What Are the Right Temperature and Lighting Requirements for Chameleons?

Jackson’s Chameleon is among the most popular docile pets to keep. As a pet, they also need proper care and an optimal living environment. They are cold-blooded creatures, and pet owners should be aware of how to maintain their body temperatures and provide them with the right lighting conditions.

To keep them comfortable in their enclosures, ensure that the below temperature and lighting requirements are in place.


Jackson’s Chameleon is kept at certain temperatures as its body does not produce heat on its own. Special care needs to be taken in respect of maintaining temperatures so that their body functions properly. In captive husbandry, you need to provide a setting to warm up in the sun and then hide in the shade to maintain the temperature.

  1. One thing to remember is that each Chameleon will have different temperature requirements. However, the enclosure should have a temperature between 70-78 degrees F with a basking spot of 80-85 degrees F.
  2. The nighttime temperature depends on the temperature of the home and the season.  However, it should be kept above 58 degrees F. If the temperature falls, you can consider heating.
  3. You can also use a basking bulb with a strength between 60-150 watts or a ceramic heat emitter controlled by a thermostat in the glass terrarium for the regulation and safety of your pet.
  4. The basking bulb can be placed on the top of the enclosure and never inside to prevent burns.


The enclosure of your pet must be brightly lit for a healthy life. Jackson’s Chameleon needs two types of light- heat light and UV light. The basking bulb, as mentioned above, will do the job for the heat light. A full spectrum of UV light is also essential to keep your pet happy and healthy. This lighting within the enclosure should resemble the effect of the sun’s rays.

UV light is essential to process calcium in chameleons, and a lack of UV light can cause serious health problems such as Metabolic Bone disease in them.

The following lighting conditions should be maintained for your pet.

  1. You can use either 5.0 strip lights or Mercury Vapor bulbs specifically designed with reptiles in mind.
  2. The lighting should be left 10-12 hours per day and switched off at night as they need darkness in their sleeping area.
  3. Also, the lifespan of the UV lights is between 6-12 months and will require replacement as the UV output will decline over time even though the light is glowing.
  4. Consider giving your chameleon exposure to natural sunlight for a few hours on weekends; no light bulb can provide the same long-term benefits as the sun rays.
  5. When outdoors, be watchful of the Chameleon’s skin color as overheating will change its color.
  6. Avoid compact fluorescent UVB lamps as it can irritate the Chameleon’s eyes.

The right temperature and lighting requirements will allow your pet chameleon to thrive in its enclosure without any health issues. Make sure the necessary arrangements are in place before bringing your new pet home.

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