Lighting is a very important part of living things and it helps in physical growth and psychological development (for animals).
Human activities are dictated by the position of the sun and this also is the case with animals.
As they do not have clocks to tell the time, they rely solely on the amount of light they get to be active or rest.
Keeping your pet reptile indoors means it will be denied of the natural day and night cycle and so you have to make up for this.
The best way to provide proper lighting for your pet reptile is with the use of the best reptile light fixture.
The circadian rhythm is very important and light and heat are essential in dictating this.
Without a proper rhythm, your pet’s behavior will not be healthy as it won’t know when to eat or sleep. Stress on your reptile friend will be increased and its health quality will drop.
UVA and UVB are very necessary for the health of your reptile pal and they get these from the sun while in the wild. UVA is necessary for the regulation of behaviors like mating, diurnal movement, feeding, and the like.
While UVB is necessary for vitamin D3 synthesis for calcium absorption. Without a source of UVB your pet will develop metabolic bone disease, and weak shell (for tortoise and turtles).
A lot of light fixtures are in the market and all promise quality performance but is this always the case?
In this article, we will show you our top picks based on performance, and give you a guide on making the best choice for you.
After seeing numerous light fixtures, we have a pretty solid idea of what characteristics make the best light fixture for reptiles, and the Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp it’s our top choice.
- Easily attach to the rim of all terrariums
- Works best for all types of enclosure
- All sizes feature safety clamp
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Reptile UVB Lighting Guide
Reptiles have a great need for proper lighting and it is important that this is included in your pet’s enclosure.
Being cold-blooded, reptiles cannot regulate their own core temperature and so depend on external heat to keep warm.
This, together with their need for vitamin D3 for calcium absorption makes the presence of light and heat very necessary in their enclosure.
Not all bulbs are sources of UVB, only UVB lights emit UVB so take note of this. Exposure to UVB allows reptiles to synthesize vitamin D3 that is necessary for calcium absorption.
Lack of UVB can cause health issues like metabolic bone disease, soft bones, and deformation, as well as other bone-related diseases.
The UV index is a measure of ultraviolet radiation. The UV wavelengths measured here are those that contribute to a reptile’s manufacture of vitamin D3.
Not all UVB wavelengths are equal in their roles for vitamin D3 synthesis and with the UV index, you can measure the amount of useful UVB emitted.
Safe Use of UV Lights
It is not all about making the right purchase as less than optimum performance can also be gotten from the best products if used wrongly.
UV lights are not like regular lights and so to get the most out of them, they have to be used correctly.
Most times each product comes with its own instruction from the manufacturer which you have to follow, but these guidelines are going to help you care for your pet better:
- While creating a hot zone for your reptile to bask on, it is important to note that the use of highly focused lights is not the best to achieve this. Make use of lights whose field covers the entire body of your animal rather than heating up one small spot.
- Do not place UV light fixtures at the side of your pet’s enclosure. Most reptiles have developed thick ridges above their eyelids to protect their eyes from the sun above. And so placing the light fixtures at the side allows glare into their eyes directly and it can be harmful.
- Ensure that you maintain an appropriate distance between your reptile and light fixture. At least 6 inches and no more than 18 inches is good enough to prevent burns and reduced UVB respectively. The best practice is to maintain a 12-inch gap between both reptile and light fixtures.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the UV light. Ensure that the light is kept out of direct eyesight from yourself, children and your pet reptile also.
- UV lights produce diminishing amounts of UVB over time and will need to be replaced. Most manufacturers recommend a change at 6 or 12 months.
- Do not fill the entire enclosure with UVB. Provide a kind of shade under which your pet can stay away from the UVB light if it so desires. Also, endeavor to maintain a 12-hour cycle of day and night.
The 5 Top-Rated Reptile Fixtures
Best Budget Buy
Best Dual Reptile Light Fixture
Best T8 Bulb Light Fixture
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
The Best Reptile Light Fixture
1. Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp with Switch for Reptiles
Fluker’s Repta-Lighting system is made of heavy gauge painted aluminum and can be used with incandescent bulbs, ceramic heat emitters, and compact fluorescent bulbs.
This is a really high-quality clamp light and works fine for the low price which also contains a convenient an on and off switch.
They do not come with any assembly instructions, but instead a link to a video to see how to assemble.
You will need to screw the lamp onto the clamp base, but you also need to loosen the screw to adjust the lamp’s positioning.
The clamp base is really tight, so it can also be tricky to adhere without squashing your fingers or shaking the furniture. But once it’s on, you know it will be firm.
The little thermostat that comes with it can burrow into your sand and tell the temperature of it.
This product can come in 3 sizes:
- 5.5″ rated up to 75 watts
- 8.5″ rated up to 150 watts
- 10″ rated up to 250 watts
- Easily attach to the rim of all terrariums
- The perfect lamp for reptiles
- All sizes feature safety clamp
- Switches are what always fails for this product
- Gets very hot after prolonged use
2. Zoo Med LF-19 Mini Deep Dome Lamp Fixture
These domes work just great! They can be used for lights as well as ceramic bulb heaters for all types of reptiles and is a good solution to unwanted blinding glare from basking lights.
The wire hook/loop on top is a nice bonus to hang these up on the wall if you will need to remove the lid of the enclosure.
There is an on/off switch along the power cord, and the ceramic socket gives peace of mind when using heating fixtures.
These are rated up to 100 watts. So if you’re buying ceramic heat emitters, buy a dome that is appropriately rated.
The life of your animal and the safety of your home is not worth saving a few bucks on a piece of electrical equipment.
- Ceramic socket: for use with lamps up to 100 watts
- Polished aluminum dome for maximum light and heat output
- Deep Dome extends beyond the face of the lamp, preventing the lamp from sticking out”
- Not designed for small ceramic heat emitters
3. NOMOYPET Clamp Lamp Fixture for Reptiles
Every so often you find a great product through Amazon and this is one of them. You may have never heard of this Nomoypet brand but to our surprise, it’s very well made.
It has a universal 360 swivel all directions so it can easily be changed to any angle and can be either clamp to the reptile cage or hook it to the side of the outdoor wooden housing.
The ceramic socket can handle the heat light bulb and can be used for the winter season and the casing is made of metal, not plastic.
The ceramic socket can also be adjusted into or out of the casing with the two knobs.
We highly recommend it if you have reptile, birds, frogs, fish tanks or any pets that need a little extra heat at night.
- Universal lamp head can be rotated 360 degrees in up/down/left/right
- Hanging hole and clamp design, you can clip it on or hang it up
- Wire and control switch ensure high security with UL Listed and CE certificate
- Ceramic socket can be used with light bulb, heater, UV lamp, infrared emitter
- Suitable for reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, etc
- The cord could have been longer
4. REPTI ZOO Dual Reptile Light Fixture for Reptile Dome UVB Light Fixture Dual Lamp
There’s plenty of space between the two bulbs and they don’t stick out from under the fixture either.
You will be so glad after you buy this! It stays upright without a tilt like other faulty light fixtures.
Everything about this fixture screams quality and we love that it has a higher wattage than most of the fixtures and you will feel safer using any 100watt light bulb knowing it’s not at the max.
- Dual lamp cap integration design, each can bear Max 150W UVA
- Solid and heat-resistant ceramics lamp cap ensure long time use
- Two independent switch power lines for easy control separately lamp
- The top reserves radiating and ventilating holes to guarantee good heat dissipation
- ETL certified
- The bulb doesn’t last for long
5. Zilla Reptile Slimline Reptile Lighting Fixture with UVB Lamp
When it comes to the bone health of a desert reptile, the extra daily dose of UVB light provided by a Desert 50 bulb is as essential as proper food and water for long term strength.
The light bulb that comes with the fixture is designed for 3500 hours or twelve full months of average use.
Only the best products give the best results and this is one product that promises you good performance.
- It has an on/off switch and includes a light bulb. Each fixture includes 25 watt UVB T8 bulb
- It can be bolted up under a counter or on a wall or cap
- This slim profile fixture mounts easily on top of a tank
- Compact, ultra-economical fluorescent strip lights in a modular plastic housing
- Zero instructions on how to replace the bulb when the time comes
How to Choose the Best Reptile Light Fixture
Even though the majority of reptiles have the need for UVB and an external source of heat, their requirements vary and it depends on the species you have.
So before you make any purchase, it is important that you know the UVB needs of your pet so it doesn’t suffer from deficiencies.
Pets with a low need for UVB and heat can make do with regular UVB lights, but those with a higher need (like the turtle, bearded dragon, tortoise, iguana, chameleon, etc.) will need you to get a specific UVB bulb.
The light fixture should be able to provide light during the day and stay off at night so as to maintain a healthy cycle for your pet.
Not all light fixtures can handle high amounts of heat and so be sure that if your pet needs much heat and UVB, the light fixture is able to withstand it.
Commonly Asked Questions About Light Fixtures
Q: What Is UVB?
UVB is part of the sun’s spectrum that is necessary for reptiles to be able to produce vitamin D3. You need to make this available for your pet in its enclosure to prevent bone diseases from occurring.
Q: Can Reptiles Get Too Much UVB?
Yes, they can and that is why they regulate their intake of it. When setting up their enclosure, do not have the whole space under UVB, but provide shades where they can hide under when they need a break from the radiation.
Q: Are Red Lights Bad For Bearded Dragon?
You should avoid the use of red lights at night with your bearded dragon. Unlike most reptiles, bearded dragons can see the red light at night and their sleep disturbed.
Q: Do Halogens Give Off UVB?
Halogens are known to emit higher levels of UVB together with mercury vapor bulbs. They also give off heat and so their use can save you the need for an additional source of heat within the enclosure, depending on your poet’s needs.
The use of the best reptile light fixtures allows you to properly provide heat, light, UVB, and UVA for your pet reptile.
On your own, it is going to be a difficult task due to a large number of products out there and that is why we have narrowed down your search to these top 5.
You can go for Fluker’s 27002 Repta-Clamp Lamp with Switch for Reptiles since is flexible and works on most light bulbs.
Another good choice for you is Zoo Med Mini Deep Dome Lamp Fixture. It extends beyond the face of the lamp making it compatible with most light bulbs.
No matter the product you choose to go with, you can be sure of the best performance and your pet will thank you.
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