The Best UVB Bulbs for Bearded Dragons’s Health and Comfort

Updated: September 26, 2021 by Jennifer Munsell

Choosing the proper UVB light for your bearded dragon’s tank is of vital importance, and it is also unfortunately one of the most common things many beginner reptile owners fail to do. There are many things you’ll need to set up your beardie’s tank, but nothing is as important as finding the best UVB light for a bearded dragon.

Essentially, a UVB light is a special UV spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight, and bearded dragons can’t survive without it. Yes, you read that correctly! Without a proper UVB light, your pet reptile won’t be able to produce vitamin D, and its body won’t be able to absorb and use calcium. With no calcium, your beardie will develop metabolic bone disease, suffer from other bone and growth problems, and might even die if these issues are left unaddressed.

Luckily, all of these horrible things are easily preventable with a proper UVB light. However, with so many different options out there, finding the best one might seem impossible, especially if you don’t know what to look for. But that’s where I come in!

In this article, I’ll review the top five UVB lights for bearded dragons on the market and help you decide which one is ideal for your pet and their tank. Keep on reading to find out!

TOP PICK
If you are looking for an easy-to-mount and affordable fluorescent UVB bulb for a bearded dragon, then I recommend the Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb. Ideal for beginner keepers and budget-conscious owners, this fluorescent bulb will provide adequate levels of UVB light to your beardie. This UVB light needs to be replaced every 12 months and is best used with Zilla T8 Strip Light Fixture.

Here Are the Best UVB Light Bulbs for Bearded Dragons

Whether you are looking for the best bearded dragon UVB light or an all-in-one light and heat lamp, you are in the right place! Listed below, you will find in-depth reviews of the best UVB lights for bearded dragons.

1.  Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb — Best UVB Bulb

Zilla T8 Fluorescent Bulbs Desert Series 50, 15 Watts

The Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb is a 15-watt linear light bulb that has to be paired with an appropriate fixture in order to work. Affordable and easy to set up, this fluorescent UVB bulb for a bearded dragon is a great option, especially for smaller enclosures.

Key Features

  • Fits most major fluorescent fixture types
  • Provides full-spectrum lightning
  • Designed for 8,000 hours of use

This long-style UVB light is a great choice if you don’t want a compact bulb, or have a juvenile bearded dragon living in a smaller tank. Designed to provide full-spectrum lighting, this bulb enhances the natural colors of your bearded dragon and their habitat.

If you are looking for a long-lasting UVB for a bearded dragon, this bulb is a perfect choice! According to Zilla, you’ll only need to replace this bulb once every 12 months to ensure that your beardie is getting proper UVB levels.

If your beardie didn’t receive proper levels of UVB lighting before, you can expect them to become more active and interested in their environment after you set up this bulb. Keep in mind  you’ll still need to get a heat lamp, since the Zilla Fluorescent Bulb is designed to only provide UVB light.

Pros:

  • Can last for up to 12 months of continuous use
  • Easy to set up and convenient for smaller enclosures
  • Designed to provide adequate levels of UVB light to bearded dragons
  • Gives off full spectrum lighting and enhances colors within the enclosure

Cons:

  • If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to buy a fixture to house this bulb separately

Overall, the Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable and reliable UVB light for your bearded dragon.

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2. Lucky Herp UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0

LUCKY HERP UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0, Desert UVB 150 Compact Fluorescent Lamp 23W

Designed to fit any standard E26 US lamp socket, the Lucky Herp UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0 is durable and made from high-quality glass. This light emits both UVA and UVB light and doesn’t have any harmful UVC output to worry about.

Key Features

  • Delivers 10% UVB and 30% UVA output
  • Lasts up to 8,000 hours of continuous use
  • Produces stable UVB output and has a low fading rate

Made to last up to 8,000 hours of continuous use, this bulb provides a constant 10% UVB and 30% UVA output. This allows you to cover both heat and UVB with a single light and ensure that your beardie is receiving everything they need to stay healthy.

Another great thing about this reptile light is you can use it with a lot of different tank setups without worrying about whether it’s going to work or not. This UVB light is also available in several different options that are 15 watts and deliver 5% UVB, though we recommend at least a 10% output for a bearded dragon.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t need a specific socket and can be used for different enclosures
  • A long-lasting and reliable source of UVB and UVA light
  • Doesn’t produce harmful ultraviolet light
  • Can last up to a year without needing a replacement

Cons:

  • A few owners reported that this bulb was too long for their fixtures, so make sure to check the dimensions before ordering

All in all, the Lucky Herp UVA UVB Reptile Light 10.0 is a great UVB for a bearded dragon and a good choice if you have standard lamp sockets.

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3. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb 

Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb - 100 Watts (120V)

If you are looking for an all-in-one bulb for your bearded dragon, check out the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb. This special tank lamp provides 100 watts of UVB and is one of the most powerful and efficient lights you can get for a full-grown bearded dragon.

Key Features

  • Self-ballasted
  • Provides UVB, UVA, and heat
  • Made from metal and glass

This special mercury vapor bulb is an excellent source of heat for a basking spot and also provides UVB light when set up properly. To take advantage of everything this bulb has to offer to your pet reptile, make sure to place it properly so that specific distances can be maintained.

This self-ballasted light is super convenient to use and has built-in safety features that protect you and your bearded dragon from burns. As long as you follow the instructions and set it up at the correct distance, you’ll be very pleased with everything this small bulb does for your pet reptile.

Pros:

  • Produces similar amounts of UVB to natural sunlight
  • Can be used as all-in-one light and emits heat, UVA, and UVB
  • Uses little power and can last up to 18 months
  • Available as a 100 watt and 160-watt bulb

Cons:

  • A few owners noted that the bulb doesn’t have the warm tone they hoped for

Overall, the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb is the best light for bearded dragons if you are looking for an all-in-one bulb that will emit heat and UVB light.

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4. Evergreen Pet Supplies UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb 

100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb / Light / Lamp for Reptile and Amphibian Use - Excellent Source of Heat and Light for UV and Basking - by Evergreen Pet Supplies

The Evergreen Pet Supplies UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is compatible with many different types of bearded dragon tanks. Being an all-in-one bulb, it produces UVA, UVB, and heat that your bearded dragon needs without emitting harmful ultraviolet lights.

Key Features

  • 100 watts
  • Fits standard size light sockets
  • Completely self-ballasted

The thing I like the most about this bulb is that it provides everything a bearded dragon needs to stay healthy. It’s a powerful source of UVB and UVA, but it also provides heat and will help ensure your beardie has a nice and warm basking space.

The fact that Evergreen tests each bulb for quality and lifespan before they are shipped is another thing I like about this UVB light. With such rigorous control, you can rest assured that the light won’t flicker and die a month after you’ve set it up in your beardie’s tank.

Pros:

  • Can be used in many different types of tanks and enclosures
  • Each bulb is checked and tested in-house through a three-step process
  • A powerful and reliable source of heat, UVA, and UVB
  • Best used with a large dome designed for strong bulbs

Cons:

  • This bulb gives off a bright white light instead of a more warm and pleasant yellowish glow

All things considered, the Evergreen Pet Supplies UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is a great all-in-one mercury vapor bulb that gives off UVB and heat.

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5. TEKIZOO UVA UVB Super Sun Reptile Lamp 

TEKIZOO UVA UVB Sun Lamp High Intensity Self-Ballasted Heat Basking Lamp/Light/Bulb for Reptile and Amphibian(125W)

The TEKIZOO UVA UVB Super Sun Reptile Lamp is an all-in-one light and heat lamp that can provide everything your bearded dragon needs to stay healthy. This ideal light for bearded dragons will emit heat, UVB, and UVA at ideal levels for your reptile pet.

Key Features

  • Compatible with all enclosures
  • 125 watts
  • Measuring 6.3 x 4.5 inches

With this bulb inside its tank, your bearded dragon will receive all the benefits of natural sunlight without ever taking a single step outside their enclosure. To take full advantage of everything this UVB light has to offer, don’t use it with a dimmer, thermostat, or rheostat.

To ensure the premium quality of each and every bulb, this manufacturer performs strict tests to ensure all lamps are in working order. This bulb works best with a good quality ceramic socket, and its compact design makes it suitable for many different bearded dragon setups.

Pros:

  • Provides heat, UVB, and UVA light at ideal levels for desert-dwelling reptiles
  • Features a compact design that is suitable for many different enclosures
  • Each bulb is tested before packaging to ensure quality
  • Easy to set up and perfect for ceramic sockets

Cons:

  • This bulb cannot be used with a dimmer
  • It can’t be mounted at an angle

Overall, the TEKIZOO UVA UVB Super Sun Reptile Lamp is a great all-in-one light and a heat lamp that emits ideal levels of heat, UVB, and UVA light a bearded dragon needs.

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best uvb light for bearded dragon

How to Choose the Best UVB Light for Bearded Dragons

There is a lot of information and many unique features to keep in mind when shopping for the best UVB light for your bearded dragon’s setup. Figuring out exactly what your beardie needs can be a real struggle especially if you are a first-time owner.

To make the entire process a bit easier, here are a few factors you’ll need to consider when looking for a reliable and safe UVB light.

Type of Bulb

There are several different types of UVB bulbs designed for bearded dragons, and all of them come with different features. Fluorescent bulbs are the most affordable and are mostly used for small and medium-sized bearded dragon setups. In most cases, a fluorescent tube will emit proper levels of UVB for six months and will then have to be replaced with a new bulb.

Mercury vapor bulbs, on the other hand, cost more, but also last longer and are more powerful. These bulbs also produce both light and heat and are more suitable for larger enclosures and tanks with adult bearded dragons.

Heating Ability

Besides needing UVB light to stay healthy, bearded dragons also need a heat source. Some UVB lights can also emit heat, but many lamp fixtures are made with separate spaces to house both a heat bulb and a UVB bulb.

Having both a heat source and a UVB light in one bulb is more convenient, but you should consider the distance between your bearded dragon and the bulb. You might need to get a thermometer and a UV monitor to check whether your beardie is getting optimal levels of heat and UVB.

Longevity

How long a UVB bulb will last depends on many factors, such as the type, how heavily they are used, and how much light they give off. Generally speaking, most fluorescent bulbs will last around six months, while mercury vapor bulbs generally last from 10 to 12 months.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of a particular bulb without jeopardizing your beardie’s health.

Wattage

What wattage should a bearded dragon’s UVB bulb be?

The number of watts essentially reflects how large the actual bulb is, and you should pay more attention to the bulb’s UVB output and placement. Outputs range from 5% to 15% or more, and we recommend around 10% output for a bearded dragon. This number is also sometimes denoted as a decimal; for example, a bulb with 10% output may also be listed as 10.0.

Additionally, the UVB intensity will vary depending on how far the UVB is from the basking spot and whether there is a mesh screen between the bulb and the beardie. Mesh screens diminish the bulb’s UVB output slightly, so keep this in mind when buying a UVB bulb. Some reptile owners opt to mount their UVB bulbs inside their beardies’ enclosures to avoid their bearded dragon missing out on any valuable UVB rays.

UVB Output

How much UVB does a bearded dragon need?

Without proper UVB levels, a bearded dragon is at risk of suffering metabolic disorders and bone problems, and issues with egg formations.

To stay healthy, like we touched on above, a bearded dragon needs UVB lights with at least 8% to 10% UVB output. To stimulate the production of vitamins, the light should be kept on during the daytime for 10 to 14 hours a day and turned off at night.

Ready to Get the Best UVB Bulb for Your Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons need UVB lighting to stay healthy and thrive, and there are many great UVB lights you can choose from. However, although there are many great options out there, finding the one that ticks all the boxes and suits your beardie’s enclosure size, shape, and setup might seem like an impossible feat.

With that being said, I’ve found that the Zilla is the best UVB bulb for bearded dragons. Affordable and easy to set up, this fluorescent bulb is ideal for small and medium-sized enclosures and will provide adequate UVB levels to your beardie. Another great thing about this bulb is that it lasts up to 12 months before you’ll need to replace it with a new one.

However, if you have a very large tank or are looking for an all-in-one UVB lamp, any one of the other four UVB lights reviewed above can be a great choice. In the end, whichever you choose, you can rest assured knowing your beardie is getting ideal UVB levels.

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