awake vs asleep time


New Member
i was just wondering if there is i'll effects to keeping your chameleon awake for too long. and if there is, at what point do these effects begin to take place in terms of amount of hours awake.
i work from 6 am till sometimes 7 pm...and i would like to be able to see him awake for some amount of time. i just want to know if over 12 hours a day is too long. and what other peoples have for lighting schedules
Hours of light

This is from a previous post of mine:
I did some research on the web, and compiled the table below. It shows the amount of daylight hours (from sunrise to sunset) in the capitals of Madagascar (where most species are from) and Yemen (where the Veiled species orginates) on the 15th of each month of the year.
(I'm not sure how to post tables to the forum: sorry if the alignment of the columns is a bit off)

Month Yemen Madagascar
------ ------ ------------
Jan.... 11h19... 13h09
Feb.... 11h39... 12h42
Mar.... 12h02... 12h13
Apr.... 12h29... 11h40
May... 12h51... 11h13
Jun.... 13h02... 11h00
Jul...... 12h58... 11h06
Aug.... 12h39... 11h38
Sep.... 12h13... 11h59
Oct.... 11h48... 12h30
Nov.... 11h25... 13h00
Dec.... 11h03... 13h16

This might serve as a guide as to how much light to provide to your chameleons throughout the year. As you can see, 12hrs is quite a good approximation. And perhaps this can be adjusted to give an hour's extra light in summer, and an hour less in winter.

You can get the sunrise/sunset times for most locations at

I have timers on my lights that switch them on for 11 hours a day in winter, and gradually over the months I increase that to 13 hours a day by peak summer (it correlates roughly to the actual hours of daylight in South Africa).
Time to sleep?

I haven't yet got my times of lighting down to a science but I have noticed in the past few days my Chameleon has been pretty good at telling me when he wants to sleep. He simply climbs up into his spot in the plant and looks up at the ceiliing waiting for the lights to go off. Pretty smart if you ask me. But it would be interesting to try and adhere to a time schedule like that of his native country. Good idea. Thanks for the link.
One of the best pieces of advice I got concerning lighting was from Zerah Morris and Will Hayward, who told me to set up the lights on separate timers, so that you can provide cues of darkness to the cham.

I have my lights set up on individual timers so that the UV bulbs come on 30mins before the heat bulb, and then turn off 30 mins after the heat bulb. When the heat bulb turns off, the chams know that it is time to sleep and they all move to their favourite sleeping perch before the UV bulb goes off.

This would simulate the natural heating up and cooling down periods at dawn and dusk. When the temperature cools down, the chams take it as a sign that night is approaching.

Zerah has his lights staggered 2 hours apart. 30 mins has been working for me, but as I continue to consider the effect of heat on metabolism, I am starting to think that I might decrease the amount of hours that the heat lights are on, and stagger them out more from the UV bulbs.
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