Updated: September 26, 2021 by Jennifer Munsell
Choosing the proper UVB light for your bearded dragon’s tank is of vital importance, and it is also unfortunately one of the most common things many beginner reptile owners fail to do. There are many things you’ll need to set up your beardie’s tank, but nothing is as important as finding the best UVB light for a bearded dragon.
Essentially, a UVB light is a special UV spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight, and bearded dragons can’t survive without it. Yes, you read that correctly! Without a proper UVB light, your pet reptile won’t be able to produce vitamin D, and its body won’t be able to absorb and use calcium. With no calcium, your beardie will develop metabolic bone disease, suffer from other bone and growth problems, and might even die if these issues are left unaddressed.
Luckily, all of these horrible things are easily preventable with a proper UVB light. However, with so many different options out there, finding the best one might seem impossible, especially if you don’t know what to look for. But that’s where I come in!
In this article, I’ll review the top five UVB lights for bearded dragons on the market and help you decide which one is ideal for your pet and their tank. Keep on reading to find out!
If you are looking for an easy-to-mount and affordable fluorescent UVB bulb for a bearded dragon, then I recommend the Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb. Ideal for beginner keepers and budget-conscious owners, this fluorescent bulb will provide adequate levels of UVB light to your beardie. This UVB light needs to be replaced every 12 months and is best used with Zilla T8 Strip Light Fixture.
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Here Are the Best UVB Light Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
Whether you are looking for the best bearded dragon UVB light or an all-in-one light and heat lamp, you are in the right place! Listed below, you will find in-depth reviews of the best UVB lights for bearded dragons.
1. Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb — Best UVB Bulb
The Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb is a 15-watt linear light bulb that has to be paired with an appropriate fixture in order to work. Affordable and easy to set up, this fluorescent UVB bulb for a bearded dragon is a great option, especially for smaller enclosures.
- Fits most major fluorescent fixture types
- Provides full-spectrum lightning
- Designed for 8,000 hours of use
This long-style UVB light is a great choice if you don’t want a compact bulb, or have a juvenile bearded dragon living in a smaller tank. Designed to provide full-spectrum lighting, this bulb enhances the natural colors of your bearded dragon and their habitat.
If you are looking for a long-lasting UVB for a bearded dragon, this bulb is a perfect choice! According to Zilla, you’ll only need to replace this bulb once every 12 months to ensure that your beardie is getting proper UVB levels.
If your beardie didn’t receive proper levels of UVB lighting before, you can expect them to become more active and interested in their environment after you set up this bulb. Keep in mind you’ll still need to get a heat lamp, since the Zilla Fluorescent Bulb is designed to only provide UVB light.
- Can last for up to 12 months of continuous use
- Easy to set up and convenient for smaller enclosures
- Designed to provide adequate levels of UVB light to bearded dragons
- Gives off full spectrum lighting and enhances colors within the enclosure
- If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to buy a fixture to house this bulb separately
Overall, the Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable and reliable UVB light for your bearded dragon.
Designed to fit any standard E26 US lamp socket, the Lucky Herp UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0 is durable and made from high-quality glass. This light emits both UVA and UVB light and doesn’t have any harmful UVC output to worry about.
- Delivers 10% UVB and 30% UVA output
- Lasts up to 8,000 hours of continuous use
- Produces stable UVB output and has a low fading rate
Made to last up to 8,000 hours of continuous use, this bulb provides a constant 10% UVB and 30% UVA output. This allows you to cover both heat and UVB with a single light and ensure that your beardie is receiving everything they need to stay healthy.
Another great thing about this reptile light is you can use it with a lot of different tank setups without worrying about whether it’s going to work or not. This UVB light is also available in several different options that are 15 watts and deliver 5% UVB, though we recommend at least a 10% output for a bearded dragon.
- Doesn’t need a specific socket and can be used for different enclosures
- A long-lasting and reliable source of UVB and UVA light
- Doesn’t produce harmful ultraviolet light
- Can last up to a year without needing a replacement
- A few owners reported that this bulb was too long for their fixtures, so make sure to check the dimensions before ordering
All in all, the Lucky Herp UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0 is a great UVB for a bearded dragon and a good choice if you have standard lamp sockets.
If you are looking for an all-in-one bulb for your bearded dragon, check out the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb. This special tank lamp provides 100 watts of UVB and is one of the most powerful and efficient lights you can get for a full-grown bearded dragon.
- Provides UVB, UVA, and heat
- Made from metal and glass
This special mercury vapor bulb is an excellent source of heat for a basking spot and also provides UVB light when set up properly. To take advantage of everything this bulb has to offer to your pet reptile, make sure to place it properly so that specific distances can be maintained.
This self-ballasted light is super convenient to use and has built-in safety features that protect you and your bearded dragon from burns. As long as you follow the instructions and set it up at the correct distance, you’ll be very pleased with everything this small bulb does for your pet reptile.
- Produces similar amounts of UVB to natural sunlight
- Can be used as all-in-one light and emits heat, UVA, and UVB
- Uses little power and can last up to 18 months
- Available as a 100 watt and 160-watt bulb
- A few owners noted that the bulb doesn’t have the warm tone they hoped for
Overall, the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb is the best light for bearded dragons if you are looking for an all-in-one bulb that will emit heat and UVB light.
The Evergreen Pet Supplies UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is compatible with many different types of bearded dragon tanks. Being an all-in-one bulb, it produces UVA, UVB, and heat that your bearded dragon needs without emitting harmful ultraviolet lights.
- 100 watts
- Fits standard size light sockets
- Completely self-ballasted
The thing I like the most about this bulb is that it provides everything a bearded dragon needs to stay healthy. It’s a powerful source of UVB and UVA, but it also provides heat and will help ensure your beardie has a nice and warm basking space.
The fact that Evergreen tests each bulb for quality and lifespan before they are shipped is another thing I like about this UVB light. With such rigorous control, you can rest assured that the light won’t flicker and die a month after you’ve set it up in your beardie’s tank.
- Can be used in many different types of tanks and enclosures
- Each bulb is checked and tested in-house through a three-step process
- A powerful and reliable source of heat, UVA, and UVB
- Best used with a large dome designed for strong bulbs
- This bulb gives off a bright white light instead of a more warm and pleasant yellowish glow
All things considered, the Evergreen Pet Supplies UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is a great all-in-one mercury vapor bulb that gives off UVB and heat.
The TEKIZOO UVA UVB Super Sun Reptile Lamp is an all-in-one light and heat lamp that can provide everything your bearded dragon needs to stay healthy. This ideal light for bearded dragons will emit heat, UVB, and UVA at ideal levels for your reptile pet.
- Compatible with all enclosures
- 125 watts
- Measuring 6.3 x 4.5 inches
With this bulb inside its tank, your bearded dragon will receive all the benefits of natural sunlight without ever taking a single step outside their enclosure. To take full advantage of everything this UVB light has to offer, don’t use it with a dimmer, thermostat, or rheostat.
To ensure the premium quality of each and every bulb, this manufacturer performs strict tests to ensure all lamps are in working order. This bulb works best with a good quality ceramic socket, and its compact design makes it suitable for many different bearded dragon setups.
- Provides heat, UVB, and UVA light at ideal levels for desert-dwelling reptiles
- Features a compact design that is suitable for many different enclosures
- Each bulb is tested before packaging to ensure quality
- Easy to set up and perfect for ceramic sockets
- This bulb cannot be used with a dimmer
- It can’t be mounted at an angle
Overall, the TEKIZOO UVA UVB Super Sun Reptile Lamp is a great all-in-one light and a heat lamp that emits ideal levels of heat, UVB, and UVA light a bearded dragon needs.
How to Choose the Best UVB Light for Bearded Dragons
There is a lot of information and many unique features to keep in mind when shopping for the best UVB light for your bearded dragon’s setup. Figuring out exactly what your beardie needs can be a real struggle especially if you are a first-time owner.
To make the entire process a bit easier, here are a few factors you’ll need to consider when looking for a reliable and safe UVB light.
Type of Bulb
There are several different types of UVB bulbs designed for bearded dragons, and all of them come with different features. Fluorescent bulbs are the most affordable and are mostly used for small and medium-sized bearded dragon setups. In most cases, a fluorescent tube will emit proper levels of UVB for six months and will then have to be replaced with a new bulb.
Mercury vapor bulbs, on the other hand, cost more, but also last longer and are more powerful. These bulbs also produce both light and heat and are more suitable for larger enclosures and tanks with adult bearded dragons.
Besides needing UVB light to stay healthy, bearded dragons also need a heat source. Some UVB lights can also emit heat, but many lamp fixtures are made with separate spaces to house both a heat bulb and a UVB bulb.
Having both a heat source and a UVB light in one bulb is more convenient, but you should consider the distance between your bearded dragon and the bulb. You might need to get a thermometer and a UV monitor to check whether your beardie is getting optimal levels of heat and UVB.
How long a UVB bulb will last depends on many factors, such as the type, how heavily they are used, and how much light they give off. Generally speaking, most fluorescent bulbs will last around six months, while mercury vapor bulbs generally last from 10 to 12 months.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of a particular bulb without jeopardizing your beardie’s health.
What wattage should a bearded dragon’s UVB bulb be?
The number of watts essentially reflects how large the actual bulb is, and you should pay more attention to the bulb’s UVB output and placement. Outputs range from 5% to 15% or more, and we recommend around 10% output for a bearded dragon. This number is also sometimes denoted as a decimal; for example, a bulb with 10% output may also be listed as 10.0.
Additionally, the UVB intensity will vary depending on how far the UVB is from the basking spot and whether there is a mesh screen between the bulb and the beardie. Mesh screens diminish the bulb’s UVB output slightly, so keep this in mind when buying a UVB bulb. Some reptile owners opt to mount their UVB bulbs inside their beardies’ enclosures to avoid their bearded dragon missing out on any valuable UVB rays.
How much UVB does a bearded dragon need?
Without proper UVB levels, a bearded dragon is at risk of suffering metabolic disorders and bone problems, and issues with egg formations.
To stay healthy, like we touched on above, a bearded dragon needs UVB lights with at least 8% to 10% UVB output. To stimulate the production of vitamins, the light should be kept on during the daytime for 10 to 14 hours a day and turned off at night.
Ready to Get the Best UVB Bulb for Your Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons need UVB lighting to stay healthy and thrive, and there are many great UVB lights you can choose from. However, although there are many great options out there, finding the one that ticks all the boxes and suits your beardie’s enclosure size, shape, and setup might seem like an impossible feat.
With that being said, I’ve found that the Zilla is the best UVB bulb for bearded dragons. Affordable and easy to set up, this fluorescent bulb is ideal for small and medium-sized enclosures and will provide adequate UVB levels to your beardie. Another great thing about this bulb is that it lasts up to 12 months before you’ll need to replace it with a new one.
However, if you have a very large tank or are looking for an all-in-one UVB lamp, any one of the other four UVB lights reviewed above can be a great choice. In the end, whichever you choose, you can rest assured knowing your beardie is getting ideal UVB levels.
What is the best UV light for my bearded dragon? One of the best lighting products on the market today is the Arcadia T5 lighting range. These high output linear tubes will provide a bright, natural and safe level of ultraviolet and visible light for your bearded Dragon.What is the best UVB light wattage for bearded dragon? ›
Reptile light bulb uva UVb reptile light, rated at 15 watts, is ideal for all desert-dwelling reptiles, including bearded dragons, tortoises, and others. It can be used to enhance natural behaviors and prevent illnesses. A 150 watt bulb is generally not sufficient for a bearded dragon.What are the best UVB bulbs? ›
T5 HO UVB bulbs are the most popular type of UVB lighting in the reptile hobby because they work well with a variety of enclosure sizes and reptile species. They are also the preferred source of UVB lighting at reputable zoos.Is 5 UVB good for bearded dragons? ›
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.Can you leave UVB light on all night for bearded dragon? ›
Turtles, tortoises, bearded dragons, iguanas, and chameleons are some common examples of reptiles that need UVB light. This helps prevent animals from developing hypocalcemia (or lack of calcium). UVB lights should be kept on during the day and turned off at night and should be used along with calcium supplements.How many watts does a bearded dragon need? ›
A 100-watt bulb is appropriate for a 40-gallon tank. Bearded dragon owners must also be conscious of nighttime temps. If the room that the enclosure is housed in does not fall below 65°F, no additional nighttime heat source is needed.Can too much UVB hurt a bearded dragon? ›
It is true that a bearded dragon can develop too much UVB in captivity. It requires a certain amount of UVB rays per day to survive. Exposure to UVB rays can cause serious side effects to beardies. If you produce too much UVB, you may develop hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, and metabolic bone disease.What's the difference between T5 and T8 UVB? ›
The 'T8' & 'T5' terminology is simple. It's purely the size/circumference of the tube in question. T8 circumference is 8cm. T5 circumference is 5cm.What lighting is best for a bearded dragon? ›
Beardies in the wild receive ultraviolet light and heat from the sun on a daily basis. In order to best mimic the ultraviolet light in an indoor enclosure, high ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) output light bulbs must be used. 1 Fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs are the two sources most commonly used in the pet world.Is T5 or T8 better for bearded dragons? ›
It's important to look at the size of the enclosure as T5 bulbs need to be further away from reptiles to be used safely. In enclosures that are 18″ or less in height, you are much more likely to want to use a T8 bulb (as your basking spot is likely to be elevated from the ground as well).
The best overall night bulb for your pet reptile is the Zoo Med nightlight red reptile bulb. This is a 100-watt bulb that emits red light. It's made with true red glass, not painted like some other products.How many hours a day do bearded dragons need UVB? ›
Bearded dragons require about 12 hours of UVB light each day. This can be supplied by a UV-producing mercury vapor bulb, such as Mega-Ray. A one hundred watt mercury vapor bulb can produce enough UVB and heat for a 55-75 gallon tank if the temperature of your home is around 70 degrees.How far does ReptiSun 5.0 UVB reach? ›
- The ReptiSun 5.0 is effective for UVB induced photo conversion of vitamin D3 in reptiles skin at distances up to 12 inches.Does ReptiSun 5.0 UVB provide heat? ›
Q: Does this lamp provide heat? A: No. This lamp emits UVA and UVB without heat!How often should you change a bearded dragons UVB light? ›
In short: The UVB lamp should be replaced after a total exposure time of approx. 3500 hours. This does not mean immediate disposal - you can still use a used lamp with a lower UV intensity for young animals or a less sun-loving reptile species. High-quality UVB lamps are available in this web shop.What temps should a bearded dragon be kept at? ›
During the day, the optimum basking area temperature for a Bearded dragon is 40-42°C (104-107°F) with the cool end sitting at around 22-25°C (71-77°F). A heat source placed in one end of the enclosure is usually enough to keep the temperatures within the required range across the entire thermogradient.What temperature should bearded dragons be at night? ›
Ideal Night Temperature At Night
At night, you don't have to worry about a temperature gradient. However, ambient temperatures within your bearded dragon's enclosure should be between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That's about 21 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Light from the Sun
Sunlight is the strongest and best-known source of UVA and UVB light.
T5 fluorescent light bulb is a newer technology than T8. T5 fluorescent light bulb has an efficiency of about 100 lm/W. T8 fluorescent light bulb can reach about 90 lm/W luminous efficacy. In other words, T5 fluorescent lamps can use the same amount of power to produce more light.What is the difference between UVB 100 and 150? ›
UVB 100 bulbs are approximately equivalent to the former 5.0 bulbs, while UVB 150 bulbs roughly equate to the previous 10.0 bulbs. UVB 200 bulbs are touted as a much more intense UVB source, and reportedly produce UVB that is usable up to about 18″ away.
For a bearded dragon in a 55-gallon tank, we recommend a 150-watt bulb. Be sure to adjust the height of the bulb according to the temperature needed in your tank.Is 75 or 100 watts better for bearded dragons? ›
No, you should not use a regular 100 watt bulb for your bearded dragon. Bearded dragons need a special type of light called a basking bulb, which has a wattage of between 50 and 75 watts.Is 100 watt or 150 watts better for bearded dragon? ›
A 150 watt basking bulb is frequently used to heat a bearded dragon's habitat.Can bearded dragons get UVB from window? ›
UV rays do not penetrate window glass so bearded dragons placed in a sunny window are not receiving UV light. When a bearded dragon does not have access to bright sunlight, special lights are used to provide the UVB light. You need a light which emits light in the 290-320 nanometer range.How do I know if my bearded dragon is getting too much UVB? ›
Can a Bearded Dragon Get Too Much UVB? Although a bearded dragon can in fact get too much UVB, what you really need to be on the lookout for is them closing their eyes every time they bask. This is a sign that the UV output from the bulb may be too strong for them.Is a 26 watt UVB good for a bearded dragon? ›
Bluex Bulbs 26-Watt Desert UVB 10.0 CFL Reptile Light Bulbs.
Perfect for all desert-dwelling reptiles – including bearded dragons, tortoises and other lizards – this bulb provides light like they would receive from natural sunlight so they can thrive and live healthy lifestyles with the uva light bulb.
Our HO-T5 lamps will remain UV-B potent for 12 whole months of use, when used with the correct controller and for a 10-12 hour day.Which is better T5 or T8 reptile light? ›
UV T8 bulbs are the standard bulb in many terrarium and vivarium setups. They are slightly fatter and less efficient than UV T5 bulbs but generally cheaper to purchase. UV T8 bulbs produce lots of UVA and UVB light which many animals, particularly reptiles, use to fuel biological processes to grow and survive.Is T5 good for bearded dragon? ›
The Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB T5 HO High Output Lamp is the ideal lamp for providing your bearded dragon with the necessary level of lighting.What 2 lights do bearded dragons need? ›
Lighting is pretty simple; the main two lights you need are the heat lamp and the UVB fluorescent tube fixture. The heat lamp is the easier one to set up; you can buy the reptile heat lamp fixtures at pretty much any pet store. You need a fixture with decent coverage for your tank, a "sun dome" type fixture works well.
Bearded Dragon Diet Plan
The best bearded dragon diet for your pet will likely be a diverse one. Since they are omnivores, they eat both plants and animals and can dine on a wide range of food, from live mealworms, kingworms and crickets to greens such as parsley and kale and vegetables like pepper and sweet potato.
Always have lamp at least 6" away from your animal. The optimal distance from T5 HO lamps to the animal is 18-36", depending on the lamp. When To Replace Your Lamp: This lamp will provide your animals with beneficial UVB for a period of up to 12 months when used 10 to 12 hours per day.How many T5 lights do I need for veg? ›
Figuring out the number of T5 grow lights you need for your plants all comes down to the lumens they'll need. This is pretty easy, especially if you keep in mind that plants need 2,000 to 5,000 lumens per square foot. Smaller veggies, clones, and seedlings need around 2,000 lumens/sqft.How often should you change a reptile UVB bulb? ›
"The UV output of a bulb decreases with age, so bulbs should be replaced every six months or as directed by the manufacturer." Without proper UV light exposure, reptiles routinely develop severe, life-threatening illness.Which bulbs will be the brightest? ›
Which type of light is brightest? When compared to other types of lighting product, LED lights are the most energy efficient and offer a brighter light for the same wattage. Good quality LED fixtures now output around 170 lumens per watt; a fluorescent puts out around 110.What bulb is best for basking? ›
Without a doubt, one of the absolute best basking bulbs is going to be just a regular old bright white bulb. Any bulb that is bright white (doesn't put out color) and is between 50 to 100 Watts will likely work for most cages.What time of day are bearded dragons most active? ›
This way, your beardie can choose if he is warm or cold and if he wants direct light or not. Bearded dragons are most active during the day and are adept climbers. In addition to providing the basking site and shelter/hiding area, the housing environment should include thick branches or rocks for climbing.What temperature should a bearded dragons UVB light be? ›
Baby bearded dragons prefer slightly warmer temperatures, somewhere between 105-110°F. Mature Bearded like it a few degrees cooler, usually between 100-105°F.What happens if a bearded dragon doesn't get enough UVB? ›
Metabolic bone disease is a serious ailment that can affect bearded dragons. This disorder is triggered by inadequate levels of calcium in the body, which inadequate UVB lighting can cause. Metabolic bone disease is characterized by lizards' bones becoming extremely feeble.What percent of UVB comes out of ReptiSun 5.0 t5? ›
This bulb emits 30% UVA and 5% UVB, as well as full-spectrum visible light.
Zoo Med's ReptiSun® linear and compact fluorescent lamps are a great choice for providing Bearded Dragons with UVB. The PowerSun® is an excellent way to provide both UVB and basking heat all in one lamp!How strong should UVB be for bearded dragon? ›
According to experts, the optimal UVI gradient for a bearded dragon is 0 to 4.0-6.0, from lowest (furthest from the bulb) to highest (basking area). Most normally pigmented bearded dragons can tolerate UVI of up to 7.0 safely, but these levels are not necessary in captivity for optimal health.Can I use 5.0 UVB for bearded dragon? ›
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.How far should a ReptiSun 10.0 UVB bulb be? ›
Emits UVB a full 20″/51cm from the surface of the lamp to prevent or reverse Metabolic Bone Disease.How long do ReptiSun t5 bulbs last? ›
Recommended to replace bulbs every 9 months – 1 year. HAZARDS TO HUMANS: The ReptiSun 10.0 UVB linear bulbs emit UV radiation and must be used in accordance with these instructions. Just as you would not stare into the sun, do not stare into this lamp!What type of UV light is used for bearded dragons? ›
Beardies in the wild receive ultraviolet light and heat from the sun on a daily basis. In order to best mimic the ultraviolet light in an indoor enclosure, high ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) output light bulbs must be used. 1 Fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs are the two sources most commonly used in the pet world.What percent UVB does a bearded dragon need? ›
Make sure the bulb you choose offers at least five to seven percent UVA and UVB radiation. UVA radiation helps your bearded dragon to remain healthy, stimulated, and maintain a healthy appetite.Is T5 more efficient than T8? ›
T5 costs significantly more than T8 and does not outperform it by the same margin. In fact, in many applications, the performance differences are negligible. Furthermore, all lamps are equally weighted with an average life of 20,000 hours.Is T5 stronger than T8? ›
T5 fluorescent light bulb is a newer technology than T8. T5 fluorescent light bulb has an efficiency of about 100 lm/W. T8 fluorescent light bulb can reach about 90 lm/W luminous efficacy. In other words, T5 fluorescent lamps can use the same amount of power to produce more light.Can UVB be too strong for bearded dragon? ›
It is true that a bearded dragon can develop too much UVB in captivity. It requires a certain amount of UVB rays per day to survive. Exposure to UVB rays can cause serious side effects to beardies. If you produce too much UVB, you may develop hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, and metabolic bone disease.
Bearded dragons require about 12 hours of UVB light each day. This can be supplied by a UV-producing mercury vapor bulb, such as Mega-Ray. A one hundred watt mercury vapor bulb can produce enough UVB and heat for a 55-75 gallon tank if the temperature of your home is around 70 degrees.What are the two types of lights bearded dragons need? ›
Lighting is pretty simple; the main two lights you need are the heat lamp and the UVB fluorescent tube fixture. The heat lamp is the easier one to set up; you can buy the reptile heat lamp fixtures at pretty much any pet store. You need a fixture with decent coverage for your tank, a "sun dome" type fixture works well.Which light is more important for a bearded dragon? ›
For bearded dragons and many other reptiles, though, UVB light is the key to survival. So we know that UVB light is necessary for reptiles – and that a lack of UVB light can lead to a range on health conditions – but why? In reptiles, UVB light helps regulate the production of Vitamin D3 within the skin.