Best Lighting for Bearded Dragon (2021) | Buying Guide and Reviews

Larry Mills
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Whether you’re a new owner or a seasoned one who’s bored of the same old tank lighting, it’s time to invest in some new lighting for your reptile.

Incandescent and fluorescent lights are great for your bearded dragon’s health and they look impressive, but there’s a better option out there: LED lighting for your bearded dragon.

LED stands for light emitting diode, and they are an energy efficient and more economical alternative to older technologies. While it still takes a lot of energy to power, LED lights use far less power than older lighting options.

One major benefit of LED lighting for bearded dragons is that they don’t get hot. The reptiles need light to live, and you don’t want your bearded dragon getting too hot as that can cause health problems. With LED lighting, you won’t have to worry about that as they never get hot.

They also last longer and also use less energy, which gives you a big jump up on your utility bills. With an energy efficient reptile light like the lights below, you can save as much as 75% and more on your utility bills.

NameCategoryProduct
(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact FluorescentBest Overall(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent
Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/LampBudget PickEvergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/Lamp
Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 WattsUpgrade PickZoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 Watts

1. (2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent

Our rating: 9 / 10

(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent

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Pros:

  • Very nice tube design
  • Ultra Compact Fluorescent Bulb
  • 10.0 UVB
  • Bulb is shatterproof
  • Recommended by zoos
  • Many packing varieties to choose from
  • Provides full spectrum reptile lighting
  • Can be used individually or in sets

In order to promote the maximum health and wellbeing of your beardie, you need to use lighting that contains the same spectrum as the UVB rays they would receive in their natural habitat. When you choose the right reptile light bulbs for your beardie, you can rest easy knowing that you are meeting their needs and promoting their health.

When beardie owners choose to use this compact fluorescent bulb in their reptile lighting fixtures, they know they are giving their pet all the UVB rays that he needs. Zoo Med makes this bulb as a 2-pack so you can also save money while ensuring that your beardie has all the UVB rays he needs for proper health and wellbeing.

If you have a large enclosure or multiple glass terrariums that need light, you can also use this bulb in combination with Zoo Med’s other lighting fixtures.

2. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 Watts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 Watts

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Pros:

  • Innovative hood system lets you position the bulb for optimal UVB distribution
  • ReptiSun 10.0 is easy to remove
  • And easy to clean
  • The 10.0 model offers increased heat and UVB output
  • The lamp is even dimmable
  • Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 has a 10% UVB increase over the 9.0

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 is not compatible with glass terrariums

When it comes to reptile needs, lighting has to be on the top of your animal supplies list. Reptiles are often characterized by their need for extra heat and light, and bearded dragons are no exception.

Are you thinking about bringing home this reptilian friend? Then consider a terrarium with a light.

3. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb

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Pros:

  • You do not have to use a reflector
  • This bulb does less damage to the skin of your reptile

Cons:

  • The construction of the fixture and bulb is not the sturdiest
  • It is a 4-foot tube

This bulb uses UVB rays to stimulate your reptile. This is good for many reasons, but the most often cited one is to aid in metabolizing of vitamin D. The UVB rays are important to proper calcium metabolism.

Because this bulb does not have to be left on for 12 hours each day, it does not overheat or wear out as quickly.

The main problem with this bulb is its lifespan. Bulbs should last for one year of uninterrupted use, but this bulb may last a little less, perhaps six months in warm weather. If you need a bulb you are not going to have to replace that frequently, may want to choose another bulb.

4. Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/Lamp

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Pros:

  • Provides UVB and UVA rays along with heat
  • Ideal light for the bearded dragon
  • Whisper quiet operation

If your vivarium does not have a heat rock that is covered, you will need to provide your bearded dragon with a basking lamp. This product is ideal because it provides heat and light along with UVB and UVA rays to allow your tank’s occupant to properly see and not become blind over time.

This light is made to be placed under ceramic terrarium hoods and comes with an acrylic reflector. This model also has a temperature control knob on the end, to increase or decrease heat. This is a great light for a bearded dragon tank as it provides heat and UVB rays.

You will need to provide the UVA rays separately from this light. This means that you will need to change the bulbs out once every six months. It also comes with a long power cord and has a strong clamp to keep it in place.

5. MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb 100W

Our rating: 7 / 10

MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb 100W

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Pros:

  • Very bright, powerful light
  • Includes power source
  • Two lamps in one
  • Great for a terrarium as large as 48"H x 24"W x 30"D
  • Two different bulbs in one
  • Perfect for desert reptiles
  • Warm yellow color
  • Very easy to use and install

Cons:

  • Difficult to reach screw holes-use a large flat blade screwdriver to push the lens down till the screw holes appear.
  • MyComfyPets light is ideal for desert reptiles and would be the perfect light for your beardie, including UVA and UVB and you don't even need to worry about UVB flickering or of your beardie feeling the heat coming from a light.
  • The lamps are very bright with a 1000 watt rating, and the two LEDs in this light has about twice the output of the previous model.
  • The light is really strong to heat up a cold tank quickly, so you shouldn't need to use a basking lamp any more.

This is quite expensive, but it is a high quality and long-lasting product. They claim that you don't even need to replate the bulbs until they're 1000 hours old, so this would be a good long-term investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best lighting for bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular exotic pets in America today. The fact that they are cold-blooded and require heat makes them a little different than the average pet. The care of bearded dragons can be very simple with the proper setup and lighting can play an important role.

Bearded dragons are generally pretty active animals and like to spend a lot of time in the sun. They require UV light from the sun, UVB, and UVA. A full spectrum bulb will work for both a basking heat source and the lighting requirement.

The best bearded dragon lighting depends on what you choose as a heat source. If you are using a ceramic heat emitter, you will need the full-spectrum bulb to meet both of these requirements. If you are using more of a ceramic heat rock or cable, you will need a special reflector as well. The UV light will be reflected off of whatever you choose as you would with a normal bulb.

Are LED lights good for bearded dragons?

LED lights emit light in a spectrum that is well suited to the needs of beardies. They look attractive, provide the optimum amount of light and they don't heat the tank too much. Since LEDs are used in most light bulbs for growing plants, that's a great endorsement for bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons are from the deserts of Australia, where nighttime is quite different from the nights we have the year round. Instead of darkness, there's dim twilight and moonlight. But there's also some shade, and the desert landscape is mostly hidden in shadows, so bearded dragons camouflage quite well.

It's important to also give them a contrast, however, to influence them to feed and to recognize other members of their own species. Without some light contrast, they are often unable to engage in territorial displays, and they start getting a bit nocturnal and aggressive.

What wattage should I use for my bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons are a species of reptiles that hail from a handful of countries in the Middle East and Australia.

These cold-blooded creatures need to be kept warm constantly. If they are not kept at a specific temperature range, they can fall ill or die. A properly-sized heat lamp is essential for keeping a good temperature range for a bearded dragon.

The ideal temperature range for a bearded dragon is 86 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but most of the year, bearded dragons cannot regulate the temperature of a room the way they can regulate their own body temperature.

Instead, bearded dragons need a lamp that emits a specific amount of heat. This can be measured in the watts that a bulb emits.

Do Bearded dragons need light at night?

Bearded dragon lighting at night is not absolutely necessary, but it should be provided for the comfort and safety of your pet. In the wild, bearded dragons would be sleeping in underground burrows during the day and then emerge to hunt for food at night. In captive environments, we are responsible for causing this behavioral shift, and thus we also have to provide for some of the animal’s natural needs.

There are a lot of considerations in the lighting decision. First is the question of whether to provide day or nighttime lighting. Daytime lighting is important if you use a light and dark cycle schedule to feed and sleep with your bearded dragon. Nighttime lighting is important if you want to be able to see your pet in your home, especially if you want to spot health issues.

Conclusion

A bearded dragon needs light because they are desert creatures, and being able to see their territory provides a subtle form of security.

This doesn’t mean that you need to illuminate their habitat to the extent that they are “floodlit,” but the right amount of light is important. Some say, a placed cage can be added light. Just follow these simple steps:

Step 1- Find a position where you can set up the cage that has been outfitted with the correct amount of lighting and where the lighting is able to affect the entire cage.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact FluorescentBest Overall(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent
Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/LampBudget PickEvergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/Lamp
Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 WattsUpgrade PickZoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 36 Watts