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4 Simple Steps on How to Mount UVB Light for Reptile Tanks

Finished prepping your dragon but hitting a snag on how to mount a UVB light in a tank?

A UVB bulb is a must-have in your reptile’s tank for maintaining its overall health, but mounting it the right way makes all the difference.

If this is your first time setting up a tank for your little pet, it’s best to learn how to mount UVB lighting before you get to work. 

Here’s a reptile lighting setup guide that walks you through all the steps required to mount UVB light inside the tank. 

READ MORE: Do Bearded Dragons Need Light at Night?

Step-by-Step Guide to Mounting UVB Light in the Tank

The steps for mounting a UVB light in your beardie’s tank are pretty simple. Let’s check them out, then we’ll talk tips and other considerations on this bearded dragon lighting guide.

Supplies Need for Proper Lighting Set Up

reptile tank with uvb light

4 Steps on How to Set the Light in Your Reptile Enclosure

  1. Using gloves, remove the protective covering that comes with the bulb and uncover the fixture. 
  2. Next, fix the bulb in the fixture and rotate it slightly until you hear a click sound which indicates the bulb has set into place. When shopping for supplies for a good reptile lighting setup [1], make sure to buy a Light Fixtures the same size as the bulb for proper fit. Loose watt bulbs are likely to move from their place and may fall, causing damage to your reptile’s life.
  3. Later, find the best spot inside the tank to mount the UVB light bulb, which should be out of the reach of the reptile. It is best to set the light bulbs on top of the screen for the reptile to receive adequate light. 
  4. Now, you can secure the fixture using the three methods mentioned below.

Here is a video to help you:

For Placement Using Velcro Strips

If you’re using velcro strips, cut it into two halves and stick to the back of the fixture. Now, put the other part of the velcro strip on the bottom inside of the tank and gently press the fixture against the velcro. 

For strong attachment, you can also use double-sided tapes, stick on the velcro, and press firmly. 

For Placement Using Zip Ties

If you’re using a heavy-duty zip tie, place it across the fixture inside the tank and tighten the lock to secure the bulb. Make sure that you’ve closed the lock properly, as loose bulbs can move from their place, which you don’t want to happen. 

For Placement Using Command Hooks

Out of all 3, Command hooks are competitively easy to use, cheap, and used for various purposes in a reptile tank lighting setup

  • Take out the hooks from the package and stick them on the adjacent sides of the screen. Make sure to keep the distance between the two hooks the same as the size of the fixture so you don’t face any trouble later. 
  • Now, take the fixture with the bulb side and carefully place it on the hooks. Be gentle with the bulb and make sure it’s fully secure in the fixture.
  • Once done, turn on the light to have a final look at the reptile lighting setup
  1. Lastly, mark the center of the screen to make a small hole from where you’ll put the cord inside the tank. 
  2. Once everything is in place, cover the tank with the lid and turn on the light to check if you’ve mounted the UVB light in the tank properly. 

Also Check: Bearded Dragon Too Many UVB Symptoms

Differences Between UVA and UVB Light

Reptiles require different types of light to thrive, and the two most common are UVA and UVB light. Let’s find the difference between the two.

Short wavelengths allow UVA rays to penetrate deep into the skin, burning off extra fat.

Compared to UVB rays, they carry more energy and can cause tumors in the skin, resulting in different types of skin cancer. Since UVA rays make up 95% of UV radiation, you can easily obtain them through various sources [2]. 

In contrast, UVB wavelengths can only penetrate the epidermis, helping in the absorption of calcium and vitamin D3 from the diet. 

Without UVB light, reptiles such as bearded dragons, crocodiles, and turtles cannot survive more than two days. It is because their bones start to deteriorate because of not slow production of calcium.

Below is a great video explanation:

READ MORE: Best UVB Light For Bearded Dragon

FAQs

How far away should a UVB light be?

Based on the intensity of light of the UVB you choose, at least keep a distance of 10-12 inches from the basking spot. This is the ideal distance to place the light not too far or near the reptile, which kills the purpose of using UVB light for reptiles. 

How often should I replace UVB bulbs?

As a good rule of thumb, replace UVB bulbs every 6-7 months as older bulbs lose their efficiency and fail to provide the required temperature in the tank. However, you can easily identify dull UVB bulls by their violet shade which calls for a replacement. 

How many hours should I run my light?

Depending on your reptile light requirements, run the UVB light bulb for an average period of 10-12 hours. During this time, the body can synthesize vitamin 3, metabolize calcium, and naturally improve bone density. 

Can you put UVB on the glass?

Although you can put a UVB bulb outside of the glass tank, it won’t have any effect as laminated surfaces block 50% of UVB light rays. However, you can still consider fused silica and quartz glass for your reptile tank lighting setup because of their good transmission behavior for UV rays. 

How many watts should a UVB bulb be?

Generally speaking, it depends on the size of the cage and individual reptile light requirement, which differs from the other. Commonly, crocodiles, bearded dragons, lizards, and turtles can survive well in 13-15 watt UVB bulbs.

Conclusion

In this guide, we covered all three ways through which you can mount UVB light in the tank easily and safely. With the right configuration and planning, you can prepare a good reptile lighting setup in your pet’s tank for healthy growth. 

Resources:

  • 1. Instructables. Reptile Tank Heating and Lighting Guide [Internet]. Instructables. Instructables; 2008 [cited 2021 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.instructables.com/Reptile-tank-heating-and-lighting-guide/
  • 2. UV Radiation – The Skin Cancer Foundation [Internet]. The Skin Cancer Foundation. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.skincancer.org/risk-factors/uv-radiation/#:~:text=UVA%20is%20everywhere.,penetrate%20windows%20and%20cloud%20cover.
bearded dragon tank with uvb light with text

If you have more tips on how to mount UVB light in your bearded dragon’s tank, let us know in the comments below!

Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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