The top 3 best UVB bulbs for bearded dragon are the Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0, Zoo Med Repti Sun T8 10.0, and Lucky Herp 100W UVA/UVB.
While at first glance it can be a confusing and difficult choice to make, there are just a few things to consider. Size of the enclosure, service time and the purpose. For more on those check the buying guide at the bottom where all three are explained.
This list has a total of 8 in it, but for the sake of simplicity the breakdown of the top three was mentioned above and is explained next before getting into the full list.
1. Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 paired with a lamp like this is an Amazon’s Choice product. It’s your best choice for small enclosures, and bulk purchases bring down the unit cost.
2. Zoo Med Reptisun T8 10.0 paired with a Reptisun fluorescent hood works well with larger terrariums. Simply hang this in the middle of your tank to give full UVB/UVA exposure no matter which side of the tank your pet bearded dragon is located.
3. Lucky Herp 100W UVA/UVB paired with a Flukers Sun dome can sufficiently provide both lighting and heating for your pet reptile.
Read on for more information on the Top 8 UVB lights for your Bearded Dragon.
8 of the Best UVB Bulb for Bearded Dragons
1. Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB Bulb
- It is suitable for bearded dragons and other reptiles
- It provides both UVB and UVA. (5% UVB Output, 30% UVA Output)
- Purchasing a 4-pack or 6-pack order is even cheaper
- You don’t need a separate ballast. It secures fittingly into threaded sockets
- It can be oriented vertically or horizontally in your lamp
- It’s great for small pets and enclosures
- It’s effective for creating zones of exposure and for canopy tops
- It’s not a sufficient light source for large enclosures
- Ultra-fine mesh and ordinary glass or plastic will reduce exposure
2. Zoo Med ReptiSun T8 10.0 UVB Lamp
- It provides both UVB and UVA for your bearded dragon. (10% UVB output, 30% UVA output)
- It works great even with larger terrariums
- It emits a full 20/51cm of UVB from the surface of the lamp
- It provides sufficient UVB exposure for your pet, even with screen covers that can filter out some of the UVB rays
- A T-5 variant is also available
- Works wonders with ill and rescued bearded dragons
- May be more expensive compared with other types of UVB lights
- May be too bright for some pets
- May need replacement more often compared with other types of UVB lights
3. Lucky Herp 100W UVA/UVB Bulb
- This light bulb supplies both UVB and UVA light for your bearded dragon
- It is suitable for other reptiles
- It is self-ballasted and easily screws in place
- It can provide up to 10,000 hours of natural sunlight
- You can choose between 180-200UVB or 400 UVB
- It has a safety internal shut-off feature in case of overheating
- The price runs on the expensive side
- The service time may be shorter. Some users had to replace sooner than expected
4. Zoo Med Mercury Vapor Bulb 160W
- It is completely self-ballasted
- This mercury vapor bulb provides both lighting and heating for your bearded dragon
- Ideal for bearded dragons and most reptiles and amphibians
- Compatible with all types of enclosures, including vivariums, tanks, terrariums, vision cages
- Longer service time compared with other types and brands
- Mercury vapor lamps are more expensive than fluorescent
- Needs more delicate care and use. Some advise installing them only on wire clamp lamp fixtures to provide air movement and lengthen the lifespan
5. Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0
- It is ideal for most tropical and sub-tropical reptiles
- It emits a high UVB output and provides essential UVB rays for your bearded dragon
- The 13W UVB light is effective up to 12″ while the 26W variant is effective up to 15”
- Regular screw fitting makes it usable for most lamps
- It is self-ballasted
- It is available in 13W and 26W
- It is energy efficient
- It is cheaper compared to other types
- May not be sufficient for larger enclosures or tanks
- May not provide sufficient heating for your pet reptile
6. Lucky Herp UVB Reptile Light
- This light bulb is ideal for all desert dwelling reptiles, including bearded dragons, tortoises, and other lizards
- It has an output of 10% UVB and 30% UVA and no harmful UVC output
- This light bulb helps your bearded dragon produce Vitamin D and calcium
- Inexpensive and affordable brand
- This bulb fits into any standard E26 US lamp
- It is said to last for a continuous 8,000 hours of use
- The bulb is long and may not be suitable for all fittings
- Bulb does not emit heat
- Some users reported that the UVB output was not high enough for bearded dragons, even though it is marketed as such
7. Zoo Med Desert UVB and Heat Reptile Lighting Kit
- This Amazon best seller offers you the entire lighting kit you need for your desert species, including a bearded dragon
- Comes with a mini combo deep dome lamp fixture
- The Repti Basking Spot lamp is 75 watts
- Both lamps provide heat and UVA and UVB output
- The heat lamp features a double reflector
- Comes with a 10.0 UVB fluorescent bulb, 13 watts
- Does not have a high UVB output
- It is not suitable for a larger tank or terrarium
8. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
- This light provides the proper balance of light, visual light, and infrared light
- It is a self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb that simulates sunlight and proves to be an excellent source of heat and light
- Has a 160 watt SB Par-38 bulb
- Uses minimal power
- Suitable size for larger tanks and is long-lasting
- This bulb is more expensive than other bulb models we have reviewed
- When you bang on the bulb, the light goes out, showing how sensitive it can be with movement
Those new to lighting setups may be wondering and asking this basic question: “Do bearded dragons need UVB?” Well, many say it’s optional. But, many more think it’s highly recommended.
UVB provides lighting that helps your pet reptile absorb Calcium and synthesize Vitamin D3. In addition, giving UVB lighting to your bearded dragon prevents and even reverses metabolic bone disease.
Those who’ve experienced rescuing reptiles or nursing ill pets back to health recommend the use. They’ve seen firsthand how UVB light exposure speeds up recovery and improves appetite.
With UVB exposure, bearded dragons and other reptiles are healthier and more active. The skin and color shading have more brilliance. As a result, reproduction rates and outcomes are more successful.
UVB and UVA lighting promote longevity because the light exposure is quite the same as what your pet gets in its natural habitat.
Before making a purchase, consider these key factors when buying a UVB light for a bearded dragon habitat:
1. Size of Enclosure
Some products are only effective up to a certain size. Consider the width and height of your bearded dragon tank, cage, or terrarium and purchase a wattage and lamp type that will be most effective for your setup.
2. Service Time
Life or running hours is a key consideration since it determines value for money. Don’t be tempted to simply buy a cheap one that may likely have you purchasing a replacement after a short time of use.
You should consider getting a UVB tester like the one from Repti Zoo. Alternatively, if you want a more professional tester, you can get the Solarmeter UVB meter.
Determine your purpose and priorities. For example, do you want UVB, UVA, or both? Are you open to using UVC later on? If so, select combo bulbs and lamps.
Ask yourself, “What watt UVB bulb do I need for a bearded dragon?” Well, that depends on the UVB penetration you want.
Do you simply want lighting? Or, do you also need heating? If you need a dual-purpose product, consider buying a high-wattage lamp or go with a mercury vapor lamp.
How do you mount a UVB light for a bearded dragon?
When it is time to mount the UVB light for a bearded dragon, make sure it is mounted all the way to one side of the tank. If you have a basking bulb, it should be mounted on the same side.
There should be a small section of the tank where there is no lighting at all. This is what is known as the cool zone. It helps with their body temperature control. Once you position your light, you can run zip ties around the fixture and through the hole.
Pull tightly on the ties to lock them into place. You can then make a small hole at the bottom corner of your screen to run the cord through.
What is the ideal humidity for a bearded dragon?
The humidity in your bearded dragon’s enclosure should be between 20 and 40%. You can use a hygrometer, also known as a humidity gauge, to help you monitor the humidity level more closely.
The daytime temps should be between 75 and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, and the basking spot should be kept between 88 and 100-degrees Fahrenheit.
Can you use a regular bulb for your bearded dragon?
If you don’t have a UVB bulb, you can use a regular bulb for your bearded dragon in a pinch. However, a regular bulb will have a yellowish tint, and lights with a white glow or something closer to sunshine are preferred.
A basking bulb is often incandescent and also adds to the heating of the bearded dragon’s environment.
How long do you leave the lights on for a bearded dragon?
The amount of time you leave the lights on for a bearded dragon comes down to the season. During the summer, you want to provide your bearded dragon with a minimum of at least 14 to 16 hours of daylight and UV exposure and between 8 and 10 hours of nighttime exposure.
However, during the winter, you should decrease this time to between 10 and 12 hours for daytime and 12 to 14 hours of nighttime exposure.
How often should you replace your UVB bulbs for bearded dragons?
The UVB bulb for your bearded dragon should be replaced every six months or so unless the light burns out before this time. Unfortunately, many UVB bulbs don’t produce a lot of heat either, so you want to have a basking lamp in addition to your UVB bulb.
Avoid using white lights at night, so the bearded dragon has darkness for the proper sleep environment.
To wrap things up, you can select your purchase from these top 3 choices: Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0, Zoo Med Repti Sun T8 10.0, and Lucky Herp 100W UVA/UVB.
Small enclosures do well with Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0. It provides sufficient lighting and is a great choice if you want to provide specific spots for lighting. Consider purchasing a pack to save more money.
Larger terrariums will do better with Zoo Med Repti Sun T8 10.0. Place it front and center, and you will be assured steady UVB lighting no matter which spot your pet bearded dragon may choose to bask or lounge in.
Lastly, Lucky Herp 100W UVA/UVB is a good choice if you want to provide lighting and heating for your pet reptile. The bulb has an internal shut-off feature that keeps your bearded dragon safe from overheating problems.
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