Understanding UVB: What is It, Why it Matters & How to Use It in Reptile Husbandry

UVB lighting is a confusing topic for many reptile keepers, and to be fair, there are a lot of variables at play, and a lot can go wrong when you don’t know what you’re doing. Common questions we see about reptile UVB include:

  • Do snakes need UVB?
  • Do nocturnal reptiles need UVB?
  • How much UVB does my reptile need?
  • What is the difference between UVA and UVB?
  • Does a full-spectrum bulb provide UVB?
  • What’s the difference between T8 and T5 HO UVB bulbs?
  • Why are linear fluorescents better than compacts or coils?
  • Should I use a mercury vapor bulb or a heat lamp + linear UVB combo?
  • Is a reflective fixture really necessary?
  • Where should I put my UVB light?
  • What are the best brands for UVB lighting, or does it not matter?

ReptiFiles answers these questions and more in our latest article, which was written for The BioDude in exchange for his wonderful article: “How to Build a Bioactive Terrarium for Your Reptile: An Introduction.” Of course, the topic of UVB, even condensed, is still extensive, so we decided to split the finished product into two separate articles:

Introduction to UVB, part 1: What is UVB, and Why is it Important to Reptile Husbandry?

Introduction to UVB, part 2: How to Use UVB in Your Reptile Enclosure

leopard gecko enjoying appropriate reptile UVB