Best UVB Bulbs for Tortoise in 2021: Buying Guide and Reviews

by Carl Crane | Updated: March 12, 2021

You obviously want the best for your pet tortoise and are wondering how to improve its life. They need heat and light and incorporating that into their terrarium is essential. 

Making use of the best UVB bulbs for tortoises will go a long way in making their home as close as possible to their natural habitat where they are exposed to sunlight.

Just as we need the sun to regulate our activities and help us with vitamin D synthesis, so also our reptile friends depend on sunlight.

Without the right amount of light and heat, your pet tortoise will have health issues ranging from minor to very serious ones. It is not enough to provide it with food, water, and shelter.

With proper lighting and heating from the best UVB bulbs, you will have a healthy and happy pet.

In a hurry? No worries, to save yourself the long read, here is our top choice when it comes to the best tortoise UVB bulb.

We Recommend

With the repti zoo, you can save both the health of your tortoise and power at the same time.

You now see that what you probably ignored is very important to the health of your pet.

How then do you get the best UVB bulb for tortoise?

These bulbs are available in the market and making a choice can be challenging because they all promise to be the best. That is why I have made this article to help you with your choice of purchase.

All products here promise you quality and keep to it.

The Importance of UVB Light for Tortoise

An easily overlooked part of a pet habitat is the type of lighting and heating that is required.

Using regular lamps for your pets only illuminates their artificial home but it doesn’t help them further.

If you are placing your tortoise indoors and away from the sun, there has to be provision for a good source of UVB and that is why you need UVB bulbs.

Just like you depend on the sun for your activities and vitamin D, so also your tortoise depends on a source of light for heating, regulation of its activities and vitamin synthesis.

Vitamin D3 allows your pet to absorb calcium to build a hard shell and strong bones.

UVB is an acronym that stands for ultraviolet B-rays. Your tortoise needs UVB for the synthesis of vitamin D3 and this can be gotten naturally from the sun.

Enclosing your tortoise in an indoor shell and away from heat and any source of UVB will lead to a deficiency in vitamin D3.

This will affect its ability to metabolize calcium and results in metabolic bone disease. Symptoms of metabolic bone disease are limping, bow legs, softening of the lower jaw with unusual flexibility, difficulty in raising body off the ground, lack of appetite and soft-shell.

Reduction in calcium levels may result in lethargy, tremors, twitches, weakness, seizures, depression and even death.

Now that you have understood how important UVB bulbs are, it is also important that you know how to use it. It is best to allow UVB rays to reach your reptile without any hindrance by Plexiglas or screen.

The perfect distance between your UVB light and your pet is between 10-15 inches with nothing blocking or scattering the light and heat.

A distance of fewer than 10 inches will cause heat burns and harm your pet.

This distance is very important because any more will have very little or no effect.

Just as the sun is important to us but lethal when close, so also is the effect of a UVB bulb if it is too close to your tortoise. 

The 5 Top-Rated UVB Bulbs for Tortoise

Editor’s Picks



Best Overall

Repti Zoo Energy Saving Lamps UVB Bulb


Runner Up

Lucky Herp Reptile UVB Lamp


Best Budget Buy

Zoo Med Reptisun Mini UVB Lamp


Best Turtle Desert UVB Light

Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb


Best UVA UVB Light

MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA


*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best UVB Bulbs For Tortoise

best uvb bulb for tortoise

1. Repti Zoo Energy Saving Lamps UVB Bulb

With the repti zoo, you can save both the health of your tortoise and power at the same time. It is super bright, taking care of the psychology of light in living things that makes us all active.

You can be sure of its durability as it is intelligent and provides a steady current flow despite the pulses that may cause damage to it.

At the correct height of between 10-12 inches from your tortoise, it provides adequate UVB that is required by your reptile for the synthesis of vitamin D3 and calcium metabolism.

Using it at six to eight hours each day gives you a UVB output that can last for up to a year. How’s that for cost efficiency? So you save more and achieve more with just one product.

It is not only fit for use with tortoise. You can use it with your pet lizard and other reptiles that depend on UVB for vitamin D3.

Just like every product, the key to a long lifespan is to follow the instructions. Proper installation will help with the long use of this product and the good health of your pet tortoise.



2. Lucky Herp Reptile UVB Lamp

This product is made with a machine to ensure you get premium quality for every purchase you make.

It gives off stable UVB and has a low UVB fading rate. You do not have to worry about the UVC output as it is within a range that is harmless to your tortoise.

If you are wondering about the best UVB bulb for your desert dwellers like the sulcata tortoise, lizard, leopard gecko, bearded dragon and the likes, then you can’t get it wrong with the use of lucky herp reptile lamp.

It takes care of all their outdoor lighting needs and benefits from the sun while they are kept indoors.

It emits 10% UVB and this amount is just enough to allow your tortoise to absorb and synthesize vitamin D3 and metabolize calcium.

Its use can be a remedy for metabolic bone disease as it provides what is lacking in your tortoise.

Apart from its UVB output, it also gives off UVA which is essential to initiate natural behaviors among reptiles like feeding and mating.

You do not have to go the extra mile just to use this bulb by installing special sockets.

It works with a standard E26 socket and so it can be used with any regular socket.

An appealing perk of using this product is that you get three months service for the lamp if defective from the date you buy it, so your purchase is insured.



3. Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 Mini UVB Lamp

The number 3 on our list of best bulbs for a tortoise is the Zoo Med Reptisun Mini UVB Lamp. Rated at 13 watts, it is perfect for the dwelling and basking reptiles.

To ensure that your tortoise gets an adequate amount of UVB, it is made of high-quality UVB conducting quartz so that the amount produced is not absorbed in any way at the source.

It emits 10% UVB which is enough to meet the vitamin D needs of your tortoise, and 30% UVA which is adequate to enhance natural behaviors like feeding, mating, and others.

The fluorescent bulb screws into standard threaded sockets, so you do not have to make special provisions for a socket.

An interesting and endearing feature of this lamp is the variety of ways in which it can be used. Using it vertically or horizontally still provides the necessary lighting and UVB that is required.

So you do not have to be forced to mount the lighting at a specific angle. You can make your choice and still get the most out of this product.



4. Creepet UVB Reptile Light Bulb

The needs and healthy life of your tortoise can be satisfied with the use of a good UVB bulb.

Creepet gives you a product that is made professionally with those needs of your reptile in mind.

What you get is nothing short of what your tortoise deserves. To help you save the cost of constant purchase, it is built with a chip that stabilizes incoming current to the circuit.

You save money and your tortoise all at once.

It uses quartz glass which conducts UVB so that what is produced doesn’t get absorbed within the bulb but reaches your reptile in good amounts.

This way, your tortoise gets all the UVB it needs for calcium metabolism.

Since living things are drawn to light and are more active with light, Creepet UVB bulb gives off a brilliance that takes care of light needs, while saving power. So you do not have to pay so much for the performance you get.

Create a home away from home for your tortoise. This product is made to simulate the sunny and desert environment in which reptiles thrive, by giving off high UVB output.

A good bonus is a refund or replacement policy for products that are defective within 30 days of purchase.

This assures you that what you get is of good quality and you do not pay for manufacturing glitches or transport accidents.

What you get is what you order and your satisfaction is guarnateed.



5. Evergreen 100 Watt UVA UVB Bulb

We will wrap up our list of best UVB bulbs for your tortoise with the Evergreen UVB bulb. It is a good source of heat and UVB alongside UVA and light.

So what you get are the necessary conditions for the activity, natural behaviors and vitamin synthesis with each use, mimicking natural daylight. Also worthy to note is that there is no production of harmful UVC.

It is perfect for use with your tortoise and a variety of other reptiles. Pets that can benefit from this product include the bearded dragon, turtle, geckos, snakes, lizards, iguanas, frogs, toads, chameleon and lots more.

It ensures that whatever your pet reptile needs from the sun, it gets.

No matter the type of habitat you have in mind, the evergreen UVB bulb is a perfect fit for it. It can be used in a vivarium, terrariums, tanks, vision cage, and other artificial habitats.

So if you are in need of the best bulb for all kinds of habitat, look no further than this.

In order to ensure that what you get is perfect and in good working condition, all products are tested before being packaged for sale. What you have to do is follow the instructions to ensure a long lifespan.



6. MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb

Properly lighting and heating your pet is a crucial step in the quality and length of life your pet will appreciate.

Having the right amount of UVB and UVA light will ensure your pet’s ability to live as though it is in its natural habitat.

As far as we’ve seen, these bulbs are hardy. We dropped one by mistake on the hardwood floor and it did not shatter.

The UVA UVB light bulb from MyComfyPets will both emit both light rays for them to produce Vitamin D and to help with the calcium metabolism.

The quality of the bulb is great. We’ve seen several reviews with people stating the bulb “burnt out” too fast or that shatters relatively easy.

These bulbs have a security failsafe in them that “shuts” them off if jostled around too much to prevent explosion or fires, which is an excellent feature.



7. Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Dual Kit

The Zoo Med Desert UVB & Heat Lighting Kit includes the mini combo deep dome with dual ceramic sockets for use with lamps that goes up to 160 watts per socket. 

It has a dual on/off switches for convenience.

The repti basking spot lamps have a unique patented double reflector that focuses 35% more heat and light into a tight beam.

It makes it ideal for use with diurnal reptiles that thermo-regulate by basking, including many tropical and desert species. 

It also has a true blue glass not painted or coated for better heat transfer made of European quality for long burn life.

Perfect for small terrarium desert species of reptiles and amphibians.



8. Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb 18 inch

When it comes to the bone health of a desert reptile, the extra daily dose of UVB light provided by a Desert 50 bulb (50 microwatts per second/cm2) is as necessary as proper food and water for long term health.

The Desert 50 family of bulbs also produce the needed UVA light, plus visible-spectrum illumination that makes skin coloration more vivid and viewable.

It’s designed to fit most major fluorescent fixture types. Desert 50 bulbs are designed for 3500 hours or twelve full months of average use.

The Desert series will output roughly twice as much UVB radiation (what your turtle needs for a healthy shell).

It should still be fine, the problem is that most aquatic turtles don’t usually get enough UVB radiation so they have soft shells or generally aren’t as healthy as they could be.

The basking area for the turtle mustn’t be way too far away from the light source.

There is a chart on the box that shows the maximum distance the turtle can be and still get an effective amount of UVB radiation.

You won’t hurt any reptile with some extra UVB radiation. You probably couldn’t possibly hurt your turtle unless you have 50 of these lights on it.

The light should be on pretty much as long as the sun is up then turned off when the sun goes down.



9. Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent Lamp

ReptiSun 5.0 it’s perfect for all tropical species of turtle and tortoises. It has 5% UVB Output and 30% UVA Output making it FULL SPECTRUM.

The new ReptiSun Compact Fluorescent lamps use a special UVB carrying quartz glass for maximum UVB penetration.

Cool burning compact fluorescent bulbs screw into standard threaded sockets, eliminating the need for a separate ballast.

The lamp can be faced either vertically or horizontally in your reptile hood or clamp lamp fixture.

The UVB emissions help prevent or reverse metabolic bone diseases and the UVA rays increases feeding, mating, and other natural behaviors.



10. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Lamp

If you are looking for the best bang for the buck UVB bulb on the market then Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 it’s the best choice.

Great bulb and fits perfectly in any standard hood light of 22″. It gives off great light and it will last a long time as well.

If you want to make sure ur reptiles are getting the right UVB rays, then this is the bulb for you.



Using UVB Light Bulb The Right Way

Lifespan of a Light Bulb

When using UVB bulbs for your pet, you have to bear in mind the fact that the bulbs deteriorate in their UVB output over time.

It is recommended that you change the bulb after 10 months or as recommended by the manufacturer.









10-12 MONTHS


The bulb may still produce lighting but it doesn’t mean that it still emits UVB, so distinguish between both functions.

Setting the Light Bulb in the Enclosure

There is a right way to use the bulb to get the best effects. Placing it with nothing but air standing between it and your tortoise ensures that no amount of UVB is absorbed.

UVB is not like x-rays or other forms of electromagnetic radiation that penetrates objects.

It gets absorbed and so your tortoise will still suffer from vitamin D deficiency if there is anything shielding the UVB from reaching it.

Also for the best effects, you do not have to exceed 10 to 15 inches above your tortoise when mounting the bulb except otherwise stated by the manufacturer. This way your tortoise gets the adequate amount it needs.

Placing the bulb too close can cause burns so you should avoid that.

When buying a UVB bulb, ensure to check the amount of UVB it delivers. This is so that you will purchase a bulb that meets the needs of your tortoise. Too low will not be beneficial and too high will be harmful.

Most species of tortoise, however, need about 4% of UVB.

There are bulbs that are made to provide heat, or light and also bulbs that are made to provide both.

All these are essential for your tortoise to be healthy so check out the features of the bulb you are about to buy and ensure it gives you what you want.

Daytime and Night Lights

The UVB bulbs are meant to mimic life in the open. So you cannot leave the bulb on for 24 hours. Light gives energy and marks the beginning of activities.

So when it is daytime, you put the UVB on so that your pet can stay awake and when it is night, you put it off so your pet can rest.

It is generally advisable to leave the bulb on for 12 hours of daytime and off for 12 hours of nighttime.

This means that if you are using one bulb as both heat, light and UVB source, you need to have another source of heat for your tortoise when the UVB light is off.

Common Questions About Tortoise UVB Lights

Q: UVA or UVB for the tortoise?

Both are very essential to the health of your tortoise. UVA light helps regulate natural behaviors of your tortoise like feeding, mating, diurnal movement and others like this.

Q: How long does a tortoise need a heat lamp?

A tortoise needs heat for 8 to 18 hours.

Q: How long should a tortoise lamp be on?

You should turn it on for 12 hours signifying day time. When it is night, you have to turn it off so your pet tortoise can get some rest.

Q: What is the right wattage of UVB bulb for a tortoise?

There is no specific wattage of UVB bulb for your tortoise. The wattage you choose should depend on the size of its habitat and temperature of the region. But ideally, 13, 75 and up to 200 watts will do just fine.


The use of UVB bulbs cannot be overemphasized if you really want your tortoise to be healthy and happy.

It is essential in its vitamin D synthesis and calcium metabolism so that your tortoise can make use of it to build strong bones and a hard shell.

The bulbs are a bit expensive but compared to their benefit, they are totally worth it. Lack of a source of UVB for your tortoise means death in the long run.

If you are still confused about which of the reviewed products to go for, we recommend Repti Zoo Energy Saving Lamps UVB Bulb

It helps you provide enough UVB for your tortoise and also light while saving energy. It has a long lifespan and a built-in chip that protects its circuit.

All these cater to the needs of your tortoise without putting stress on your pocket.

Carl, the reptile-obsessed creator of this website, got his first turtle years ago and he made a ton of mistakes along the way. His goal now with TheCritterCove is simple: help others to not make the same mistakes that he did!