10 Best UVB Bulb for Chameleons – Reviews & Guide 2020

Chameleons are one those creature that needs sunlight to survive. Without sunlight, they will not get the required UVB radiation to maintain optimal health. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose the best UVB bulb for chameleons. They need UVB radiation daily to prevent metabolic bone disease (MBD) and other developmental disorders.

UVB’s Role in Chameleon Health

When it comes to your pet chameleon’s health, UVB is very important. UVB is important because it helps the chameleon absorb vitamin D which they can then convert into calcium. Chameleons require proper lighting to be able to absorb the calcium that keeps their bones strong.

One disease that commonly affects chameleons is chronic MDB or Metabolic Bone Disease. This disease is common among chameleons that are kept in captivity.

In the wild, chameleons get plenty of UVB lights from the sun. Since they are coldblooded animals, they will spend a great deal of time under the sun.

On the other hand, chameleons kept in captivity don’t have that option. The location of the cage where the chameleon is kept is usually away from the sun. Therefore, they don’t get the required UVB from the sunlight.

UVB is also important in preventing loss of appetite. What they eat and how often they eat will depend on how much UVB lights they get each day. When chameleons don’t get enough UVB lights, they tend to not eat much and that could lead to health issues.

In order to provide them the needed UVB lights, it’s recommended to put UVB lighting in their cage for the health of the chameleons.

What To Look For In UVB Bulbs For Chameleons

Not all UVB bulbs are made the same. Some will produce just UVB rays, while other will product both UVB and UVA rays. Additionally, some will have an “all in one” feature which combines UVA, UVB, and heats all in one bulb.

To make sure you get the correct UVB bulb for your pet chameleons, below are the things to look for when choosing a UVB bulb:

UVB Rating

UVB light bulbs are rated for the percentage of radiation emitted in the UVB range – it usually scales from 1% to 10%. Choose the correct bulb rating for the species of chameleon you’re keeping as a pet.

For most species of chameleons, an output of  5 percent of their total light in the UV spectrum is sufficient. These lights are labeled “5.0” light on the package of the bulb.

Bulb Types

There are many different types of lighting available, but only four of them are best for pet chameleons. These are compact fluorescent, metal halide, linear fluorescent, and mercury vapor. Each light has its own benefits and differences in pricing.

Compact Fluorescent Bulb

Compact fluorescent bulb is popular to use in chameleon’s cage. These bulbs are relatively small in size and use less power. Due to their small size and consume small wattage, these types of bulbs tend to last very long.

Most of these bulbs will usually have a spiral design. This design is to conserve space so it can be used in smaller spaces.

These bulbs will usually come with UVA and UVB lights only. Due to its low power, it won’t be able to produce any heat. Therefore, you’ll need to get a separate heat lamp for your pet chameleons.

The price for these types of lights is low cost.

Linear fluorescent bulb

Linear fluorescent bulb is long tube bulbs. These bulbs are popular to use on cages and terrariums that uses a hood type fixture.

Another great place to use a linear fluorescent bulb is vertical to the cage. If you have a large cage, the light bulb may not reach all parts of the cage. To fix the problem, you can place the linear fluorescent bulb along the side of the cage. This will provide lights to the area where the other lights are not able to reach.

The price of a linear fluorescent bulb is relatively cheap.

Mercury Vapor Bulb

Mercury Vapor bulbs have been growing popular steadily over the past several years. This is due to their long lifespan of around 12-18 months. Also, there “all ll in one” use combining UVB, UVA, and heat makes them a perfect bulb for chameleons.

These bulbs are only available in high wattage, usually 100 watts or more. Therefore, their operating temperature will be high and will require a wire clamp lamp type fixture.

Mercury Vapor bulb is generally expensive when compared to a fluorescent bulb.

Metal Halide Bulb

Metal halide UVB bulbs are new to the US pet trade but have been available for many years overseas. This bulb produces a very intense UVB ray, much higher than Mercury Vapor bulbs. Therefore it’s great for using in chameleon’s cage and other reptiles that love sunlight.

These UVB bulbs use low electricity when compared to Mercury Vapor bulbs. It’s an energy-efficient solution for an all in one UVB, UVA, and heat source for your pet chameleon.

Additionally, the Metal Halide bulb lasts a very long time as well. It can last up to 24 months according to the manufacturer Exo Terra.

Metal halide bulbs are the most expensive types of UVB bulbs on the market.

Bulb Wattage Size

The size or wattage of the bulb is an important factor to think about when choosing the UVB bulb. Some of the things to consider are:

  • The room temperature where the cage is located
  • The cage setup location (near the window, by the air duct, and so forth)
  • The size of the cage setup

All of the above plays a vital role in the health of your chameleons. The larger the cage, the higher the bulb wattage that is needed. On the other hand, a smaller cage will require a smaller wattage bulb.

Fixture

Buying UVB bulbs for the chameleon’s cage will also require a light fixture. A light fixture is needed to mount and keep the UVB bulb in place. UVB bulb varies in size from one to another. Therefore, when picking the UVB bulb, make sure the fixture fit the bulb as well.

 

Top 10 UVB Light Bulbs for Chameleons

There are over a hundred different UVB light bulbs available on the market, but I’ve chosen the best 10 UVB bulbs. This is based on reviews by me and other people who have purchased them.

Here is a list of UVB bulbs for chameleons that you can choose from. Only the best UVB bulbs made the list so you don’t need to worry about the quality. Therefore, pick the right UVB bulb that you think is suitable for your chameleon’s needs.

1. Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb

Check the current price on Amazon.

One of the best UVB lamps on the market! The newly designed lamp produces more UVB than other Mercury vapor lamps, yet safer for owners.

Key Features

  • 160 watts
  • Self-ballasted, UVB, UVA, & heat
  • Mercury vapor lamp

This self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb provides UVB, UVA, and heat for the chameleons.

With five years of research and testing, these mercury vapor bulbs use all the latest technology. One of the great things about this bulb is its decay rates. Most other mercury vapor lamps decay as much as 80% over time, Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb decay less than 30% over the life of the bulb.

This lamp disperses usable UVB in a 30-inch circumference at a distance of 20 inches. Perfect for types of cage setup, whether it be a screen cage or a terrarium.

Pros:

  • Available in 160 watts
  • Self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb
  • UVB, UVA, visual light and heat all in one bulb
  • Have a long lifespan of 18+ months
  • Great to use for any cage setup
  • Great value for your money

Cons:

  • Some bulb doesn’t last long
  • Could break easily if not handled with care during shipment

2. Exo Terra Solar-Glo Heat Lamp

Check the current price on Amazon.

This self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb provides all kinds of health benefits like natural sunlight. Your pet chameleon will benefit a lot from this bulb due to the UVB, UVA, visual light and heat all combined into one bulb.

Key Features

  • 125 or 160 watts
  • Self-ballasted, full-spectrum
  • Mercury vapor

This light bulb has a full spectrum, which means it helps stimulate your pet chameleon’s brilliant colors, increases its appetite, and daily activities.

In addition, with its powerful light that mimics natural sunlight, it also increased your chameleon’s calcium absorption, which is very important to prevent metabolic bone disease.

Used by professional breeders for its many features built into one bulb that includes UVB, UVA, visual light, and heat lamp. This eliminates the need to buy a separate bulb for each feature.

Pros:

  • Available in 125 or 160 watts
  • Self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb
  • UVB, UVA, visual light and heat all in one bulb
  • Provides the benefits of natural sunlight
  • Can be used for all types of cage setup

Cons:

  • Some bulb doesn’t last long
  • Could break easily if not handled with care during shipment

 

3. Evergreen UVB Reptile Bulb

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This is one of the most popular UVB bulbs for chameleons. This is due to the price combined with great quality this bulb has to offer.

Key Features

  • Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • 100 Watts Bulb
  • Completely self-ballasted

This 100-watt bulb provides both UVB and UVA ray that the chameleon require daily. In addition, this bulb provides heat which is perfect for basking during the day.

The Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is self-ballasted for safety and doesn’t contain UVC, which can be harmful to your pet chameleons.

The bulb has been tested for quality with the best-in-class lifespan. The manufacturer has conducted a three-step test on each bulb to ensure it’s working properly. If used as directed, it has a long lifespan when compared to other competitive bulbs.

Perfect to use with all styles of enclosures, including terrariums.

This bulb is to be used with a high quality ceramic socket (standard US size) and a large deep dome designed fixture. Also, make sure the fixture is designed for a high-wattage bulb.

Pros:

  • Completely self-ballasted (no harmful UVC)
  • Excellent source of UVA, UVB, and heat
  • Can be used for all types of cage setup

Cons:

  • No percentage of output for the UVB or UVA listed on the package
  • Very fragile and could break easily if not handled with care during shipment

 

4. LUCKY HERP Reptile UVB Compact Fluorescent Lamp­

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This compact UVB lamp is ideal for desert dwelling reptiles, but are great for pet chameleons as well.

Key Features

  • 10% UVB and 30% UVA output
  • No harmful UVC output
  • Very high D3 conversion

The Lucky Herp Reptile UVB lamp provides stable UVB output and the fading rate of UVB is low. In addition, you won’t have to worry about any harmful UVC rays emitted from this lamp.

This UVB 10.0 reptile light is useful for chameleons that need to produce vitamin D3 and calcium. Use as directed daily, it will prevent your chameleon from getting the Metabolic Bone Disease.

The special glass tube is made by machines with precision and quality. Therefore, you can expect this bulb to perform at the highest quality for a long time.

Pros:

  • Good price for a high-quality bulb
  • Excellent source of UVB rays
  • Can be used for all types of cage setup

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide UVA ray

 

5. Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp

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This light bulb mimics the same natural light as the chameleon’s natural habitat. The high output of UVB rays will ensure the chameleon is receiving the right amount of UVB lights daily.

Key Features

  • Available as 13 or 26 watts
  • High UVB output
  • Self-ballasted

The Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp is ideal for any species of chameleons. Its high UVB output is effective up to a distance of 12 inches. Therefore, it’s great to use for a small and medium-sized cage.

Optimal levels of UVB and UVA rays for your chameleon’s health. This bulb provides UVB rays for optimal calcium metabolism and vitamin D3. The UVA rays help stimulate appetite, daily activities, and reproductive behavior.

One great feature of this UVB bulb is that it’s compact-sized. That means it can be placed horizontally or vertically.  Perfect for chameleons that are kept in a screen cage or terrarium.

Pros:

  • A high output of UVB rays comes in two different wattages
  • Compact size fits most standard fixture
  • Great for growing tropical plants as well

Cons:

  • Not a source of heat
  • Loses 50% of their lighting output quality within one year

 

6. Aiicioo UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb

Check the current price on Amazon.

This 11-piece set has a little bit of anything you could possibly need for your kitchen. The handles are stainless steel and the utensil piece is silicone on each piece. These are high-quality utensils built to last.

Key Features

  • Auto shut off safety feature
  • UVB, UVA, and heat all in one bulb
  • Self-ballasted mercury vapor

Keep your pet chameleon healthy with a high-quality UVB light bulb. It’s an all in one bulb that provides the proper balance of ultraviolet lights (UBA and UVB), infrared light, and visual light. In addition, it provides heat as well which is great for your pet chameleon to bask during the day.

It features a self-ballasted bulb that provides a full spectrum light. This is important to ensure appetite, activity, brilliant colors, and optimal calcium absorption through Vitamin D3 production.

Pros:

  • Thermal reset safety feature to prevent excessive burn
  • Require no additional ballast
  • Good price for a high-quality bulb
  • Long-lasting bulb

Cons:

  • Fragile could break during shipment if not handled with care

 

7. Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent

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This is a great bulb if you need to increase the amount of UV lights for your chameleon. The bulb emits both UVA and UVB light.

Key Features

  • UVB and UVA bulb
  • Consume only 13 watts of power
  • Small compact size

With its small compact design, this bulb is great for small to medium size cage. It can be used in both a screen cage and a terrarium.

This mini bulb consumes very little power of only 13 watts. That means you can operate the bulb for longer periods of time without worrying about running up the electric bill. With its low power, it produces little to no heat which means you don’t need to worry about adjusting the temperature throughout the day.

The bulb has a maximum effective range of 6 to 9 inches. This is perfect for chameleons to get plenty of UV rays during the day.

Pros:

  • Consume low amount of electricity
  • Provides plenty of UVA and UVB lights
  • Great quality built
  • Use standard threaded sockets

Cons:

  • Fragile and may break during shipment if not handled with care
  • Need to be replaced every 6 months

 

8. Zilla UVB Fluorescent Bulb

Check the current price on Amazon.

This bulb is a T8 fluorescent UV tube that is perfect for medium to large size cage. It produces a full spectrum lighting that enhances the natural colors of the animal and environment.

Key Features

  • Provides both UVA and UBA
  • 3,500 hours bulb lifespan
  • Tube design

The great thing about fluorescent tubes is their ability to cover a wide area. Unlike compact fluorescents, T8 bulbs provide an even source of UV light throughout the entire cage. Also, they tend to produce fewer “hot spots”, and they run cooler.

Another great thing about this bulb is its ability to be mounted anywhere in the cage. It can be mounted on top of the cage or mounted vertically as well. Being able to mount the light vertically will allow the light to reach those hard to reach areas of the cage.

Pros:

  • Great quality built for long-lasting
  • Full-spectrum lighting
  • Consume only 13 watts of power
  • Perfect for medium to large size cage

Cons:

  • Fragile and may break during shipment
  • For use in hood or strip light fixtures only

 

9. VIVOSUN Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb

Check the current price on Amazon.

This bulb has everything you need to keep your chameleon healthy. High quality built to ensure trouble-free operation for up to 15,000 hrs.

Key Features

  • High-precision Tungsten filament
  • UVB, UVA, and heat all in one
  • Longlife bulb – 15000 hrs

This mercury vapor light bulb has UVB, UVA, and heat all in one. Mercury vapor provides ultraviolet radiation. Powerful UVB rays but without dangerous UV-C output.

It’s offered in 125 or 160 watts bulb. This powerful bulb is great for screen cage and terrarium of all sizes.

High-precision Tunsteng filaments will guarantee a long-lasting bulb.

Pros:

  • UVB, UVA, and heat all in one bulb
  • Long lifespan of 15,000 hrs
  • Self-ballasted bulb
  • High-grade Tungsten filament

Cons:

  • Fragile could break during shipment if not handled with care

 

10. MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA

Check the current price on Amazon.

This 11-piece set has a little bit of anything you could possibly need for your kitchen. The handles are stainless steel and the utensil piece is silicone on each piece. These are high-quality utensils built to last.

Key Features

  • UVA, UVB, and heat
  • 10,000 hours bulb lifespan
  • Self-ballasted bulb

This bulb is perfect for anyone who wants to keep their chameleon healthy. Made from high-quality material that emits both UVA and UVB radiation.

This Mercury vapor lamp produces 100 watts of lights. Perfect for medium to large cage size. In addition, it’s great to use in screen cage and terrarium as well.

Not only does it emit UVA and UVB lights, but it provides heat for your pet chameleon as well. Therefore, you don’t need to buy a separate heating bulb.

MyComfyPets UVB lights have an auto-shutoff feature that automatically turns the light off when it overheats.

Pros:

  • Produces natural sunlight
  • Auto shut off feature to prevent overheating
  • Long-life bulb
  • High-grade silicone materials withstand high heats with no melting

Cons:

  • May break during shipment if not handled with care
  • Need to purchase fixture that can handle at least 100 watts of power

UVB Bulb Tips

Location Of The Lamp

The location where the UVB lamp will be placed in the chameleon’s cage is vital to the health of your pet. If they don’t receive enough UVB lights daily, they will get sick and potentially die from it. Therefore, it’s important to place it correctly in the cage.

On top of the cage is usually the best location to mount the UVB lamp. This will shine the lights down into the cage and reach the chameleons. Most chameleons will naturally come closer to the light source.

If your UVB light comes with a heat lamp as well, you want to position the light correctly. If not, it could burn your chameleon. Always check the temperature throughout the day as not to hurt your chameleon with the heat. Purchase the correct UVB light with heat for your cage size. Usually, the larger the cage, the more light wattage you’ll need to cover more ground space.

Using The Correct Fixture For UVB Bulb

It’s very important to use the correct fixture for the type of UVB bulb you’ll be using. If not, you can damage the fixture and worse of all, cause it to start a fire.

On all packages of the UVB will state what type of fixture you should use. Some bulb will use the standard socket fixture, while others will require ceramic type fixture. The higher the UVB bulb output is, it will generally require a ceramic type fixture.

Cage Size

The size of the cage is an important factor when choosing the UVB bulb. Each UVB bulb will have the wattage on it. The more wattage the bulb has, the stronger the light is which allows it to reach farther. 100 watts and above are usually recommended for large cages and terrarium. Anything under 100 watts are for small to medium size cage and terrarium.

Most manufacturers will have the wattage of the bulb and the size of the cage or terrarium it can be used for.  It’s very important to follow their recommendation or you can risk getting your chameleon a serious burn or even worse, get them killed.

Related Questions

Do chameleons need UVB light at night?

At night, chameleons don’t require UVB lights. They will get sufficient amounts of UVB lights during the day already.

How long do UVB bulbs last?

How long the UVB bulb last will depend on many factors such as their build quality, defective parts, damaged during shipment, or how often and long it’s being used daily. Therefore, some bulbs last for only a couple of months, while others can last for over a year.

Can chameleons get too much UVB?

Your pet chameleons can never get enough of UVB lights. The more UVB lights they get the better. On the other hand, if they don’t get enough UVB lights daily, health issues could arise from it.

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