The best UVB bulb for a bearded dragon is actually relative.
But if you’re in the market and you’re a new beardie parent with no clue as to how you can pick yours, read along!
I consider myself an experienced reptile owner, and I’ll share with you the best UV bulbs I’ve encountered in the market.
This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
READ MORE: Best Devices For Heating a Bearded Dragon
Top UVB Bulbs For Bearded Dragons at a Glance
- Zoo Med Repti-Sun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Light: WINNER
- Zilla T8 UV Fluorescent Bulb: Best Budget-Friendly UV Bulb (Runner-Up)
- Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb: Best For All Reptile Types
- Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil: Best For Functionality
- LUCKY HERP 24-Inch T8 UVB Reptile Light: Best For Flexibility
Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!
6 Best UVB Bulbs for Bearded Dragons (Buying Guide)
As a bearded dragon parent, I used quite a few types and variants of UV bulbs in the market. There certainly are ones that work better and more efficiently than others.
By far, the following are what I consider the best and most effective in keeping the body temperature of my bearded dragon warm.
I consider Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun 10.0 UVB the winner because of many different features, which I’ll be discussing below. It’s a compact UV bulb perfect for creating basking and heating spots in the tank.
My beardie always got the warmth and heat it needed, all because of the quartz glass used in the setup. It offers deep penetration to the reptile’s skin without external variables.
It’s highly flexible, easy to set up, and offers remarkable heat to beardies.
Features of Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun 10.0 UV Fluorescent Light
Part of the primary features of Zoo Med Laboratories’ Repti-Sun 10.0 UVB is that it offers a standard amount of UVB at 10% and UVA at 30%.
The Repti-Sun 10.0 UV light is designed all directed towards function. You can attach and install it easily to your bearded dragon tank, and it can create the correct temperature gradient within it.
Here’s a video explaining the different features and benefits of Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun 10.0 UV Fluorescent Light:
This was my personal choice for my beardie due to its size, overall effect, and price. I never had a problem with it for months, until, of course, problems started to appear.
Zoo Med Repti-Sun 10.0 UV Fluorescent Light Size
The light is 18.2 x 1.2 x 1.1 inches and weighs in at 3.2 ounces. It’s a lightweight product, making it easily portable and transferrable.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun 10.0 UV Fluorescent Light
|It can be used for both indoor and outdoor usage.||Several users reported it to last shorter than expected.|
|Flexible and can fit a wide size range of reptile tanks and terrariums.||It’s so lightweight that it breaks easily.|
|Offers accurate amounts of UVA (30%) and UVB (10%).|
|It utilizes less energy, and “flicker” is eliminated.|
Why Choose Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun 10.0 UV Fluorescent Light?
The pros outweigh the cons, and due to this, it’s truly an impeccable product. It found it easy to set up and establish, adding that it offered excellent levels of heat and warmth.
It’s cheap, affordable, flexible, and can be used by many different types and species of reptiles and amphibians.
If you haven’t found the quality of UV bulbs you’re looking for, try Zoo Med’s Repti-Sun out, and you’ll see the difference.
- 10% UVB
- 30% UVA
- prevent or reverse metabolic bone disease
- Optimal for use with larger terrariums
2) Zilla T8 UV Fluorescent Bulb: Best Budget-Friendly UV Bulb (Runner-Up)
Out of all the different UV bulbs I’ve used, I consider Zilla’s T8 UV fluorescent lights the best if you’re on a budget. The bulb is cheap, but you’ll never be disappointed with its quality.
It has a full range of enhanced spectrum lighting and is ideal for creating the desert-like, natural habitat of your bearded dragons.
Here’s a quick review of the Zilla T8 fluorescent bulb:
You can choose from the different wattages available so that they perfectly fit the size of your bearded dragon tank setup.
Features of the Zilla T8 UV Fluorescent Bulb
One of the primary features of the Zilla T8 fluorescent bulb is its flexibility. You can use it for whatever reptile or desert species you may have in captivity.
It offers the right amount of UV output needed to keep your dragon healthy. For its price, you will never be disappointed with the quality.
I regard Zilla T8’s UV fluorescent bulb as the runner-up mainly due to its price. If you look elsewhere, you won’t find another UV bulb that offers the same features in this price range.
It’s a perfect beginner-level UV bulb to use to set up a warm, consistent temperature within your terrarium.
Zilla T8 Fluorescent UVB Bulbs Sizes
You can purchase different-sized Zilla T8 UV fluorescent UVB bulbs, but the most common size would be 2 x 19.9 x 1.4 inches and weighs 3.2 ounces.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using the Zilla T8 UV Fluorescent Bulb
|It offers a desert environment (desert UVB) to the bearded dragon tank.||The bulb has burned out swiftly and easily.|
|It’s only at 15 watts, making it safe even for long periods of time.||The flickering of the bulb was common across many users.|
|It can enhance the natural color of your bearded dragon.||The lighting is “too dim” to be a reptile bulb.|
|The replacement recommendation is 12 months (1 year).|
|It’s cheap and extremely affordable.|
Why Choose the Zilla T8 UV Fluorescent Bulb?
Zilla’s T8 UV fluorescent bulbs are going to be your best choice if you’re on a budget but still want a quality UV bulb.
The product is simple and easy to understand, and it gives you the guarantee that it has a full range of natural colors, perfect for the desert-like environment your bearded dragon needs.
- Provides UVB light rays which are required for many reptiles to metabolize essential calcium
- Full spectrum lighting enhances natural colors of the animal and environment
- Replace every 12 months to ensure proper UVB levels
- Recommended for use with Zilla T8 Strip Light Fixture
- Desert 50 T8 bulb is ideal for desert dwelling reptiles that require UVB/UVA lighting
3) Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb: Best For All Reptile Types
If you’re looking for a UV light applicable to all different types and kinds of reptiles, I recommend the Mega-Ray mercury vapor bulb.
A mercury-vapor lamp, in itself, is an effective and efficient source of heat because it also offers UVB light at the same time . It’s capable of heating a large space or area without too much effort.
What I liked about Mega-Ray’s mercury vapor bulb is that the basking distance does not need to be too near your pet reptile.
As a bearded dragon owner, I loved that I could toggle the distance of the bulb for different purposes!
Features of Mega-Ray’s Mercury Vapor Bulb
Mega-Ray’s Mercury Vapor Bulb is made purposely for reptiles already makes it a good product.
Add the fact that it has a decent UVA and UVB intensity, and it’s really a solution for the warmth that your dragon needs.
The UVA/UVB/Basking combination of the mercury vapor bulb is also one of the things I liked the most about it.
Mega-Ray’s Mercury Vapor Bulb Size
The Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb is 7.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches and is about 8 ounces heavy. It’s a bit more than the typical weight of UV bulbs, but this is because of its mercury content.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using Mega-Ray’s Mercury Vapor Bulb
|You’ll never be short of support and assistance.||It has been reported to have a constant buzzing sound while turned on.|
|Easy-to-install and set up.||It needs to be unplugged to make the product last longer.|
|It comes with a guide on how you can use it best.||It couldn’t be used with rheostats and dimmers.|
|It’s exclusively for the use of reptile heating/warming.|
|It’s enough to provide the vitamin D needed by reptiles and amphibians.|
Why Choose Mega-Ray’s Mercury Vapor Bulb?
Mega-Ray’s mercury vapor bulb is perfect if you have more than one (1) type of reptile under captivity.
I recommend this for all reptile lovers out there because you can change up the light’s effects by toggling its distance from your tank/terrarium.
It’s safe, and it can provide the heat, UV rays, visible light, and warmth for the body temperature needed by your bearded dragons.
- Self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb.
- For 10 years, it has been shown to have the longest lasting UVB production of any other mercury vapor bulbs available.
- Promotes the synthesis of Vitamin D3 and prevents metabolic bone disease.
- Produces similar amounts of UVB to natural sunlight.
- 160 Watt Bulb - MINIMUM distance setting of 18" will produce approximately 150-200 microwatts per square centimeter (uW/cm2) of UVB and 900-1200uW/cm2 of UVA. MAXIMUM distance setting of 24" will produce 50-75 microwatts per square centimeter (uW/cm2) of UVB. (Distance is measured from lamp face to basking spot or reptile for optimum UVB and heat.)
4) Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil: Best For Functionality
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose and multifunctional light for your glass tank, Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Bulb is the best for it.
While this particular UV bulb is not necessarily big in size, it’s a good type of basking light for bearded dragons to bathe in warmth and lightness.
Features of Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil
I consider it the best for its functionality because of its many key features –its 6” heavy-duty and durable cord among others.
You can also purchase it together with an aluminum ceramic socket, polished in perfection to emit the much-needed UVA and UVB rays that your bearded dragons need.
Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Bulb comes with a great support system, allowing it to be functional in many different types of situations.
Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Bulb Size
Sized at 6.4 x 3.2 x 7.2 inches in size, weighing at 9.98 ounces, your bearded dragon will definitely be able to achieve the calcium levels it needs.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil
|It has been proven to provide a consistent temperature with a natural environmental temperature gradient.||The bulb didn’t emit the heat that it promised.|
|It can emit and produce necessary UVB levels without it being too hot.||Some users reported not getting UVA –they only got UVB out of the bulbs.|
|It can be used with all different reptile and desert species.|
|It is self-ballasted and compact, making it safer to use.|
|It has an excellent ratio of UVB to UVA.|
Why Choose Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil?
For full functionality with quite a few different features, going with Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil would be what I would best recommend.
Not only does it provide good-quality lighting to your vivarium, but it can also emit the heat and the UVB rays that your pet reptile needs for its bone development and immune system boost.
Many of you might think that it becomes too hot after some time, but it does not!
Based on my experience, the product can emit the necessary heat to the area without causing the bulb to heat up to the touch.
- 2 5.0-UVB Sun Glow Coil Bulbs for reptiles
- Provides essential lighting for live plants in a vivarium
- Emits significant quanities of UVB without excessive heat
- Ideal for diurnal reptiles, especially chameleons, bearded dragons, and iguanas
- Stimulates the natural synthesis of vitamin D in herptiles, which can decrease the likelihood of metabolic bone disease
5) LUCKY HERP 24-Inch T8 UVB Reptile Light: Best For Flexibility
LUCKY HERP’s overall style is what made me choose it as the best UV bulb for flexibility and pliability. You can use this to stimulate visible light, helping your beardie with all it needs for warmth.
I knew that Fluker’s would be the one I’ll consider as the best and most flexible is because of how it’s handled. Before production, they’re assessed multiple times; all rejects go back to testing.
Furthermore, it was rated to last up to 10,000 hours, making it flexible and durable.
Features of LUCKY HERP’s 24-Inch T8 UV Reptile Light
One of the most notable features that LUCKY HERP’s T8 UV reptile light is its design and structure. The product has been designed to be safe even after breakage and damage.
It would not shatter like how the material of regular bulbs would.
It’s a good product that can offer necessary UVB rays offering a sufficient amount of calcium absorption for the metabolism of your beardie.
LUCKY HERP’s 24-Inch T8 UV Reptile Light Size
The product is flexible as you can purchase it in many different sizes you want. You can purchase a 15-inch (14W), 18-inch (15W), 24-inch (18W), 36-inch (30W), even a 48-inch (36W) (for larger enclosures).
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using LUCKY HERP’s 24-Inch T8 UV Reptile Light
|It doesn’t emit harmful UVC output.||The light is very dim, and it’s nearing the hint of “blue.”|
|It has a more natural light to it compared to other products.||Cheap but not long-lasting.|
|It’s lightweight and easy to install.|
|It has proven to stimulate the appetite and digestion of reptiles.|
Why Choose LUCKY HERP’s 24-Inch T8 UV Reptile Light?
You can never go wrong in choosing LUCKY HERP’s T8 UV reptile light if you’re looking for flexibility, versatility, and overall quality.
It can produce light that’s the nearest and closest resemblance to sunlight, ensuring that your beardie gets the vitamin D it needs.
Thanks to the stability of its UV output, you can be given the guarantee or assurance that your beardie’s skin wouldn’t burn or overheat.
- 🦎Simulate Sunlight - LUCKY HERP reptile uvb light helps to increase appetite, promote natural activities and induce reproductive behavior. It can also help vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium absorption to prevent bone disease.
- 🦎Use Range - Reptile uvb 10.0 bulb, ideal for all desert dwelling reptiles, such as bearded dragon, tortoise and other lizards.
- 🦎UVB UVA Stable Output - Our uvb reptile lamp has stable UVB (10%) and UVA output, no harmful UVC output, will not harm the eyes of reptiles, and will not burn the skin. Let your pet grow up healthily.
- 🦎High Quality - Our uvb reptile light is tested 4 times before leaving the factory to ensure the pass rate of the lamp. It rated for up to 10000 hours, easy to install.
- 🦎Quality After-Sales Service - We provide 1 month of quality assurance service. If you have any questions, please contact us at any time, and we will handle it for you immediately. Timely communication can solve your problem.
6) MCLANZOO 75W Reptile Heat Lamp: Best Professional and Complex UV Bulb
Known for their reptile terrariums, MCLANZOO is also a brand you can trust if you need UV bulbs. Their T5HO UVB standard light bulb is good if you’re looking for complexity.
It is a bulb that packs impeccable features and can allow calcium absorption to happen naturally.
At first, I had no idea what this bulb has that makes it good-quality. As my experience grew and flowed through, I knew how special it was.
Features of MCLANZOO’s 75W Reptile Heat Lamp
The primary feature of MCLANZOO’s UVB standard light is that it offers great complexity for usage. It’s equipped with high-output ballast and a silver reflector, promising consistent temperature within the tank.
Moreover, it is, overall, a superior-quality UVB bulb that’s perfect for professional types of maintenance and care for reptiles in captivity.
MCLANZOO’s 75W Reptile Heat Lamp Size
The size of MCLANZOO’s 75W Reptile Heat Lamp is 3.35 inches x 3.35 inches x 4.53 inches and weighs about 6.7 ounces.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Using MCLANZOO’s 75W Reptile Heat Lamp
|It’s complex as it can be used for reptiles, amphibians, and even poultry.||The bulb blows out easily if you don’t use and set it up properly.|
|The product is simple and easy to install and set up.||The surrounding area of the bulb heats up pretty easily.|
|It’s proven to have lasted for about 1,000 hours.|
|It helps with the color deposition of your pet reptile.|
|It’s compatible and eligible with most screw sockets.|
Why Choose MCLANZOO’s UVB Standard Light?
If you consider yourself an expert or a professional and you’re looking for a UV bulb that functions all-around, MCLANZOO’s UVB standard light is the one for you.
The material is fragile and made with intricate materials, assuring you that heat, warmth, and light would never pose problems.
The bulb has been designed even to help with the coloration and digestion of your pet reptile. It’s perfect for experts and professionals looking for more than just UVB light.
In varying categories, these six (6) UV bulbs are what I consider my best picks for my beardies.
They all have their own special features that make them unique and advantageous, and it’ll be up to you what you’ll choose for your beardie.
- High Heat Efficiency: The reptile heat lamp bulb will warm reptiles very efficiently and will also increase the ambient air temperature in the terrarium
- Improve Reptile Appetite: This UVA basking lamp bulb can simulate UVA UV light, promotes reptile appetite and body color deposition, helps digest food, and enhances vitality
- Heat Lamp for Reptiles Voltage: AC 120V; Power: 75W/100W; Material: Glass, Metal; last up to 1000 hours
- Easy To Install: The heat lamp bulb for Reptiles is simple and easy to install, just screw it into a standard E26/E27 screw socket
- Quality Service: We promise a 30-day quality guarantee. If the product has not been used for over 30 days, please contact me by email and we will replace it for you free of charge
READ MORE: How to Mount UVB Light in Tank
What to Look For in UV Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
In choosing the best-bearded dragon UV bulbs for your situation, you need to consider the type of lighting, fixture requirement, and temperature emitted.
Knowing the Type of Lighting
You can choose a few different light types from fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs, etc. These three (3) are just the most common.
EXPERT NOTE: Their difference does not contribute to their strengths. All lightings have their specs and features, so be sure to check your chosen UV bulb’s features.
Understanding Fixture Compatibility
Most UV bulbs would not have a fixture included, and understanding its compatibility is important, too. You need to know whether the bulb will fit your fixture because it’ll be useless if not.
Double-check the bulb’s fixture compatibility, so you don’t waste your money in purchasing a bulb (or a fixture, in this case), and you wouldn’t be able to use it.
Knowing the Running Temp/Temperature Emitted
Lastly, you want to know the intensity of heat emitted by the bulb. This way, you’ll know whether the bulb is doing its job of heating the tank properly.
It’s also important so that you’ll become aware of whether the heat could burn or damage your bearded dragon’s skin.
These three (3) tips are responsible for my knowledge of bearded dragons now.
Sure, there are others, but by far, I consider these three (3) as the best and most important factors in choosing the best UV bulb for your bearded dragon.
UVA vs. UVB vs. UVC: Which One is Better For Beardies?
Before going to the products, let us first clarify the best option out of these three (3).
UVA and UVB are both ultraviolet radiations. The difference between them lies in the wavelength. UVA has the longest wavelength, UVB has a medium wavelength, and UVC has the shortest.
Beardies need both UVA and UVB lights because they get both in the wild. You don’t need to worry about UVA lights because they’re easily available.
UVC lights aren’t required since they’re not used to getting this type of radiation.
On the other hand, UVB lights require a special type of bulb. UVB bulbs can emit UVA lights –but it doesn’t work the other way around.
Also Check: How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without UVB?
FAQs on the Best UVB Bulb For Bearded Dragon
Should you find it a bit more confusing, here are some of the most asked questions about choosing the best UV bulb for your reptile friend.
Is Too Much UVB Bad For Bearded Dragons?
Yes, too much UVB can be bad for bearded dragons. By having too much UVB, your pet reptile may develop photo-kerato-conjunctivitis, hyperkeratosis, and even several deficiencies .
How Do You Know If There’s Too Much UVB?
The following are the most common signs that your beardie has been exposed to a great intensity of UVB:
Swollen eyes (closing or squinting eyes)
Darkening and/or thickening skin
What’s the Difference Between 5.0 UVB and 10.0 UVB?
It’s obvious from the terms alone. 5.0 UVB are the lights that emit 5% ultraviolet intensity, which means less penetration. 10.0 UVB, on the other hand, gives 10% intensity with faster and better penetration.
Is UVA or Better For Bearded Dragons?
Both ultraviolet rays are good for bearded dragons. UVA has longer wavelengths, which allows the bulb to be set far from the tank.
UVB has a medium-ranged, shorter wavelength, requiring it to be positioned near or close to the tank.
So, what is the best UVB bulb for your bearded dragon? I’ve categorized the items on this list quite well, so you shouldn’t have any problem choosing.
As a bearded dragon expert, I consider these to be the best for your bearded dragon by basing it on the features, price, and functionalities.
- 1. Available from: https://reptileuvinfo.com/docs/ultraviolet-light-and-reptiles-amphibians.pdf
- 2. Available from: https://bioone.org/journals/Journal-of-Zoo-and-Wildlife-Medicine/volume-40/issue-4/2009-0007.1/Photodermatitis-and-Photokeratoconjunctivitis-in-a-Ball-Python-Python-regius-and/10.1638/2009-0007.1.short
For you, what is the best UVB bulb for bearded dragons? Let us know below!
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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