Best Heat Lamps for Lizards

For our beloved cold-blooded companions, basking in the right heat isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Choosing the best heat lamps for lizards becomes less about “products” and more about mimicking the golden glow of their natural habitat. The right lamp unlocks a world of well-being for pet lizard including proper digestion, efficient thermoregulation, and the freedom to express their natural behaviors. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to deliver the best care for your pet reptile.

Best Heat Lamps For Lizards

Types of Reptile Heat Lamps

There are two main types of heat lamps for reptiles:

  • Incandescent heat lamps: These bulbs produce both heat and light, making them a good option for creating a basking spot for your reptile. However, they also emit harmful UVB rays, so it is important to use them in conjunction with a UVB bulb.
  • Ceramic heat emitters: These bulbs produce heat without light, making them a good option for providing nighttime heat or heat for shy reptiles. They are also a good choice for reptiles that require a humid environment, as they do not dry out the air.

Buying the Best Heat Lamps for Lizards: What to Know

When choosing a heat lamp for your reptile, there are a few factors to consider:

  • The size of your terrarium: The size of the heat lamp you need will depend on the size of your terrarium. A larger terrarium will require a more powerful heat lamp to maintain the desired temperature.
  • The type of reptile you have: Different lizards have different temperature requirements. For example, desert reptiles require a warmer basking spot than tropical reptiles.
  • The placement of the heat lamp: The heat lamp should be placed in a spot where your reptile can easily bask in the warmth and light. It should also be positioned in a way that prevents your reptile from getting too close to the bulb and burning itself.
Fun Reptile Fact

Setting Up Your Heat Lamp

Once you have chosen a heat lamp, you will need to set it up correctly. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a heat lamp fixture: A heat lamp fixture is a special type of lamp socket that is designed to withstand the high temperatures produced by heat lamp bulbs. It is important to use a heat lamp fixture to prevent the socket from overheating and causing a fire.
  • Place the heat lamp at the appropriate distance from your reptile: The distance between the heat lamp and your reptile will depend on the type of heat lamp you are using and the desired temperature. It is important to check the temperature of the basking spot regularly to ensure that it is not too hot or too cold.
  • Use a thermostat: A thermostat is a device that allows you to control the temperature of the heat lamp. This is important to prevent the basking spot from getting too hot or too cold.

Monitoring Your Reptile’s Temperature

It is important to monitor your reptile’s temperature regularly to ensure that they are getting the right amount of heat. You can do this by using a temperature gun or by placing a thermometer in the basking spot. Check out the following video for tips on how to measure a reptile’s temperature.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining the ideal temperatures when taking care of a pet lizard. They can be quite sensitive.

If your reptile is too hot, they will try to escape the heat by moving to a cooler part of the terrarium. If your reptile is too cold, they will become lethargic and may not eat or drink.

Providing adequate heat is essential for the well-being of your reptile companion. By choosing the right heat lamp and setting it up correctly, you can create a comfortable and thriving habitat for your scaly friend.

Additional Tips for Setting up Lizard Heat Lamps

  • Use a variety of heat sources: In addition to a heat lamp, you may also want to consider using other heat sources, such as a heat mat or a heat cable. This will help to create a more natural temperature gradient in the terrarium.
  • Provide a cool side: It is important to provide a cool side in the terrarium so that your reptile can escape the heat if necessary. The cool side should be at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the basking spot.
  • Monitor your reptile’s behavior: One of the best ways to tell if your reptile is getting the right amount of heat is to monitor their behavior. If your reptile is active and eating well, then they are likely getting the right amount of heat. However, if your reptile is lethargic or not eating, then they may be too hot or too cold.

Best Heat Lamps for Lizards on the Market

Reptiles, being ectothermic creatures, rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Maintaining the correct temperature in their enclosure is essential for their digestion, metabolism, and immune system. A heat lamp designed specifically for reptiles ensures that your pet’s environment mimics their natural habitat, promoting a healthy and thriving lifestyle.

1. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Terrarium Hood

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Terrarium Hood

Give your scaled friend the benefits of natural sunlight with this pack of 3, 22-inch full-spectrum lamps. These specially designed bulbs go beyond just illumination, providing essential UVA wavelengths that increase appetite and activity levels, stimulate reproductive behavior, and aid in vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium absorption. It’s for these reasons that ReptiSun produces some of the best heat lamps for lizards on the market.

Unlike traditional heat lamps, these full-spectrum bulbs emit low heat, making them perfect for larger enclosures or reptiles sensitive to high temperatures. Plus, the 22-inch length ensures even coverage across a wider basking area.


  • Combines UVA/UVB and heat in one fixture
  • Trusted choice by reptile enthusiasts
  • User-friendly design
  • Reliable performance


  • May be too powerful for smaller enclosures
  • Bulb needs to be replaced every 6 months’

2. Fluker’s Repta-Clamp Lamp with Ceramic Heat Emitter

Best Lizard Heat Lamps - Flukers Deluxe Lamp

This UL/CUL approved basking lamp is your ticket to a happy, healthy life. The 5.5″ diameter dome lamp, crafted from heavy-gauge painted aluminum, is built to last and radiate warmth. Inside, a ceramic socket welcomes both incandescent bulbs and ceramic heat emitters, letting you customize your reptile’s basking experience. Whether your scaly friend prefers a gentle glow or a toasty sunbeam, you’ll have the perfect setting with the handy dimmer.


  • Versatile – accommodates various bulbs
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to use


  • Does not provide UVB light
  • Clamp may not be secure on all surfaces

3. Exo Terra Solar Glo Heat Lamp

best lizard heat lamps - Exo Terra Solar Glo Heat Lamp

The Exo Terra Solar Glo is not merely a selfballasted mercury vapor reptile bulb, but rather it recreates the very essence of natural sunlight, which, as we all know, is fundamental for the wellbeing of reptiles. Indeed, professional breeders universally acclaim the Solar Glo for its unparalleled ability to deliver the perfect balance of ultraviolet light (including both UVA and UVB), visual light, and infrared light (heat) – all within a single, conveniently installable bulb. Furthermore, this full spectrum light boasts meticulously calibrated peaks to guarantee your reptile’s appetite, activity, vibrant coloration, and optimal calcium absorption through vitamin D3 production.


  • Ideal for desert reptiles requiring high temperatures
  • Emits concentrated heat without visible light
  • Perfect for nighttime heating


  • Relatively expensive
  • Not suitable for all lizard species

4. Arcadia Reptile Deep Heat Projector

Arcadia Reptile Deep Heat Projector


  • Warms your reptile’s body from the inside out
  • Perfect for larger reptiles and those with sensitive skin
  • No risk of burns


  • Requires a special fixture
  • May not be bright enough for some reptiles

5. Zilla Reptile T8 Slimline – Desert Pet Habitat Light Fixture

best lizard heat lamps - Zilla Reptile T8 Slimline - Desert Pet Habitat Light Fixture

Slimlines offer not only high-quality fluorescent lighting but also come in a convenient, ready-to-use fixture. Furthermore, their compact and lightweight design makes them exceptionally easy to install, particularly in areas with limited space. Moreover, these fixtures are even available in two versions: one specifically designed for tropical habitats and another tailored to desert environments.


  • Provides all the essentials for your reptile’s light and heat needs
  • Convenient and cost-effective
  • Easy to set up


  • Bulbs may not be of the highest quality
  • Not ideal for large enclosures

Enhancing Your Reptile’s Living Environment

Navigating the diverse world of reptile heat lamps can seem daunting, but remember, prioritizing your scaly friend’s comfort comes down to two key things: understanding their needs and replicating their natural habitat. Below we’ve summarized some of the key points for you to consider when shopping for the best heat lamps for lizards.

Giving Your Lizard The Best Space

  • Infrared heat lamps: Mimic natural sunlight for daytime basking, promoting digestion and thermoregulation. Fluker’s Red Infrared Heat Bulb delivers targeted warmth.
  • Mercury vapor bulbs: Offer a two-in-one punch of heat and UVA/UVB, crucial for vitamin D3 synthesis and bone health. Exo Terra Solar-Glo shines bright for these needs.

For round-the-clock comfort:

  • Ceramic heat emitters: Deliver gentle, constant warmth without disrupting sleep cycles. Zoo Med Ceramic Heat Emitter keeps your cool-loving reptiles cozy.

FAQ for Best Lizard Heat Lamps

FAQ for Best Lizard Heat Lamps
What type of heat lamp suits my lizard’s needs?

Incandescent Heat Lamps: Affordable and provide both heat and light, perfect for basking spots. Consider separate UVB bulbs for vitamin D3 synthesis.
Ceramic Heat Emitters: Ideal for nighttime heat or shy reptiles, emitting warmth without visible light. They don’t dry out the air, making them suitable for humid environments.

How powerful should the heat lamp be for my terrarium size?

Larger terrariums require more powerful lamps. Use wattage as a general guide, but always prioritize maintaining the recommended temperature range for your specific lizard species.

What features are important for a reliable and safe heat lamp setup?

Heat Lamp Fixture: Designed to withstand high temperatures, preventing overheating and fire hazards.
Thermostat: Crucial for controlling temperature and avoiding overheating. Choose a reliable thermostat with accurate temperature readings.
Placement: Position the lamp to create a basking spot and allow your lizard access to cooler areas for thermoregulation.

Is the Zilla Premium Reflector Dome the only good option?

While it’s a popular choice, it’s not the only one! The “best” heat lamp depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider various options, including Exo Terra Solar Glo for desert reptiles or Arcadia Deep Heat Projectors for large or sensitive-skinned lizards.

Can I use other heat sources to supplement the heat lamp?

Absolutely! Heating pads are great for providing a warm floor zone. Ensure they are thermostat-controlled and positioned safely outside the basking area to avoid burns.

How much does a lizard heat lamp cost on average?

Lizard heat lamp costs can vary depending on several factors, but on average, expect to pay between $15 and $40, with some reaching higher prices for specialized models. Here’s a breakdown:
Basic incandescent heat lamps: Around $15-$20, offering warmth and light but requiring separate UVB bulbs.
Ceramic heat emitters: Slightly more expensive at $20-$30, providing nighttime heat without light.
Premium options: Specialized lamps like UVB/heat combos or deep heat projectors can range from $30-$60+ depending on features and power.

Final Thoughts on Buying the Best Heat Lamps for Lizards

Choosing the right heat lamp for your lizard isn’t just about watts and fixtures; it’s about mimicking the glow and radiance of the sun in their natural habitat. By understanding their thermoregulation needs and matching them to the perfect lamp, you’re granting them not just warmth, but the ability to digest, bask, and truly thrive. Remember, these cold-blooded wonders rely on external heat like plants rely on sunlight.

  • Wattage matters: Match the lamp’s power to your terrarium size and your reptile’s specific needs.
  • Thermostat control is key: Avoid overheating by regulating temperature with a reliable thermostat.
  • Mimic natural gradients: Provide a cool side in the enclosure for thermoregulation.

By making informed choices and prioritizing your reptile’s well-being, you can ensure your scaly pet will thrive for years or decades to come.

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