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What Lighting Do I Need for a Bearded Dragon?

There are different bearded dragon lighting options out on the market today. Which ones are best for you, your dragons enclosure and your dragon will vary on your situation.

The mainstay bearded dragon lighting options that you are going to need are lights for heat and lights for UV-B.

Which types of lights you use for either will be up to you. I am going to focus on UV-B producing lights on this page. If you want information on heating lights check out my page on bearded dragon heating options.

Which brand or manufacturer is the best is solely personal opinion. I have my favorites, but don’t let me make up your mind. Most lighting products on the market today will all do their jobs adequately.

I am going to focus on UV-B producing lights on this page. If you want more information on heating lights, check out my page on bearded dragon heating options.

UV-B Light Fixtures

Any of these fixtures will serve you well. They are a nice addition to any cage. I like to use plain florescent fixtures that you find at retail stores such as Walmart. They are a cheaper option if you need to save some money.

Florescent Lights

These fluorescent light tubes are pretty much the mainstay of the reptile trade. There are other products out there, but these ones seem to be the most commonly used. They provide UV-B rays without adding additional heat to your cage.

I like to use these bulbs in my cages. They work well in cages that are too huge. The Reptisun 10.0 bulb has made these an even better option. I use the Reptisun 10.0 tubes in my cages and getting good results. Even though this bulb has a reach of 20″, it is still a good idea to provide a place where your dragon can get fairly close to it.

The other bulbs shown are good in their own right. They might not emit as much UV-B as the 10.0 bulb, but they do quite well if your dragon gets close enough to it. For my money though, I like either Zoomeds Reptisun tubes or Exo-Terras ReptiGlow lights.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These bulbs are just a smaller version of the fluorescent tubes. These are relatively new. I have never tried these myself, but they seem like they would be just as good as the tubes. Though, with their smaller size there will be a smaller area where UV-B rays will be directed. I am not sure about that, just speculating. They seem like a very viable option to me.

Mercury-Vapor Lights

These light bulbs seem to produce the most beneficial light rays than any other out on the market. They seem like a really good product. I have heard of dragon breeders and owner getting wonderful results using these bulbs.

Besides the beneficial UV-B and UV-A rays that mercury vapor lights produce, they also produce heat.

The only setback for these might be that they are better suited for larger cages. Depending on the size of cage you are going to use and how well ventilated it is will determine if you want to use one of these. I have heard of these bulbs being used in a smaller cage setting and really overcooking the occupants of the enclosure.

In a smaller sized cage (48″ x 20″ x 20″) these bulbs might produce too much heat. I’m not sure if you can use a dimmer switch with these or not. If you could, it would be easy to control the heat given off. I am not sure if you can use a dimmer with them though.

If you do have a bigger cage, however, these probably are the best lights to use.

Sunlight Exposure

The best possible source of UV-B rays. If you live in an area where you can provide 15-30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight, you don’t really need to provide a UV-B source.

If you can’t provide this all year round, you still might be able to get them exposure in the warm summer months. Make sure, though, that the outdoor temperatures are right for your dragon. With this, you are still going to need a UV-B source for when your dragon can’t get sun exposure.


There are different bearded dragon lighting options out on the market to choose from. What ever UV-B source you choose, make sure that it helps your dragon thrive.

While there is still some differences of opinion on providing UV-B light, I think their are benefits to using one. This is just my opinion and, as with anything else on my site, you can take it with a grain of salt.

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