Chameleons are popular reptilian pets. They are fascinating to watch, changing colors, climbing up branches, and enjoying the heat provided by their heat lamp during the day. Many chameleon pet owners are unsure on how to maintain night time temperatures, some opting for night lights so they can continue to watch their pet when they want in the evenings, but is this a good idea? Continue reading to find out more about using night lights with your chameleon pet to ensure your pet remains happy, comfortable, and healthy.
Never Use Night Light For Chameleons
Chameleons see more of infrared and UV coloration than humans, which means at night they can still see all the colors. Therefore, any light can disturb their sleep. It's not uncommon, even when not using a night light, for your chameleon to find a dark place in its enclosure to sleep. Even the lights in your room can be distracting. In order to ensure your pet is comfortable and get the much needed rest it needs, you do not ever want to use a night light in a chameleon enclosure.
Chameleon Night Temperature
Most chameleons require a drop in nighttime temperature in order to slow their metabolism and encourage sleep. Different chameleon species have different night time temperature requirements, depending on their origination.
Veiled Chameleon Night Temperature
Veiled chameleons come from the warm climates of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They are able to handle nighttime temperatures above 40ºF. The best temperature to maintain during the night is between 55ºF and 65ºF. The drop in temperature encourages sleep, ensuring your reptile gets the rest it needs.
Panther Chameleon Night Temperature
Panther chameleons originate from Madagascar, a tropical island close to Mauritius and Reunion, where these chameleons have now been introduced. These chameleons can handle drops in temperature to high sixties to mid seventies. Additional heat isn't needed for your reptile’s enclosure if you can naturally maintain heat above 70ºF at night.
Jackson's Chameleon Night Temperature
Jackson’s chameleons come from Kikuyu in Kenya, Africa. They are also referred to as Kikuyu three-horned chameleons. 60ºF is the ideal nighttime temperature for these chameleons. The drop in temperature as the sun sets is more than enough to keep your pet cool, help slow metabolism and encourage a deep sleep.
55ºF - 65ºF
65ºF - 75ºF
How To Keep Chameleons Warm At Night
If the room temperature gets lower than the acceptable temperatures for your chameleon, then you are going to have to think of ways to heat the enclosure without the use of a night light. If your night time temperatures within the enclosure as too low, then you may want to consider:
Heat the Room, Not the Enclosure
A space heater to increase the temperature of the entire room, rather than heating just the enclosure. This eliminates the need of a ceramic heat emitter, which emits infrared or a heat lamp, which emits light. Both of which will disturb your chameleon. In addition to this, localizing the heat to just the enclosure can increase it too much, making it harder for your pet to sleep.
Cover the Enclosure
Use a clean piece of fabric or town to throw over the enclosure, the same as bird owners do at night. This will help to maintain temperatures while removing any outside lighting to encourage sleep.
Chameleon Light Schedule
Most chameleon owners find that their pets get to know their schedules and will often settle down for sleep about half an hour before the lights go out. To provide a good schedule for your reptile, you are going to want to put the lights on for twelve hours each day, this provides your pet with a day and night cycle while in captivity.
The 12 hour cycle should start to mimic the sun rising, most owners choose 6.30 am as a suitable time and the lights should go off, mimicking the sun setting. This would be twelve hours later, so at 6.30 pm.
It’s not easy to be on hand to ensure you keep the accurate cycle every day. Going away for a night or two can make this difficult. Using a timer switch that you can plug your lights into is the easiest way to provide your reptile with an accurate day and night cycle to keep it happy and comfortable.