Do Crested Geckos Need a Heat Lamp?

One of the nice benefits of keeping crested geckos is that they actually thrive in room temperature environments. This means they don’t need a heat lamp to survive, in the way that some other species of lizards do.

Just because they don’t need a heat lamp to survive, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t do best with one. Having a heat lamp will help crested geckos increase their metabolism so that they can grow faster.

Do Crested Geckos Need A Heat Lamp to Be Healthy?

Crested Geckos are one of the lizard breeds who actually prefer room temperature environments. This means that as long as you keep their enclosure at the right temperature, they don’t require a heat lamp. They can still benefit from one, however.

According to experts, Crested Geckos are actually happiest at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. (65F or above night time temperature and 70F or above daytime temperature.)

The best environment is one that stays between 70 and 80 degrees during the day and has a heat lamp in a top corner to create a basking spot around 80-85F. It’s important that the basking spot not be kept too warm, however.

The best way to maintain a consistent temperature is with a temperature controller outlet. This allows you to set the heating equipment on the proper temperature and let it run without worrying about overheating or not generating enough heat.

Having plenty of plants or fake vines will allow your crested gecko to control how warm its basking spot is by making it easy to choose how close to the lamp it gets.

In addition, you should have a thermometer near the basking area so you can check that the area stays properly heated. You should also have one on the other side of the tank to make sure the cool area stays in the low to mid 70s. That way if it’s too hot for the gecko, it can move away to somewhere cooler.

If there isn’t enough heat in this area, however, adding more heat will help keep your Crested Gecko happy and healthy. You can adjust your heat lamp to have a higher or lower watt bulb to make sure the basking spot stays the right temperature.

A 25 watt bulb is a good place to start, although this will also depend on how well-insulated your home is and what time of year it is.

Are There Circumstances Where You Might Want a Heat Lamp for a Crested Gecko?

If you live in a location that’s naturally very cold, you may want to consider an extra heat source like a heat lamp to make sure your crested gecko isn’t dropping below the recommended temperature range.

If you’re looking to create a more natural environment within the enclosure, you’ll have lots of plants. These plants might need a heat lamp or a heat mat, even though your crested gecko doesn’t.

Even if you do decide to use a heat lamp or other heat source, make sure you’re careful about maintaining the proper temperature range. Otherwise, your gecko may overheat or dehydrate.

How Do I Know if My Crested Gecko is Too Hot?

Crested Geckos can easily overheat, so watch out for these signs, especially if you live in a warmer climate.

Lethargy: Crested Geckos are more active at night, but if they’re looking listless and not moving to cooler areas, they could be overheating.

Sticky Skin: When a Crested Gecko gets too hot, their skin can get sticky to the touch.

Room temperature is High: Crested geckos should never be kept in an environment that’s above 80F. If your crested gecko can’t get to a spot that’s below 80F, it’s at risk.

If your crested gecko shows signs of overheating, you need to move it somewhere else. Find a cooler location for the tank where your crested gecko is able to stay in the mid 70s.

If it’s daylight, you should find a location that’s out of direct sunlight. A dark location at the cooler end of the comfortable spectrum is best.

Are There Any Types of Lamps Recommended for Crested Gecko Enclosures?

All lamps emit some level of heat, even if that’s not their primary function. Before you pick up any lamps for a crested gecko enclosure, make sure they won’t run too hot.

For the bulb you’re putting in your heat lamp, start with a low watt bulb around 20-25w and adjust from there based on how warm it keeps the basking area.

For the bulb you have to light the rest of your tank (if you choose to), you’ll want to choose something that stays cooler. Choosing a LED bulb for this purpose can make a lot of sense.

Crested Geckos are nocturnal, so they don’t need a lot of light. However, expert breeders say they do a little better with regular UVB exposure.

You might want to consider a UV light to give your Crested Gecko a healthy dose of UV for growth.

If you’re not sure about finding a lamp with the correct temperature, you may want to look into heating mats, or dietary supplements that support growth and health.

What Do Crested Geckos Need to Be Happy, Instead of Heat Lamps?

A tank with a temperature gradient is the best environment for  crested gecko, but can be tricky to maintain.

The most common set up is a tank that’s kept around 70-75F with a basking spot with a higher temperature around 80-85F, often created with a low-watt light bulb (around 25w should be fine).

A smaller bulb is best, because you want your crested gecko to be able to get away from the heat when it gets too hot.

Apart from heat, keeping appropriate level of humidity is important.

Humidity is something highly recommended for Crested Gecko enclosure. Whether you have  a foliage heavy environment or a sparser habitat, high humidity is important for keeping a Crested Gecko comfortable.

How Do I Maintain Proper Humidity for My Crested Gecko?

Crested Geckos prefer a high humidity: 60-80% humidity is ideal.

Below 50% humidity for long periods of time can cause problems with shedding and overheating.

Too much humidity can lead to respiratory problems, so most experts recommend misting your Crested Gecko at certain times to maintain proper humidity.

If you choose to use misting, experts recommend heavy misting at night, then light misting in the morning.

If you feel you need a heat lamp for the enclosure – if you have plants that need more light and warmth – you may need to have additional humidity, or a cool zone with hiding spots, to keep your crested gecko comfortable and healthy.