The Best Heat Lamp for Reptiles

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best heat lamp for reptiles

Just as humans can only be happy and healthy in an environment that provides them with comfort and gives them all their health needs, so also is the case with reptiles.

In the wild, reptiles have all their needs provided naturally, from light, heat, food, and a good substrate.

If you are thinking of keeping a pet reptile, then it is necessary that you try to mimic its natural environment in its new home.

In doing this you will need a lot of things and the best heat lamps for reptiles are one of the essential requirements in a good reptile habitat.

Reptiles are ectothermic and as such cannot provide their own heat, so they depend on heat from the environment to keep warm and keep their internal functions going.

The temperatures they need do not need to be so high as to overheat the reptile, and it doesn’t need to be too low either.

At low temperatures, reptiles get sluggish and are unable to digest food properly leading to a number of health problems.

We Recommend

Having the chance to test numerous heat lamps, we have a pretty trustworthy opinion of what features make the best heat lamps for reptiles, and the AIICIOO Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb is our favorite.

  • Can last up to 10000 hours
  • Increases the ambient air temperature in the terrarium.
  • Made of high-purity pottery clay which ensures its anti-crack

Setting a Temperature Gradient

The temperature needs of reptiles are not constant and in the wild, they move to an area with the amount of heat they need at a particular time.

That is why it is necessary to set up a temperature gradient using the best heat lamps in your pet’s enclosure so the animal can choose what is best for it at different times of the day.

In setting up a temperature gradient, a heat source should be placed at one end of the enclosure so that the temperature at that end is higher.

Providing the gradient isn’t all about creating a difference in the temperature of two ends of the tank. It also involves making your pet as comfortable as is possible at both ends.

What you have to do is have accessories at both ends so that your pet reptile can be comfortable at both ends.

So if your reptile is the type that loves to hide and you only have a shade in the cooler part of the tank, your pet will end up staying in the shade more, sacrificing its heat needs.

The key is to provide a natural environment for your pet so that it can regulate its temperature efficiently.

Installing the Best Heat Lamps for Reptiles

To get the full benefits of your heat lamp, it is essential that you install it at the opposite end of your pet’s enclosure, away from the humid side thus setting up a temperature gradient.

The height of the heat lamp is also important because too close to the floor will overheat and dehydrate your pet, and too high up will have no effect.

The height depends on the pet but about 10 to 12 inches above the substrate works well too.

Ideally, the basking area should have a temperature of about 95 – 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (35 – 37 degrees Celsius) but it all depends on your pet.

It could be higher or lower so proper research needs to be done to know exactly what works best for your pet.

You can add a piece of stone if you do not have a basking platform on which your pet can lay and bask.

The stone should be capable of retaining heat for a long time so that it can heat the underside of your reptile.

Use a thermometer and ensure that the cool side of your pet’s enclosure doesn’t go below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

The temperature of the cool side just like that of the warm side depends on the type of reptile you have.

It also depends on the age of your pet, so for the best care, it is better to have all the necessary information on the needs of your pet reptile.

Types of Heat Lamps for Reptiles

Basking Lights

Basking lights are one of the most common types of reptile heat lamps. They provide light as well as heat for your pet’s habitat. Since they provide a lot of heat, they come in high wattages that go as high as 100W.

Due to the high heat they produce, they are prone to catching fire and for safety, ensure that the lamp fixture can support high wattages without going up in flames.

Coiled Heat Lights

Coiled heat lights are of lower wattages than basking lights, but can produce a lot of heat too. Some of them are made to also produce UV light as well as heat to help your tortoise produce vitamin D for healthy bones.

Older models of coiled heat lights, however, have been known to cause blindness and irritation to tortoise’s eyes because the lights are intense.

So when going for coiled heat lights, make sure you choose a newer model to protect your tortoise, or alternatively, you can place the lamp much higher than usual.

Ceramic Heat Lamps

Ceramic heat lamps function to produce heat only. They look like bulbs but last longer and are a good option to maintain the temperature at night without affecting the sleep cycle of your pets.

They cost more than regular lamps but are worth it as they last longer.

Mercury Vapor Lamps

Mercury vapor lamps are a more recent type of heat lamp for reptiles and give you everything you need to keep your pet healthy.

They provide heat, light, and UVB, helping you save costs.

Due to their features, they come in high wattages so be sure that the lamp support can withstand high wattages for safety.

The 5 Top-Rated Best Heat Lamps for Reptiles

Editor’s Picks



Top Pick

Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp


Runner Up

OMAYKEY 150W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp


Best Budget Buy

AIICIOO Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb -60W


Best Infrared Spot Lamp

Zoo Med Nightlight Red Bulb for Reptiles


Best All-in-One Lamp Bulb

AMZCOOL UVB and UVA Reptile Heat Lamp


*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The Best Heat Lamp for Reptiles

heat basking reptile

1. Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp

Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp is one with a flat-faced design and ensures your reptiles stay warm even in the cold months of winter.

It properly provides heat without disturbing the sleep cycle of your pets as it doesn’t emit light, just heat.

You do not have to worry about delayed heating as this lamp heats up fast and stable, giving your pet’s enclosure a long-lasting heat balance.

Its size is in no way a determinant of its performance as it will beat your expectations.

Made with good solid ceramics, it will efficiently radiate heat to the enclosure, keeping your pet warm.

A good plus to this product is the thermometer it comes it. It is fairly decent and can help you control the temperature of your reptile’s enclosure for the best treatment.


  • Perfect for use as a 24-hour heat source
  • Doesn’t disrupt the sleeping habit of your pet
  • Solid ceramics element used radiates heat perfectly
  • Efficient flat-faced design


  • Thermometer doesn’t stick

2. OMAYKEY 150W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp

This OMAYKEY is rated 150W to provide you with enough heat for your reptile’s enclosure.

Unlike most heat lamps, it has good heat radiation so that the heat produced is emitted adequately.

You do not need any special skills to install this device as it can be mounted like regular lamps.

All you have to do is screw it into a standard porcelain socket.

Do not make use of a plastic socket because it may melt the lamp holder due to the heat it produces.

Apart from use with reptiles, amphibians can also benefit from this heat lamp.

It is fit for use as a 24-hour heat source as it only emits heat and not light so it won’t mess with the sleep cycle of your pet.


  • Long-lasting for up to 15,000 hours
  • Radiates heat perfectly
  • Doesn’t emit light
  • Simple design and easy to install


  • Since it emits no light, the risk of getting burned as you check for its working condition is high

3. AIICIOO Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb

Our best budget pick from our list of best heat lamps for reptiles is the AIICIOO Reptile Heat Lamp.

It is a radiant source of heat that provides your reptiles with sun-like heat of uniform pattern.

Its design makes it more efficient and long-lasting than the other designs which build up heat internally and carbonize the heating element.

You can make use of it at night as it emits only heat and no light, and so will not disrupt the sleep cycle of your reptile.

Its long wave infrared heat ensures your reptiles are sufficiently warmed, and it also increases the ambient room temperature so its location doesn’t matter in the course of providing heat.

The infrared heat adequately penetrates the skin and scales of reptiles, promoting their health and internal healing processes.

Made to be beneficial for use even in humid environments, its high purity clay material ensures it is anti-crack.


  • Perfect for use as a 24-hour heat source for reptiles
  • No light is emitted
  • Can be used in high humid environments
  • Has high heat efficiency
  • Lower wattage helps in saving energy cost


  • Tends to burn out pretty quick

4. Zoo Med Nightlight Red Bulb for Reptiles

If you want to have a look at your pet even at night without disturbing its sleep, it is important that you do so with a night lamp that allows you see but doesn’t disturb your reptile.

Zoo Med Nightlight Red Bulb is a perfect choice for a night bulb and it goes beyond that to help you provide heat for your pet.

The reddish light it produces will not disturb your pet’s sleep and this makes it perfect for use all day as a source of heat.

Being a spot lamp, it can direct heat in the required direction as well as increase the overall air temperature of the enclosure.


  • Good for use as a 24-hour heat source
  • Increases the ambient temperature of the enclosure
  • Emits infrared waves
  • Doesn’t disrupt the normal sleep cycle of your pet
  • Allows you to observe your pet at night


  • These bulbs are only for night time and provide only heat

5. AMZCOOL UVB and UVA Reptile Heat Lamp

We will wrap it up with the AMZCOOL UVB and UVA Reptile Heat Lamp.

This lamp provides your pet with all it needs from the sun in the wild so that it can grow healthy in its enclosure.

It has a design to fit into a standard E26 size socket, so you do not need any special socket to use with this lamp.

Now you can save more by using a single bulb to provide for the basic needs of your pet.

Apart from its use with reptiles, other animals that can benefit from this lamp are birds and amphibians.

So if you truly want to mimic the natural environment of your reptile, this is a great lighting choice to take you one step closer.


  • Provides light, UVB, UVA, and heat
  • Great for stimulating a natural environment for your reptile
  • Provides natural light wave spectrum
  • Suitable for most reptiles, birds, and amphibians


  • Seems to burn out rather quickly

Things to Look Out For In a Good Heat Lamp for Reptiles

When buying a heat lamp for your reptile, you should bear in mind the fact that your pet has different heat needs from another animal even if they are both reptiles.

Lamp ratings for different reptiles are listed below to help you make the best choice that is appropriate for your pet.

Reptile Species

Heat Lamp Rating


50-watt heat lamp

Bearded Dragon

100 – 150-watt heat lamp

Chinese Water Dragon

75 – 100-watt lamp

Collared Lizard

75 – 100-watt heat lamp

Curly Tailed Lizard

75 – 100-watt heat lamp

Frilled Dragon

75 – 100-watt heat lamp

Longtail Lizard

50-watt heat lamp

Mali Urommastyx

100 – 150-watt heat lamp


75 – 100-watt heat lamp

Crocodile Gecko

75-watt heat lamp

Eyelash Crested Gecko

50-watt heat lamp

Gargoyle Gecko

50-watt heat lamp

Golden Gecko

50-watt heat lamp

White Line Gecko

50-watt heat lamp

Leopard Gecko

Under tank heater


Under tank heater

Greek And Russian Tortoise

100 – 150 heat lamp

Red Foot Tortoise

75 – 100 heat lamp

Tree Frog

50-watt heat lamp

Pacman Frog

50-watt heat lamp

Pixie Frog

50-watt heat lamp

Chubby Frog

50-watt heat lamp

Tomato Frog

50-watt heat lamp

Common Asked Questions About Heat Lamp for Reptiles

Q: Do Lizards Need A Heat Lamp At Night?

No, they don’t. This is because they do not get much exposure to UV light in the wild and so do not require any special requirements for UV lights at night.

Q: How Long Should I Leave My Bearded Dragon Heat Lamp On?

Your bearded dragon’s heat lamp should follow the 12 hours on and 12 hours off routine.

This is because its natural environment sees a drop in temperature after dark and the goal is to mimic the pet’s natural environment. Anything different will cause stress to your pet.

Q: What Temperature Do Reptiles Need?

Most reptiles need a temperature of between 70 to 80 degrees F, and a basking temperature of over 100 degrees F.


Now you can make your pet reptile’s enclosure more homely and comfortable with the use of these best heat lamps for reptiles.

By providing your pet with the right amount of heat, you help it stay healthy and happy.

Making a choice out of a lot of heat lamps that are available in the market can be a challenge but with these choicest picks, your troubles have been taken care of. Still, confused about what to choose?

May we recommend AIICIOO Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb. It can be used for 24 hours and doesn’t interfere with the sleep cycle of your pet. It produces adequate heat with low wattage so you can save power while meeting the heat requirement of your pet reptile.

You can also choose Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp. Its design makes it last longer and its ceramics elements allow it perfectly radiate heat.

In all, no matter the choice you make you will have a wonderful performance and great satisfaction from these products.