sun’s rays through glass like windows or the enclosure.

Keep a flashlight with a UV bulb inside just in case of emergencies such as a power outage.

The bulbs can work to give UV light from any light source as long as it fits, and there’s no glass between the bulb and the bearded dragon.

If it’s warm enough outside (above 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C)), take them outside to absorb some UV rays.

Safety Precautions and Backup Strategies

To make sure your bearded dragon stays safe and comfortable, here are some tips on how to maintain a steady heat source, and what to do in case of a power outage:

  • Use a Timer on Your Heat Lamps
    It’s a good idea to set up a timer for your heating devices to make sure they stay on during the day and off at night. It can also be helpful to have a backup timer just in case the first one breaks.
  • Have a Backup Heat Source
    Make sure to have a backup heating device ready just in case the primary one stops working. This could be a generator, a battery-powered heat lamp, or a heat mat.

  • Keep Extra Bulbs at Hand
    Always keep a supply of extra bulbs at hand. This way, you’ll be prepared if one of your bulbs burns out.
  • Gather Emergency Supplies
    Be prepared for unexpected situations, like power outages, and keep emergency heating supplies at hand. Things like blankets, towels, hand warmers, hot water bottles or microwaveable heat packs can provide some temporary warmth until things get back to normal.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your bearded dragon never goes without heat and stays safe and healthy.


We hope you found learning about how long a bearded dragon can go without heat helpful.

It’s essential to know the limits of your pet in case of emergencies.

Remember to keep the temperature up as much as possible and limit heat loss for your pet’s safety.

Leave a Comment