Best UVB Light for Turtles (2022) | Guide and Reviews

Larry Mills
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Raise a happy and healthy pet turtle with the best uvb light for turtles. Turtles need uvb exposure to develop a healthy shell and skin. These essential rays can be provided through a uvb bulb.

Different regions of the country and the species of turtle may necessitate different bulb preferences. We've put together a list of the best uvb bulbs for turtles, with our top pick, the Zoo Med SunGlobe.

NameCategoryProduct
(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact FluorescentBest Overall(2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Mini Compact Fluorescent
Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent LampBudget PickZoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp
Zoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB LampUpgrade PickZoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp

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:

  • It contains free T8 bulbs
  • Works in various lighting fixtures
  • Perfect for turtles, lizards, and the like
  • Long life of up to 9 years

Zoo Med ReptiSun T8 Compact Fluorescent Bulb is one of the most popular UVB bulbs for sale online and pet stores. It is a great pick for your pet reptiles if you are unsure about the best light for turtles.

Designed for desert environments, this bulb is not only perfect for turtle tanks but also for iguana habitats or any other reptile that needs UVB lighting in its home.

With a light output of 10.0, this 5.0% UVB hooded tube bulb is made from high quality materials which will give you years of service without any fuss.

2. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp

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Pros:

  • Uses a compact fluorescent light
  • It is a reptile lighting technology
  • Many models are available
  • It comes with a five year warranty
  • It is easy to maintain

This style of lighting is a bit more expensive than some of the other models of reptile lamps. However it is great for turtles that are recovering from illness or injury.

Like us humans, turtles need a certain amount of UVB radiation. It is the best way for them to fluorish. Depending on the age of your turtle and the amount of time they spend outside, you might want to consider getting a light that produces UV rays.

This lamp comes with a hanging mount and a reflector so that you can maximize the amount of UV radiation for your turtle. It is coated with UVB and UVA wavelengths which are very similar to daylight radiated by the sun.

3. Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB Heat Lighting Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB Heat Lighting Kit

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • A durable design
  • There are no dangling cords
  • Large range of angles
  • Very little waste
  • Entirely submersible

If you have a turtle, then you may want to consider buying this heating lamp that provides the required ultraviolet radiation that they need to stay healthy. The Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB Heat Lighting Kit is a complete and comprehensive lighting system for your turtle. It is an easy way to ensure that your turtle is getting the type of light that it needs to stay healthy.

The lighting kit comes with a 36? bulb that provides the required spectrum of heat that your animal needs. There is also a 100? flex stem that makes the tube easy to position. The Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB Heat Lighting Kit also includes a glass terrarium that will give your animal a secure and comfortable home.

4. Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp

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Pros:

  • Available in both a 5.0 and 10.0 watt version
  • Should easily meet the UVB needs for today’s pet turtles
  • Can be used for a variety of reptiles and small animals
  • 1-bulb or 4-bulb configurations
  • Durable design

Cons:

  • Very small amount of UVB available at 5.0 watts
  • Some have reported weak light strength for the 5.0 watt
  • Somewhat large size
  • Only available in pet stores, not online

For over 45 years, Zoo Med has been a leader in researching and manufacturing products for reptiles. The new ReptiSun UVB Compact Fluorescent Lights were designed in collaboration with scientists for reptile and amphibian health.

The UVB Compact Fluorescent uses advanced T-5 technology. It generates UVA and UVB lighting which is beneficial for increasing the calcium absorption in your pet and encouraging natural behaviors such as breeding and basking.

It has been designed to fit easily in your tank, either hung directly onto the front or side using the supplied mounting hardware. You can also use a T8 to T12 bulb extender, if needed, to get it up out of the water more.

5. TEKIZOO UVA UVB Sun Lamp High Intensity Self-Ballasted Heat Basking Mercury Vapor Lamp/Light/Bulb

Our rating: 8 / 10

TEKIZOO UVA UVB Sun Lamp High Intensity Self-Ballasted Heat Basking Mercury Vapor Lamp/Light/Bulb

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Pros:

  • Extremely affordable UVB choice for reptile and amphibian care
  • Versatile; can be used for both UVA and UVB activities
  • Compact design fits into most terrariums
  • Has a built-in digital timer

Cons:

  • Several reports of product not working correctly at all times
  • Complaints of poor customer service

The Tekizo UV lamp provides your reptiles or amphibians with a heat source that will help them bask in addition to getting the proper amount of UV rays they need each day. The bulb has a double reflector which allows the UV rays to be distributed evenly.

It has an average of 9.7 UVA and UVB ratings and will help your reptiles and amphibians maintain normal skin cell function. It will also assist with reproductive activity.

This bulb is made with Mercury vapor technology. While several reptiles and amphibians need ultraviolet light to live, not all lamp brands are suitable for your pet. The mercury contained in the bulb can be dangerous to your pets if it breaks. The bulb has a glass housing and a UV reflector, which decreases the light intensity, but it doesn’t affect the light spectrum.

6. Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp

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Pros:

  • Uses less energy than conventional aquarium lights
  • Matte black finish will blend into the backdrop of most rooms
  • Includes an in-built reflector to provide extra UVB radiation
  • Ideal for turtles, amphibians and all nocturnal animals

Cons:

  • Not all fluorescent lights provide equal light for plants
  • Fluorescent lights must be replaced every six months
  • Only provides UVB radiation

When we talk about a fluorescent light for plants we believe that the Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp is probably one of the best lights for your herps.

It provides a wide white light that covers the complete terrarium. Its lines and curves are attractive to the eye as well as the fluorescent bulb.

The lamp has an easy to attach clip, giving you a quick and easy way to mount the lamp. It can be attached to trees, terrestrial aquarium backgrounds or placed into substrate.

7. Zoo Med OS36 T8 ReptiSun UVB 10.0 HO Light

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoo Med OS36 T8 ReptiSun UVB 10.0 HO Light

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Pros:

  • Great for T8 fluorescent light systems in 36-inch tubes
  • Highest UVB output
  • Slim design for easy, out-of-the-way installation
  • Can be used with fluorescent T8 bulbs
  • Energy efficient

Zoo Med has been in the pet supply industry for a very long time, and that has given them great experience and the ability to create products they know will work well and help care for your reptile.

The Zoo Med OS36 T8 ReptiSun UVB 10.0 HO Light Fixture is one of the top UV bulbs on the market. This particular light bulb features a built-in ultraviolet bulb which allows reptiles to absorb UVB rays, which are essential to their health. The light also produces visible basking light making it a great day and night light that your pets need.

This light is designed to fit most T8 fluorescent fixtures helping you easily replace your current lighting. It is also labeled for 5.0 UVB as well as 10.0 UVB. The long life of these lights is similar to the 10,000+ hours of a typical daylight fluorescent bulb. These lights are easy to use and install in your existing fixtures.

8. Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Fluorescent Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Fluorescent Lamp

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Pros:

  • Long life
  • Compact design
  • Good price

The Reptisun 10.0 Uvb Fluorescent Lamp for Reptiles and Amphibians has been tested by independent labs and has been found to exceed FDA requirements for UV output and transmission.

This lamp also emits almost no heat, which is good news for turtles that do not like warm environments. The manufacturer has tried to make it easy for you to use your lamp by including adapters for use with a variety of fixtures.

The Reptisun 10.0 has a built in ballast which allows you to easily install it in a variety of fixtures, including fixtures that you have purchased separately.

9. Exo Terra Repti-Glo 10.0 Compact Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Exo Terra Repti-Glo 10.0 Compact Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp

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Pros:

  • Provides UV and heat for Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, and other desert-dwelling reptiles
  • It is a compact light fixture that won’t take up too much space
  • It works in most aquariums or terrariums

Cons:

  • You will have to set it up slightly farther away from the top of the tank than you would with most aquarium fixtures
  • Do not use this light with fish

A good reptile UVB lamp will help keep your pet’s skin and dietary needs in balance. We recommend this one because it is easy to install and use.

It operates on standard household current (120 volts) and can operate for up to 20 hours on three double-A batteries (not included).

This is a perfect light for Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius), and many other desert-dwelling reptiles.

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

Our rating: 7 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • The bulb produces a very intense and potent UVA and UVB rays
  • Hot incandescent bulb
  • Total coverage of the tank
  • One of the most efficient lights
  • Ideal for various animals including reptiles, amphibians, and tortoises

The Evergreen compatible bulb is one of the most potent on the market in terms of UVB and UVA lights. It produces total and complete coverage for your tank and it should be replaced once or twice per year.

When you invest in a good bulb for your light system you will not only get your money’s worth, but you will also see the difference in your pets new levels of health and vitality.

11. Zoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp

Our rating: 5 / 10

Zoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp

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Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Low wattage
  • Improves health and shell condition
  • Good size and dimension

Cons:

  • The lamps hum when on
  • The lamp is a bit fragile

This lamp is capable of providing ultraviolet radiation to your turtle or tortoise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers heat protection

This lamp is capable of providing ultraviolet radiation to your turtle or tortoise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers heat protection and lasts for up to 12 months.

The Zoo Med Powersun long-life UV bulb features a black coating that blocks out unwanted light from other bulbs and prevents discoloration of your turtle’s skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best light for turtles?

Turtles need exposure to UVB light in order to bask – they need to get up to bask and bask to get up. In the wild, they bask in the sun to warm up, or they’ll bask in the backsplash of a waterfall to cool down. Turtles don’t have eyelids, so it is up to you to “force” them to bask by providing the right conditions for them.

Turtles bask to help them digest their food and to stimulate their appetite. You’ll often see wild turtles reach up and bask as well as bask on logs that are facing the sun.

Providing an artificial source of UVB sun light to your turtle is the best way to ensure they get enough sunlight; just as it is the best way to help them meet their calcium requirements.

How many watts should a turtle light be?

The wattage of the light is going to vary, depending on the type of turtles that are going to be using it. However, if you have a turtle that is 7 inches (17.78cm) or longer, you will never want to use less than 150 watts if you can possibly go higher. If your turtle is 6 inches or smaller, you shouldn’t even consider going with less than 75 watts.

Another important thing to know is that this is only going to be a recommendation. You are going to need a more accurate answer, and that is something you are going to get once you have the turtle. And, you are likely going to need to get a light that goes higher than 150 watts if you have a box turtle.

Can a turtle get too much UVB?

Yes, a turtle can certainly get too much UVB. Just the same as humans can get sunburned if they soak up too much sunlight, turtles can get a painful burn on their shells by soaking up too much UVB.

That said, you do not want to block all the UVB from your turtle. UVB is essential to a turtle’s health. Those that are deficient in UVB will find it far more difficult to get the proper calcium levels in their bodies and growing babies or a turtle that does not have a proper diet may have bones that are brittle and weak.

If your turtle hangs out in the water, you can generally put less emphasis on UVB since they will also spend some time in the water and soaking up some UV there.

How far away should UVB light be from Turtle?

For most pet turtles, the best distance between light and turtle is two to six inches (5-15 cm).

Be aware that larger turtles and Tortoises need larger UVB light fixtures as they require more energy to stay healthy. You don't want the light to be too hot or too close. The appropriate distance is two to six inches (5-15 cm), this should be applied for X-small turtles too.

Also, note that not all UVB lights have the same strength, meaning that not all UVB lights will provide the same amount of UVB. When looking for a UVB light, keep in mind that the amount of UVB that reaches the turtle also depends on the distance between the light and the turtle. Be sure to get a UVB light that is very strong, at least 5% UVB at a distance of two inches (5 cm) and 10-12% UVB at six inches (15 cm).

Conclusion

Admittedly, there are many ways of keeping your turtle healthy, but by far the easiest is to make sure the turtle tank has the right UVB light. You’re essentially doing UVB supplementation for your turtle by providing its natural light.

This is something a lot of reptiles need to stay healthy. So, to help you sort through the available UVB lights and figure out which is right for your turtle, we’ve put together a guide to the best UVB light for turtles. And, we’ve also included our recommendations for the best lights, setting, and time.

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
Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent LampBudget PickZoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp
Zoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB LampUpgrade PickZoo Med Powersun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp