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Which Bearded Dragon Heat Lamp You Should Really Get?

By Kerry
Updated on

Bearded dragons are lizards native to Australia.

They are very cute and cuddly animals that come in various colors and sizes.

The most common color is black or brown.

Bearded dragon under light staring

Bearded dragons are reptiles that require a specific temperature to thrive.

This means they need a heat lamp to stay warm.

If you want to take care of your bearded dragon properly, you should invest in a good heat lamp.

You can find several types of heat lamps for bearded dragons out there on the market.

However, not all of them are safe for use with this type of reptile.

So, let’s get started!

Before We Look At Heat Bulbs… Do You Need A Fixture?

Heat lamps are usually placed above or near the cage where the bearded dragon lives.

Some people place the heat lamp directly on top of their cages.

Others have a separate fixture specifically made for keeping beards warm.

In either case, make sure it has an opening large enough to fit over the top of the tank.

Not only do you need to ensure that the light bulb fits inside the fixture, but also that the base of the bulb doesn’t touch any parts of the tank.

The last thing you want is for the glass enclosure of your bearded dragon’s habitat to break because the bulb went through the bottom of the tank.

What Kinds Of Bulbs Should You Consider?

The first step when buying a heat lamp for your bearded dragon is choosing what kind of bulbs to buy.

Below are a few of the more popular types of bulbs that bearded dragons like to use for their habitats:

Use A Reptile Only Heat Bulb

These heat bulbs are designed solely for reptiles.

These bulbs contain no mercury and are safe for your pets.

They are also available in different wattage levels.

For example, some have a rating of 10 watts, while others are rated at 50 watts.

A 10-watt bulb may be suitable if you simply want to keep your pet warm during the winter months.

But if you’re looking for something powerful, a 50-watt bulb will provide much more heat.

Use A Normal Incandescent Bulb

These bulbs are used as general-purpose bulbs for households.

Most of these bulbs have a rating of 60 watts.

However, since they are incandescent bulbs, you won’t be able to control the amount of warmth your animal gets from them.

Use A Basking Lamp With A UVB

This type of bulb emits both ultraviolet rays (UV) and visible light.

It helps your animal absorb vitamin D.

UVB rays help increase a beaked lizard’s appetite by stimulating his immune system.

When using a basking lamp, make sure you turn off the regular bulb around dusk.

Otherwise, your bearded dragon might see the red glow of the regular light bulb and become frightened.

What Kind Of Bulb Should You Use To Achieve Night Temperatures?

Bearded dragon on a wood

Some people prefer to use an LED bulb instead of a traditional bulb.

While LEDs aren’t quite as efficient as traditional bulbs, they still give off sufficient light to allow your bearded dragon to maintain night temperatures.

If you decide to go this route, make sure you select one that has a dimmer switch.

This way, you can adjust the brightness so your animal doesn’t feel too hot or cold.

Stay Away From Infrared Bulbs

Infrared radiation is invisible to humans.

It only heats up objects that are close to it.

When placed next to a reptile, infrared bulbs can cause burns and even death.

It’s best to stay away from infrared bulbs altogether.

Even though they look cool, they don’t actually emit any heat.

They are just decorative pieces meant to create a soothing environment for your bearded dragon.

What Kind Of Bearded Dragon Heat Lamp Should You Get?

Now that we’ve covered what kinds of bulbs you should consider purchasing. Let’s talk about which ones you should get.

Most breeders recommend getting a low-wattage bulb with a temperature range between 86 °F and 104 °F.

A good rule of thumb is to purchase a bulb that has a higher wattage than the size of your bearded dragon.

For example, if you have a 5-inch-long bearded dragon, then you’ll need a bulb with a minimum of 12 watts.

The length of time your bearded dragon stays inside its habitat depends on how big its enclosure is.

If you’re planning on keeping him indoors all year round, then you should probably opt for a larger enclosure.

On the other hand, if you plan on letting your bearded dragon outside most of the time, then you should probably buy a smaller enclosure or choose a smaller bulb.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we are going to answer several frequently asked questions about what kind of heat lamp you should get for your Bearded Dragon.

So, Let’s get started!

What Size Heat Lamp Do You Need For A Bearded Dragon?

There are two different sizes of heat lamps: 10 inches and 15 inches in diameter.

The reason there are two types is that some bearded dragons like to bask at higher temperatures while others like to bask at lower temperatures.

So, when deciding on a heat lamp, you should consider whether your bearded dragon likes to bask at higher or lower temperatures.

How Long Does A Heat Lamp Last?

Heat lamps usually last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

Since the lifespan of a bulb depends on the type of bulb you use (LEDs tend to be more durable), it’s better to replace them before their lifespan runs out.

How Many Watts Should Your Basking Light Be For Your Bearded Dragon?

You will want to keep track of the wattage of your heat lamp and change it every three months or so.

Once you do that, you’ll know exactly how much wattage your bearded dragon needs.

Beardie Bevies recommends having a maximum of six watts of light per square foot.

That means if your bearded dragon’s enclosure measures 24 feet by 24 feet, then you would need a bulb with a maximum of 144 watts.

If you have an enclosed area that is smaller, simply divide the total wattage by the number of square feet.

For instance, if you have an 18-foot by 18-foot enclosure, then you’d need a bulb with a max of 108 watts.

Is A Basking Light The Same As A UVB Light?

No. A basking light emits both visible and ultraviolet wavelengths of light.

While it does provide beneficial vitamins to your bearded dragon, it also provides harmful rays.

It also produces more heat than a UVB bulb.

UVB bulbs produce only ultraviolet rays.

They don’t emit any visible light.

Therefore, they do not cause eye damage to your bearded dragon.

Should The Basking Light Be On All The Time?

It doesn’t matter whether you leave the heat lamp on or off, but you definitely want to leave the light on during the day.

This way, your bearded dragon will be able to bask without feeling too hot.

What Is The Difference Between A Basking Lamp And A Heat Lamp?

A basking lamp has a reflector behind the bulb; a heat lamp does not.

When choosing which one to purchase, make sure you look at the specs first.

Then, once you’ve decided which one you want, go ahead and order it online.

What Is The Best Bulb Type For A Basking Lamp?

The best type of bulb for a basking lamp is an LED.

Not only do LEDs last longer than traditional bulbs, but they also produce less heat.

What Are Some Other Types Of Heat Lamps?

Many other types of heat lamps are available, including incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, and fluorescent bulbs.

However, all of these types of heat lamps can harm your bearded dragon.

Beardie Bevies suggests using only LED bulbs to ensure that your bearded dragon remains healthy.

Final Thoughts

While heat lamps come in handy for keeping your bearded dragon warm in cold climates, they aren’t necessary for those who live in areas where the temperature is always above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

In fact, you may find that your bearded dragon enjoys being exposed to sunlight even more than he/she enjoys being kept warm.

So, if you’re looking for a heat lamp, you should consider purchasing one that comes with a timer.

This way, you won’t burn through your electricity bill when you forget to turn the heat down.

And since there are several models out there, you can choose one that matches the size of your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.