UVB Bulb comparisons


New Member
Ok so i went to petsmart today to see what they had on sale for their 20th anniversary. well they weren't on sale but i need to change my uvb bulb about now. I say that exo-terra came out with a 10.0 and now they have all of them in a compact fluorescent: 2.0, 5.0, 10.0. well i have a bulb ready to change, but i decided to get a 10.0 compact cuz it was only $12. then i went to petco which is only a couple blocks away and saw that they have a zoo-med 10.0 compact for $50.:eek:

Ok now i have 2 questions:
1. Is there a huge difference between the tube and compact?
2. is there a difference between the exo-terra($12) and the zoo-med($50)?

now thats a huge difference in price, and they both seem to have the same output and other stats so i cant find the difference except for price and brand. please let me know what you guys think. thanks:confused: :confused:

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy Tim,

Yes, there is a difference but that doesn't justify the price that they are charging. You can find them online at places like www.bigappleherp.com for a lot less. Remember, more UVB uW isn't necessarily better. The ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 18" tube is often considered the tube others are measured against. The Reptisun tubes hold their UVB much longer than many other brands and their UVB wavelength is said to be at the "sweet spot".

Two places to fill your brain:


http://www.testudo.cc/ And especially table 4: http://personal.inet.fi/private/testudo/Pages/Table 4.html

Table 4 shows the "D3 Yield Index" of various tubes. The index takes into account the amount of energy spread across the UVB spectrum and calculates the "good" UVB vs. the "bad" UVB and lists it as the index number. So two tubes may have the same UVB uW/cm2 output level but because of exactly what part of the UVB's spectrum wavelengths involved, their ability to produce D3 can be very different.

I'm a firm believer in the ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 tube for the typical chameleon application. I use a Solarmeter 6.2 to track their aging and have been satisfied with the aging results. One issue about the compact lamps is that you are paying a lot for the built-in electronic ballast. Sometimes the electronics can fail long before the tube is significantly used-up. I also like the linear spread of the UVB coming out of the 18" to 48" tubes. A compact lamp puts out a lot of uW in a tighter patch. That's good for bearded dragons but for chameleons, having a patch that is 50 uW/cm2 when you want 5-15 uW/cm2 may be counter-productive.

Arm yourself with the info from those websites and do some shopping. I pay $13.88 for the Reptisun 5.0 in any length from 18 to 48 inches. Many stores will match Big Apple Herp's online prices. That's how I do it walking into LLL Reptile.


New Member
i purchase all my zoomed 10.0 tubes from 18" to 48" for $18.00 each at lllreptile. i use the compacts for freroaming basking locations.

Fate X

New Member
i have been using some of the zoomed 5.0 compact bulbs and i don't care much for them at this point.

i dont have a uv meter to prove what i suspect but i was using one actually 2 for fireball when i got her back in october 2006 ,she seemed small ,she seemed to not be growing like she should.

a couple weeks ago when i ordered some reptisun 5.0 i ordered a 24" one for her cage. i got a combo fixture and set it up on her cage and i could see a difference in the brightness. the 24" is brighter and seems to spread the light out more.
my conclusion is that the 24" bulb using 20 watts is much better then the compact using 13 watts.

since i can find the zoomed compact for 20.00 i am still gonna use then for extra lighting for my females when they are gravid.

i noticed that the compacts create more heat because fireball was basking under the compacts.
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New Member
well my compact is 26w compared to a 20 w tube. it helps with light and i still have it on. i think i will just return the compact and get a cheaper regular coil if i want more light. thnx for the input tho

Fate X

New Member
the compact is better then nothin but i think the reptisun 5.0 linear bulbs are much better .

if i was you i would wait to return the compact when you get a reptisun 5.0 + fixture.

big apple herp has the 5.0 and the fixtures last time i looked.
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