Lighting, Temperatures & Humidity Levels (2022)

Lighting

There is a common myth that because leopard geckos are “nocturnal,” they don’t need any light at all to see or function, and providing light will burn their eyes. I repeat: This is a myth!

Leopard geckos are crepuscular, which means that they most active at dawn/dusk. While their eyes evolved for low light conditions, and they tend to be much more active during the night than during the day, this does not mean that they do not need lighting as part of their enclosure setup.

In fact, having a light on in the tank helps regulate their day/night cycle, which is good for their mental health and stimulates appetite. According to the UV Tool by Frances Baines, light should be provided for 14 hours/day during the summer, which simulates their optimal photoperiod. To simulate the change of the seasons, reduce the amount of light to 12 hours during winter.

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Daytime light is also nice for viewing; occasionally leopard geckos will come out during the day to bask. This is not unusual — many nocturnal species have been observed basking, especially in the morning.

What about UVB?

There are three types of ultraviolet radiation produced by the sun: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC destroys DNA and is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, but nearly all animals on the planet have evolved to depend on the other two wavelengths. Reptiles in particular benefit from exposure to UVA for their eyesight and UVB for healthy metabolism, specifically vitamin D synthesis and calcium metabolism.

Many leopard gecko keepers will tell you that leopard geckos “don’t need UVB.” This is partially true. Since they are most active when the sun is either weak or not present, they are not as dependent on UVA and UVB as diurnal species. However, mounting scientific evidence is proving this assumption incorrect and outdated — when offered, leopard geckos and other nocturnal species will bask under and benefit from UVB lighting.

*UVI measurements are per recommendations from Frances Baines, D.V.M.

If you don’t have a Solarmeter 6.5 on hand, here is a rough estimate of the optimal distance between your basking platform and UVB lamp for leopard geckos. Mesh obstruction reduces UVB output by 30-40%, so adjust your basking platform placement accordingly:

With mesh obstruction:

  • Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 — 13-15″
  • Arcadia Forest 6% — 13-15″
  • Arcadia ShadeDweller — 8-13″

Without mesh:

  • Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 — 15-17″
  • Arcadia Forest 6% — 15-17″
  • Arcadia ShadeDweller — 10-15″

For best results, add 1-2″ to the above distance to account for your gecko’s height.

(Unfortunately I do not currently have access to reliable data on the approximate placement of the Zoo Med Reptisun T8 5.0 or Arcadia T8 6% for less-pigmented leopard geckos.)

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Warning: UVB bulb output declines over time, even when the visible light remains.

T5 bulbs last 12 months before requiring replacement, and T8 bulbs last 6 months before requiring replacement. UVB bulbs not produced by Zoo Med or Arcadia are likely to have shorter lifespans and may not have a reliable output.

For more information on the benefits of UVB lighting for leopard geckos, please read this paperwhich was published in the March-June 2018 volume of the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery.

What about night bulbs?

Black or red lights are not needed for nighttime heat, and can interfere with your gecko’s day/night cycle. In fact, blue lights are known to potentially damage reptiles’ eyes! It is best to save your money and not purchase one.

Temperatures

Leopard geckos, like all reptiles, need a temperature gradient in their terrarium for best health.

  • Basking surface temperature:94-97°F (34-36°C)
  • Warm hide temperature: 90-92°F (32-33°C)
  • Cool end:70-77°F (21-25°C)

At night, leopard geckos can tolerate a drop in temperature down to 60°F (16°C). Studies show that a nightly drop in temperature is healthier than maintaining the same temperatures as during the day, and is greatly beneficial for a reptile’s long-term health. If your home is very cold and you need to provide a nighttime heat source, do not use a colored night heat bulb. Contrary to popular belief, reptiles do see the light from these bulbs and it can disrupt their sleep/wake cycle. A better alternative is a ceramic heat emitter mounted inside of a wire cage-type fixture. CHEs are very good at increasing ambient (air) temperature inside of a cold enclosure.

Leopard geckos prefer to hide in warm shelters during the daytime, using their warmth to “charge” themselves for nighttime activity. Ideally a leopard gecko should have minimum 2 hides placed at different spots around the enclosure to facilitate thermoregulation: one on the warm end near the heat source, and one on the cool end.

  • PRO TIP: Pinpoint your surface temperature gradient with a temperature gun like the Etekcity Lasergrip 774. They’re the most precise option on the market — plus fun to use!

What is the best way to heat a leopard gecko enclosure?

BEST: Halogen Heat Lamps

In nature, warmth is delivered to reptiles from the sun (above), and they will retreat underground to get cooler, not warmer. Heat lamps supply heat in a way that works with a leopard gecko’s instincts, replicating nature in captivity. Halogen bulbs are particularly excellent because they produce Infrared A and Infrared B, which are the same wavelengths of heat produced by the sun. These wavelengths penetrate deep into your gecko’s body, providing a more efficient form of heating and reducing the amount of time your gecko needs to bask.

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Choosing which bulb to use can be tricky, since wattage and brand determine how much heat it will produce — for example, a 50w Zoo Med Repti Halogen bulb should achieve the right temps around 12″ away from the source. The Philips 90w Halogen Flood Light Bulb also works well. When in doubt, buy higher wattage and then use the dimmer to achieve the perfect basking temperature.

Once you have a heat bulb, you will need a lamp to put it in. My favorite is Fluker’s 5.5″ dimmable lamp. The ceramic socket helps make sure that the bulb doesn’t get too hot for the lamp (risking electrical fire), and the dimmable feature enables you to dial down the bulb’s heat output if it gets too warm. Make sure to pay attention to the maximum wattage rating on the lamp!

GOOD: Deep Heat Projectors

Deep heat projectors are another great type of heat bulb that you can use to warm your leopard gecko’s enclosure during the day. They produce Infrared-A and Infrared-B heat wavelengths, which are the same wavelengths that are produced by the sun to warm the Earth. (For contrast, ceramic heat emitters only produce Infrared-C, which is the weakest infrared wavelength.)

This makes them comparable in performance to a halogen heat bulb, so if you need a lightless source of heat, a DHP is the way to go.

Note that DHPs must be connected to a proportional (dimming) thermostat to make sure that they don’t get too hot — the Herpstat EZ1 is affordable, easy to use, and works well with deep heat projectors.

What about belly heat?

If you’re concerned about the people who have told you that leopard geckos need “belly heat,” you can relax. What people are talking about is actually making sure that the gecko’s digestive tract gets the heat energy required for proper digestion. As long as the gecko has an appropriate basking area (and preferably a warm hide) that achieves temperatures of 90-92°F as measured by a digital probe thermometer or temperature gun, then they will get the energy they need for healthy digestion.

If you’re still worried, place a flat piece of stone (like slate tile or flagstone) under the heat source. The stone warms up during the day, and then the gecko can warm itself on it at night. This is what they do in nature, and it works great.

OKAY: Heat mats

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Heat mats were once the go-to way to heat a leopard gecko enclosure. We have better options now (see above), but heat mats can still be helpful for controlling the temperature of your gecko’s warm hide.

If your warm hide is not getting warm enough, add a thermostat-regulated heat mat under the hide box, covered with 1” of substrate to prevent direct contact. Place the thermostat probe inside the warm hide to regulate temperature.

SAFETY NOTE: Heat mats only work properly when they are controlled by a thermostat!Heat rocks and non-thermostat-controlled heat mats run the risk of burning your gecko, so don’t risk it. Non-proportional thermostats like the Jumpstart thermostat work well for regulating heat mats.

Don’t forget to use spacers to lift the tank .5″ off the ground, which will help prevent malfunctions. Source: OnlineGeckos.com.

This scorch mark was caused by a heat mat. Always use a thermostat!!! Source: ReptileForums.net.

Humidity

Leopard geckos are desert animals, so they need a fairly dry environment to stay healthy. Ideal daytime humidity will be between 30%-40%, which should match the humidity naturally in your home. Housing your gecko in a terrarium with a screen top or equivalent ventilation will help keep it dry.

That being said, leos do need higher humidity for shedding. In fact, shedding problems are the #1 most common health problem experienced with leopard geckos. Instead of bumping up humidity in the whole enclosure (which can actually make your gecko sick), provide a humid hide lined with moistened substrate and placed on the warm side of the tank. The humid hide should provide humidity levels between 70-80%.

Avoid using moistened sphagnum moss or shredded paper towels in your gecko’s humid hide, as these have been known to be accidentally ingested and cause intestinal blockage.

(Video) What is the best temperature and humidity in grow room? Bigger Yields - Growing - Cannabis Knowledge

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Keep reading about leopard gecko care:

  1. Introduction to Leopard Geckos
  2. Shopping List
  3. Terrarium Size and Cohabitation
  4. Lighting, Temperature & Humidity Needs
  5. Substrate (Bedding) Options
  6. Decorating Your Leopard Gecko’s Enclosure
  7. What to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
  8. Additional Resources

FAQs

Is 60% humidity too high for flowering? ›

Any humidity level over 60% could potentially damage the plant, which is relying on moisture from the soil to nourish itself. One to two weeks before harvesting the cannabis, aim for humidity levels below 40%. This can ultimately help improve the yield, flavor and appearance of the plant.

What is the optimal temperature and humidity? ›

Monitor and maintain ideal home humidity and temperature: The EPA recommends indoor humidity stays between 30% and 60%. Comfortable room temperatures are generally considered to be around 68° Fahrenheit. At night, some sleep experts recommend keeping a bedroom around 65°F.

How do I control the temperature and humidity in my grow room? ›

In summation, to keep your grow room humidity in check, you must:
  1. Ensure it is properly sealed and insulated.
  2. Monitor lighting and maintain a specific temperature range.
  3. Increase the cool air supply.
  4. Make sure stagnant water pools don't form.
  5. Use an appropriately sized dehumidifier.

Does humidity affect light? ›

With the decrease of ambient humidity in a period of over an hour, significant decrease in light transmission is noted for all four wavelengths used, ranging from approximately 2.5% for 595 nm light to 24% for UVA wavelength (Figure 2). Most of the decrease in transmission occurs as the humidity falls from 100% to 80%.

Do buds grow at night or day? ›

Cannabis plants need short days (or more specifically long nights) in order to start flowering and make buds. Most indoor growers give their plants 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light each day to initiate budding and continue with that 12/12 light schedule until it's time to harvest.

Do plants like humidity at night? ›

Plants prefer a higher humidity at night. A relative humidity of less than 75% at night is not desirable. During extended periods of dark weather, plants will shed their roots because, like a muscle, if you don't use them, you lose them.

What is a good humidity level for a room? ›

The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity, according to the Mayo Clinic. This means that the air holds between 30-50% of the maximum amount of moisture it can contain.

What is healthy humidity in a room? ›

What is healthy humidity? Most people find that a relative humidity between 30 to 60 percent is the most comfortable, with indoor humidity ideally between 30 to 50 percent.

What is a good indoor humidity level in winter? ›

Generally, your home should fall between 40 and 60% humidity. This will ensure that the air in your home is not too dry and not too humid. This range is beneficial for human health, comfort and the integrity of your home.

Will mold grow at 55 humidity? ›

Remember, mold grows best at a relative humidity of 55% so keeping the humidity well below that percentage is your safest bet.

What temp should my grow room be with LED lights? ›

The ambient room temperature should be below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (ideally 82-85 degrees) and as low as 72 degrees when the lights are on. Temperatures will be lower during the off period when the lights are not in use.

Why does my humidity go up when lights are off? ›

When the lights are off at night, temperatures are lower, so the air conditioner won't kick in to remove any moisture. According to Aceves, “the shift in temperature can be as great as 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit,” causing condensation to form on the walls of your grow space.

Do LED lights increase humidity? ›

Additionally, the lower infrared output, air and surface temperatures experienced with LEDs can raise relative humidity levels, so this should be considered and monitored alongside your heat management techniques.

Does humidity affect fluorescent lights? ›

Exposing the bulb to moist air will cause these prongs to corrode, reducing the performance and life of the bulb. It is advisable to avoid using fluorescent bulbs in wet or humid areas, opting instead for a sealed incandescent, mercury vapor or LED light source.

What week Do buds swell the most? ›

Weeks 1-3 – Transition

Also known as the flowering stretch—you'll notice a sudden increase in growth over these three weeks. Your plant needs to be big and strong enough to support the buds that'll be growing over the next few weeks—it can double or even triple in size.

Do buds get bigger in dark? ›

The Vegetative Stage of Cannabis

Cannabis in the vegetative stage (when it is growing at a rapid pace) needs at least 13 hours of light per day. In fact, indoor growers commonly use an 18/6 light to dark ratio to encourage faster growth.

What week of flowering Do buds smell? ›

As a cannabis plant develops its flowers, the smell will start to get stronger and stronger. After around 2 weeks into their flowering cycle, they have a noticeable aroma which will intensify as buds start to grow.

Does misting plants help with humidity? ›

But the reality is misting isn't doing much to help humidity. That isn't to say it's not an excellent tool and something you should be doing regularly, but the primary benefit of misting is actually in cleaning leaves and pest management, not in increasing humidity.

Is 100% humidity good for plants? ›

An ideal humidity range for most mature plants is 50% to 60%. Some tropical plants, such as pineapple, are accustomed to humidity levels up to 90%. Many succulents, such as cacti, will be fine with humidity levels as low as 10%. As a general rule, plants with thicker leaves can tolerate lower humidity levels.

What's the best temperature for plants? ›

This can be supplied by incandescent lights or special horticultural fluorescent lights. Most plants tolerate normal temperature fluctuations. In general, foliage plants grow best between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F. during the day and between 60 degrees to 68 degrees F.

Is 55% humidity too high for flower? ›

Nearly three-fourths (73%) of respondents said the optimal humidity level in flowering rooms is in the range of 40% to 55%. Eighteen percent said 56% to 65%. While 3% of cultivators said that their ideal flower-room humidity level is in the range of 76% to 80%, none said that above 80% humidity was ideal.

When should you lower humidity in flowering? ›

Once your plants are at the flowering stage, lower the humidity to 40-50% to reduce the chances of fungal contamination.

Will mold grow at 55 humidity? ›

Remember, mold grows best at a relative humidity of 55% so keeping the humidity well below that percentage is your safest bet.

How do I lower the humidity in my flowers? ›

To help you reduce humidity in a grow tent, here are proven and simple ways that indoor gardeners have done:
  1. Avoid overwatering your plants. ...
  2. Use a Dehumidifier Inside your Grow Tent. ...
  3. Check your plant density. ...
  4. Remove stagnant water. ...
  5. Improve ventilation by adding more fans. ...
  6. Create air holes. ...
  7. Purchase an air conditioner.

Does humidity affect bud density? ›

How High Humidity Affects Buds. As mentioned before, during the flowering stage the relative humidity should be around 40-55%, this will allow the buds to grow properly and not lose much mass when drying which is a must if you don't want to end up with airy buds after drying your buds.

What temperature should flowering stage be? ›

Manipulate temperature and humidity

In the flowering stage, temperatures in 65- to 80-degree range are ideal. At night, most plants prefer temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Colors like pink and purple come out when nighttime temperatures are at the low end of the scale.

What temp should my grow room be with LED lights? ›

The ambient room temperature should be below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (ideally 82-85 degrees) and as low as 72 degrees when the lights are on. Temperatures will be lower during the off period when the lights are not in use.

What happens if humidity is too low in flower? ›

Too little humidity in the grow room isn't good for plants either: Growth will become stagnant- If your plant feels it will become dehydrated, it can also result in the closing of the stomata, which means the plants won't be able to take in much (if any) water.

Is VPD important at night? ›

VPD matters 1/10th to 1/100th as much at night according to my research, so not really. I'd just make sure that your nighttime environment is set up so that your plants aren't stressed and you don't have any disease or pest issues.

Do dehumidifiers remove mold? ›

If the humidity in a room increases, mold will start growing in patches on walls, clothes, and more. So, to answer your question, dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, but they do prevent it by reducing humidity. If you have a mold problem in your home, don't wait. Mold spreads as long as it has a water source.

What kills water mold? ›

Use a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) household laundry bleach per 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces.

What temperature should I keep my house to prevent mold? ›

The ideal temperature is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer months, temperatures are often higher than normal inside the home. Make an effort to keep temperatures inside the home lower during the summer months. Setting the thermostat to the low 70s makes it more difficult for mold to grow.

Do grow lights lower humidity? ›

Because lighting can produce a significant amount of heat, just like the sun, it can evaporate nutrient-rich water from your grow, resulting in excess humidity—which can have a large impact on the health and yield of your crops.

Do fans lower humidity? ›

Switch on Ceiling Fans

When it is warm, and you are looking for an effective yet inexpensive way to reduce humidity, ceiling fans are a straightforward solution. When you turn on a ceiling fan, the breeze evaporates excess moisture, which makes you feel cooler.

How do you make a homemade dehumidifier? ›

Here's how you can make yours:
  1. Get a small bowl that will fit in the area you'd like to place it in.
  2. Fill the bowl full of baking soda.
  3. Place the bowl in the area you'd like to dehumidify.
  4. The baking soda will harden as it absorbs moisture, and at that time, you'll want to replace it with fresh baking soda.
16 Aug 2022

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