It is now winter in South Africa and the ambient temperatures have dropped. If you have a Bearded Dragon you will have to provide a heat source to keep your Bearded Dragon warm. Bearded Dragons need to be kept at a warm temperature to remain active, alert and to digest food. Below are the best ways you can provide heat for your dragon.
All the heating products mentioned in this article can be purchased on this website
Daylight Basking Lamp
Bearded Dragons are active during the day and get most of their warmth from basking in the sun. A wild Bearded Dragon spends most of its time warming up in the sun and cooling down in the shade. By using a daylight basking lamp you are providing your Bearded Dragon with a source of heat and light which mimics the heat and bright light given off by the sun. Put the bulb on one side of the cage to create a hot spot of around 30-35 degrees Celsius. You may have to increase the wattage of your basking lamp in winter, as ambient temperatures in most South African homes drops quite significantly during winter. Despite what the pet shop owner tells you, incandescent basking lamps do not give off UVB light. UVB lights will have to be purchased and installed in addition to the basking lamp.
Infrared Heat Lamp
In the hot South African summer most Bearded Dragons do fine without night time heating. However during a cool winters night an unheated cage will become too cold for your Bearded Dragon to remain healthy. Use an infrared basking lamp at night to warm the cage to 20-25 degrees Celsius. Bearded Dragons cannot see into the infrared spectrum and the dull red glow will not disturb their sleep pattern.
Ceramic Heat Emitters
Ceramic heat emitters are the best way to heat your Bearded Dragon. Ceramic heat emitters do not give of visible light and can be used both day and night. Ceramic Heat Emitters give of a large amount of radiant heat and warm both the spot directly under the emitter and the the air. A ceramic heat emitter can be kept on continuously for 20 000 plus hours before needing to be replaced. Install your ceramic heat emitter on one side of the cage to provide a temperature gradient. The ceramic heat emitter in my Bearded Dragon’s cage maintains a steady and reliable temperature of 28-35 degrees Celsius during the day and 20-25 degrees Celsius at night.
Note: Always use a thermometer to accurately measure the temperature. Do not guess!!!
Note: Always use ceramic light fittings, as heat lamps and ceramic heat emitters will melt plastic light fittings.