Do Bearded Dragons Need a Heat Lamp at Night?

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Do Bearded Dragons Need a Heat Lamp at Night

There’s no denying that bearded dragons are some of the most popular pets around. And why shouldn’t they be? They’re adorable, they don’t require a lot of space or care, and they’re not precisely high-maintenance.

But one question we get asked often is: Do bearded dragons need a heat lamp at night?

In this article, we’ll cover what bearded dragons need during the day and night, as well as other important considerations when deciding whether to get your beardie a heat lamp at night.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat At Night?

Bearded dragons are known to have a unique ability to regulate their body temperature. They will cool down in the evening and warm up in the morning. 

Research has shown that beardies change their colors in response to temperature. This is a natural process that your bearded dragon can do all by himself, but you can help them by providing a heat source at night.

Yes, bearded dragons need heat at night because they are cold-blooded reptiles. Still, unlike other reptiles like snakes and lizards, bearded dragons cannot regulate their body temperature internally as mammals do. They rely on external sources of heat for this purpose.

If you keep your beardie inside your home or apartment, it will be easier to provide the right amount of heat at night because you don’t have to worry about extreme temperatures outside or getting wet from rainstorms. 

However, if you live in an area that gets cold during the winter months, it may be necessary to provide additional heating for your lizard, even if it lives most of the year indoors.

Do Bearded Dragons Need a Heat Lamp At Night?

The simple answer to this query is that it entirely depends on how warm the home is. 

In general, the temperature naturally drops overnight. And sometimes, this temperature drop can be extremely dramatic in particular areas.

If the temperature drops below 15 °C, supplementary heating is needed overnight to keep your pet warm and comfortable. However, if your house remains above this particular temperature, you don’t need to provide extra heat overnight at all.

Bearded dragons resting under a heat lamp
Bearded dragons resting under a heat lamp

Heating equipment used at night should not produce light to prevent disturbing your bearded dragon’s natural wake/sleep cycle (circadian rhythm). 

The ceramic heat emitter is the perfect heat source at night for your pet. This is because it doesn’t emit light and can be controlled thermostatically to maintain a temperature that should be lower than the daytime temperature.

In most cases, a ceramic heat emitter may be used throughout the day and at night if you need to give heat to the bearded dragon at any time. 

You won’t need to purchase two thermostats or make as many adjustments to your heating system as often. 

As an alternative, you may use a pulse thermostat that has two independent settings for day and night to regulate the temperature of your ceramic heat emitter easily.

How Long Should My Bearded Dragons Heat Lamp Be On For?

The hours that the heat lamp should be turned on can vary throughout the year, depending on the season. 

Although bearded dragon owners try to maintain a comfortable temperature in their homes the entire year, you should aim to keep changing seasons in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

But, how long should your heat lamp be on for the bearded dragon? The hours of the heat lamp should enable varying exposure levels according to the current season.

  • Winter – 10 hrs
  • Summer – 14 hrs
  • Spring – 12 hrs
  • Autumn – 12 hrs

You should keep the basking zone at almost 95-100°F. Plus, you can examine this with the help of a thermometer on the particular basking spot. 

The temperature gradient must be available within that enclosure to let the dragon choose according to its desires. The ambient temperatures during the day hours should be around 75-80°F. 

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Bearded Dragons At Night?

As one of the top desert species, all bearded dragons thrive in very high temperatures. However, when nighttime comes, the temperatures can dramatically drop in the deserts. 

They are super adapted to these nighttime temperatures & use this time for hiding away to recoup and rest. These temperatures should stand in your enclosure at almost 70-75°F. 

In a scorching climate, you should be concerned that those ambient temperatures may be too high at night for the bearded dragon.

That is why it is essential to check which temperature is suitable for them to set an ideal temperature for your beardies to keep them safe, happy, and healthy.

What Other Ways Can I Use To Help Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm At Night?

What Other Ways Can I Use To Help Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm At Night
What Other Ways Can I Use To Help Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm At Night

Suppose your bulb unexpectedly blows, your power goes out, or you don’t have a lamp temporarily for several reasons. In these cases, it’s possible to protect them from getting cold. 

There are different high-end ways you can keep dragons warm at night. 

Remember that you must take notice of the temperatures inside the specific terrarium first. The safe level of temperature is around 65℉ or above.

1. Put Your Bearded Dragon In A Pillowcase

A pillowcase or blanket is highly recommended to assist in warming up your little bearded dragons. 

Just wrap up your reptile friend in a pillowcase or blanket gently and have it close to your body. Ensure to keep an eye on your bearded dragon to avoid suffocating them. This way, your pet will be able to use its body efficiently to warm itself.

Additionally, it will be helpful to put it in a blanket whenever the power goes out. It will assist in retaining maximum heat. You can also use the thermometer to ensure that there’s enough temperature.

2. Use Quality Heat Packs

The best and cheapest alternative to keeping them warm is utilizing quality heat packs. Make sure to avoid the dragons’ coming into contact with those heat packs directly.

Moreover, the heat packs do a great job raising the temperatures in the terrarium for the bearded dragons. The good thing about them is their high-end ability to emit energy for several hours consistently.

Other heat packs you can use are self-heating pads and hand warmers. 

3. Use Hot Water Bottles

You can also use a water bottle to warm up your beardie. Two hot water bottles should be enough for a whole terrarium.

Simply put the bottle inside the specific foam box and place it in a terrarium. The form box efficiently maintains the temperature, while the water bottle acts as an ideal heating source. 

Additionally, you can place the hot bottles around its cage to keep them out of reach of your pet to avoid direct contact. 

Covering those bottles with a blanket or cloth is also a good option before introducing them into their cage. 

Explaining why bearded dragon need light source


So, there you have it. Bearded dragons need a heat lamp at night, but that doesn’t mean a heat lamp is the only way to keep your bearded dragon warm. It’s just one of many options.

If you’re unsure of what your bearded dragon needs, don’t hesitate to ask for help from an expert or a fellow beardie owner. 

Remember that there is no one right way. You just have to find what works for you and your bearded dragon.

Photo of author


Felix Olofsson is a reptile enthusiast and the driving force behind Bearded Dragon HQ, a website dedicated to providing expert advice and resources for bearded dragon owners. With years of experience working with reptiles, Felix has developed a deep appreciation and understanding of these unique creatures, particularly the beloved bearded dragon. Felix's passion for bearded dragons started when he adopted his first dragon, Spike, and quickly fell in love with these fascinating creatures. Through Bearded Dragon HQ, Felix aims to share his knowledge and expertise with other bearded dragon owners, providing them with everything they need to give their pets the best possible care. From nutrition and habitat design to behavior and more. Bearded Dragon HQ is the go-to source for all things related to these beloved pets.