do you need to change your uvb bulb

Do you need to change your UVB Bulb?

I love the new year! It’s a great time to start fresh... “Out with the old, in the new.” It’s also time for our annual UVB SALE

Do you need to change your UVB bulbs? How often should you change your UVB bulbs? What are UVB bulbs for? These are some of the questions you may be asking that will be answered below.

Switching Out UVB Bulbs

do you need to change your uvb bulb

At HQ, we  replace our UVB bulbs the first week in January to make sure we don’t forget. UVB Bulbs have a life span (in general) of up to 1 year. They may still emit light but they drastically stop emitting UVB after 6 months. It’s important to change out your UVB bulbs at least once a year to make sure your pets are receiving proper amounts of UVB. UVB allows your reptile the ability to regulate its own Vitamin D3 levels naturally, enabling them to properly absorb calcium. 

 All UVB bulbs have different lifespans and emit different levels of UVB overtime. There are Compact Bulbs, Linear, and Mercury Vapor. We generally recommend to switch out compact UVB bulbs every 6-8 months. Linear UVB bulbs every 10-12 months and Mercury Vapor Bulbs every 8-10 months. Some HID (metal halide) bulbs can last over 2 years!  


Bulb Breakdown

how often do you need to change your uvb bulb

So what’s the deal with all these bulbs and what do the numbers mean? Typically you’ll find 2.0, 5.0, and 10.0 (some brands up to 12.0-15.0) UVB bulbs in various wattages.  Think of this as the strength of the UVB or Penetration Depth of the UVB.

2.0 up to 6” penetration 

5.0 up to 18” penetration 

10.0+ up to 24” penetration 

Mercury Vapor Bulbs can penetrate up to 3ft no matter wattage and are great for larger enclosures such as a 40 Gallon Tank. 

 Compact UVB have the least amount of penetration and are as half efficient as linear UVB. If you want to provide the best UVB for your animal, we recommend T5 or T8 UVB fluorescent bulbs or Mercury’s Vapor Bulbs. All of ZooMed’s T5 High Output Fixtures have high end reflectors allowing up to 24” of reach on a T5 5.0 or 10.00 bulb. This is great for terrariums using screen tops as the screen filters out some UVB.


UVB Tips

what are uvb bulbs for

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with UVB specifics, here are some helpful tips to ensure you get the most out of your UVB Fixtures and Bulbs!

1. Write the day of install directly on the bulb so you know when it is time to replace

2. The less you mess with the bulb and fixture, the longer it will last! We highly recommend buying a front opening terrarium or lamp stands to avoid touching or moving the fixtures as often. This will drastically increase the life of your bulbs. 

3. Test your fixtures before you leave the store. This will save you a trip if the fixture is faulty or has a faulty bulb…. It happens!


As always, if you have any questions regarding UVB or another product please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help! 

Sale on all UVB's and select Fixtures LIVE NOW! Discount added automatically at checkout.

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