Exo Terra Solar Glo Bulb Review

Exo Terra Solar Glo reptile bulbs are an ideal starter bulb for beginner reptile enthusiasts or for professional breeders who are working with limited space.

These bulbs are designed to provide an all-in-one solution which includes heat, light, and UVB to ensure your reptile has everything it need to ensure a healthy life. The Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb is a three in one Mercury Vapor Bulb.

Mercury vapor bulbs are a good choice if you are looking for an easy to use and affordable solution for your reptile enclosure.

These have a longer lifespan than any other bulbs, along with the added benefit that they provide essential heat and UVA/UVB that your reptile needs to remain healthy and happy.

Check Price On Amazon


  • Powerful and reliable
  • Emits UVA and UVB to reduce the risk of metabolic bone disease
  • It provides Ultraviolet for Vitamin D3
  • It offers Infrared for heat
  • Provides visible lighting
  • Complete lighting solution – 3-in-1


  • Cannot be used with a thermostat
  • Reports of high-pitched noise when turned on


The Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb is a white bulb with a sleek design. It is self-ballasting and fits into a standard ceramic / porcelain socket without the need for any ballast.

  • Size – 5.8” x 5.7” x 7.6”
  • Weight – 8.5 ounces
  • Light/Heat Beam – 40º
  • Colour Rendering Index – CRI 70
  • Wattage – 80W, 125W and 160W

Recommended Accessories

This bulb will fit in any standard ceramic / porcelain socket.

Exo Terra Reptile Dome

This is an extra deep aluminum reflector dome which is able to increase UVA and UVB, along with light output.

The dome comes complete with on and off switch and a heat resistant porcelain socket.

The reflector dome extends most bulbs, providing the versatility to put heat and UVB where you need it.

The heat resistant socket accommodates the Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb with ease.

The dome comes with a six-foot power cord with on and off switch attached.

Exo Terra Lamp Holder Bracket for Reptiles

This light dome suspension bracket is ideally suited for your Solar Glo bulb.

Being easily adjustable, it is able to suspend most light fixtures.

It offers a secure fit, reducing the risk of tipping.

The lamp holder comes with rubber washers which can be moved to effectively regulate hat and light based on the enclosure conditions.

The holder is able to extend the lifespan of light bulbs by not needing to be moved after installation and being mounted with increased ventilation, which reduces the risk of overheating, thereby reducing the risk of enclosure damage.

Timer Switch

The reptiles you want to have in your home will come with strict temperature and humidity requirements, usually requiring twelve hours of sunlight each day.

At home in the enclosure, you will be relying on your Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb to mimic the sun and provide the essential heat and ultraviolet that your reptile needs to remain fit and healthy.

In order to ensure a set routine, a timer can help to ensure your bulb is turned on for twelve hours and turned off again for a further twelve hours, even when you are not at home.

The Zoo Med Repticare Day Night Timer is an easy to use timer switch with two timers.

The easy to understand socket offers an up position to indicate the timer is off and down position for on.

This timer is ideal for turning on and off your enclosure lights with confidence.

The timer offers up to twenty-four on and off programs with no loose parts in a slim and compact design.


UVB Output

Distance (inch)

80W – UVB rating

125W – UVB rating

160W – UVB rating


5 stars5 stars5 stars
85 stars5 stars5 stars


5 stars5 stars5 stars
165 stars5 stars5 stars


4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
243 stars3 stars4 stars


3 stars3 stars3 stars
322 stars2 stars3 stars


2 stars2 stars2 stars
401 star1 star1 star

How much UVB you need and the distance to the basking area from the bulb will determine the right size of the bulb you need.

Check the star rating in the UV index table below.

The 160W Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb can provide high UVB levels for five star rated reptiles up to 20 inches in distance, while the 125W bulb and 80W bulb can provide high UVB for five star rated reptiles up to 16 inches in distance between basking rock and bulb.

Heat Output



80W – Temperature



125W – Temperature


160W – Temperature

















The heat output is also based on the distance between the bulb and the basking platform.

The 80W bulb can offer 90ºF when placed 8 inches from the basking platform, while the 125W needs about 9 inches to provide the same temperature and the 160W will need to be placed at about a ten-inch distance to achieve the same temperature.

Double check the charts based on the distance you have between your basking rock and lamp holder to identify which is the right bulb size to meet your reptile needs.


As a rule of thumb, most reptile enthusiasts and experts will tell you to replace your bulb every six months.

Most manufacturers will tell that you can use the bulb for up to twelve months.

The Exo Terra Solar Glo comes with a six-month manufacturer warranty, but you may notice the temperature or UVB output starts to lower over time.

How to Install

Installation is quick and easy starting with removing the Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb from the packaging.

It’s important you select a well-ventilated area for your bulb using a ceramic or porcelain base.

Never use a plastic socket, this is a fire hazard.

It’s important you mount your bulb vertically, pointing the bulb straight down.

Mounting at an angle reduces the life span of the bulb and voids the six-month manufacturer warranty.

The bulb cannot be used with a thermostat or dimmer switch. Be careful not to move the bulb while hot.

Plug in and give five minutes to warm up and reach optimum intensity, it will change color once warmed up properly.

The bulb takes up to fifteen minutes to cool down before it can be restarted, this feature reduces the risk of overheating the bulb.

Safety and Usage

It is important to note that the Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb gives off UVB and UVA radiation and it should only be used for reptile enclosures.

Make sure you never stare directly into the bulb when it is turned on.

These bulbs do not like getting wet, so ensure you don’t splash any water when in use.

In the event the bulb cracks, unplug it and allow it to cool before discarding. Don’t touch the bulb when in operation as it will burn.

Fire Hazard

The bulb will get exceptionally hot during operation, therefore only use it in a well-ventilated ceramic or porcelain bulb holder. The socket should be designed for high-temperature bulbs.

Do not use plastic holders as this will increase the risk of fire and damage to your enclosure and potential injury for your reptile.

Ensure you do not place the bulb close to any upholstered furniture or fake plastic plants.

This bulb is best suited to be used in a glass enclosure and should not be used with nylon mesh screen tops.

Best Way to Use

A mesh screen lid is the best option for these bulbs.

The screen should be made from a strong and durable metal where you can stand your lamp holder with ease and ensure ample ventilation for the light to promote optimum performance and life span.

Is the Exo Terra Solar Glo Good Value?

When you look at the price of the Exo Terra Solar Glo, you may think it expensive, but remember this is a 3-in-1 bulb, which means you will need two bulbs and fixtures to replace this one.

Combine this information with the long lifespan and I can say with confidence that this is a good value bulb for any reptile enthusiast.

What Reptiles Can I Use This Bulb With?

The bulb is suitable for most reptiles, based on your unique enclosure set up.

Choosing the right wattage will be determined by the size of your enclosure and the distance you have available between your Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb and your basking area.

Measure the area with care and then see which bulb will provide the right temperature and UVB output based on the distance available.

UVB Rating


5 stars

Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps)

Ornate Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx Ornata)

African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata)

4 stars

Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus Collaris)

Steppe Runner (Eremias arguta)

Northern Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)

Russian Tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii)

Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca)

Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni)

3 stars

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis)

Chinese water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Green anole (Anolis carolinensis)

gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda)

Long-tailed lizard (Takydromus sexlineatus)

2 stars

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta)

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Fire-bellied Toads (Bombina)

1 star

Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)

Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)

White’s Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)

Monkey Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa sauvagii)

Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobatidae)


Overall, the Exo Terra Solar Glo bulb is a great all in one mercury bulb for reptile breeders and beginner hobbyists who are limited on space. Using this bulb in a ceramic socket will reduce the need for any additional lighting, making it an energy-efficient solution for your reptile enclosure.

4 thoughts on “Exo Terra Solar Glo Bulb Review”

  1. I need some clarification with regard to the UV output n temperature.

    RES is classified under 2 stars. When it says “distance from basking area to bulb”, may I ask, precisely from which part of the bulb should measurement be made? Is it from the bottom of the bulb with the largest area (or the mouth of exo terra dome lamp shade) or is it from the top of lamp shade where the lamp hanger is.


      1. Thanks for the clarification!

        Just wondering, at a height of 32” (80 cm), temperature at basking area would be 25 deg C indoors which is lower than that in an outdoor pond on a sunny day of 30-32 deg C.

        1. If the basking temperature does not match your red-eared slider needs, you can consider adding another heat source such as a ceramic heat emitter or heat lamp.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *