Jackson’s chameleon help!


New Member
Hi! I just got a 4 month old Jackson’s Chameleon. I’ve had him for a couple days now and we’re still trying to get him used to his enclosure. I have a couple questions that researching has not helped me with and was wondering if anyone could help.

I am having a little trouble with his basking spot. I originally bought a 60watt light bulb from the pet store but noticed that it made the enclosure too hot and my chameleon had his mouth open A lot the first day, as our thermometer was reading almost 98 degrees at its hottest under the heat lamp. When turning that heat lamp off my Cham sometimes went to sleep, even with the UVB light still on. I am currently living in a large old house that does not have air conditioning and it has been around 80 degrees F in my room where I keep him with about 60-70% humidity. The second day I switched to just a 29 watt incandescent lightbulb, which seemed to be better. I’m wondering if it is necessary to have a heat lamp during these hot summer days in this house? I know it is necessary for chameleons to bask but how do I avoid making the enclosure too hot when I am already starting at a high temperature?

One last problem I have been having is that I got a screen enclosure and my Cham has been able to climb on the roof. He keeps walking back and fourth directly under the UVB bulb which I know is bad but am not sure how to stop him besides watching him and redirecting him each time he goes up there. How can I stop him from climbing directly underneath the bulb so I don’t have to constantly watch him or to not worry when I’m not in the room?


Staff member
You don't need the basking bulb on all day long but 80˚F ambient all day is going to be a problem for a guy that young. He needs closer to 72˚ ambient and no more than 78˚basking right now. Hopefully you can move him into a room with AC or get a unit for the room. It would be best if his overnights dipped into the 60's.
Babies climb and he will out grow it. If your T5 is 5.0 or 6% it will be ok if it is stronger you will need to move it up several inches to prevent damage to his eyes. Let him climb and move the light up if you are worried. I hope you have T5 lights and not a coiled UVB bulb that comes with the dreaded "kit". You can control the amount of heat he gets with either a dimmer or just use the basking bulb during the morning and evening hours as needed. It can be raised to reduce the basking heat as well.
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