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7 Best UVB Light Bulb for Bearded Dragons 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

bearded dragon close up

Keeping your bearded dragon healthy requires multiple things, but one of the most essential things your bearded dragon needs is UVB light. UVB light is a specific UV spectrum light that stimulates vitamin D production in your beardie’s body. Vitamin D is responsible for how well your bearded dragon’s body is able to absorb and use calcium. Without enough vitamin D, calcium levels will go down and can result in metabolic disorders, bone problems, and issues with egg formation in females.

These reviews of the top 7 best UVB lights for your bearded dragon will help you pick a light that will help your beardie stay healthy for years to come.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
ZOO MED ReptiSun 10 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp ZOO MED ReptiSun 10 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp
  • 10% UVB and 30% UVA
  • Stays cool
  • Compact size
  • Best Value
    Second place
    ZOO MED T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp ZOO MED T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp
  • Two size options
  • 10% UVB and 30% UVA
  • Ideal for large tanks
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% UVB Juvenile Light Kit Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% UVB Juvenile Light Kit
  • Kit includes heat bulb, UVB bulb, and lamp
  • Ideal for juvenile bearded dragons
  • 12% UVB
  • Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • Provides UVB and heat lamp coverage
  • Tested prior to sale to ensure it works as intended
  • Fits standard threaded light fixture sockets
  • Zilla Desert Series Fluorescent Coil Bulb Zilla Desert Series Fluorescent Coil Bulb
  • Fits standard threaded sockets
  • 50 UVB microwatts/second
  • Energy-efficient and provides full-spectrum lighting
  • 7 Best UVB Light Bulb for Bearded Dragons – Reviews 2021

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    1. ZOO MED ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp – Best Overall

    Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Reptile Lamp, 26-Watt

    The ZOO MED ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp is the best overall pick for UVB lights for your bearded dragon because it provides 10% UVB lighting in a compact size. This lamp can be used in hood or dome light fixtures.

    This lamp provides 30% UVA output while staying cool, meaning that it won’t increase the temperature within your tank. UVA lighting helps improve your reptile’s mood, increase appetite, and increase activity. It can be used vertically or horizontally to fit different fixtures and it will fit into any standard threaded socket.

    This is a quartz bulb, which means that it should not be handled with bare hands. The oils from your hands will damage the bulb, shortening its life and possibly causing it to shatter. This light will need to be replaced every 6 months, even if not burned out, to maintain UVB efficacy.

    Pros
    • 10% UVB and 30% UVA
    • Stays cool
    • Compact size
    • Can be used horizontally or vertically
    • Fits any standard threaded socket
    Cons
    • Cannot be handled with bare hands
    • Needs to be replaced every 6 months

    2. ZOO MED T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp – Best Value

    Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent_Lamp

    The best UVB light bulb for your bearded dragon for the money is the ZOO MED T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp. This light has a similar name to the ZOO MED compact lamp but is larger, more cost-effective, and a different type of bulb. It is available in 18-inch and 24-inch options, both of which provide 10% UVB lighting.

    This bulb provides 30% UVA lighting and is ideal for large terrariums. It can be used above screen tank covers, but a screen will filter up to 50% of the UVB lighting, preventing it from reaching your beardie. It should be placed 20 inches from your bearded dragon’s basking area and ideally, it should cover 75% of your tank. This bulb is a T8 fluorescent bulb, which is rated for 20,000-24,000 hours of use, so it should last up to 8 years.

    This bulb contains mercury and should be handled with care and disposed of properly. You will likely need to check your local hazardous materials disposal laws. This does produce some heat but not enough to replace a heat lamp, so you will need to have space for this bulb and a heat lamp over your bearded dragon’s basking site.

    Pros
    • Two size options
    • 10% UVB and 30% UVA
    • Ideal for large tanks
    • Rated for up to 24,000 hours of use
    • Can be used above screens
    Cons
    • Use over screen will reduce UVB penetration
    • Contains mercury and requires special disposal
    • Produces heat but tank will still need a heat lamp

    3. Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% UVB Juvenile Light Kit – Premium Choice

    Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% UVB Juvenile Bearded Dragon Light and Heat Kit

    The premium choice UVB light bulb for your bearded dragon is the Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% Juvenile Light Kit. This kit features a 70-watt mercury vapor lamp, black clamp-on lamp holder, and T5 UVB bulb that provides 12% UVB.

    This bulb is perfect for tanks that are around 36 inches and can be used in both terrariums and vivariums. While it can be used for bearded dragons of any age, it’s ideal for juveniles because of its increased UVB output, which will stimulate healthy growth and development. The lamp holder is a sleek, black dome that holds the heat lamp.

    You will have to purchase a separate light fixture for the UVB bulb in this kit as the included lamp only works with the mercury vapor lamp bulb. This bulb will need to be replaced every 9-12 months to maintain efficacy.

    Pros
    • Kit includes heat bulb, UVB bulb, and lamp
    • Ideal for juvenile bearded dragons
    • 12% UVB
    • Intended for tanks around 36 inches
    • Bulb should last for up to 12 months
    Cons
    • Premium price
    • UVB light fixture not included

    4. Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb

    Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb

    The Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is both a UVB bulb and a heat lamp. These bulbs are each tested prior to sale to ensure they work correctly. They are made to fit standard threaded light fixture sockets.

    This bulb produces UVA and UVB light without harmful UVC, and it also produces enough heat to keep your basking spot around 90°F depending on how far away you place the light. The recommendation is to place this light 10-20 inches from your basking area. Since this is a parabolic bulb and not a long bulb, it can be used for tanks of any size, although larger cages may require more than one light. This is a 100-watt bulb, so your fixture will need to be rated for a light this strong.

    This light cannot be used with a dimmer. The percentage of UVB and UVA provided by this light is not listed on the bulb, the packaging, or by the manufacturer, so it may not be the best option if you have a specific percentage in mind. This includes mercury and will need appropriate disposal.

    Pros
    • Provides UVB and heat lamp coverage
    • Tested prior to sale to ensure it works as intended
    • Fits standard threaded light fixture sockets
    • Can be used for tanks of any size
    Cons
    • Cannot be used with a dimmer
    • UVB and UVA percentage not provided
    • Contains mercury and requires special disposal

    5. Zilla Desert Series Fluorescent Coil Bulb

    Zilla Desert Series Fluorescent Coil Bulb , 20 watts

    The Zilla Desert Series Fluorescent Coil Bulb is a 20-watt light that fits standard threaded sockets. It gives off 50 microwatts of UVB light per second.

    This bulb is energy-efficient and is designed for up to 12 months of use. It provides full-spectrum lighting, meeting the needs of your beardie. It gives off heat, but it’s unlikely to give off enough heat to replace a heat lamp. Since this bulb doesn’t contain mercury, standard lightbulb disposal is fine when replacing it. This bulb helps to enhance the natural colors of your bearded dragon and tank setup.

    You will need to replace this bulb at least annually, as well as purchasing a separate heat lamp setup.

    Pros
    • Fits standard threaded sockets
    • 50 UVB microwatts/second
    • Energy-efficient and provides full-spectrum lighting
    • Doesn’t contain mercury
    • Enhances natural colors
    Cons
    • Needs replacement every 12 months or less
    • Gives off heat but cannot replace heat lamp
    • UVB light isn’t measured in percentages

    6. MyComfyPets UVB400 Light Reptile Bulb

    MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb 100W for Bearded Dragons and All Reptiles

    The MyComfyPets UVB400 Light Reptile Bulb is available in two sizes, 180-200 UVB and 400 UVB. The 400 UVB bulb is recommended for large tanks and is usually the better option for bearded dragons. This is a mercury vapor lamp, so it can also be used as a heat lamp.

    This bulb does not release UVC radiation, but it does provide adequate UVA, UVB, and heat output. It’s rated for 10,000 hours of use, so you’ll likely need to replace it within a year. This bulb is parabola-shaped, so it can be used in tanks of any size, but large tanks may require more than one light. It is 100 watts, so your fixture will need to be able to handle a high-wattage light.

    The UVA and UVB output of this lamp is not measured in percentage like many other lamps are. Since it contains mercury, it will require special disposal. This bulb cannot be used with a dimmer.

    Pros
    • Available in two sizes
    • 400 UVB is ideal for bearded dragons and large tanks
    • Provides UVB and heat lamp coverage
    • Fits standard threaded light fixtures
    Cons
    • UVB and UVA output not measured in percentages
    • Contains mercury and requires special disposal
    • Cannot be used with a dimmer

    7. WACOOL PT-P95100 UVB Reptile Light Bulb

    WACOOL UVA UVB Sunlamp Reptile Heat Lamp 100W

    The WACOOL PT-P95100 UVB Reptile Light Bulb is a good option for UVA, UVB, and heat coverage. It is designed for maximum efficacy at 12 inches from the basking area.

    This bulb fits standard threaded sockets and is designed with a magnesium oxide coating to help reduce the harshness of the light. It has an automatic shutoff if it begins to overheat and after cooling for 15-20 minutes, it will turn itself back on. This bulb can be used as a heat lamp as well as UVB and UVA lighting.

    This bulb is a mercury bulb and requires special disposal. It also does not have the percentage of UVB coverage listed on the packaging or product and it isn’t available through the manufacturer. This bulb only has a life expectancy around 6000 hours, so it will need to be replaced every 6 months or so.

    Pros
    • Can be used as a heat lamp
    • Fits standard threaded sockets
    • Magnesium oxide coating reduces lighting harshness
    • Automatic shutoff and restart to prevent overheating
    Cons
    • Contains mercury and requires special disposal
    • Percentage of UVB coverage not listed
    • Will need replacement around every 6 months

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    Buyer’s Guide

    How to Measure UVB Output:

    • Percentage: This number doesn’t tell the UVB output, rather, it tells the ratio of UVB to UVA. This means that if you had 1 part UVB and 20 parts UVA, it would be 5%.
    • Microwatts or milliwatts per square centimeter: This is the industry standard for UV lights for measuring UV output. It measures the UV intensity per centimeter of area.
    • Nanometers: This is the measurement used by physicists and scientists to measure UV intensity.
    • UVI: UV intensity is measured in smaller numbers than nanometers and microwatts per cm2. For bearded dragons, UVI should be around 2.9-7.4 in the basking area.

    UVB Light Options:

    • Linear Fluorescent T8/T5: Linear fluorescent lamps are the same bulbs you see in commercial light fixtures. They are powered by an internal gas exchange and are one of the most widely used bulbs in the world. T5 linear fluorescent bulbs are 40% smaller than T8 linear fluorescent bulbs. However, T5 bulbs are able to create the same amount of light as a T8 bulb, but this light is produced in a concentrated area.
    • Compact/Coil Fluorescent: Compact fluorescent bulbs are similar to traditional fluorescent light bulbs, but they use 75% less energy. Compact coil fluorescent bulbs are compact fluorescent bulbs that have a spiral shape, allowing them to produce more light with less energy output.
    • Mercury Vapor Bulb: This type of bulb is a gas-discharge lamp with vaporized mercury inside of it. Electricity travels through the vaporized mercury to create light. These lights usually include a small quartz tube that is mounted within a borosilicate glass bulb that insulates the light, preventing high levels of UV lighting to escape and protecting the quartz tube. These bulbs often require special lamps that protect the bulb, but these bulbs are more energy-efficient than most fluorescent bulbs and often have a longer life.

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    Conclusion

    For the best overall product, check out the ZOO MED ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp, which includes a light fixture and is compact but effective. The best value product is the ZOO MED T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp, which is a great pick for large tanks. If you’re interested in a premium product, then the Reptile Systems 36-in T5 12% UVB Juvenile Light Kit is a perfect option, especially if you’re starting out and don’t have a heat lamp yet.

    Buying a UVB light for your bearded dragon may seem like a confusing task, but it isn’t so bad when you look at the available options! These reviews should help you narrow your search and find a good starting point to picking a bulb for your tank. Keep in mind that many of these do not include a light fixture, so that will need to be purchased separately.


    Featured Image Credit:  yann ferlaak, Pixabay

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.