Like all reptiles, Bearded Dragons need a good heat lamp to provide a warmer area in their enclosure called a basking spot.
Reptiles are cold-blooded or ectothermic, meaning they cannot regulate their internal body temperature and rely on their environment for body temperature differences. For this reason, they need a way to warm themselves to help with digestion, increase appetite, and for general overall health.
Heat lamps provide the needed extra warmth for basking as bearded dragons come from hot, dry climates. They need an area in their enclosure that ranges from 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit which helps with metabolism and healthy growth and development.
Below we will be going over the best heat lamps for your bearded dragon. There are tons of options out there from incandescent to halogen, from mercury to ceramic, high priced to less expensive options and we are here to help you make an informed decision on the best product for your needs.
There were several factors that went into consideration during the compilation of this list. The lamps had to be good at what they claim and have high overall ratings where ratings were allowed. If the overall ratings on a product were overwhelmingly positive, then the product was considered.
The product needed to be budget-friendly. There are some products on the list that are higher in price, but since they had other attributes that made up for the price, they were allowed and considered budget-friendly in relation.
The safety of the product is a very high priority. There are several lamps with high ratings or lower prices that I left off the list because reviews frequently commented on how the lamps possibly harmed their animals.
The last thing I want is to recommend something that could harm your pets. I love my animals as well and would hate to use something that was recommended but was not researched well, then inadvertently cause any kind of harm to anyone’s pets.
If the product was repeatedly recommended by other sights, people, and reviewers or from personal use it was also considered.
Here are in-depth reasons why these products made the list. Each option has pros and cons so you can make an informed decision on the best heat lamp for your pets.
So, without further ado, here is the list of the best heat lamps for bearded dragons, and why they were chosen:
Top 7 Heat Lamps for Bearded Dragons
- OMAYKEY 2 Pack 75W Ceramic Heat Lamp
- BOEESPAT Full Spectrum Sun Lamp
- FLUKERS Basking Spotlight Bulb for Reptiles
- ZooMed Repticare Ceramic Heat Emitter
- ZooMed Repti Basking Spot Lamp 75W 2 Pack
- OMAYKEY Sun Lamp 75W 6 pack
- Exo Terra Sun-Glo Daylight Halogen Lamp 75W
The first three are the top picks in the following categories: Ceramic Heating Elements, Halogen Heat Lamps, and Incandescent Heat Lamps.
The Omakey ceramic heat lamp is a top-rated heating element for basking areas. It produces a lot of heat and can be left on for 24 hours, unlike heat lamps that also produce light. Bearded dragons require time in the light and in the dark so they can sleep. The Omakey Ceramic Heat Lamp produces ample heat, without light.
This heat lamp is also one of the longest-lasting on the market. The average run time on these ceramic lamps is between 9,000 and 15,000 hours, meaning you won’t have to change it out or buy a new one every few months. The longevity of these lamps also makes them one of the most cost-efficient in the long run because you won’t have to change them for several months.
I also personally use these ceramic heating lamps for my beardies. The longevity, the quality of heat that is directed into the enclosures, and I don’t have to worry about a bulb bursting and showering my pets with hot glass is a plus for me.
The only downside to ceramic lamps is they get very hot and take time to cool off before changing them or moving them. You also will probably need an adjustable lamp stand to adjust the amount of heat directed into the basking area. If it is too close, your bearded dragon could burn herself from the intense heat these ceramic lamps create.
Ceramic lamps also don’t provide any extra light, so you will have to make sure you have a great quality light that provides full-spectrum light into your enclosure.
When setting them up make sure the lamp socket is made of porcelain not plastic as the amount of heat these emit can melt plastics.
The funny name Boeespat Full Spectrum Sun Lamp is another great choice if you are looking for a quality lamp that is also affordable. This pack of halogen heat lamps comes with a total of 6 lamp beads. Beads are the name for the small bulbs that create light and heat.
Halogen heat lamps provide both heat and light for your bearded dragons. Halogen lights produce more heat than standard incandescent lamps at the same wattages.
This lamp is domed reflective, meaning it produces a wider spectrum of light along with the heat needed for a basking area.
The Boeespat produces both UVA and UVB light which are both beneficial to your beardies. UVA light helps to increase appetite in your beardies and regulates diurnal habits. Meaning they sleep at night when the light is turned off and start waking up and moving around when the light is on.
UVB light is essential in the production of Vitamin D, which improves the absorption of calcium for your little pets. We all know calcium deficiency can be a problem for bearded dragons. The Boeespat does not provide all the needed UVB rays, but it does produce a small amount, which is still beneficial to them.
Halogen lamps are a well-rounded heating choice for your bearded dragons. If your enclosure is on the smaller side, or you don’t have extra plugs for extra lights and heating lamps, halogen lamps are a great alternative. They create more heat and last longer than standard incandescent heat lamps.
Halogen lamps don’t last as long as ceramic lamps, but with 5 extra replacement beads in this pack, longevity will not be a problem. Overall, this 6 pack of halogen heat lamps will provide up to 6000 hours of light and heat.
The Boeespat is the best halogen bulb on the list. If you are looking for the best heating lamp with light, then you can’t go wrong with this choice.
Flukers Basking Spotlight Bulb for Reptiles is the highest rated incandescent heat lamp on the market with over 7500 ratings on Amazon with 73% of those being 5 stars.
This lamp is also a great budget buy as each lamp is less than $10. Mercury bulbs and other specialized heat lamps can be double or triple the price.
Incandescent bulbs are safer for bearded dragons who like to climb on rocks and branches to get closer to the light. Unlike ceramic lamps and other lamps that have higher temperatures on them, these bulbs can be placed closer to the tank, and may not need extra mounting supplies like a lampstand.
One of the downsides to inexpensive incandescent lamps is they have the shortest average lifespan. Most incandescent bulbs last about 750 to 1000 hours meaning you will have to change them out more often.
If you are looking for simplicity that won’t wreck the budget, then Flukers Basking Spotlight Bulb for Reptiles is a solid choice.
ZooMed Repticare Ceramic Heat Emitter wins the challenge for the longest-lasting heat lamp on the list. It comes in at a whopping 5 years or 25,000 hours average lifespan, meaning you won’t have to worry about replacing the heating element in your beardie’s basking spot for nearly a quarter of her lifespan.
It is on the higher end of the price scale but when you factor in how infrequently you will have to replace it, this heating lamp is quite inexpensive in relation.
The only reason this ceramic heat emitter isn’t in the top three is that it has a higher wattage and creates so much heat that it is recommended for larger tanks; 30 to 40-gallon enclosures. Most average enclosures will benefit greatly with a 75W heat lamp, but the ZooMed Repticare Ceramic Heat Emitter produces 100W.
Too much heat can damage your beardie’s skin and dehydrate them.
ZooMed’s Repti Basking Spot Bulb has a patented double reflector, meaning it concentrates more heat into a tighter beam and produces 35% more light. The tighter beam means a more focused and efficient basking spot.
I have not used this lamp before, but the reviews on Amazon are almost all positive. They state their pets love the heat and the owners love the longevity of the bulbs.
These generally come in a 2 pack, meaning if one burns out, you have a backup waiting. You don’t want to come home from a long day at work, picking up kids, and running errands only to find out that you have to run out yet again to pick up another heat lamp to keep your beardie healthy. The average lifespan of these bulbs is about 2000 hours each.
These halogen heat lamps have the distinction of being the most inexpensive item on the list. At just over $2 a bulb, you can afford to replace these quite frequently. These really are the budget buy of the list.
OMAKEY Sun Lamp Halogen heat lamps have a 3-dimensional reflection dome. This dome produces both UVA and UVB rays along with the beneficial added heating for the bearded dragon’s basking spot.
On the website, these lamps advertise longevity between 9,000 and 15,000 hours, but they are meant to be used for shorter timeframes i.e., 3-5 hours at a time. Reptiles need about 12 hours per day of light, which will significantly shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. The reviews on Amazon seem to verify the shortened lifespan of the bulbs as some say they last from a few weeks up to 60 running on a 12 hour on and 12 hours off schedule.
Since they are so inexpensive, produce heat for the basking area, and the necessary UVA and UVB light needed for bearded dragon health, they are on this list. You may need to replace them more often, but these lamps won’t break the bank.
The Exo Terra Sun-Glo Daylight Halogen Lamp is a high-quality heating lamp and full spectrum light bulb in one. The higher price for this lamp also means higher quality and extra testing to make sure the lampstands are up to the higher standards.
It’s a halogen lamp, which means it emits a higher concentration of UVA rays, lasts longer than traditional incandescent lamps, creates more heat, and whiter light. Basically, halogen lights are higher output lamps with increased efficiency.
The Exo Terra Sun-Glo lamp also emits valuable UVB rays to help with Vitamin D synthesis and calcium absorption.
The bulb has Neodymium in it which is said to help with coloration enhancement for your beardie.
The enhanced efficiency of the halogen lamp will easily raise the temperature of the basking spot to 95-100℉. The optimal temperature for bearded dragon basking spots.
Will I need a timer for the heat lamp?
If you are using a heat lamp, light combo then yes you should use a timer set for 12 to 14 hours. Bearded dragons need a time of darkness so they can go into a natural sleeping pattern.
If you are using a ceramic heat lamp, then it depends on how cool your house gets at night. If your house and the enclosure get below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then it is ok to leave the ceramic heater on 24 hours.
Do I still need a separate light if I use a combination light and heat lamp?
Especially a lamp with plenty of UVB rays. Heat lamps may provide a lot of UVA rays, but not all provide UVB and those that do, still only supply about 3%. You will need a lamp that has an output of 8 to 10% UVB rays to keep your beardies healthy.
Can I use two heat/light lamps in my enclosure?
Two heat lamps are not recommended, as you risk getting the enclosure too hot for your beardie.
Bearded dragons need two temperature zones, a basking area, and another cooler area where they can go if they start to get overheated. It is best to have your UVA/UVB lamp in the cooler area, and your heat lamp or ceramic heat lamp in the basking area.
The top three are the best in their class.
The top ceramic heat lamp provides plenty of heat, and exceptional longevity, the top halogen lamp provides not only heat but full spectrum UVA and UVB light, and the top budget-friendly as well as a simple incandescent lamp.
Ceramic heating lamps provide ample heat and great longevity, but they will require extra light and possibly a lampstand.
Halogen lamps provide light and heat, but they don’t last quite as long as ceramic heat lamps.
Incandescent lamps are typically the cheapest, shortest-lasting lamps, but are simply screwed in and you’re done.