We all know that reptile need UVB light is important for reptiles and amphibians to regulate the synthesis of Vitamin D3, wich allow them absorb and use calcium. However, there are many different species of reptile and several different options of UVB bulbs to choose from.
How do you know what is the best UVB bulb for your species of reptiles? Not all the UVB bulbs have the same strength and range of lengths. This post will help you figure out which option is the right one for your pet.
#1 Linear Fluorescent Lighting
Linear fluorescent UVB bulbs will fit into most fluorescent fixtures. They do the great job to emit low to moderate levels of UVB. They also provide decent even illumination across a large area in the tank.
Although Linear fluorescent are not the strongest UVB bulb available, they suitable and provide enough amount of UVB for animals that have have low to moderate UVB needs and can bask within 12-20″ of the bulbs.
Linear Fluorescent Bulbs come in 3 different strengths:
In general, 2.0 bulbs emit very little usable UVB and should be used for reptiles that have low or no UVB needs such as Poison Dart Frogs, Leopard Geckos, Crested Geckos.
5.0 bulbs are designed to emulate moderate UVB levels, which is suit for animals that live on the forest floor such as green iguanas, anoles, panther chameleons and other jungle or forest animals.
10.0 bulbs mimic the intense UVB emitted in the deserts area. They are ideal for bearded dragons, ackie monitors, chuckwallas, veiled chameleons.
#2 Compact Fluorescent Lighting
There were some debates about compact fluorescent bulbs in the past. But that was corrected long ago, modern compact fluorescent UVB bulbs are perfectly safe to use with your pets. The advantages of these bulb are inexpensive, fits in most incandescent sockets, and low wattage.
However, compact fluorescent UVB bulbs are inefficient and producing UVB radiation. They also have narrow focus that should be placed at or near the basking spot.
Compact fluorescent UVB bulbs came in 3 different strengths: UVB 100 bulbs are equivalent to the former 5.0 bulbs. UVB 150 bulbs are approximately equivalent to former 10.0 bulb. UVB 200 bulbs emit intense Uvb that should not be used for any reptiles or you will have to place it up to about 18 inches away from your pets.
#3 Mercury Vapor Lighting
Mercury Vapor bulbs have longest lifespan in compare with other types on this list, with many bulbs only needing to be replaced after 12-18 months. They produce heat as well as UVB. However, they produce intense UVB output, which make them only suit for full sun animals such as monitors or bearded dragon.
This is the drawback that you should take not that mercury vapor bulbs cannot be used in smaller habitats, or with species that require cooler temperatures. Also, not all the fixture can use with mercury vapor bulb as their high operating temperature.