Buying Guide for Heat Lamps
Why buy a heat lamp?
Heat lamps can serve a practical purpose in several ways. When it comes to cooler weather, they provide outside heat in a safe and practical manner. They can also make the larger areas in your home warmer or boost animal comfort if you’re caring for reptiles or raising baby chicks. Also, certain types can be used to bring pain relief and improve blood circulation to the body.
What should you consider when shopping for a heat lamp?
- Pets: If you’re caring for a cold-blooded pet, opt for heat lamps that offer UV output (UVA and UVB). Opt for a lamp with a red or dark filter, as these will be best for the animal’s eyes. Also, be sure that your lamp can be safely mounted on a tank, aquarium, or cage so that animals don’t accidentally overheat or get burned by being too close to it.
- Wattage: As a general rule of thumb, the higher a heat lamp’s wattage, the more heat it’ll be able to provide. A bulb with 100 to 150 watts is a standard baseline for most household heat lamps. If you want something more powerful, look for a 200-, 250-, or even 300-watt model. There are also plenty of less potent heat lamps, offering 50 or 75 watts or even as low as 25 watts. Some models may even have sockets compatible with a range of bulbs with different wattages, allowing you to switch up the power as needed. Always check the provided wattage before you buy to ensure it’s right for your needs.
- Features: Many features can be nice upgrades when shopping for a heat lamp. Consider options like longer cords, waterproof bulbs, multiple temperature settings, or built-in lamp clamps for easier installation. Other options like long necks, rotatable heads, or a thermostat or thermometer can make the lamp more user-friendly.
What are some cautionary steps to take with using a heat lamp?
No matter the reason for using a heat lamp, you’ll want to take heed of some steps to ensure you use it safely and prevent burning. Make sure to buy a quality one enclosed with a guard at the top, and use high-quality bulbs that won’t easily shatter. It’s best to check that the bulbs are screwed in securely every time. Ensure the lamp is secured to a panel with a clamp about 20 inches away from livestock or the ground. Avoid laying the lamp on any flammable surface, install a smoke detector, and keep a fire extinguisher close in case of any emergencies.
Our Picks for the Best Heat Lamps
Simple Deluxe Clamp Lamp Light with Aluminum Reflector
This is a travel-friendly solution when you need to bring a heat lamp with you.
Pros: If you need a little extra light in your workspace, then this 150-watt lamp is the perfect solution. Measuring 8.5 inches in diameter with an aluminum reflector, it also features a clamp for easy installation. Plus, you’ll like that it comes with a six-foot cord so you can move it as needed.
Cons: It is not made of the most durable metal and may dent easily.
Bottom Line: Whether managing a lightbox photo shoot or growing an indoor plant, you’ll like this adjustable lamp that can help do both. It’s a lightweight and convenient lighting solution that brings heat to your needed area.
Simple Deluxe Two-Pack Ceramic Heat Emitter Bulbs
This two-pack set of heat emitting ceramic bulbs are perfect if you don't want the extra light.
Pros: Sometimes you want the extra heat for your pets but without the annoying light. This set of two ceramic heat emitter reptile no-light bulbs is the perfect alternative. Each lamp is 150 watts and can be used for amphibians, reptiles, and chicken coops. Choose from eight different colors. Each bulb is rated for up to 10,000 hours of use.
Cons: Common complaints centered around this product failing to work prematurely. In some cases, as little as two months of regular use was all it took to stop working.
Bottom Line: When you need to keep your pets warm but you don’t want to disturb their sleep cycles or yours, this is a great alternative.
Fluker's Repta-Clamp Lamp with Dimmable Switch
This straightforward and affordable heat lamp comes with a dimmable switch.
Pros: A dimmable switch is important if you’re concerned about overheating your pet—or even having too much light output for yourself. This is a portable clamp light for reptiles that features a 5.5-inch diameter dome lamp that emits up to 75 watts. It’s made of incredibly durable painted heavy gauge aluminum with ceramic sockets and heat emitters.
Cons: A common complaint we found is that the dimmer tends to malfunction prematurely.
Bottom Line: Whether you’re looking for something compact or dimmable light for easier functionality, this is a smart pick.
Beurer IL50 Infrared Heat Lamp
This is an easy to use infrared heat lamp that works to control muscle pain and provide pain relief.
Pros: Infrared heat has long been proven to aid in muscle recovery as well as provide other health benefits. This portable heat lamp can do exactly that and offers a variety of settings to achieve the goals. It emits up to 300 watts and incorporates safety features for added peace of mind. It also comes with a built-in timer and overheat protection for added safety.
Cons: Some reviewers noted that this product has a habit of overheating.
Bottom Line: Whether to warm you when you get out of the bath or to aid in muscle recovery, this is a smart way to soothe your tired muscles.
Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp with One Digital Thermometer
Stay on top of the temperature with this non-light-emitting reptile heat lamp.
Pros: Having a non-light-emitting heat lamp is helpful, but you still need to ensure that the temperature isn’t too high for your pets. This ceramic pick from Macro is perfect since it comes with a temperature reader—ensuring that you won’t leave it too high or low for your scaly friends. Choose between 60, 100, and 150 watts.
Cons: Many noted that the digital read-out could malfunction prematurely, making it hard to confirm the temperature output.
Bottom Line: If you want better accuracy for temperature output, this digital readout non-light-emitting ceramic heat lamp is a solid investment.
Whether you’re trying to grow plants indoors, keep reptiles warm, or make the outdoor spaces of your home more comfortable, a heat lamp can be a great addition to your life. Just make sure the heat ramp is rated for how you intend to use it—especially if you’re buying one for animals.