A top-quality and dynamic UVB light is, no doubt, a crucial piece of equipment for all pet turtles. While their design and purpose seem pretty basic, it is, in reality, highly essential in your turtle’s overall health.
Truthfully, the best UVB light for turtles can help your shelled pet grow healthy and even live longer. To me, the life of your pet greatly depends on having the right type of lighting.
But, choosing the best UVB light for turtles is no picnic, especially if you have no clue in raising a healthy and happy pet turtle.
Trust me, there are tons of different sockets and shapes that you may need to familiarize with, as you look for the best UVB light for turtles.
But fear not! Today, I am going to break down a few terrific options to help you make the right selection.
After reading this turtle pet guide, rest assured that you will have the best UVB light for turtles.
Whether you are keeping a red-eared slider or an eastern box turtle, you will find an excellent kit in this guide, as these lights are suitable for all types of turtles.
Table of Contents
What is UVB light? Why do Turtles Need It?
UVB light is, in essence, a component of the UV spectrum and is a type of light emitted by the sun.
The UV Spectrum consists of 3 parts, UVC, UVB, and UVA lights, which are all found in the natural sunlight.
Turtles, as well as other reptiles, need UVB light since it produces Vitamin D3 – an essential nutrient that helps these creatures effectively absorb calcium and other key nutrients.
Without enough exposure to UVB light, your pet reptiles will develop metabolic bone diseases and shell problems.
Even worse, these pets will eventually die if they are deprived of this kind of light for a long time.
Sadly, a lot of turtles in captivity do not have enough UVB light exposure simply because their owners do not know how vital it is to their pet’s health.
This mostly true when owners get baby turtles at a fair or carnival without having a solid plan for their pets in advance.
And, most of these baby turtles die in less than 12 months, as their owners just do not know how to keep and take care of these reptiles.
It is not always the fault of the keeper, though. Sometimes, those who work in pet shops do not know much about pet reptiles. And, for the most part, they suggest or sell turtle keepers the wrong kinds of lights.
Just because a package of light bulbs says it is “sun spectrum” or “full-spectrum”, it does mean it produces UVB or UVA light.
Honestly, some of these “sun spectrum” lights provide little to no UVB or UVA light.
UVB Light for Turtles Comparison Chart 2020
There are tons of top-notch and high-quality UVB lights for turtles in the market today. To make things simpler on your end, I have narrowed down the best options for you.
|Product Name||Light Power||Type of UVB Light||Key Features|
|Zoo Med Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles - Best Overall||13 watts||Compact fluorescent||10% UVB output and is suitable for all basking reptiles|
|Zoo Med Aquatic UVB Light for Turtles - Best for Beginners||100 watts||Fluorescent||Has a polished aluminum dome that increases UV and light output|
|Exo Terra UVB Light for Turtles - Best with Mercury Vapor Lamp||125 and 160 watts||Mercury vapor||Optimals levels of heat, visual light, UVA and UVB in one lamp|
|Zoo Med 5.0 UVB Light for Turtles - Best Budget||13 watts||Compact fluorescent||High UVB and UVA output, helping prevent metabolic disease|
|Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Light - Best with Light and Heat Source||100 watts||Mercury vapor||Ideal for a wide range of amphibians and reptiles|
|Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles - Best with Fluorescent Lamp||26 watts||Fluorescent||Does not need a separate ballast and can be installed horizontally or vertically|
|Exo Terra Tropical UVB Lights for Turtle - Best for Tropical Turtles||13 and 26 watts||Compact fluorescent||Engineered for all subtropical and tropical reptiles|
|Exo Terra Desert UVB Lights - Best for Desert Reptiles||13 and 26 watts||Compact fluorescent||Helps mimic the natural desert environment|
|Repti Zoo UVB Light for Turtles||15 and 26 watts||Compact fluorescent||Energy-saving and suitable for a variety of reptiles|
|Zoo Med Powersun UVB Lamp||100 watts||Mercury Vapor||All-in-one light kit for turtles|
What is the Best UVB Light for Turtles to Buy?
UVB lights vary in power, features, and price. To help you select the UVB light that best fits your budget and needs, make sure to heed these words of advice.
- Best Overall – Zoo Med Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles
“With a remarkable 10% UVB output and an array of features, this Zoo Med product is definitely the best and most dependable option, when it comes to UVB lights.”
- Best for Beginners – Zoo Med Aquatic UVB Light for Turtles
“This 2-in-1 combo turtle light is the perfect solution for beginners, thanks to its ability to emit heat as well as UVA and UVB rays.”
- Best with Mercury Vapor Lamp – Exo Terra UVB Light for Turtles
“Providing the perfect balance of infrared light, visual light, and ultraviolet light, this easy-to-install lamp provides all the perks of natural sunlight to your reptiles.”
- Best Budget – Zoo Med 5.0 UVB Light for Turtles
“Not only is it an inexpensive choice, but it also has an impressive UVB output, and is suitable for an array of reptiles.”
- Best with Light and Heat Source – Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Light
“Engineered into perfection, this completely self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb provides turtles warmth as well as vitamin production that is crucial to their health.”
- Best with Fluorescent Lamp – Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles
“With a 30% UVA output and a 10% UVB output, this fluorescent lamp helps reverse or prevent metabolic bone diseases as well as increases mating feeding.”
- Best for Tropical Turtles – Exo Terra Tropical UVB Lights for Turtles
“Suitable for all tropical and subtropical turtles, this extraordinary lamp stimulates reproductive behavior, activity, and appetite through UVA and UVB radiation.”
- Best for Desert Reptiles – Exo Terra Desert UVB Light
“This compact fluorescent 10.0 terrarium lamp imitates the natural desert environment with its high visual light output and UVB rays.”
Top 10 Best UVB Lights for Turtles Reviews 2020
Want to find out the pros and cons of every UVB light that I have mentioned? Guess what? I have reviewed each product to help you score the best UVB light for turtles.
1. Zoo Med Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles
Let us kick off this section with arguably the best UVB light for turtles in the market today! At only 13 watts, this UVB light may seem small compared to the other heavy hitters on this list.
But, this bad boy is incredible and superb, especially if you have a smaller tank.
After all, this light boasts an outstanding 10% UVB output and a 30% UVA output. Furthermore, it uses a unique UVB glass to emit rays and light in a more efficient fashion.
And, you can install the UVB light horizontally or vertically, and it does not need a separate ballast. You can use it with lf55, lf50, lf19, and lf18 hoods.
To me, this light is best used over the turtle’s basking spot, so that it can conveniently absorb the UVB rays.
- Uses a one-of-a-glass quartz glass for max UVB penetration
- Can be installed horizontally or vertically in clamp lamp fixture or reptile hood
- High UVB and UVA outputs
|Dimensions||6 by 2 by 2 inches|
- Last longer than other brands
- Safe to use for pet turtles
- Pretty effective
- Excellent value for the money
2. Zoo Med Aquatic UVB Light for Turtles
(Best for Beginners)
Keep a healthy and happy turtle with this top-rated UVB light! The Zoo Med Aquatic UVB light is actually a combo kit with a couple of different light bulbs to meet your turtle’s needs.
The combo kit features a splash-proof halogen bulb that imitates daytime light with its prolific emitted light and heat. Of course, it has a UVB bulb that helps develop stronger bones and shells for your turtles.
With such a unique combination, this is, by far, the best UVB light kit for those who just ventured into the world of keeping pet turtles.
- Dual sockets (ceramic)
- Polished aluminum dome that enhances UV and light output
- 2-in-1 kit
|Dimensions||9.4 by 12.4 by 3 inches|
- Perfect for newbies
- Easy to use
- Extremely effective
- Heat is consistent
- Works well with a timer
- Slightly pricey
- Bulbs are a little weak for some large aquariums
- Hard to adjust the angle
3. Exo Terra UVB Light for Turtles
(Best with Mercury Vapor Lamp)
The Exo Terra UVB light is one of my personal favorites. In my opinion, this UVB light is one of the few products that deserve the title of the best UVB light for turtles.
It is built to provide plenty of UVB rays, with an output of 5%. I have been using this light kit for years, and so far, my turtles have not developed a Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
I replace the UVB light every 6 months. And, even when it expires, the kit’s light and heat still work.
- Provides all the perks of natural sunlight
- Prevents MBD
- Optimal levels of heat, visual light, UVA and UVB
|Dimensions||5.6 by 5.8 by 7.5 inches|
- Bright and warm
- Installation is easy as pie
- Zero cases of MBD
- Excellent value for the price
- The UVA and UVB light starts to decline drastically after 5 months of use
4. Zoo Med 5.0 UVB Light for Turtles
You are going to love this Zoo Med UVB light, especially if you have a tropical turtle at home. With its superior UVB wavelengths, this light kit helps reverse or prevent metabolic bone disease in reptiles in captivity.
Additionally, its UVA rays increase the reproductive behaviors, appetite as well as activity levels of your turtle.
In my opinion, this mini compact fluorescent UVB light is best used for smaller enclosures.
- Easy to install
- High UVB and UVA output
- Suitable for all species of amphibians and reptiles
|Dimensions||5.9 by 1.6 by 1.6 inches|
- Brightness is second to none
- Last longer than other brands
- Provides the adequate amount of UVB light rays
- Installation is a walk in the park
- Not recommended for larger turtle enclosures
5. Evergreen Pet Supplies UVB Light
(Best with Light and Heat Source)
There is nothing quite like this infrared bulb. Unique and functional, this UVB light is the perfect source of infrared and heat even at night.
The light ups its game a notch by creating a handy design that is compatible with all enclosures, including vision cages, terrariums, tanks, and vivariums.
In fact, this bulb can also be used for cats and dogs. On top of it all, it has a durable ceramic socket and has a remarkable lifespan of around 800 to 1000 hours.
- Remarkable lifespan
- Fits with all enclosures
- Suitable for an array of amphibians and reptiles
|Manufacturer||Evergreen Pet Supplies|
|Dimensions||6 by 8 by 6 inches|
- Can be effectively used for 10 months, until the UVB light expires
- A dependable source of visible light, UVB and UVA
- Flexible and can be used for other reptile pets
- UVB production is pretty low and is best used for heating
6. Reptisun UVB Light for Turtles
(Best with Fluorescent Lamp)
I am going to be completely honest with you. This Reptisun light is not quite as well-known as some of the products I have mentioned in this guide.
But, it has impressed me and has made some waves as of late.
Although the light cannot be used for heating purposes, it nevertheless is effective in emitting UVB rays. With a 10% UVB output, this light ensures optimum health and growth for your turtles.
Even better, it uses a unique quartz glass that maximizes UVB penetration.
- Full light spectrum
- Long-lasting German bulbs
- High UVB output
|Dimensions||24.6 by 1.8 by 1.8 inches|
- Durable and lasts longer
- Packaged perfectly
- Manufacturers did not state that it is for T8 fixture only
7. Exo Terra Tropical UVB Lights for Turtles
(Best for Tropical Turtles)
There is no UVB light quite like Exo Terra tropical. With its dynamic 5.0 compact fluorescent lamp, this light emits healthy and optimal UVB levels for optimal calcium metabolism.
Plus, its features are pretty similar to the rainforests and other tropical areas.
Of course, the light promotes appetite as well as activity and reproductive behavior, thanks to its UVA radiation.
As a bonus, it is self-ballasted, meaning a typical screw fitting is just enough to use and operate it.
- Provides optimum UVB rays for excellent calcium metabolism
- Suitable for all subtropical and tropical reptiles
- Stimulates your turtle’s activity and appetite
|Dimensions||2.6 by 2.6 by 7.8 inches|
|Power||13 and 26 watts|
- Mimics natural sunlight in tropical areas
- Excellent value for the money
- Works flawlessly
- Improves turtle’s appetite within a week
- Not as long-lasting as some brands
8. Exo Terra Desert UVB Light
(Best for Desert Reptiles)
Are you looking for the perfect lamp for your desert-dwelling pet reptile? Then, consider this Exo Terra product, as you look for the best UVB light for turtles!
Unlike most of the UVB products mentioned in this guide, the Exo Terra Desert UVB light is engineered specially to mimic the natural environment of a desert.
As a matter of fact, this light has a rather UV output, which is pretty similar to the natural sunlight in deserts.
I also tried this on my bearded dragon, and she totally loves it.
- Remarkable UVB output
- Designed to replicate the desert environment
- Improves calcium absorption significantly
|Dimensions||2.6 by 2.6 by 7.8 inches|
|Power||13 and 26 watts|
- Safe to use
- A cheaper alternative to pricey tube lights
- Terrific resin production
- You need a metal dome that perfectly clips on the container
9. Repti Zoo UVB Light for Turtles
This UVB light was such a fascinating and pleasant surprise! Before I bought this product, I did not have high expectations of the Repti Zoo UVB light.
That is why I had a blast using it, and so did my turtles. Not only does it help efficiently metabolize calcium, but it is an energy-saving bulb as well.
Heck, it emits brilliant and bright lights without consuming a great deal of power.
And you can use this UVB light for the whole year.
- Terrific circuit design
- Suitable for a ton of pet reptiles
|Dimensions||2.2 by 2.2 by 5.2 inches|
|Power||15 and 26 watts|
- Outstanding bright moonlight color
- Ships fast
- Enhances the appetite of turtles
- Not ideal for providing warmth
- Not long-lasting
10. Zoo Med Powersun UVB Lamp
Zoo Med Powersun provides all the lighting needs that your turtle needs. And, amazingly, one of my turtles turned into absolutely a different pet, positively, after I gave him this superior quality UVB light.
This light substantially prevents metabolic bone diseases since it gives them healthy doses of Vitamin D3.
And, it is ideal for creating basking areas for box turtles and other reptiles. Not to mention, it lasts for around 12 months.
- Ideal for larger containers and terrariums
- High UVB and UVB outputs
- Comes with superior nickel-plated threads that prevent corrosion
|Dimensions||8.8 by 4.4 by 4.4 inches|
- 1-year warranty
- Easy to use and install
- Does not need a ballast
- Exceptional all-in-one kit
How to Find the Best UVB Light for Turtles
There are tons of decent options, as you look for the best UVB light for turtles. If you want to pay it safe, though, you should heed these tips.
Avoid “Full-Spectrum” UV lights
Steer clear of sets that are labeled as “full-spectrum” UV lights. Quite frankly, this label is merely a marketing ploy.
Sure, these bulbs might still produce UVB and UVA light, but nearly every one does not provide enough of it for your pets.
Skip Specialty Lights
You need to avoid these lights for turtles as well. A lot of these lights produce excess quantities of UVA, which is unhealthy for your pet reptiles.
Consider Buying an All-In-One Light and Heat Kit
You can meet all the light needs of your pet turtle in just one lamp kit. A 2-in-1 lamp kit is one of the most convenient and popular ways to provide daylight, heat as well as UVB and UVA rays in one product.
Moreover, each bulb of this kit has a separate switch, meaning you may turn on which kind of light that you want whenever you want.
Take an In-Depth Look at Each Uvb Light Option
- Fluorescent strip light: It is the traditional and most common UVB light type. Although it looks like a typical household fluorescent bulb, it is actually a UVB light designed for turtles and reptiles. Also, take note that regular fluorescent bulbs do not emit helpful UVB rays.
- Compact fluorescent UVB bulb: This option looks a bit like a corkscrew. It is ideal if you do not have the right fluorescent strip light fixture, but have an extra light clamp laying around. However, unlike a 36-inch or 18-inch long strip, these bulbs only cover a small tank area.
- Mercury vapor bulbs: They are a bit more expensive, but typically last longer than the other options. Plus, they also emit heat and are more potent than other types of UVB bulbs. These options are perfect for larger enclosures as well as whole rooms housing gigantic tortoises.
10.0 or 5.0 UVB for Pet Turtles
Both UVB bulbs, in terms of light amount, are the same. The 10.0 UVB bulb, though, produces twice as much as the UVB as the 5.0 UVB bulb.
You should use the 5.0 UVB bulb if you have some space constraints. Alternatively, you may put it in a mini deep dome or if you are using something like that.
I always recommend the 10.0 UVB bulb for tortoises and turtles. And, it should be mounted around 10 – 12 inches away from the base, so that your turtle can significantly benefit from the UV rays emitted.
Is there something in your mind that you want to ask me? Just check out the FAQ section first, and see if it contains the answer to your question.
My Top Pick
Zoo Med Reptisun UVB Light is hands down the best UVB light for turtles in 2020. Not only does it have a high 10% UVB output, but it also has a special glass that emits UV rays very proficiently. And, best of all, it gives astounding results at a fraction of the cost of some brands.
Want to keep a happy and healthy pet turtle that will live for decades? Grab one of these top UVB lights, and create a thriving and safe environment for your reptile!