5 Best Heat Lamps and UVB Lights for a Turtle Tank In 2023 (Buying Guide & Review)

Not only does a lighting system help you see your pet at all times, but it is crucial for their survival, which is why you need to provide the best. Preferably, you would need an option that emits UVB like the Zoo Med Turtle UVB. With this guide, we help you understand the essence of lighting for your pet and the best products in the market to help you achieve that. Read on for the ultimate guide if you want to keep a healthy turtle using the best heat lamps. 

In this article, we’re going to review the following heat lamps and UVB lights:

Heat Lamps and UVB Lights for a Turtle Tank

5 Best Heat Lamps and UV Lights for a Turtle Tank Reviewed

The best lighting system provides UVA, and UVB lighting has a suitable wattage and a long lifespan. It is a critical decision for you as a pet parent because it directly involves your turtle’s health. We went into the markets to find you the best products with your pet’s interest at heart. Please take a look at what we found. 

1. Zoo Med Reptisun UVB

This fluorescent bulb is one of the best in the market, offering your pet light and UVB. It is also cheap, and you can afford it and replace it when it runs out. It is a long compact bulb that doesn’t focus the light onto one spot, which is an excellent thing because you can set it vertically or horizontally. It effectively lights up the whole tank, and you can be confident that your pet will receive well-distributed heat from any position of the enclosure. The six-inch length also increases the coverage, especially when you place it horizontally. 

The most significant advantage of this bulb is that it provides 30% and 10% UVA and UVB for your pet’s growth and development. Therefore, having it improves your turtle’s health, enabling it to thrive in the tank. The manufacturers ensured that the UVB penetrates powerfully regardless of the low percentage. Hence, you will get maximum UVB penetration and save some cash while you are at it. You can even buy two bulbs if you have a massive tank, and you won’t feel a pinch.

On the negative side, this bulb has a low wattage, meaning that it won’t provide enough heat for your pet. Placing it on the basking spot can alleviate the situation, but it is advisable to install another bulb to heat the tank while you use the compact alternative for light and UVB.


  • It is affordable 
  • It comes in a compact design
  • It is of quartz glass for maximum UVB output


  • It has a low wattage
  • It is only best for use as an additional bulb

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. OMAYKEY Ceramic Heat Lamp

If you already have a standby light bulb and you only need an alternative heat source for your pet, look no further. This option is sleek and looks nothing like the typical light bulb, enabling it to blend well with any tank type. If you are going for a unique exquisite heat lamp, this is the one for you. It is also minimalistic and one of the long-lasting bulbs on our list. The bulb is eight centimeters in diameter and comes in black, making it match the tank and any other additional items. It has a high wattage that works great for a large or medium-sized enclosure. 

The 100 watts will effectively resemble the sun’s rays even in an indoor setup. If you are worried about an intense heat source, you can adjust its position to suit your needs. It is also easy to install but with a few restrictions. It tends to overheat; hence, attaching it to a plastic socket can cause the system to melt, and fires can ensue. Therefore, it is advisable to use a porcelain alternative. You may also need a standby thermometer to help monitor the heat levels. The manufacturers knew this; hence, the product comes with a thermometer that makes the system affordable and saves you the hassle of looking for one separately. 


  • It has a sleek and elegant design
  • It comes with a free thermometer


  • It requires a porcelain socket since it is prone to overheating.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Zoo Med Turtle UVB

This bulb is the only one that offers versatility among all the products on our list. It provides UVA/UVB light on one side and heat on the other. It competes with other products in the market based on this dual fixture feature since most products offer a single heat and light bulb. The light bulb is at 13 watts while the heat lamp holds 50. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about your pet suffering the side effects of overexposure to UVB and UVA. Note that the fixture comes with an independent switch for the two systems; thus, you can switch off the one you don’t need. The heat is also moderate regardless of your tank’s size. 

This option has a unique two-in-one feature that newbies will appreciate since you don’t have to buy the heat and light bulb separately. Not only does it save you the hassle, but it is also economical. Another plus is the aluminum lining which enhances the UV output, and the dome shape ensures that the bulbs don’t hang outside. Secondly, the lamp is durable since it is halogen. One more feature we have to mention is that it is splash-proof. Hence, it doesn’t matter its position in the tanks or how excited your turtle can get, and you won’t have to worry about water splashing and ruining the bulb. 


  • It comes as a two-in-one bulb with a separate heat and light bulb
  • It is splash-proof
  • It has a deep dome covering that prevents the bulbs from hanging outside


  • It doesn’t come with a stand for installation.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Simple Deluxe Clamp Lamp

We also present to you the multifunctional bulb. You can use it in your turtle tank, desktop, art studio, garage, workshop, or as an indoor plant light. You can remove it and set it up for personal use whenever you don’t need to use it for your pet’s tank. It is an eight-and-a-half-inch lighting system with a dome-shaped reflector and a plastic lamp holder. It is one of the most potent bulbs on our list, given that it can hold up to 150 wattages.

It has a tight clamp that allows a 360-degree adjustment, enabling you to direct the light and heat wherever you wish. The only downside with this bulb is that it is a traditional light bulb; hence, it will not suit your style if you are going for something more elegant. However, it is still functional, and since you can use it for other needs, it saves you a lot of money. 


  • It is multifunctional.
  • It has a 360-degree adjustable clamp for direction in every position.


  • It does not come with a light bulb.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Lamp

Turtles need UV light and heat to warm up their enclosure. If you live in areas with prolonged winters, this bulb is suitable for you. It will also work if your UVB light source doesn’t emit enough heat for your turtle’s basking needs. The bulbs come in different wattages, and you can choose one that is suitable for your pet; a low watt bulb will be practical for a small cage. The ceramic heat emitter doesn’t produce light but emits infrared heat to give your buddy comfort and improved health. 

It will supplement other light sources such as UVB lighting, and a plus is that it won’t interfere with the turtle’s sleep like the brightly lighting alternatives. The Fluker’s ceramic heat emitter is convenient for turtles that need a lot of heat because it emits intense and well-distributed heat better than ordinary bulbs. You can be sure of its functionality in any enclosure type. The downside with this option is that you need to be cautious when using it because it tends to heat up excessively and burn a plastic socket. Therefore, you need a thermometer at all times to check the temperature level. 


  • It is great for nighttime use since it doesn’t emit light
  • It is ideal for sick turtles and juveniles


  • It produces a foul odor during the first few hours of use
  • It doesn’t emit UVB/UVA light that is crucial for the turtle’s health

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Factors To Consider When Buying a Heat Lamp and a UVB Light

Turtles are cold-blooded animals; hence, they rely on external sources to obtain heat. Considering this, they need a heat source that provides the extra warmth they need. Also, the UVB will facilitate calcium synthesis.

The market offers various lighting systems, coming in different shapes, sizes, and specifications, but only some can provide your pet with the best environment to live and thrive. To make your hassle easier, we present you with the key aspects to consider when choosing the best lighting for your turtle.

The Type of Light

The most crucial factor to consider is the type of light you need. There are different lights available, but you have to consider the one that best suits your pet. 

  • Compact Bulbs

Also known as fluorescent bulbs, this option works best if you have a small tank or an isolation habitat for a sick turtle. They concentrate the production of UVB to a small area to provide maximum exposure to the light. However, it would be best if you had a retreat area for when your pet needs to cool down because there are ongoing concerns that overexposure to these lights can cause eye damage. 

  • Timers and Night Lights

These lights will do if you want a system that doesn’t disrupt your pet’s sleep at night. They are faint-colored and come in red or dark-blue shades, which still provide light but not the glaring light like other bulbs. They also emit heat, and the timer helps you turn them off automatically when not in use. 

  • Daytime Lights

These function for enormous tanks, but their downside is their inability to offer the essential UVB as other bulbs do. However, they are cheaper and brightly light up your turtle’s home during the day. They are also long-lasting and can serve your pet for life. If you want a clear and beautiful view of your pets, go for these lights only that you will offer alternative systems for UVB/UVA production. 

  • Tube Lamps

These bulbs come in various lengths and are all in tabular form. They offer a better coverage area than their competition, ensuring that the entire tank gets light. The only disadvantage is that they do not concentrate on one spot like the compact bulbs do. If you are housing your turtles in a giant aquarium, your best bet would be a linear bulb. 

  • Basking Lamps

Placing these bulbs in the basking area will create the heat that your turtles need. The great thing about them is that they don’t have the side effects associated with UVB lights. Extreme exposure to UVB can interfere with your pet’s systems, but the basking lamps provide the heat that your pet needs for thermoregulation. 

  • Ceramic Lamps

CHE’s are unique lamps that only provide heat but do not light up the enclosure. Although they are like the regular light bulb, they are entirely ceramic. They also function like compact bulbs since they concentrate heat in a small area. Apart from not lighting up, another downside is that they are prone to overheating and causing fires. Therefore, you should plug them into porcelain sockets because they can get too hot and burn plastic.

  • Combined Heat Lamps

Beginners will appreciate this type of lamp. Instead of buying a bulb that emits heat and another for lighting, you get an all-in-one option. They offer UVB and warmth for your turtle; thus, they are convenient, cheap, and easy to set up. They also allow timer installation where you can switch between the two systems. The only downside is that they emit too much heat and can explode if they contact water. Therefore, they best function for large tanks, and you need to put up a screen under them for your pet’s safety.

The Wattage

Wattage defines how powerful your bulb is since it determines how much heat and light your lamp can emit. You need to check the wattage and relate it to other factors such as the enclosure size, the installation distance, and the turtle’s size. Instead of buying the most potent bulb, it is best to consider other aspects too. For one, the bulb’s height will regulate the heat and light intensity. Placing the system close to the tank will increase the amount of heat while putting it far will reduce the power.

Thus, if you have a low wattage bulb, you have to place it closer to the enclosure to work effectively but place a potent bulb further away. Secondly, bulbs with low wattage function well with tiny and medium-sized tanks, but you will need a more powerful bulb if the enclosure is enormous. It means that a 50-70 watt lamp is compatible with a 50-gallon tank with a tiny basking spot for one or two turtles. On the other hand, 100 watts suits a 100-gallon tank, and three or more turtles will be comfortable using it.

The Light Source Lifespan 

Turtles live long, meaning that you will need a durable. Besides, such bulbs are more economical since you don’t have to keep replacing them. Ordinary heating bulbs may last longer than UV lamps because their light rays deplete, leaving behind a light source without UVB emission. From the onset, the UV spectrum runs until it is no longer helpful for the reptile. It is best to utilize it as long as it is helpful for your turtle. 

Most UVB lights need replacing after about a year, but it is advisable to replace the old bulb after six or nine months. Ideally, your pet will have fully utilized the essential UV lights by this time. Notably, any UVB light source will deplete, depending on the frequency of use. To increase the lifespan, you can switch the lamp off when you don’t use it to reduce usage hours. Turtles need around ten hours of light; hence, you can keep the light on for the same duration every day.

Final Verdict

The best heat lamp for your turtle is the one that provides heat, light and emits UVA/UVB light. It should also have a long lifespan and suitable wattage for use in any enclosure size. Looking at our list, the lamp that ticks all our boxes is the Zoo Med Turtle UVB. You will enjoy that it comes as a two-in-one fixture to provide heat and light simultaneously or independently, thanks to the different switches. It is the most sought-after product by newbies since you don’t have to worry about purchasing two systems. Coming in second is the OMAYKEY Ceramic Heat Lamp for lovers of elegance. It is made of ceramic and doesn’t emit light like the traditional bulb, making it perfect for a sole heat source.

Harvey Wells

I am an intense cool pets lover. I have tortoises, tarantulas and a few other exotic pets. And I would love to share what I have learned.

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