The Best Daylight Bulbs for Your Pet Reptile

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Updated: October 8, 2022
© iStock.com/Marina Vedernikova

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Have you ever noticed that the activity of reptiles is highest when it is sunny? This is because reptiles need light for their survival, and without it, their susceptibility to diseases increases. The functionality of reptiles depends on light thus, providing adequate light to reptiles is imperative if you have them as pets. However, the daylight bulbs required for different reptiles vary based on their natural habitat and unique needs. The kind of lightning usually used is ultraviolet light, and they come in different types such as UVA and UVB. While the UVC spectrum also exists, it is discouraged in production because of its harmful effects.

Reptiles actively need a considerable amount of it during the day for nutrient absorption and to manufacture vitamin D. However, the amount of light required by reptiles depends on their nature and habitat. For example, the amount of UV light needed for nocturnal reptiles is small, and the amount of UV light required by reptiles living in the tropical area is less than those living in the desert. If you’re currently searching for the best bulbs for your pet reptile, the choices reviewed below are the best you would find on the market. However, ensure you seek advice from experts in pet reptiles or your vet before fixing a daylight bulb for your reptile.

AZ-Animals Top Picks for Daylight Bulbs for Your Pet Reptile

  1. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 T5-HO UVB Fluorescent Reptile Lamp
  2. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 T5-HO UVB Fluorescent Reptile Lamp
    • Offers UVA and UVB wavelength
    • Great for use in large habitats
    • Prevents metabolic bone disease
    • Aids in vitamin D3 synthesis
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Zilla Desert Series T8 Fluorescent Reptile Terrarium Lamp
  4. Zilla Desert Series T8 Fluorescent Reptile Terrarium Lamp
    • Helps in the conversion of UVB into calcium
    • Easy to install
    • Long-lasting
    • Enhances the natural colors of your pet
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
  6. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
    • Also serve as a heat supply
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Prevents metabolic bone disease
    • Very long lasting
    Check Amazon
  7. Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp
  8. Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp
    • Auto turn-off feature
    • Also provide warmth
    • Easy to install
    • Very durable
    Check Chewy
  9. LUCKY HERP 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp
  10. LUCKY HERP 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp
    • Quality, affordable bulb
    • Suitable for young reptiles
    • Stimulate an increase in pet activity
    • Optimal outpu
    Check Amazon

Best Overall – ZOO Med Reptisun 10.0 T5 HO UVB Lamp

The best-rated bulb for reptiles on the market is the ZOO Med Reptisun lamp. It improves the reptiles’ agility and elevates their mood after using it for a few days. The UVB bulb provides the pet reptiles with adequate Vitamin D and calcium. The bulb offers UVA wavelength and UVB wavelength, and the former influences reproductive behavior and increases activity and appetite.

The low heat lamp and spectrum it comes with ensuring your reptile’s safety. The bulb prevents metabolic bone disease by emitting a wavelength of 20 – 51 cm UVB. The primary reason why we prefer the bulb is because it is suitable for all kinds of reptiles regardless of their age.

According to our tester’s view, he encourages the use of the bulb with a large terrarium that can withstand the penetration of the UVB light. Also, he commented on the price of the bulb being cheap and usable both outside and inside the tank. However, the packaging needs improvements as there is no inclusion of protection or padding.

Best Overall
Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 T5-HO UVB Fluorescent Reptile Lamp
  • Offers UVA and UVB wavelength
  • Great for use in large habitats
  • Prevents metabolic bone disease
  • Aids in vitamin D3 synthesis
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best Health-Improving – ZILLA UVB FLUORESCENT BULB 18 INCH

If you want a bulb that contributes to the well-being of your pets, then the Zilla UVB Fluorescent bulb is the best choice as it helps in the conversion of UVB into calcium. If the place you are housing your pet reptile is small and enclosed, this bulb is a perfect choice for them. It provides lightning without affecting the pets’ mood and providing adverse effects. You do not need to be a professional before installing the bulb, and it can go with the majority of the fluorescent fixtures type.

Based on the testimony of our tester, the bulb is not expensive, and it is long-lasting. He used the bulb for 12 months, and the light did not dim throughout the time. However, a downside to using this bulb is that it is not suitable if you keep your pet reptile in a fish tank, and the use of a ceramic heat emitter is necessary as the heat emitted is less. Also, it is advisable to use the bulb together with the Zilla T8 strip fixture for optimum performance.

Best Health-Improving
Zilla Desert Series T8 Fluorescent Reptile Terrarium Lamp
  • Helps in the conversion of UVB into calcium
  • Easy to install
  • Long-lasting
  • Enhances the natural colors of your pet
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best UVA&UVB-Emitting Bulb – Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb

The Mega-ray mercury vapor bulb is a good choice if you are looking for the best daylight bulb that emits UVA and UVB to serve as lighting for your reptile. Apart from providing light for the reptiles, the bulb can also serve as a heat supply. Regarding the number of functions the bulb has, it is inexpensive. The generation of Vitamin D3 from the light helps ensure that your pet is not deficient in calcium. The activeness and appetite of the reptiles will be at optimum, coupled with the offering of a balance between visible and infrared light.

After testing the bulb, our testers realized the amount of natural light and UVB provided was the same. Also, compared to conventional bulbs, it is more robust, thus assuring you of an extended period of use. It also prevents metabolic bone disease. However, it is accompanied by a constant buzzing sound whenever it is on.

Best UVA&UVB-Emitting Bulb
Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • Also serve as a heat supply
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Prevents metabolic bone disease
  • Very long lasting
Check Amazon

Best Warmth-Providing – AIICIO Mercury Vapor Bulb Reptile Bulbs

If you need a bulb that can function both as a lighting fixture and a warmth provider for your reptile pets, you may want to consider getting an AIICIOO mercury vapor bulb. Many features make this bulb the best daylight for pet reptiles, and one of them is the auto turn-off feature. The auto turn-off feature is not common to many bulbs and helps prevent burns. You do not need to buy another device to provide heat for the pets when using this bulb, as it gives both infrared and visual light. Installing the bulb is an easy job; however, take note of the enclosure size to ensure the space is enough to accommodate the bulb.

After testing the 100 watts bulb, we discovered that the UVB emitted by the bulb has a high wavelength; thus, using a large terrarium is encouraged. Also, after using it for months, the nickel-plated thread did not rust, making it durable. The downside of the bulb is that it needs replacing after six months, and however, it is cheap.

Best Warmth-Providing
Reptile Systems Mercury Vapor D3 Pro Reptile Basking Lamp
  • Auto turn-off feature
  • Also provide warmth
  • Easy to install
  • Very durable
Check Chewy

Most Affordable – Lucky Herp 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp

The popular notion is that quality materials are always expensive; however, you can get a quality bulb to provide light for your pet reptiles at a cheap amount with the Lucky Herp UVB bulb. This quality, affordable bulb ensures your reptile pet gets all the essential nutrients needed for their transformation. An increase in pet activity, stimulation of appetite, and induction of reproductive behavior are part of the advantages of using this bulb.

Our testers recommend that the enclosure should be a terrarium with a dense screen to ensure the UVB penetrates when used. Also, when used with adult reptiles, we noticed the UVB provided is not enough. Thus, the bulb is suitable for just young reptiles.

Most Affordable
LUCKY HERP 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp
  • Quality, affordable bulb
  • Suitable for young reptiles
  • Stimulate an increase in pet activity
  • Optimal outpu
Check Amazon

The Pros and Cons of the Best Pet Reptile Daylight Bulbs

Ultraviolet A Bulbs (UVA Bulbs)

ProsCons
Increase reproductive behavior.Influence the circadian rhythm.
Increase activity.High penetration can cause cancer.
Increase appetite. 

Ultraviolet B Bulbs (UVB Bulbs)

ProsCons
Induce Vitamin D metabolism.High exposure can cause sunburn.
Improve calcium absorption.It can damage cells.
Prevent metabolic bone disease. 

Verified Review: User Experience

The Zoo Med Reptisun bulb is undoubtedly the best daylight bulb for pet reptiles. A satisfied user gave a comprehensive review saying, “I needed the best lounging lights for my aquatic turtle when I found this absolute beast. It looked pretty good, so I bought it. It arrived after a few days, and I installed it in the turtle’s tank, and it became their favorite feature of the tank. These lights are so great. It is on only during daylight. My turtles love to climb up to their basking dock to lounge under this bulb.

They are more active than ever before. It’s still my first unit of the light, and it’s my 2nd month of use. It has already lasted longer than any other light I’ve used. I planned to get a tank heater, but this bulb keeps them so warm that I get to save my money. I’m definitely getting another if this runs out!”

Another highly rated bulb by reptile pet owners is the Mega-ray mercury vapor bulb, which both reptiles and amphibians can utilize. “This has been the most reliable pet reptile bulb I’ve used to date. Trust me, I’ve tried my fair share of the market, and most burn out or fail to light consistently within just two months. The Mega-ray has been running for over four months with close to 6 hours of activity daily and still works well,” a happy user testified.

“I know I’ll have to replace it soon, but I want to get a UVB meter to judge its performance first. However, I did not gauge the initial UVB output when I first got the lamp because I did not have a meter at the time. My spiny tail iguanas like to switch between this one and a regular heat lamp, and due to their high activity level moving between both, it makes a perfect balance for them,” he added.

Conclusion

Installing the right bulb in the haven of your reptile pets is imperative as it affects the activity of the animals. Since they won’t get access to sunlight, their circadian rhythm depends on the light. Thus, the light is turned on during the day and then turned off at night to enable them to sleep. There are many bulb types, but not all are suitable for your reptile pets. Using this comprehensive review, you can easily get the best bulb for your reptiles.

About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated content writer who can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing about animals, nature, and health. He loves animals, especially horses, and would love to have one someday.

The Best Daylight Bulbs for Your Pet Reptile FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why is lighting important for reptiles?

Virtually all animals and plants need light to carry out their daily activities, and the primary source of light is the sun. Reptiles are known to be more active when there is light, and it helps keep them warm. Also, light is a known source of Vitamin D for the reptiles and induces reproductive behavior. Therefore, every reptile owner should provide adequate light for their pets.

How do you select the right lighting/heat fixtures?

There are different types of bulbs categorized based on the purpose they serve. Some bulbs provide heat, some provide light, and some can do both. However, the best lighting bulb for pet reptiles is the UVB bulb because they provide an adequate amount of light reptiles require. However, to maintain the circadian rhythm of the pets, the bulb should only be on during the day.

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