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The 5 Best Lights & UVB Bulbs for Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons Reptiles & Amphibians November 1, 2019
light dragons

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.

In this article, we’ll talk about lighting for pet bearded dragons and provide some tips for choosing the best lights bulbs for a bearded dragon cage. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best bearded dragon light bulbs.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Excellent daylight and source of UVA/UVB
  • Self-ballasted for safety to prevent UVCs
  • Compatible with all types of enclosures
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  • Optimal for use in larger terrariums
  • Produces 10.0 UVB light
  • Available in three sizes from 18 to 36 inches
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  • Affordable option in UVA and UVB lighting
  • Self-ballasted mercury vapor, no UVC
  • Generous 10,000 hour lifespan
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  • Produces similar UVB to sunlight
  • Self-ballasted for safety, no UVC rays
  • Higher intensity than average (160 watts)
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  • Compact size fits standard fixtures
  • Provides 10.0% UVB rays
  • Can be oriented vertically or horizontally
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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.

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.

Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Bearded Dragon Lights:

Evergreen Pet Supplies 100w Mercury Vapor Bulb

Specs:

  • Lighting Type – Mercury vapor
  • Watts/Rating – 100w
  • Features –UVA and UVB, compatible
  • Price$29.99

Pros:

  • Excellent daylight and source of UVA/UVB
  • Self-ballasted for safety to prevent UVCs
  • Compatible with all types of enclosures

Cons:

  • May not produce as much heat as some models
  • Level of UVA and UVB radiation not listed on package

Easily one of the top options in UVB lighting for reptiles, this Evergreen Pet Supplies 100w Mercury Vapor Bulb is an excellent option. It functions as a perfect day light for bearded dragons and is a powerful source of UVA and UVB light as well. It is compatible with all enclosures and works in standard fixtures so you can place it wherever you need it. It is also triple-tested for safety and is surprisingly affordable as well for the level of quality it delivers.

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Bulb

Specs:

  • Lighting Type – Fluorescent
  • Watts/Rating – 10.0 UVB, 39w
  • Features – Energy efficient, bright
  • Price$46.55

Pros:

  • Optimal for use in larger terrariums
  • Produces 10.0 UVB light
  • Available in three sizes from 18 to 36 inches

Cons:

  • May not produce enough heat for basking
  • Requires a hood fixture for mounting

If you’re looking for a UVB bulb that will last for months to come, consider the Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Bulb. This bulb comes in different sizes ranging from 18 to 36 inches, so it works very well in larger terrariums. It can be installed in a standard hood light to provide optimal daylight in addition to producing UVA and UVB rays.

MyComfyPets 2-in-1 UVA and UVB Bulb

Specs:

  • Lighting Type – Mercury vapor
  • Watts/Rating – 100w
  • Features –UVA and UVB, heat lamp
  • Price$34.99

Pros:

  • Affordable option in UVA and UVB lighting
  • Self-ballasted mercury vapor, no UVC
  • Generous 10,000 hour lifespan

Cons:

  • May not last as long as some other brands

You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a lightbulb for your bearded dragon tank. This MyComfyPets 2-in-1 UVA and UVB bulb offers a full 100 watts and is priced under $35. This is a self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb that self-regulates, preventing the production of dangerous UVC rays. It offers a long 10,000 hour lifespan and is easy to install in standard light fixtures.

Mega-Ray 160w Mercury Vapor Bulb

Specs:

  • Lighting Type – Mercury Vapor
  • Watts/Rating – 160w
  • Features – Very bright, high UVB
  • Price$43.95

Pros:

  • Produces similar UVB to sunlight
  • Self-ballasted for safety, no UVC rays
  • Higher intensity than average (160 watts)

Cons:

  • Minimum setting distance of 18” for safety
  • Can’t be used with dimmer switches

Another excellent option in mercury vapor bulbs is this Mega-Ray 160w Mercury Vapor Bulb. It produces similar amounts of UVB light to natural sunlight, plus it produces enough heat to be used as a basking lamp. This bulb lasts much longer than other options and comes in a higher 160watt intensity. IT is also self-ballasted for safety so it doesn’t produce UVC rays.

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent

Specs:

  • Lighting Type – Compact fluorescent
  • Watts/Rating – 13w
  • Features – Compact, 10% UVB
  • Price$24.17

Pros:

  • Compact size fits standard fixtures
  • Provides 10.0% UVB rays
  • Can be oriented vertically or horizontally

Cons:

  • Doesn’t produce enough heat for basking
  • May not cover as wide an area as larger bulbs

If you’re looking for an affordable way to boost the UVB output in your bearded dragon tank, these compact fluorescent UVB lights from Zoo Med could be the way to go. They fit standard fixtures and can be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on your needs. These bulbs use a specialized UVB transmitting quartz glass to ensure maximum UVB penetration and they come in a convenient 2-pack.

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.

Final Remarks

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!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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