Before taking your pet bearded dragon home, you must have read a little about its natural habitat and habits.
The key to a happy and healthy pet is if its natural lifestyle doesn’t change, so even if you keep it indoors, you need to replicate the natural environment in its new home.
This involves putting things in place like a substrate, feeding it with the proper meals, and maintaining the right temperature within the enclosure.
In this article, we will focus more on how you can make your pet’s new home more comfortable with the use of the best lighting for a bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons are native to the hot regions and so they receive their heat and light from the sun.
As reptiles, they do not have control over their body temperature, and they also cannot naturally metabolize vitamin D3 which is essential for their health.
If deprived of all these, your pet will fall sick and ultimately die so you see that lighting is not optional but a necessity in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
There is a lot of available lighting for a bearded dragon that you can purchase from the market and in this article, we will be reviewing some of the best options you can find.
After seeing numerous bearded dragon lights, we have a pretty solid idea of what characteristics make the best bearded dragon lighting, and the Zoo Med Reptisun it’s our top choice.
- Perfect for all desert and basking reptiles
- 10% UVB output& 30% UVA output
- Uses a special UVB transmitting quartz glass for maximum UVB penetration
Complete Guide for Best Bearded Dragon Lighting
The importance of bearded dragon lighting goes way beyond just illuminating the enclosure.
The lighting you use should also be able to heat up the enclosure to an extent.
This is because bearded dragons are reptiles and as reptiles are cold-blooded, they depend on the temperature of the external environment for their body heat.
Absence of this will cause a drop in temperature, reduction in your pet’s activities including the internal activities like metabolism, and even death.
Being exposed to the sun in the wild allows them to absorb the UV rays from the sun that is essential to them.
These include UVB and UVA. UVB is important because it allows the bearded dragon to metabolize vitamin D3 and calcium, while UVA is important because it stimulates good and healthy behaviors in your pet like feeding and mating.
Lighting is also necessary to mimic the normal day time and night time in your pet’s enclosure.
This light cycle is very important because, without it, your pet will be stressed. You don’t just need a light for this but you also need to be sure you adhere to hours of light and darkness by switching the lights on and off by yourself or with the use of a timer.
During summer, you should ensure that your bearded dragon has a minimum of 14 to 16 hours of light, and in the winter months, you should ensure that your beardie has 10 to 12 hours of light.
Types of Lighting for Your Bearded Dragon
The use of full-spectrum lighting is necessary to provide your bearded dragon with the right amount of UV radiation it needs.
In your use of fluorescent bulbs, do not use the regular ones for humans but use the ones specific for desert dwelling reptiles.
When making a purchase of these tubes, go for the one whose length is at least 80% of the entire enclosure.
You will find the tubes in lengths from 15 to 48 inches. For good performance of your fluorescent tubes, replace them every 6 months or according to the manufacturer’s specification.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs are the mini or curly fluorescent bulbs and are gaining popularity because of their energy conservation while producing good radiation to the benefit of your bearded dragon.
You should be careful when using these types of bulbs however as there have been some claims that the use of these bulbs has caused blindness of pets.
Mercury Vapor Bulbs
Mercury vapor bulbs is an option that most bearded dragon owners prefer to use as it provides a good amount of heat and both UVA and UVB.
These bulbs are on the high side as they are expensive but they last longer so you save more in the long run by using them.
The disadvantage of these types of bulbs, however, is the small area under the bulb that benefits from the heat and UV radiation. They do not perform over a large area.
This implies that your pet will benefit from this bulb as long as it is within the area under the bulb, but if it moves away it will neither receive UVA nor UVB.
How to Properly Use a Bearded Dragon Lighting
To get the most out of your products, you have to make use of them the right way. These tips will guide you on the best practices for your bearded dragon’s lighting.
- Check that the bulb you use provides both UVA and UVB so that you can provide all the UV radiation that your bearded dragon needs
- It is better that you make use of mercury vapor bulbs as they produce heat in addition to their UV rays production
- The cool side of your pet’s enclosure should have fluorescent lighting as it produces less heat
- Hang your lighting in accordance with the instructions so that your pet can benefit from the heat and UV rays that are produced
The 5 Top-Rated Best Bearded Dragon Lighting
Best Budget Buy
Best Mercury UVB UVA Light for Bearded Dragon
Best 2 in 1 UVA UVB Light for Bearded Dragon
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Bearded Dragon Lighting
1. Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent
Size: 6″ x 2″ x 2″ | UVB: 10% Output | UVA: 30% Output | Watts: 13
Top of our list of the best-bearded dragon lighting is Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent light.
It has a good output of UVB and doesn’t cause you to pay huge electricity bills as it is very energy efficient.
You can save further as they do not need any special types of fixtures to be mounted and depending on the design of your enclosure, you can mount them either horizontally or vertically.
To ensure maximum UVB emission, this bulb makes use of a special UVB transmitting quartz glass so that your pet can have as much as it needs to stay healthy.
So if you are looking for the best source of UVB without stretching your pocket, this is the best choice for you.
- Can be installed in standard fixtures
- An efficient energy saver
- Provides 10% UVB
- You can install it either horizontally or vertically
- Doesn’t produce enough heat for your bearded dragon to bask in so you will need to purchase a special light for heating
- Its size may limit the area it covers
2. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
Size: 7.5″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″ | UVB: 5% Output | UVA: 95% Output | Watts: 160
Next on our list is Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb.
It has high performance as it gives your bearded dragon a sufficient amount of UVB that is equal to the amount produced by the sun so your beardie feels comfortable as it would in the wild.
It also gives off enough heat so you can use this bulb as a source of UVB and a source of heat for basking, saving you cost in the long run.
It lasts longer and is usually expensive so if you can afford it, it is a must-have so you should get it.
Its self-ballast makes it extra safe and prevents the emission of UVC which is dangerous to the health of your pet animal.
- Its amount of UVB produced is similar to that produced by the sun
- You have higher wattage option to choose from of up to 160 watts
- It makes use of a self-ballast to make it safer for use and eliminates the production of UVC
- It can’t be used with dimmer switches
3. MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-In-1 Reptile Bulb
Size: 7.5″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″ | UVB: 5% Output | UVA: 95% Output | Watts: 100
Taking good care of your pet with the best sources of UVA and UVB doesn’t have to be expensive and this is a good example of good performing lights that cost little.
It provides your pet with the necessary UVA and UVB and being self-ballasted, it doesn’t emit the dangerous UVC so it is safe for use.
You can install this with standard fixtures so there is no need for special fixtures which may cost you more.
With a lifespan of up to 10,000 hours, it can serve you for a long time before you have the need to make another purchase.
- It is very affordable
- Provides both UVA and UVB
- Makes use of a self-ballast and produces no UVC
- Long hours of lighting
- Its 10,000 hours is short compared to some other brands
4. Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb
Size: 48.2″ x 1.3″ x 1.3″ | UVB: 10% Output | UVA: 30% Output | Watts: 36
If you need a long-lasting bulb, the Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb has got you covered.
You have different sizes to choose from depending on the size of your aquarium, so you can properly meet the UVB needs of your bearded dragon.
Once installed in a standard hood light, you can properly maintain a daytime cycle and provide good UVA and UVB for your beardie.
Meeting up to the light needs of your pet bearded dragon isn’t a problem as you can satisfy all its light needs with the use of a good product, and this is one product that you will be pleased with in terms of UV production.
- Good for use in large enclosures
- Produces as much as 10% of UVB radiation
- You have different sizes to choose from depending on the size of your enclosure
- The amount of heat may not be enough to meet up with the basking requirements of your pet
- You need a hood fixture for installation
5. Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb
Size: 6″ x 8″ x 6″ | UVB: 3% Output | UVA: 97% Output | Watts: 100
We will wrap up the review with Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb.
It is one of the best choices you can make as it provides you with good light to maintain the light time cycle, and gives your bearded dragon sufficient UVA and UVB to stay healthy.
No matter the type of enclosure you make use of, this can be easily mounted and it makes use of standard fixtures so you don’t have to make any special order of a special fixture to install this.
For the level of performance you get from this product, it is cheap and a must-have. To further ensure that your pet is safe, its self-ballast prevents the emission of UVC.
- Great source of UVA and UVB
- Presence if self-ballast prevents the emission of UVC
- Compatible with all types of enclosures
- Doesn’t produce a good amount of heat as would be needed by your beardie
Things to Look Out For In a Good Lighting for Bearded Dragons
When making a purchase of lighting for your bearded dragon, there are some things you need to look out for so that you can make the best choice for your pet.
1. Type Of Lighting
When faced with different choices in the store, it is advisable to choose from mercury vapor bulbs. Even though they are expensive, they are most preferred because they produce full-spectrum light including the necessary UVA and UVB, and they also produce heat.
Check that the bulb you are purchasing produces a good amount of heat also. This is good because it will save cost as there won’t be any need for a special basking lamp or many heating devices. Choosing a lamp that only produces UV rays would imply your use of a special lamp for heating.
3. Spectrum And Intensity
Bearded dragons have a minimum requirement of both UVA and UVB to stay healthy. S in choosing a bulb, make sure it not only produces both rays but produces them in the acceptable amounts that your pet needs to stay healthy.
4. Type Of Fixture That Is Required
Some bulbs can be installed with normal fixtures while others need the use of specialized fixtures. So when making a purchase, look out for the fixture requirement to be sure it is what you have or can get.
Commonly Asked Questions About Bearded Dragon Lighting
Q: What Lighting Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Bearded dragons need heat and both UVA and UVB and they get all of these from the sun in the wild. So to keep your pet healthy, you need to mimic this with good heat and UV bulbs.
Q: What Light Do Bearded Dragons Need At Night?
Bearded dragons do not need any type of light at night as it will disturb their sleep and night cycle. It is best that all forms of lighting be turned off at night in a bearded dragon’s enclosure.
Q: For How Long Do You Keep The Lights On For A Bearded Dragon?
The light time for your bearded dragon depends on the season. During summer, you should provide a light time of no less than 14 to 16 hours and no less than 8 to 10 hours of nighttime. During winter, light time should be a minimum of 10 to 12 hours and nighttime should be a minimum of 12 to 14 hours
Q: For How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without a Heat Lamp?
A bearded dragon can go for only 24 hours without a heat lamp or the sun. The prolonged absence of heat will lead to health problems in your bearded dragon.
The need for proper lighting in your bearded dragon’s enclosure cannot be overemphasized as they need all the heat and UV radiation (UVA and UVB) they can get for a healthy life.
Not all products in the market can meet up to their requirements and so with these product reviews, we are sure you can make the best choice to the benefit of your pet.
Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent is a great choice for your reptile buddy. It makes use of standard fixtures and emits a good amount of UVB.
Another great choice is the Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb. It produces enough UVB to be beneficial to your pet and its self-ballast prevents the emission of UVC.
All products reviewed here are great choices and so no matter the one you go with, you will be surely getting good value for your money.
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