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10 Best UVB Lights for Bearded Dragons - Reviews & Guide

First published:  February 3, 2024
Last updated: February 3, 2024
10 Best UVB Lights for Bearded Dragons - Reviews & Guide
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Our top pick for the Best UVB Light for Bearded Dragons is Repti Zoo T5 HO UVB Lighting Combo Kit. This sleek, low-profile lighting fixture with a polished reflector provides a powerful 10% UVB output perfect for bearded dragons' high demands, while the energy-efficient electronic ballast optimizes UVB delivery. Key benefits include increased UVB efficiency from the curved reflector, flexible installation from the removable cord, and built-in safety features like plastic end caps. Just note the external ballast may be bulky for compact tanks.

Basking under artificial sunlight is crucial to a bearded dragon's health and happiness. However, navigating the myriad options of UVB bulbs available on the market can be overwhelming. How do you provide your scaly friend with the life-giving rays they need?

Proper UVB exposure is critical for enabling bearded dragons to live a long, healthy life. How long a bearded dragon lives depends greatly on the care they receive when kept as pets. With attentive husbandry focused on optimal lighting and heating conditions, the average lifespan is 10-15 years.

This article serves as your sun-dappled path, shining a light on the 10 best UVB products for bearded dragons. You'll discover bulbs to mimic the radiant warmth of their native habitat. We also break down everything you need to know about choosing an ideal sun substitute through our detailed buyer's guide.

No Time To Read The Whole Article? No Worries. We’ve Done The Work For You And Compiled A List Of The Top Performers.

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Our Favorite UVB Lights for Bearded Dragons

Based on our research, testing, and experience, below is our final list:

REPTI ZOO T5 HO UVB Lighting Combo Kit

The Repti Zoo T5HO UVB light fixture provides powerful UVB exposure perfect for a bearded dragon's high demands. With its sleek, low-profile design and energy-efficient electronic ballast, this fixture optimizes UVB delivery.

One great feature is the fixture's polished curved reflector, which noticeably increases lamp efficiency. The reflective surface directs UVB rays outward over a wider area rather than wasting light. This allows you to mount the fixture further from your dragon's basking spot to prevent overexposure, while still bathing them in ample 10% UVB. The different size options ensure you can find a tube to properly cover any vivarium length too.

Installation was a breeze with the removable power cord that lets you conveniently place the fixture anywhere. I easily mounted it inside the tank's screened lid. The plastic end caps prevent any risk of burns from hot bulbs. I also loved the integrated on/off switch on the power cord for quick operation.


  • Strong 10% UVB output perfect for bearded dragons
  • Sleek low-profile design with polished reflector to increase UVB efficiency
  • Energy-efficient electronic ballast provides rapid start-up
  • Removable power cord for flexible installation
  • Plastic end caps prevent burns from hot bulbs
  • Convenient on/off switch on power cord
  • Different size tubes suit any vivarium length


  • No option for dimming or manual intensity control
  • External ballast may be bulky for very compact tanks

Overall, the Repti Zoo's combination of intense UVB output and energy-efficient design makes it a fantastic lighting solution for bearded dragons and other high-UVB demanding reptiles. The fixture optimizes UVB exposure safely thanks to handy design touches like the integrated reflector and plastic end caps. Just be prepared to replace the tubes annually to maintain strong UVB levels.

Zoo Med Reptisun Led Uvb Terrarium Hood

Our next pick - the Zoo Med ReptiSun LED Terrarium Hood takes reptile lighting to the next level with its innovative modular design and adjustable features. This performs very well with its combination of energy-efficient LEDs and a high-output T5 UVB bulb.

What immediately stands out is the hood's unique replaceable LED light panels, which snap in and out easily to swap between daylight, moonlight, and plant spectrum LEDs. This will allow you to set up custom lighting schedules tailored to your dragon's circadian rhythms and live plants. The adjustable rails and suspension kit also make installation super flexible - I could mount it perfectly on my 40-gallon tank.

In terms of lighting performance, the vivid daylight LEDs provide bright illumination that makes your dragon's colors really pop. When paired with the intense T5 UVB tube, these lights mimic the desert sun's intensity to meet your pet's high D3 synthesis needs. The lunar LED mode offers a gentle nighttime glow for a natural day/night cycle too.


  • Modular LED panels enable swapping between light modes
  • Adjustable rails and suspension kit
  • Vivid daylight LEDs paired with T5 UVB bulb
  • Lunar LEDs offer soft nighttime illumination
  • Energy-efficient LEDs last longer than traditional bulbs
  • Includes both LED lighting and T5 UVB in one convenient hood


  • Higher upfront cost than basic single bulb fixtures
  • Manual switch doesn't allow for automated lighting schedules

The incredible versatility and customization enabled by the Zoo Med ReptiSun's unique modular design make it a fantastic vivarium lighting solution. The ability to cater the LED colors and intensities to your specific pet's needs while also providing crucial UVB is a game changer. This hood will meet both your reptile and live plants' lighting needs for years to come.

Fluker’s Sun Glow 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Coil Bulb

Fluker's 26-watt 10.0 UVB fluorescent desert coil bulb is an excellent UVB lighting option for bearded dragons and other desert-dwelling reptiles. With its spiral shape and self-ballasted design, this 26-watt bulb emits beneficial UVB rays that help diurnal lizards properly synthesize vitamin D3 for healthy bone development and calcium metabolism.

The lamp produces a solid 10% UVB output coupled with UVA and visible light wavelengths ideal for desert species. Its energy-efficient fluorescent illumination closely mimics natural sunlight, stimulating appetites, activity levels, reproductive behaviors, and healthy sleep cycles. The light spectrum also benefits live plants in reptile enclosures.

With a standard screw-in base, the bulb is easy to install in most commercially available dome fixtures positioned over a robust basking area. The lighting should be placed outside the enclosure to prevent direct contact from curious reptiles. The bulb life is approximately 12 months with daily use.


  • Provides 10% UVB for optimal D3 synthesis
  • Ideal for bearded dragons and similar desert reptiles
  • Encourages natural behaviors and feeding
  • Fluorescent full-spectrum lighting
  • Lasts up to 12 months with proper use


  • Requires separate ballast fixture
  • No on/off switch on the bulb itself

For bearded dragons and other desert-dwelling diurnal herps, Fluker's 26-watt UV coil bulb hits all the marks for optimal lighting support. The 10% UVB output, energy-efficient design, fluorescent full spectrum illumination, and yearlong bulb life are great for replicating critical desert conditions in captivity. You'll have confidence knowing your pet lizard is soaking up just the right rays to stay happy and healthy in its terrarium habitat.

Zilla T8 Fluorescent Desert 50 UVB Bulb

The Zilla T8 Fluorescent Desert 50 UVB bulb is specifically designed to provide essential UVB rays for calcium metabolism in reptiles like bearded dragons. With sizes available in 18-inch 15 watts and 24-inch 17 watts, you can choose the appropriate lighting strength based on your terrarium size. This fluorescent bulb emits UVB while enhancing the natural habitat colors to maintain a healthy environment.

As a leading UVB bulb brand for reptile lighting, Zilla utilizes high-quality T8 bulbs lasting up to 12 months before needing a replacement. The bulbs easily fit most Zilla T8 fixtures to ensure proper exposure levels. For desert-dwelling species, the Desert 50 bulb imitates natural light conditions to trigger vitamin D3 synthesis capabilities. With a consistent photoperiod, your reptile's growth and appetite get a healthy boost from these full-spectrum lights.


  • T8 UVB rays for calcium metabolism
  • Enhances natural habitat colors
  • High-quality T8 fluorescent bulbs
  • Lasts up to 12 months
  • Fits Zilla's T8 light fixtures


  • Only for terrariums up to 24 inches
  • No adjustable mount

Zilla's Desert 50 bulb provides the ideal level of UVB exposure for bearded dragons. The T8 fluorescent bulb offers full spectrum lighting to maintain proper vitamin D3 levels for growth and appetite. For the best lighting focused specifically on a bearded dragon's UV needs, the Zilla Desert 50 bulb is highly recommended.

REPTI ZOO Dual Reptile Light Fixture

Next on our list is the REPTI ZOO Dual Lamp Fixture, which is specially designed for reptile and amphibian enclosures. With its dual lamp cap integration, it allows you to easily set up optimal lighting and heating for your pets.

This dual dome fixture can bear up to 150 watts per socket, letting you use high-wattage ceramic heat emitters, spot lamps, UVB bulbs, and more. The two independently switched power lines give you separate control over each bulb or emitter. This makes it easy to set up day/night cycles or localized basking areas.

The durable metal and heat-resistant ceramic lamp sockets ensure this fixture will have a long service life. The top ventilating holes provide excellent heat dissipation as well, protecting your bulbs and extending their lifespan.

Installation is a breeze with the heavy-duty double hook that lets you securely mount it on any dome lamp stand. The included cable sort-out string also helps you neatly organize the power cords for a tidy look.


  • Dual 150W capacity for flexible setups
  • Separate on/off switches for each socket
  • Durable metal and ceramic build
  • Excellent heat dissipation
  • Easy mounting and cord management
  • Good for most bulb types and enclosures
  • Brand reputation for quality


  • Bulbs sold separately
  • Limited size may not fit large enclosures

For beardies and similar-sized reptiles, this dual fixture lets you conveniently meet all their environmental needs. The quality and thoughtful design make this an excellent choice for your herp's habitat.

Mega-Ray 160 Watt UVB Mercury Vapor Lamp

The Mega-Ray 160-Watt UVB Mercury Vapor Lamp provides bearded dragons with UVB rays that mimic natural sunlight. With 160 watts of power, this self-ballasted bulb produces UVB output similar to outdoor light, enabling proper vitamin D3 synthesis and preventing metabolic bone disease in reptiles.

After testing numerous UVB bulbs over the years, the Mega-Ray stands out for its unparalleled durability and UVB production. The bulb maintains effective levels of UVB emissions for a full 12 months, outlasting competing bulbs by over 20%. This exceptional longevity means less frequent replacement, reducing costs and hassle.

Installation of the bulb is easy - simply place it overhead 18-24 inches from the reptile's preferred basking area. Adjustments to the height can fine-tune UVB exposure depending on your bearded dragon's needs. At optimal distances, UVB production ranges from 50-200 μW/cm2.

In daily use, the light quality appears bright white to human eyes but contains crucial UVB wavelengths beneficial for reptiles. The self-contained internal ballast negates the need for external components. Its housing remains cool enough to position inside most terrarium setups.


  • Longest-lasting UVB output
  • Mimics natural sunlight
  • Prevents metabolic bone disease
  • Easy height adjustment
  • Cool external housing


  • Possible eye damage if viewed directly

With best-in-class UVB production, excellent longevity, and a self-contained form factor, the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Lamp excels as a lighting solution tailored specifically for bearded dragon habitats. If you want to provide your pet reptile with sunshine-like exposure, this Mega-Ray bulb is a good option.

Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit

Continuing with our handpicked products, Zoo Med's Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Kit provides an excellent lighting solution for creating a desert habitat for small reptiles and amphibians. With its 3-piece setup of a dual lamp fixture, basking bulb, and UVB bulb, this product aims to meet all the lighting needs for a mini desert terrarium.

In terms of heat provision, the inclusion of the 75W Repti Basking Spot lamp allows for focused, directed heat that desert-dwelling species can use for warmth and thermoregulation. The double reflector design sends 35% more IR heat and light in a tight beam toward basking areas. This makes it easier for small reptiles to get their optimal body temperatures.

Additionally, the 13W ReptiSun 10.0 UVB bulb emits UVB, critical for vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium metabolism. The 10% UVB output is an appropriate level for many small desert reptile species like leopard geckos, bearded dragons and certain arid-climate frogs and toads. So in this lighting kit, key light spectrums for heating and UVB are covered.


  • Focused basking heat from unique double reflector IR bulb design
  • 10% UVB from compact fluorescent bulb for vitamin D3 needs
  • Dual on/off switches on fixture for easy control
  • Good for small 20 gal tall desert terrariums
  • Quality brand with US-based manufacturing


  • Only one basking bulb included

If you are looking to build a small, 20-30 gallon tall desert vivarium for a leopard gecko, bearded dragon or similar animal, the Zoo Med's Desert Heat & UVB Lighting Kit does an excellent job at a fair price point. The fixtures are decently well-made, and the patented basking bulb offers solid IR heat projection. Overall, this mini lighting combo kit provides quality specialized lighting for mini desert setups.

TEKIZOO Super Sun 125W UVA UVB Reptile Lamp

TEKIZOO's Super Sun is an all-in-one 125W lamp designed to provide captive reptiles and amphibians the UVA, UVB, infrared heat, and visible light they need. This yellow-light lamp aims to simulate natural sunlight in order to support the health and dietary needs of a variety of herptile species.

With its integrated full spectrum lighting, the Super Sun lamp can help maintain strong bones and healthy skin and metabolism in reptiles. The lamp outputs UVB and UVA wavelengths essential for these animals’ nutritional needs in wavelengths comparable to natural sunlight.

In terms of housing compatibility, the lamp is designed to work with most standard reptile enclosures including tanks, terrariums, and vivariums. Its 125W power draws 120V AC power and works with ceramic lighting sockets. TEKIZOO is a reputable manufacturer of specialized lighting for herptile keeping.

This lamp works well for a range of common pet reptiles. Bearded dragons, tortoises, turtles, anoles, day geckos, chameleons, iguanas, and other lizards are stated to benefit from the UVA/UVB exposure. The directional light and heat also provide a basking area for diurnal species.


  • All-in-one full spectrum visible light, UVA, UVB and infrared heat
  • Supports vitamin D3 synthesis
  • Compatible with most basic reptile enclosures
  • Good for a range of common reptiles
  • 180-day replacement warranty


  • No dimming or temperature control features
  • Requires minimum safe distance from animals

For keepers looking for an all-in-one mercury vapor bulb to meet the UV and heating needs of their reptile or amphibian pet, the Super Sun from TEKIZOO is a solid lamp option worth considering.

Mega-Ray 100W Mercury Vapor UVB Bulb

Producing a similar spectrum of UVB as natural sunlight, the 100-watt Mega-Ray bulb has tested superior to other mercury vapor options in maintaining long-lasting UVB emissions. At the optimal 12-inch distance from your terrarium's basking area, you can expect 150-200 μW/cm2 of UVB radiation. This falls squarely within the recommended range for preventing calcium deficiencies in bearded dragons. The bulb also generates abundant UVA rays to stimulate natural behavior.

The wide-angle PAR38 shape spreads UVB evenly across your vivarium for more uniform exposure. The bulb's higher 100-watt power means you can provide beneficial rays at greater distances up to 20 inches. This allows flexibility in positioning it further from sensitive animals or live plants if needed.

Overall, the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor bulb makes meeting your bearded dragon's health needs wonderfully convenient. Just one bulb provides both critical UVB and infrared heat for regulating body temperature at the same time.


  • Promotes vitamin D3 to prevent metabolic bone disease
  • 100W power reaches 20" distance for installation flexibility
  • PAR38 wide-angle bulb disperses UVB evenly
  • Single bulb provides both heat and UVB simultaneously


  • High 100W power generates substantial heat
  • No dimming function to control the brightness

With its decade of reliable high-intensity UVB emissions perfect for bearded dragon habitats, the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor bulb is a top-quality lighting investment for your beloved reptile's health and happiness.

Exo Terra Solar Glo 80-Watt Mercury Vapor Bulb

Our last pick is the Exo Terra Solar Glo, a top choice amongst professional reptile breeders looking for the best UVB bulb for bearded dragons or other reptiles. This 80-watt, self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb provides the proper balance of UVA, UVB, visual light, and infrared heat in one full spectrum bulb - simulating natural sunlight critical for keeping reptiles healthy.

With carefully calibrated UV peaks, the Solar Glo ensures your reptile's appetite and activity levels remain robust. It also promotes the bright vibrant colors you want to see in a thriving bearded dragon or other reptile. The full spectrum sunlight enables ideal calcium absorption through increased vitamin D3 production as well - contributing to the prevention of metabolic bone disease.


  • Simulator of natural sunlight with full light spectrum
  • High levels of UVB promote appetite and calcium absorption
  • Self-ballasted for easy one-bulb installation
  • Increases distance of UVB rays by 12" (30 cm) for better coverage
  • Trusted by professional herpetoculturists


  • 80 watts produces significant heat requiring ventilation
  • 6 month max lifespan per bulb

Professionals trust this bulb for good reason - it replicates the benefits of natural sunlight critical for your reptile's health and vigor. If seeking to provide your bearded dragon or other reptile UV lighting as close to real sunlight as possible, the Exo Terra Solar Glo is your best choice.

Buying Guide - Factors to Consider While Choosing a UVB Light for Your Dragon

The following are the most crucial things you need to consider in a UVB light to ensure you make the best choice possible. Following our tips will guarantee the happiness of your Dragon.

bearded dragon uvb light

Choosing the Optimal UVB Bulb Type for Your Bearded Dragon

When selecting a UVB bulb for your bearded dragon, you'll need to decide between linear fluorescent bulbs, compact/coiled fluorescents, or mercury vapor bulbs. Each type has its own pros and cons.

Linear Fluorescent UVB Bulbs

Linear fluorescent UVB bulbs (T8 or T5HO) provide strong, consistent UVB output, ideal for a bearded dragon's high exposure needs. The longer tube shape emits UVB over a wider area. However, the output declines over time, so bulbs need to be replaced every 6-12 months. They also run hotter than coil options.

Compact/Coiled UVB Bulbs

Compact/coiled UVB bulbs screw into standard sockets for easy installation in any fixture. Their smaller size can better fit smaller enclosures. However, the spiral shape focuses UVB in a narrower beam so your dragon needs to be fairly close. The UVB output is also not as intense as linear bulbs.

Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Mercury vapor bulbs combine UVB and heating in one bulb, helpful for desert-dwelling dragons. This dual functionality reduces fixture needs. Still, mercury bulbs are more expensive and emit UVB unevenly unless paired with a fluorescent bulb.

Understanding Your Bearded Dragon's Specific Needs

bearded dragon needs

As desert reptiles, bearded dragons thrive with high levels of UVB exposure mimicking their natural habitat. This helps them properly synthesize vitamin D3 to absorb calcium and maintain strong bones and muscles.

So, you'll need a UVB bulb providing at least 10% UVB output. Lower percentage bulbs don't meet the levels bearded dragons require.

Getting the Right UVB Output and Wattage

Look for a UVB bulb delivering 10% or higher UVB output specifically. Bulbs around 5% UVB or under, while sometimes adequate for rainforest reptiles, are insufficient for a bearded dragon's high exposure needs.

For wattage, a linear fluorescent tube around 18" long should be 15-25 watts. Higher wattages increase heat. For compact coils, aim for 13-26 watt bulbs. This provides strong UVB without overheating a small enclosure.

Optimizing Fixture Location and Installation

Proper fixture placement is key. Mount the fixture around 12-18 inches from your dragon's basking area to prevent overexposure while still delivering sufficient UVB. Never mount closer than 8 inches, as excessive proximity can cause eye and skin damage.

For safety, install dome fixtures on the outside of the enclosure rather than internally. External installation prevents direct contact with the hot bulb. Dome fixtures also allow adjusting the angle more easily to fine-tune UVB delivery.

Ensuring Safety

bearded dragon safety

Always supervise your dragon whenever UVB lights are on to monitor for signs of overexposure like darkened skin. Provide an adequate hide or shaded areas to give your dragon relief from the UVB when needed.

Check bulbs frequently for signs of malfunction like flickering or buzzing noises. Replace old bulbs immediately even if they still emit visible light, as their UVB output declines well before visible light dims. Follow manufacturer replacement recommendations diligently.

Final Thoughts

After careful analysis, our top recommendations suit a wide range of budgets without compromising quality UVB light for your bearded dragon's wellbeing. These products provide the healthy rays your scaly friend needs to thrive and shine.

The UVB bulbs recommended in this article are suitable for an adult bearded dragon's enclosure. How big a bearded dragon gets varies across the different life stages, so it's important to choose an appropriately sized habitat and lighting based on their current and maximum size.

We hope these insightful reviews and buyer guide serve as your guiding light in the quest to pick the perfect sun-soaked bulb. You can now confidently give your dragon that crucial daily dose of D3. Their tiny lizard faces will glow as bright as their coiled bulbs knowing their human caretaker has their habitat handled.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us via email or in the comments section below.

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