The 5 Best Lights & UVB Bulbs For Bearded Dragons
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Keeping a bearded dragon as a pet is a wonderful experience, but it does come with certain challenges. Unlike cats and dogs, you can’t simply let your bearded dragon wander around the house.
These animals have specific requirements for their enclosure including a high temperature and space for basking. They are, after all, desert animals and their captive habitat should reflect that.
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Lights & UVB Bulbs for Bearded Dragons
1. AIICIOO Reptile Light
Best Uvb Light
2. Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp
Best Night Light
3. MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA Bulb
Best Basking Light
4. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
5. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Mini Reptile Lamp
10.0 UVB, 39w
UVA and UVB, compatible
Energy efficient, bright
UVA and UVB, heat lamp
Very bright, high UVB
Compact, 10% UVB
What To Look For In Lights For Bearded Dragons?
Choosing the right lighting for your bearded dragon tank may not be as simple as you imagine. These reptiles have specific requirements when it comes to lighting, so pay attention to the points below to make sure you are making a smart choice.
Here are some important things to look for in bearded dragon lights:
- Type of lighting. Mercury vapor is the preferred type of lighting for bearded dragons because not only does it produce full-spectrum light including UVA and UVB rays, but it also produces heat and can be used for basking. Other options include compact fluorescent and halide.
- Running temperature. Know whether the light you’re buying produces heat so you know where you can use it in the tank. If it doesn’t produce heat, you’ll need a basking lamp as well.
- Spectrum and intensity. Bearded dragons require UVA and UVB light to remain healthy, so choose a light that produces both – not all full-spectrum lamps do.
- Fixture requirement. In addition to choosing the right light for your bearded dragon tank, you also need the right fixture. Some bulbs (like compact fluorescent) can be screwed into standard fixtures while other options need specialized fixtures.
Our Top Picks For The Best Lights & UVB Bulbs For Bearded Dragons
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a bearded dragon light, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best lights for bearded dragons.
AIICIOO Reptile Light
- Lighting Type: Mercury vapor
- Watts/Rating: 100w
- Features: UVA and UVB, compatible
- Excellent daylight and source of UVA/UVB
- Self-ballasted for safety to prevent UVCs
- Compatible with all types of enclosures
- May not produce as much heat as some models
- Level of UVA and UVB radiation not listed on package
Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp
- Lighting Type: Fluorescent
- Watts/Rating: 10.0 UVB, 39w
- Features: Energy efficient, bright
- Optimal for use in larger terrariums
- Produces 10.0 UVB light
- Available in three sizes from 18 to 36 inches
- May not produce enough heat for basking
- Requires a hood fixture for mounting
MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA Bulb
- Lighting Type: Mercury vapor
- Watts/Rating: 100w
- Features: UVA and UVB, heat lamp
- Affordable option in UVA and UVB lighting
- Self-ballasted mercury vapor, no UVC
- Generous 10,000 hour lifespan
- May not last as long as some other brands
Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
- Lighting Type: Mercury Vapor
- Watts/Rating: 160w
- Features: Very bright, high UVB
- Produces similar UVB to sunlight
- Self-ballasted for safety, no UVC rays
- Higher intensity than average (160 watts)
- Minimum setting distance of 18” for safety
- Can’t be used with dimmer switches
Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Mini Reptile Lamp
- Lighting Type: Compact fluorescent
- Watts/Rating: 13w
- Features: Compact, 10% UVB
- Compact size fits standard fixtures
- Provides 10.0% UVB rays
- Can be oriented vertically or horizontally
- Doesn’t produce enough heat for basking
- May not cover as wide an area as larger bulbs
Tips For Lighting A Bearded Dragon Cage
Keep in mind that bearded dragons are desert animals, so they require an environment that is hot and relatively dry. Under-tank heating mats can boost the ambient temperature in your enclosure, but you’ll also need overhead lighting to provide UVA and UVB radiation and to create basking areas for your bearded dragon. Remember as well that you should keep one end of the tank cooler than the other.
Here are some simple tips for lighting a bearded dragon cage:
- Choose a daylight bulb that provides both UVA and UVB rays – keep in mind that not all full-spectrum light bulbs provide UVB light.
- Consider using a mercury vapor bulb in your bearded dragon tank – they produce heat in addition to light so they can easily be used for basking areas.
- Use fluorescent lighting on the cool end of your bearded dragon tank, or another form of lighting that doesn’t produce significant heat.
- Hang your lighting appropriately so your bearded dragon can benefit from it – either place it on a wire mesh surface or hang it over the tank.
Using the right lighting in your bearded dragon tank is very important. Without adequate exposure to UVA and UVB light, your bearded dragon won’t be able to metabolize all of the nutrients its body needs to be healthy. Do your research before you buy to make sure the bulbs you select are a good fit.
Once you’ve chosen the lighting for your bearded dragon tank, you simply need to install it and use it properly. Bearded dragons need 10 to 12 hours of daylight from a bulb that provides both UVA and UVB rays. At night, heat lamps can be used to keep the tank warm. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a bearded dragon light bulb, try out one of the top 5 best bearded dragon lights we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!