The Best UVB Bulbs for Bearded Dragons (2021) | Buying Guide and Reviews

Larry Mills
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An appropriate UVB light can make a huge difference in the life of your bearded dragon.

However, there are certain factors that you need to take into account before you purchase a UVB light.

For example, it is important for you to know that not every UVB bulb is created equal.

In our review of the best UVB bulbs for bearded dragons, we cover the importance of UVB bulbs, and we go over the things you should consider before you buy one.

The most important thing is to find a bulb that is best suited for the needs of your bearded dragon.

Basking under the light of the best UVB bulb for bearded dragons is an important part of a bearded dragons day. They use it to synthesize vitamin D3 and aid their calcium metabolism.

More than that, some reports indicate that bearded dragons actually seek out UVB light.

So where is the best spot for a UVB light in your bearded dragon’s enclosure? Well, that depends on a number of factors, including how big the enclosure is.

Larger enclosures will typically require a more powerful UVB bulb.

NameCategoryProduct
(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact FluorescentBest Overall(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent
REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/LightBudget PickREPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light
Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual KitUpgrade PickZoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit

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:

  • Produces a large amount of light
  • Low heat emission
  • Energy efficient
  • Two bulbs in pack
  • Compact UVB bulb
  • Lower power consumption
  • Ideal for small terrariums and enclosures

Cons:

  • Zoo Med products are not available at local pet stores
  • Zoo Med products do not offer replacement/refund as it is an authorized brand

The Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Bulb is one of the most popular brands being used by reptile owners today. It’s an ideal bulb to be used for small reptiles such as bearded dragons and skinks.

It’s easy to install and use. It generates 10% UVB and 93% UVA light. The bulb is also extra durable and compact, and it has a length of 13.5-inches. Plus, it’s energy efficient.

This bulb is ideal for both indoor habitat homes as well as outdoor artificial habitats.

2. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 17 Watts

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb 17 Watts

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Pros:

  • This bulb is ideal for the needs of reptiles and amphibians
  • The UVB spectrum has been tested by independent agencies to confirm it is UVB
  • Reputable manufacture

Cons:

  • The bulb is a little heavier than the competitors
  • This will increase the chance of the lamp falling if it is not supported

The Zoo Med Reptesun 10.0 can help provide your pet with the needed UVA and UVB. Without these, your pet is likely to develop issues that will cause a poor quality of life.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to tell whether your pet needs more UVA or UVB. Your pet is going to tell you via the signs of discomfort or stress.

When you administer the appropriate amount of UVA and UVB, you will notice a significant difference between the end of treatment and before you started the treatment. You may also notice improvements in health and even breeding behaviors.

3. Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit

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Pros:

  • This unit provides your lizard with both heat and UVB in a small package
  • It is easy to adjust the bulbs at the ideal distance from your lizard
  • Comes with a 6-foot power cord to reduce the need for extension cords
  • Provides the 50 watts of UVA and UVB light Bearded dragons need
  • Easy to set up and easy to use

Cons:

  • Customer have found that the lower wattage bulb starts burning out after a few months.

For the best bearded dragon light bulb, the Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting dual kit is perfect! It provides your pet with everything he needs from his UVB bulb and heat bulb. The bulbs come with a 6-foot power cord to reduce the need for an extension cord.

The Zoo Med UVB and Heat lamp is also easy to set up and easy to use. It is designed to allow your pet to bask safely with 11″ of usable light, which makes this a very safe bearded dragon light bulb.

A dual cage mount is included with the Zoo Med Desert UVB heat lamp that allows you to use both bulbs in a double cage. The product is also very easy to adjust for an ideal distance from your pet.

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:

  • You can select between different UVB light sources
  • Easy to set up and use
  • A great source of heat and light in one package

Cons:

  • If you use this light outside you will need to change the bulb every 9 to 12 months
  • It is best to use this light for desert habitats

The best part of this bulb is that it provides a combination of heat and UVB light. Not only does this make your bearded dragons feel like they are basking in the sun, it also gives them the UVB that is essential to their wellbeing.

This bulb includes a 100 watt bulb that is an excellent source of heat. In fact, it can put off energy equivalent to 120 watts. Thanks to its design you can use it in dry desert terrariums.

This bulb is also an excellent source of UVB light. It can cover a 46 square foot area and it is the only bulb you will need for most desert terrariums. It is comparable to the fluorescent lamps that were designed for reptiles.

5. REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light

Our rating: 8 / 10

REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Includes three bulbs!
  • Includes thermostat
  • Full UVB spectrum
  • 5-star customer reviews
  • One of the best items for Bearded Dragons!
  • Can be used a heat lamp as well

Cons:

  • Needs to be replaced every four months
  • One complaint said there was discoloration in bulb but the leaking was resolved by customer service
  • One customer gave a two-star review but said they threw away the box, contacted customer service for a replacement, and even paid for a replacement but never got it

The Repti Zoo Reptile Heat Lamp is important to have to give your bearded dragon the right UVB radiation it needs to thrive.

It gives off UVA and UVB radiation that your bearded dragon needs to live a healthy life.

You can also use this lamp as a heat lamp at the same time. It has a built-in thermostat and retractable cord, so you can pick your preferred height to fit your tank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What UVB bulb is best for bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons are desert-dwelling lizards native to Australia. They require a lot of light which is why they do so well in the desert.

Because of that, they need a good bulb that efficiently emits ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Without UVB, their bones will not grow properly, and they will be unhealthy and sluggish. For this reason, it is important to use the proper light bulb.

UVB light keeps your bearded dragon happy and healthy.

The sun is the obvious source of UVB. If you put a bearded dragon in a high place during the day, such as on a bookshelf, it can get some of the UVB it needs from the sun. However, this will only take care of a small portion of their needs. You will need a UVB light bulb for them to get all the UVB they need.

How many watts of UVB does a bearded dragon need?

Bearded dragons need a source of UVB rays so that they can maintain healthy levels of vitamin D3 in their blood.

Without a UVB bulb, your dragon will be severely lacking in vitamin D3 and will probably become ill as a result.

Before identifying how many watts you need, you need to decide how much room you can allocate to your bearded dragon. The ideal size enclosure is a minimum of 6' long by 2' to 3' wide. You'll want a minimum of a 6-foot enclosure because they need to feel secure and are territorial.

The UVB bulb should be able to span at least half of the length of the enclosure. In this case, you'll want a bulb that puts out 12-15 watts.

For larger enclosures, like the ones just mentioned above and for those with glass doors, you'll want to invest in a stronger bulb that puts out 15-20 watts.

What is the best UVB light for reptiles?

Lighting systems are good for different things so make sure to understand how the best UVB bulb for your bearded dragon works.

Some reptiles need to be exposed to light to help regulate their day/night cycle. A good light fixture for your bearded dragon will produce both UVA and UVB light in order to help your bearded dragon stay healthy.

There are a couple different types of light fixtures that may be able to meet your needs. They are:

  • Actinic UVA/UVB
  • Moon/day fluorescent
  • Ultraviolet heat bulb

How often should I change my bearded dragons UVB bulb?

The recommended maximum exposure time for a bearded dragon is 10 hours per day. Many bearded dragons can be kept at "full-blast" the whole day, but some need time to adjust to an increase in light and UVB exposure.

After changing the bulb, give your bearded dragon a week or two to adjust to a new UVB bulb before bumping up exposure time. Then you can start bumping up the exposure time slowly as your dragon adjusts to the increase.

Light and UVB exposure is a matter of balance. Too much or too little UVB can cause health issues such as Metabolic Bone Disease. Too much direct light can cause calcium deficiency as well.

Quality UVB bulbs are easy to come by and can be found in a variety of sizes. It is better to err on the side of caution and adjust up slowly instead of burning your dragon with too much UVB exposure.

Conclusion

One of the most common questions asked by bearded dragon owners is whether they should get mercury vapor or UVB bulbs for their pet’s terrarium setup. This is a common question because there’s a good chance that bearded dragon owners are new to owning reptiles.

But the answer is actually pretty simple. UVB is vitally important to the health of your bearded dragon. UVB light is what helps to cycle the vitamin D3 and helps to keep your bearded dragon’s metabolism going strong.

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
REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/LightBudget PickREPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light
Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual KitUpgrade PickZoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit