Generally 12 hours of light a day is recommended, and if light from a window shines onto the cham's enclosure, it's probably best to keep your light schedule close to the hours of daylight outside so that the cham doesn't get confused. I like to adjust the length of time that I keep the lights on gradually as the seasons progress.
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.
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.
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).
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.
ill turn me heat bulb off now then as its just beging to get dark ty he seems to b doing fine i got to go to work at 6 2moro shall i turn his light on then do u think or shall i get me mum to turn em on bout 8 in morn ?
Just to add,i would recommend that you put your lights on a timer alan.
That way your photoperiod will consitant and your chameleon will grow better,also your old dear can stay in bed and wont complain when she starts to see the feeders jumping about
Also you can get a Twilight starter for your uv tube to make the whole lighting cycle more natural for your chameleon,this brings your uv on gently and fades it out after 12 hours.a nice bit of kit for one or two set ups but costly for lots of vivs
I have my heat lamps set to turn on at 5:30 am, And my uvb to turn on at 6:00 am. Then i have the heat lamps to go off at 5:30 pm and my uvb to cut off at 6 pm. I figured out he couldnt really see all to well when all the lights cut off so i try to simulate a little moon light with the 30 min of left over uvb. But yeah, the timers have saved me so much trouble. Especially when i couldnt be home to cut them off.
thanks peeps he looks fine aint seen no poop or tht yet and dnt know if he has been eating only seen one cricket in there since been home so he might of been got me temp at 82f he is light green aint been dark only time he has ws when misting and tht ws like 10 secs then calmed down he roaming around alot now too hope these gd signs will look into the timer
You can get a cheap one at Walmart or a similar type place. It will probably run you $5-8. I actually got digital one from Walmart for $8. Of course when I came back for more they did not have any more and have never put them back out, oh well. Perhaps you will have better luck. You may see alot of pricey ones in the same section just remember to keep it simple you only need an on and off one.