Iguana UVB Lighting

Most keepers provide the iguana both heat and light thru the same element.  Keeping a heat lamp and a UVB lamp is also ok, and normally used in larger setups.  A Basking lamp is great, but does it produce enough UVB as well as UVA?  Using a UVB Tube in addition to a mercury vapor basking lamp will ensure you are completely covered regarding lighting.  Iguana care sheets should always have an in-depth look at the important of UVB lighting for both heat and light exposure purposes. No matter the color iguana, whether it be a blue iguana for sale, or rhino iguana for sale, UVB is super important.

UVB Iguana lights for Vitamin D3

Keep in mind that UVB helps Iguanas synthesize vitamin D3, which is needed to help metabolize calcium in your new baby Iguana’s diet. No Iguanas cannot process the vitamin D3, therefore they require a strong UVB lamp to help their bodies produce and metabolize Vitamin D3. Without a UVB source and Vitamin D3, Iguanas will be unable to process calcium properly.  If you are not providing correct lighting your new baby iguana will be susceptible to Metabolic Bone Disease, an often fatal result of calcium deficiency coupled with lack of proper lighting.  Consider UVB lighting one of the most important parts of an iguana care guide.

Types of UVB Lamps for Iguanas

Using a tube style UVB lamp will cover more than just a basking area as it should.  Providing a tub UVB lamp will provide a great gradient for your Iguana to move in and out of.  This will enable your baby iguana for sale to get different amounts of UVA and UVB.  We recommend a 10% or 10.0 lamp, if mounted 18″ from the ground.  Using a T5 HO fixture is recommended.  You can purchase them direct on our website.  Also, always remember to replace your UVB bulbs and basking lamps at least every 6 months.

Different brands of UVB Iguana lights produce different results

Several types of UVB producing bulbs are on the reptile and iguana UVB lighting market. Some of the best include ZooMed’s Iguana Light 5.0 and Reptisun 5.0, as well as T-Rex’s Active UVHeat bulb and ZooMed’s PowerSun to name a few. The first two are fluorescent-style tube bulbs that require a special fixture. The second two are mercury vapor lights that produce both heat and UVB. While not as good as tube style lamps, these fit in a regular dome light socket, but produce a lot of heat and require a ceramic socket.

While much better than screw in bulbs, most tube-style UVB bulbs lose their UVB in 6-10 months, even though they still produce visible light. The Active UVHeat bulbs last at least a year, and provide heat as well as the some of the needed UVB.  For this reason we recommend using both a MVB and a T5 tube light to provide your iguana UVB.

Distance of UVB light from your Iguana

UVB dissipates with distance and can be metered as such using a Solar meter. Be sure your iguana is able to get close enough to the UVB lighting for it to be effective.  Mercury vapor lamps should be 12-18″ away where as T8 can be 10-12″ and T5 15-24″ depending on if you are using a 10% or 12% uvb lamp.

Buying the right UVB lamp for your pet iguana

Be careful when shopping for a UVB bulb. Many manufacturers advertise their bulbs as ‘full spectrum’ even though they do not produce UVB. Make sure you purchase a bulb that specifies UVB production. The bulb should state that it produces at least 5% UVB. Read the packaging carefully.

Several people have had problems buying lights that state they produce UVB (especially the new coil style UVB lights) but they do not produce enough UVB to keep the iguana healthy. Many of these people are now treating their iguanas for MBD (metabolic bown disease). Grow Lights, lights made for aquariums, and plant lights are NOT UVB producing lights and may emitt light, but not the UVB needed by your iggy.

Be Careful not to block UVB light

Be aware that UVB can be ‘diluted’ or blocked by many things. Lastly, use common sense.  UVB rays cannot pass through glass, and if they do, it cuts down on the output significantly. The same thing applies to plastic and plexiglas. Make sure that your iggy can get direct UVB lighting without anything blocking it. Also, as you would think, screens and mesh can also block or filter UVB rays. Last but not least, when planning your iguana habitat setup, try to find the larger sized mesh available.   With proper understanding, providing the right UVB Light for your new baby iguana for sale can be easy, and rewarding.

Our full iguana care guide provided by our staff biologist provides detailed information on the following topics:

iguana lighting iguana uvb light

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