Lighting is absolutely essential for reptile’s health. Lighting in captivity should replicate the natural sunlight that reptiles receive in the wild.
Almost reptiles need UV light to help produce vitamin D3, which helps them synthesize and absorb calcium from their food. Besides, lighting also maintains its internal o’clock. The UV light stimulates the natural behaviors of reptiles.
Therefore, reptiles in the enclosure need to be supplied with artificial UV radiation by using specially designed reptile bulbs.
#1 Fluorescent Tube Bulbs
This is the most popular reptile bulb today. The pros of this bulb are quite cheap, use less energy than other types, and still ensure provides proper wavelengths of UV rays to accommodate.
Not every fluorescent tube bulbs can use for reptiles lighting. The normal household fluorescent bulbs do not design to provide UV output that reptiles needed.
Fluorescent tube bulbs that are specifically designed for reptiles will produce a high UV output. You may need more than one bulbs for providing adequate UV rays in the large cage.
The down point of this bulb is that it should not be placed over 12 inches from your pet or they may not receive sufficient radiation.
Moreover, although this is cheap this bulb cannot last for so long, you have to replace this bulb every 6 months.
#2 Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
This bulb is not really common for reptile owners. Compact fluorescent bulbs product the high efficiency with the quiet strength of intensity and UV output. But it is much smaller than fluorescent tube bulbs. This feature can help you save space and cost.
However, this bulb is considered as not very safe for reptiles. Someone said that it causes the blindness in some reptiles due to its intense and bright.
#3 Mercury Vapor Bulbs
This is regarded as the optimal lighting solution for almost reptiles. Since mercury vapor bulb produces barely amount o UV radiation and also heat, therefore you can eliminate the heat bulb in your tank.
One more outstanding feature of this bulb is that it works effectively to produce both UVB and UVA rays. Besides, you can use this bulb for about 1 year without replacing and do not lose output strength.
However, due to its long life and efficiency, the mercury vapor bulb also tank cost much more than fluorescent bulb.