Your pet turtle desperately needs two things; a healthy dose of daily UV light and warmth. This is where having a UV light bulb will come in.
This article will lay out which is the best turtle light bulb.
The problem is that most lights don't do quite everything that your turtle needs. Turtles are complex creatures that are supposed to live naturally in a complex environment. Simply removing them from their natural habitat and placing them in a bare tank ensures them of a life potentially riddled with disease and chronic illness.
Ideally, any light that you purchase should do a few things bare minimum:
- Provide UVA light for a healthy activity level and metabolism
- Provide UVB light for vitamin D3 production (which helps with their shells)
- Provides warmth
- Is reliable and doesn't break easily
The problem is that most bulbs (particularly the cheaper ones) come up short on at least 1 or more of these.
That's why I like the Evergreen Sun Glow 100 Watt.
Provides UVA / UVB
Evergreen Sun Glow 100 Watt- The Best Turtle Light Bulb
If you have ever bought a UV or heat light for your turtles, you will know frustrating it is to...
- Watch as the light filament breaks AGAIN, after even gentle knocks or taps
- Burns out WAY too quickly
- See your turtles never bask under it
Here is how the Evergreen Sun Glow 100 Watt stacks up against all 3 of these challenges.
It is so annoying constantly needing to buy a new light bulb for your turtles because the one you had just broke, simply because you moved the light. Or maybe the turtle knocked something on it and the filament inside snapped. Or perhaps it broke because it's cheap and low quality?
Whatever the reason for it breaking, it gets old after the 3rd of 4th time in as many months...
The Repti Tuff on the other hand is probably the most durable UV light out there. For starters its splash-proof, so your turtles can splash around to their heart's content, it won't affect the bulb at all.
Secondly, it won't break easily. The bulb is very highly rated, (4.1 out of 5 stars) and countless reviewers noted how durable and fool-proof the light is.
Regardless of how durable or splash-proof any light is, if it only lasts a month or two it simply won't be worth it.
Typically, UV lights for turtles last anywhere from 3-6 months.
This light should easily last you from 6 months to even a little over a year, provided you take care of it well and use it properly (don't leave it on 24 hours a day).
The real test of whether or not a UV light is worth it or not is to simply see if your turtles even bask under it.
A proper UV and warmth light should provide the following for your turtles:
- UVA light for healthy activity, mood and breeding
- UVB for healthy production of vitamin D3 (for shell and bone growth)
- Is warm enough so that your turtles will want to bask under it
If your turtles will not bask under a light that you have, it will most likely be because your light lacks one of these 3 things (or the light is simply way too close to them and they will burn).
The Evergreen Sun Glow 100 Watt provides all 3.
This is in direct contrast to most other lights, which might provide UVA but not UVB, or might provide both in two separate lights (which makes things more complicated for setting everything up) or is simply not strong enough (wattage is too low).
Let's take a closer look at how this light bulb stacks up against the rest.
The Evergreen 100 Watt Vs. The Competition
On the surface, the Zoo Med Repti Tuff should be the easiest choice. It's (quite a bit) cheaper than the Evergreen Sun Glow and has extremely high reviews (4.4 out of 5 stars).
However, there is one very significant problem: it only emits UVA light.
Without a source for UVB light, pet turtles can potentially develop bone and shell deficiencies, as UVB light is needed for healthy production of the vitamin D3. UVB is absolutely necessary for a healthy turtle's development and health.
So while at face value you may think that you are getting a good deal, you'll still need to get a 2nd light just for the extra UVB rays anyways.
On the other hand, at first glance the Zoo Med Combo Pack Turtle Lamp seems to solve this problem, few a few extra bucks.
Included in the kit are two lamps; one for heat and one for UVA and UVB rays.
It's also a popular product, and well reviewed with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
There are 2 big flaws with this kit however; it's a 2 bulb kit which means you will need 2 lamp fixtures and it is only 50 watts.
At 50 watts, the UV and heat bulb from this kit is probably going to be suited towards a smaller aquarium (around 55 or so gallons) and/or for one or two smaller turtles. The only downside to this, is again, the fact that you will need 2 light fixtures, which may crowd your aquarium a bit.
That being said, I've bought the kit before for use on a 40 gallon tank with 2 younger turtles and it worked great, but I knew what I was getting into before I bought it.
Overall however, I think it's a very good choice, for quite a bit less money.
There are a bunch of other lights out there that you could take a chance with, but usually the problem is either going to be; it is very poorly reviewed or ; it will lack both UVA and UVB light, or it won't be reliable or durable enough.
Thus, my vote for the best turtle light bulb easily goes to the Evergreen Sun Glow. For those on a tighter budget, the Zoo Med Combo Pack Turtle Lamp is a good runner-up, provided you have the space and the extra lamp fixtures to accommodate both bulbs.