Do Hamsters Need Light At Night?

by Hamster Care

Do hamsters need light at night?

No, hamsters do not need light at night; however, their cage should be free of artificial light to avoid disrupting their internal clock and shortening their lifespan. In captivity, hamsters are crepuscular or nocturnal animals that are well adapted to life in the dark.

How can I enjoy my hamster and play with him then?

You’re wondering how to enjoy and play with your hamster, or even just watch him, because he only comes out when the room is completely dark?

If you want to see your hamster at night without causing him health problems by turning on the light in his room, you have some options below:

  1. Use low light at night

Use only the nightstand (bedside) lamp and move it to the opposite corner of the room, or install a dimmer switch to control the intensity of the room’s lighting.

The first option is to dim the light in the room where your hamster cage is located until it looks like dusk. This low light will not bother your hamster, and you will be able to see him, play with him, and tame him.

You should not leave this light on for more than half an hour and then leave the hamster completely in the dark if you do this.

  1. See your hamster at night using red light

Using red light to illuminate your hamster’s cage at night is actually a common practice among parent hamsters. Because hamsters do not appear to see red light waves, you will see your hamster, but he will always believe he is in the dark.

Personally, I believe that leaving your hamster without light at night gives you up to an hour or more to interact with your hamster.

Allow the dusk light to enter through the window and enjoy your hamster until you can no longer see it.

However, if your hamster is only nocturnal and only wakes up after 10 or 11 p.m., I would recommend using the red light instead of turning on the room’s light bulb, which is extremely harmful to your hamster.

  1. Your hamster may also appear during the day

As a last resort, you can wait and watch for moments when your hamster leaves his nest in broad daylight. These are brief moments, but your hamster wakes up several times during the day and makes inspection rounds in his cage.

You can thus specify the time intervals at which your hamster appears during the day.

  1. Record your hamster during the night

This solution is to install pet cameras (Lumix GH5, Canon 70D & Canon G7X Mark II) and record all the activity of your hamster during the night

You will just prepare and direct the camera during the day to the cage of your hamster and watch it, tomorrow when you come back from school or work

What is the risk when I expose my hamster to light at night?

A study on this subject found that exposing hamsters to light at night caused them to become more aggressive and, more importantly, disrupted their internal clock (the primary circadian clock).

Their sleep cycle was disrupted, reducing their lifespan by nearly half.

Also, do not try to keep your hamster awake during the day in order to adapt it to your lifestyle. You have signed your hamster’s death certificate if you do this.

Your hamster must be kept in total darkness during the night.

How do hamsters live and find their way in the dark?

Hamsters have adapted to their nocturnal lifestyle, emerging after dark to avoid predators or the heat of the day.

They navigate at night using their whiskers to detect objects and their highly developed sense of smell, but they also leave scent trails wherever they go using their two Scent Glands, which is why you can almost see them sliding or crawling on the ground.

Even after traveling several miles, the hamster can find its burrow by following the scent it leaves on the ground and using its excellent memory.

The hamster’s vision isn’t very developed; he can only see a few inches ahead of him. As a result, it is best to make noise when approaching your hamster’s cage so as not to surprise him; otherwise, your hamster may bite you!

Why do hamsters prefer to live at night?

In their natural habitat, hamsters are prey in Syria, Europe, and Russia, and they prefer to come out only at dusk to avoid being captured by owls, snakes, jackals, and other predators.

When there isn’t too much light, the hamster can move without fear of being captured by its predators, and it’s developed an arsenal of tools to help it move and find its way in the dark, including scent glands, a very sensitive sense of smell, and whiskers to help it avoid obstacles.

Isn’t there a hamster breed that tolerates light at night better than others?

No, all hamsters wait for the night to become energetic and go out to search their cage for food, play with the wheel, take sand baths, and turn the cage 100 times.

You should be aware that for hamsters, night is the same as day; they are active when it is dark.

The darker it is, the happier the hamsters are, because it allows them to sneak out and go wherever they want without being caught by their predators.

Roborovskis, on the other hand, have been found to be more light tolerant than other hamsters and to exhibit themselves more during the day than other hamsters.

Syrians, on the other hand, are known to wait until nightfall and complete darkness to appear; in captivity, they are nocturnal rather than crepuscular.

How to ensure the ideal light for my hamster?

Natural light is very appealing to hamsters. Simply place your hamster’s cage near a window that faces the outside. And try to open the window curtain only after dark.

Of course, you should not expose the cage to direct sunlight!

As a result, your hamster will live in accordance with natural light and the progression of days and nights, just as if he were in his natural habitat.

If you need to turn on the light for a half-hour at dusk, I recommend that you turn it off every day at the same time (for example, 8 a.m.) to avoid disturbing your hamster.

They can also admire the moonlight by leaving the blind open at night.

Do hamsters need light during the day?

There are hamsters in rooms without windows that face the outside of the house.

So the hamster never sees natural light during the day; this is a serious problem that must be addressed; here is what you must do.

You must create the day and recreate the light of the day using a bulb and a dimmer switch:

In this case, the light in the room where the hamster is installed should be left on all day, and if it has a Dimmer Switch, reduce the intensity of light at dusk and turn it off completely half an hour or an hour after sunset to provide as close to natural light as possible.

Should we cover the hamster cage during the day?

Your hamster will snuggle up in his nest during the day because it’s dark in there and he doesn’t need you to cover his cage.

It is simply advised not to turn on the light in the room and to leave the curtains open to allow light to enter. This way, your hamster will know when it is time to wake up and begin his daily activities.

Cover the cage only when cleaning the room, such as when using a vacuum cleaner, to keep your hamster safe and to keep dust out of the cage.

Cover your hamster’s transport cage as well; this will help to calm them down.

Do hamsters need sunlight?

No, because hamsters’ eyes are light sensitive, they should never be exposed to direct sunlight, which can harm their eyes.

Hamster eyes are designed to see in low light and even in complete darkness. They spend their days in nature sleeping, digging, and cleaning the burrow.

If they do emerge from their burrow during the day, they frequently remain in the dark and never appear in areas directly lit by sunlight.

Simply ensure that the room in which your hamster is housed receives natural light, but not direct sunlight on the hamster cage.

Can hamsters see in the dark?

Hamsters cannot see in complete darkness, but they can see better than we can when the light is dimmed at dusk and sunrise, when hamsters like to emerge from their burrows in the wild and even in their enclosures.

Hamsters use their highly developed sense of smell and whiskers to navigate and avoid obstacles in the dark.

Hamsters use their glands to leave a scent trail wherever they go in order to return to their burrow by following the same scent.

Scientists believe hamsters do not see colors, but new research shows that they respond to green, blue, and ultraviolet (UV) light.

Why don’t hamsters have good eyesight?

Hamsters have poor vision in both daylight and at night, when the sun has completely disappeared. When the light is not too bright, hamsters have better vision just after sunset and before sunrise.

The most important thing for them is to have a 180° wide peripheral vision in order to see potential threats, especially those that come from the air, such as owls and raptors.

Except for this purpose, hamsters do not require good vision to survive; they spend the majority of their time in their burrow and only emerge at dusk.


When it comes to light, it is not difficult to understand your hamster’s needs.

Exposing him to natural light is the best lighting for his cage.

If you must light your hamster’s cage, do so briefly and with red light.

If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!

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By HamsterCareTip.Com.

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