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10 Best UVB Light for Bearded Dragon 40-Gallon Tanks – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Melody Russell

By Melody Russell

Bearded dragon enjoying the heat lamp in the enclosure

If you’re the proud owner of a bearded dragon, you know just how important it is to mimic the sunny Australian Outback right in their 40-gallon tanks. These little spike-sporting buddies thrive under the glow of UVB, soaking up those rays like they’re on an endless beach vacation. But let’s face it, the UVB lighting game can feel as vast and confusing as the Outback itself.

Fret not, future dragon sun-providers! We’ve armed ourselves with research, dove into countless reviews, and emerged with a list of the top 10 UVB lights for your bearded dragon’s 40-gallon tank.

Whether you’re a seasoned dragon parent or a newbie to the reptile realm, this guide is your compass to the land of optimal UVB lighting. Our reviews aim to shed light (pun intended) on the best products in the market, helping you make a confident and informed decision. After all, a sun-kissed dragon is a happy dragon, right? Let’s dive in!

bearded dragon divider

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Reptile Lighting Kit Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Reptile Lighting Kit
  • Comprehensive solution
  • High-powered
  • Extended lifespan
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit
  • Budget-friendly
  • Dual-function lighting
  • Safety-oriented design
  • Third place
    Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Lamp Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Lamp
  • High-output UVB light for optimal health benefits
  • Suitable for larger habitats
  • Helps in preventing metabolic bone disease
  • Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp
  • Maximum UVB penetration
  • Full-spectrum lighting
  • Eliminates the need for a separate ballast
  • Zoo Med PowerSun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor Zoo Med PowerSun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor
  • High output
  • Self-ballasted
  • Mimics natural sunlight
  • The 10 Best UVB Light For Bearded Dragon 40-Gallon Tanks

    1. Zoo Med Desert UVB Reptile Lighting Kit- Best Overall

    Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Reptile Lighting Kit

    Product Type: UVB & Heat Lighting Kit
    Fixture: Mini Combo Deep Dome Lamp
    Power: Each socket rated up to 100 watts
    Compatibility: Ideal for small terrarium desert and basking reptiles

    The Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Reptile Lighting Kit stands out in the market as a comprehensive lighting solution for your bearded dragon’s 40-gallon habitat. It addresses not only UVB light necessities but also heating requirements, making it the best overall choice.

    The kit features a Mini Combo Deep Dome Lamp Fixture, a Repti Basking Spot Lamp, and a ReptiSun Mini Compact Fluorescent. With dual ceramic sockets that can support lamps up to 100 watts, you can tailor the setup to fit your pet’s needs. Its unique double reflector design allows for 35% more heat and UVA light concentration than typical spot lamps, promising up to 2,000 hours of effective lighting.

    However, this best overall choice is not without its shortcomings. The setup process can be a bit complex for beginners, and the heat intensity might be overpowering for smaller or more sensitive species. Also, the lack of separate control for heat and UVB could be a stumbling block for those seeking more granular control over their pet’s environment.

    Pros
    • Comprehensive solution
    • High-powered
    • Extended lifespan

    Cons
    • Complex setup
    • Potentially overpowering for some species
    • Lack of individual heat and UVB control


    2. Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit– Best Value

    Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit

    Product Type: UVB & Heat Lighting Kit
    Fixture: Dual Deep Dome Lamp
    Power: Each socket rated up to 60 watts
    Compatibility: Suitable for tropical reptiles

    Looking for the best value? Then, the Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit should be your choice. This kit has dual fixtures that provide essential heat and UVB light, ensuring your bearded dragon’s well-being without breaking your budget. This option is definitely the best UVB setup for the money.

    The Daylight Blue Reptile Bulb emanates both light and heat, closely simulating the daytime sun. The kit also includes a fluorescent UVB bulb, crucial for maintaining your reptile’s bone health and overall vitality. Moreover, the deep dome design ensures safety by keeping the hot bulbs away, preventing accidental burns. Additionally, each fixture comes with an individual on-and-off switch for easy and safe control.

    However, while it’s an excellent product for its price, it’s not without downsides. The bulbs aren’t as powerful as in some premium models and may need more frequent replacement. It may also not be suitable for larger habitats, as the intensity of light and heat may not be sufficient.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly
    • Dual-function lighting
    • Safety-oriented design

    Cons
    • Less powerful bulbs
    • May not suit larger habitats
    • Possible frequent bulb replacements


    3. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Reptile Terrarium Lamp

    Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Reptile Terrarium Lamp

    Product Type: UVB Terrarium Lamp
    Fixture: High-output UVB lamp
    Power: 24-watt high-output lamp
    Compatibility: Perfect for larger reptile habitats

    Choosing the best UVB light for a bearded dragon in a 40-gallon tank can be tricky. You want something that offers high-quality and superior performance without skimping on health benefits. This is where the Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Reptile Terrarium Lamp steps in as your premium choice.

    This German-made, high-output reptile lamp is perfect for larger reptile habitats. The 24-watt lamp has been expertly crafted to put out stronger and brighter UVB light—twice as strong as some standard lamps. This intensity means it’s not just ideal for illuminating your pet’s home but crucially important for their health. The lamp is designed to help prevent or even reverse metabolic bone disease, a common issue in captive reptiles.

    However, being a premium product, it comes with a higher price tag than some other options on the market. Moreover, its intense UVB output may not be suitable for smaller or more sensitive reptiles.

    Pros
    • High-output UVB light for optimal health benefits
    • Suitable for larger habitats
    • Helps in preventing metabolic bone disease

    Cons
    • Higher price point
    • May not be suitable for smaller reptiles
    • Potential overkill for less demanding species


    4. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp

    Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Mini Reptile Lamp

    Product Type: Compact Fluorescent Mini Reptile Lamp
    Fixture: Special UVB transmitting quartz glass for maximum UVB penetration
    Power: 13-Watt
    Compatibility: All desert and basking reptiles

    The Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Mini Reptile Lamp is an excellent choice for adult and baby bearded dragons. This compact fluorescent lamp delivers 10% UVB output and 30% UVA output, and it can be placed either vertically or horizontally. It uses a special UVB-transmitting quartz glass for maximum UVB penetration, leading to a healthier reptile pet. This product eliminates the need for a separate ballast and provides full-spectrum lighting that increases activity levels, appetite, and reproductive behavior.

    However, certain precautions need to be taken when using this product. This lamp emits UV radiation and must be used as per instructions. It should be placed directly overhead of your reptiles, not to the side. Failure to follow instructions may lead to injury to humans or reptiles.

    Pros
    • Maximum UVB penetration
    • Full-spectrum lighting
    • Eliminates the need for a separate ballast

    Cons
    • Requires careful handling
    • Quartz glass can shatter
    • Instructions for use must be followed strictly


    5. Zoo Med PowerSun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp

    Zoo Med PowerSun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Reptile Terrarium Lamp

    Product Type: Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Terrarium Lamp
    Fixture: Mercury Vapor Lamp
    Power: 80-watt high-output lamp
    Compatibility: Ideal for terrarium setups

    The Zoo Med PowerSun UV Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Reptile Terrarium Lamp is the best UVB bulb choice for those looking to enhance their terrarium’s lighting system. This 80-watt lamp offers the added benefit of being self-ballasted, negating the need for an additional ballast system. The high-output mercury vapor lamp provides both UVA and UVB light, promoting overall reptile health by mimicking natural sunlight.

    With that being said, keep in mind that this product, due to its high power and UV output, should be used as per the instructions to avoid harm. It’s also essential to monitor the temperature within the terrarium as this lamp generates more heat than standard fluorescent bulbs.

    Pros
    • High output
    • Self-ballasted
    • Mimics natural sunlight

    Cons
    • Requires careful usage due to high UV
    • Potential risk of overheating
    • Proper installation is crucial


    6. Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB & Repti Basking Spot Lamp

    Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB & Repti Basking Spot Lamp Reptile Terrarium Combo Pack

    Product Type: UVB & Basking Spot Lamp Terrarium Combo Pack
    Fixture: Combo pack includes a basking lamp and a compact fluorescent
    Power: Varies between the basking lamp and the compact fluorescent
    Compatibility: Ideal for bearded dragons, lizards, and geckos

    The Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB & Repti Basking Spot Lamp Reptile Terrarium Combo Pack, a great combo pack, is designed to cater to all types of reptile habitats, including those for bearded dragons. This pack includes a basking lamp and a compact fluorescent, both of which are easy to set up and designed to maintain and monitor the temperature and humidity of your reptile’s habitat effectively.

    But keep in mind, one must ensure that the lamps are installed at a safe distance from the pets to prevent overheating. It’s also crucial to keep track of the lifespan of the bulbs, as they may need frequent replacements compared to other options.

    Pros
    • Includes both a basking lamp and a compact fluorescent
    • Ideal for a wide range of reptile habitats
    • Easy setup for user convenience

    Cons
    • Requires careful installation
    • Lamps may require frequent replacements
    • Need to monitor temperature regularly


    7. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Reptile Lamp

    Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Reptile Lamp

    Product Type: UVB Compact Fluorescent Reptile Lamp
    Fixture: Can be placed either vertically or horizontally in your reptile hood
    Power: 26-watt high-output lamp
    Compatibility: Perfect for all desert and basking reptiles

    As a great compact lamp, Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Compact Fluorescent Reptile Lamp offers a perfect lighting solution for all desert and basking reptiles. It helps increase your pet’s activity levels, appetite, and reproductive behavior while preventing or reversing metabolic bone disease.

    The lamp, built with UVB-transmitting quartz glass, maximizes UVB penetration. Its unique design allows it to screw into standard threaded sockets, eliminating the need for a separate ballast.

    While the product’s compact nature and versatility are a huge plus, keep in mind the fragility of quartz glass bulbs. They can shatter or have a shortened lifespan if touched with bare hands, owing to the oils on human skin. Moreover, a careful installation ensuring the proper distance from the pet is crucial to avoid any harm caused by overheating.

    Pros
    • Versatile
    • Eliminates the need for a separate ballast
    • Promotes health and activity in reptiles

    Cons
    • Quartz glass bulbs can shatter
    • Careful installation
    • Might not be suitable for larger habitats


    8. Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Desert Reptile Bulb

    Fluker's Sun Glow Coil Desert Reptile Bulb

    Product Type: UVB Reptile Bulb
    Fixture: Coil design UVB bulb
    Power: 13 watts of power
    Compatibility: Perfect for desert reptiles and amphibians

    The Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Desert Reptile Bulb, as the best budget buy, is a fantastic way to provide the necessary UVB radiation for your reptile friends at an affordable price. This bulb stimulates vitamin D production, crucial for your pets’ health, and helps prevent metabolic bone disease.

    Ideally suited for a wide variety of reptiles, from bearded dragons to turtles and amphibians, it ensures a balanced UVA and UVB light, promoting active behavior, reproduction, and appetite. Designed to emit the ideal power of 13 watts, it’s perfect for creating a comfy basking area for your pet.

    While this bulb offers excellent value for money, its coil design may mean it is less effective over larger spaces, making it better suited to smaller habitats. Also, given the UV radiation, the placement of the bulb requires careful consideration to prevent any harm to your pet.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Emits essential UVB radiation
    • Versatile compatibility with a variety of animals

    Cons
    • Coil design may be less effective over larger spaces
    • Requires careful placement
    • Lifespan can vary


    9. Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp

    Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp

    Product Type: UVB Basking Lamp
    Fixture: Mercury Vapor Lamp
    Power: Suitable for different power requirements
    Compatibility: Works in all enclosures

    The Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp is the longest lasting buy in our list, guaranteeing you durable and sustained service. It is built to provide a 35-degree beam angle, creating an expansive area for your reptiles and amphibians to bask under. This lamp emits the essential UVA and UVB light that aids in the healthy growth and general well-being of your pets.

    Another commendable feature is its ability to create an environment conducive for reproduction among your reptiles. However, one major drawback of this lamp is its price. As one of the higher-end models, it may not be an affordable option for all pet owners. Still, for those who are willing to invest, it offers a valuable long-term solution for your reptile’s lighting needs.

    Pros
    • Provides a broad beam angle
    • Emits crucial UVA and UVB light
    • Long-lasting lifespan

    Cons
    • Considerably expensive
    • The suitability of its UV output
    • Installation may be challenging.


    10. Zoo Med ReptiSun LED UVB Terrarium Hood

    Zoo Med ReptiSun LED UVB Terrarium Hood

    Product Type: UVB Terrarium Hood
    Fixture: High-output LEDs and T5-HO UVB lamp
    Power: High output LED power
    Compatibility: Works with a variety of reptile tanks

    The Zoo Med ReptiSun LED UVB Terrarium Hood ranks as the best for tank coverage. This hood integrates high-output LEDs and a T5-HO UVB lamp, resulting in an innovative lighting system that’s perfect for all types of reptile habitats. The UVB light emitted is instrumental in preventing and even reversing metabolic bone disease, a common health issue among captive reptiles.

    The hood also comes with adjustable mounting rails and an aircraft cable suspension kit, allowing you to tailor its position according to your pet’s needs. It boasts replaceable LED modules featuring daylight, moonlight, and plant LEDs, which can be independently controlled via three switches. On the downside, the ReptiSun Terrarium Hood is quite expensive, which could be a hindrance for some potential buyers. However, considering the quality and the breadth of features it offers, the investment is well worth it for those who can afford it.

    Pros
    • Offers excellent tank coverage
    • Features multiple lighting modes
    • Prevents metabolic bone disease

    Cons
    • It’s one of the priciest options on the market
    • The installation process can be a bit complex
    • The high output might not be suitable for all types of reptiles.

    bearded dragon divider

    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best UVB Light For Bearded Dragon 40-Gallon Tanks

    Choosing the right UVB light for your reptile is a critical decision. UVB light plays a vital role in the health and well-being of your pet, promoting vitamin D3 synthesis, which in turn aids calcium absorption, reducing the risk of metabolic bone disease. Here’s an expanded guide to help you make an informed choice:

    Compatibility With Your Pet

    Understanding the specific needs of your pet is paramount in the decision-making process. Different species of reptiles hail from different habitats and, consequently, have varying UVB requirements. For instance, reptiles from desert regions like bearded dragons demand high levels of UVB exposure as they’re exposed to intense sunlight in the wild.


    Type of Bulb

    There’s a variety of UVB lights available in the market, including fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescents, mercury vapor bulbs, and LEDs. Each type has its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

    For instance, fluorescent tubes are cost-effective and emit less heat, but their UVB output diminishes over time, and they require frequent replacement.

    Compact fluorescents, on the other hand, are energy-efficient and can be easily fitted into standard light sockets, but they need to be placed closer to the pet due to their lower UVB output.

    Mercury vapor bulbs provide both heat and UVB, which can be beneficial for desert reptiles, but they’re more expensive.

    LEDs, being the most advanced, are energy-efficient and long-lasting, but they may not provide adequate UVB for all types of reptiles.

    Incandescent Bulbs lit against a black background
    Image Credit: genky, Shutterstock

    Fixture and Installation

    UVB lamps come in different shapes and sizes, and not all may be compatible with your current terrarium setup. Some may need special fixtures, or require a specific placement, whether vertical or horizontal, for optimal UVB emission. Consider the kind of fixture you have and how the UVB lamp will be installed. Products like the Zoo Med ReptiSun Compact Fluorescent Lamp offer the convenience of being able to be installed either vertically or horizontally, offering flexibility to pet owners.


    UVB Output

    The intensity of UVB output varies among different UVB lamps. Some provide a high percentage of UVB output, suitable for desert-dwelling reptiles, while others emit a lower percentage of UVB, more suited to reptiles from shaded environments.

    It’s vital to choose a UVB lamp with an output that aligns with your pet’s needs. For example, the ReptiSun 10.0 Compact Fluorescent Lamp provides 10% UVB output, making it an ideal choice for desert reptiles.


    Lifespan

    The lifespan of a UVB bulb is another critical factor to consider. The bulb’s ability to emit UVB light diminishes over time, even if it continues to emit visible light. This means it’s essential to replace the UVB bulb regularly, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, to ensure your pet continues to receive the required UVB radiation. Long-lasting options like the Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp can be a good choice for those seeking durability.

    Central Bearded Dragon feeding on Black Prince cicada
    Image Credit: Ken Griffiths, Shutterstock

    Safety

    Maintaining an adequate distance between your pet and the UVB light source is crucial. If the lamp is positioned too close, it can lead to overheating and cause burns. Conversely, if it’s too far away, your pet may not receive the necessary UVB exposure. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the safe placement of the UVB lamp.

    The evolution of UVB lights for reptiles has made significant strides over the years, moving towards energy-efficient and long-lasting options like LEDs and compact fluorescents. This trend not only reduces the ecological impact of pet ownership but also offers high-performance lighting solutions that cater to various reptile needs.

    bearded dragon divider

    Conclusion

    After comprehensive reviews and detailed analysis, our top three picks cater to diverse needs and budgets. For the best overall combo pack, the Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB & Repti Basking Spot Lamp Reptile Terrarium Combo Pack takes the crown. It offers excellent value for money by providing two essential lighting solutions in one pack, a high UVB output suitable for a variety of reptiles, and user-friendly installation.

    For those searching for budget-friendly options, the reviews point towards the Fluker’s Sun Glow Coil Desert Reptile Bulb as a standout performer. Despite its affordable price, this bulb efficiently produces UVB light and can significantly contribute to creating a healthy environment for your pet.

    To sum it up, each UVB lamp mentioned in our reviews caters to different needs and budgets. Regardless of your choice, these UVB lamps will contribute to a healthier and happier life for your pet reptile.


    Featured Image Credit: Atelier Boulevard, Shutterstock

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