What light do my reptiles or amphibians need?
The lighting demands of a specific species of reptile or amphibian vary greatly, and are largely dependent on two factors:
The natural habitat of the animal
The behavior of the animal
The natural habitat of the animal in question play an important part of selecting proper lighting for your reptile or amphibian. Consider when the species in question is active in it's native environment, and where it lives. Nocturnal reptiles are going to have much less demand for lighting than animals active during the day, while animals that live on the rainforest floor will be adapted for dimmer conditions than a diurnal lizard that inhabits a desert. In general, animals that inhabit deserts will appreciate a brighter captive environment than terrestrial species found in the rainforest, with species inhabiting grasslands or deciduous forest falling somewhere in the middle. Brighter environments generally equate to higher UVA and UVB needs, but there are exceptions.
The behavior of the animal also plays an important role in determining the proper lighting for your reptile or amphibian. Diurnal animals will require more light and UVB than nocturnal animals in most situations. Some nocturnal creatures, such as White's Tree Frogs and some geckos, commonly sleep exposed to sunlight during the day, during which they absorb UVB radiation. Snakes, on the other hand, have evolved to fulfill their Vitamin D needs via their diet, and most species do not require UVB exposure for a healthy life. It's important to properly research the individual needs of the specific species of reptile or amphibian you plan on housing when making a decision on lighting.