The Best Heat Lamp for Bearded Dragons in 2022

Written by Joan W.
Published: April 30, 2022
© Steve Buchus/Shutterstock.com

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Bearded dragons are wonderful pets because, generally, they are peaceful and pleasant reptiles that get even calmer as they age. Unlike many reptiles, beardies enjoy interactions with their people.

There are a few crucial differences in the care of a bearded dragon and other reptiles. They are not tree lizards, so vertical space is not important. Ideally, they should have at least a 120-gallon terrarium with 48 inches of horizontal space. 

Native to the Australian outback, beardies in the wild spend their days basking in the sun, so it’s not just heat but UVA and UVB light that bearded dragons need. A heat mat works with many types of lizards but not beardies. 

Your beardie needs a sunny, warmer side of the terrarium and a cooler, more shaded side to cool off when needed. These oddly cute pets can overheat if the heat lamp is too strong or too close to them. So, you want to use between 50 and 150 watts depending on:

  • The size of your terrarium
  • Your home’s ambient temperature
  • The distance of the bulb from your bearded dragon

If you have sweltering summers and frigid winters, you may want to reduce the watts of your heat lamp during the summer (unless the air conditioning or central heat is on full blast). If your home never drops below 59 degrees Fahrenheit, your beardie doesn’t need additional warmth at night.

One type of lamp you never want to use with a bearded dragon is a red light. The red light disrupts their sleeping cycle and can damage their eyes. Red lights used at night can cause stress, reduce their appetite, and lower their immune system’s function.

Since your UVA and UVB bulb won’t emit much heat and your beardie only benefits from sunlight for ten to 12 hours a day, you can use a ceramic heater at all hours to keep the terrarium temperature safe and comfortable.

Our 2022 reviews are updated to include the latest ceramic heaters to keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Heat Lamps for Bearded Dragons

  1. Zoo Med Repticare Ceramic Infared Reptile Terrarium Heat Emitter
  2. Zoo Med Repticare Ceramic Infared Reptile Terrarium Heat Emitter
    • Muscle-penetrating infrared heat
    • Don’t give off any light
    • Last up to five years
    • Works well in high humidity terrariums
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. LUCKY HERP 75W Ceramic Heat Emitter
  4. LUCKY HERP 75W Ceramic Heat Emitter
    •  Reach the maximum temperature within 4 minutes
    • Virtually no light output
    • Bulb should last about 10,000 hours
    • Made from thick ceramic, very sturdy
    Check Amazon
  5. WUHOSTAM 100W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp
  6. WUHOSTAM 100W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp
    • Made from solid ceramics elements
    • Waterproof and anti-crack
    • Easy to install
    • Can be used for reptiles or amphibians
    Check Amazon
  7. OMAYKEY 75W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp Bulb
  8. OMAYKEY 75W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp Bulb
    • Doesn't emit light
    • Will last between 9,000 and 15,000 hours
    • Very easy to install
    • ETL Listed
    Check Amazon
  9. Fluker's Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter
  10. Fluker's Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter
    • Can be used for reptiles and amphibians
    • Emit infrared heat with no light
    • Very good value for money
    • Can be used to supplement overhead heating
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

1. Overall Best: Zoo Med Repticare Ceramic Infrared Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamp

In our review, the overall best heat lamp for bearded dragons is Zoo Med Repticare ceramic infrared reptile terrarium heat lamp for its muscle-penetrating infrared heat and flat-faced design.

Ceramic heat lamps use Infrared heat emitters that don’t give off any light, which is perfect for your beardie day and night. 

This reptile heat lamp is built to last up to five years for your bearded dragon’s lounging enjoyment. That is significantly longer than any of the other bulbs we reviewed. It also works well in high humidity terrariums. 

You can use it with any porcelain incandescent socket. It is UL/cUL classified (designed, built, and tested in accordance with safety standards for the US and Canada by Underwriter Laboratories) when used in conjunction with Zoo Meds Wire Cage Clamp Lamp (LF-10).

Overall Best
Zoo Med Repticare Ceramic Infared Reptile Terrarium Heat Emitter
  • Muscle-penetrating infrared heat
  • Don’t give off any light
  • Last up to five years
  • Works well in high humidity terrariums
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Rapid Heating: LUCKY HERP Ceramic Reptile Heat Lamp

The LUCKY HERP reptile heat emitter is a sturdy ceramic reptile heat lamp that heats up fast. You can feel the heat beginning to rise within ten seconds of turning it on, and it will reach the maximum rated temperature within four minutes. 

It emits natural heat with virtually no light output, so your bearded dragon can be comfortable during the day and sleep peacefully at night when the UVA/UVB light is off. With continuous use, this bulb should last about 10,000 hours, approximately 14 months.

You’ll get optimal performance from your LUCKY HERP reptile heat lamp when you use a quality ceramic lamp holder and avoid frequently turning it on and off. When you turn it on, let it build to full heat and stay on before turning it off again.

These ceramic bulbs need to be at least 12 inches above your bearded dragon – so that would be at least 12 inches above the highest perch where they may bask and hang out. 

Do not touch this or any ceramic heat lamp with your hands when it’s on or for at least an hour after turning them off because the surface gets so hot it will burn your fingers. That is why it’s also important to keep the lamp an appropriate distance above your beardie.

One way that LUCKY HERP stands out is they offer an unconditional refund for broken bulbs.

Best for Rapid Heating
LUCKY HERP 75W Ceramic Heat Emitter
  •  Reach the maximum temperature within 4 minutes
  • Virtually no light output
  • Bulb should last about 10,000 hours
  • Made from thick ceramic, very sturdy
Check Amazon

3. Best Explosion-Proof Heat Lamp: WUHOSTAM Ceramic Reptile Heat Lamp 

WUHOSTAM’s ceramic infrared heat lamp is made from solid ceramics elements to deliver 100% heat efficiency without emitting any light. The durable ceramic heat lamp is waterproof and anti-crack.

It’s imperative to use ALL ceramic infrared heat lamps with a porcelain E26 screw socket and not a plastic one since it may melt the lamp holder if it’s plastic. Using a plastic screw socket can also result in an explosion which is not good for your home or bearded dragon.

Used continuously 24 hours a day, this heat lamp should last between 9000 to 15,000 hours between 13 and 23 months.

Best Explosion-Proof
WUHOSTAM 100W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp
  • Made from solid ceramics elements
  • Waterproof and anti-crack
  • Easy to install
  • Can be used for reptiles or amphibians
Check Amazon

4. Best for Temperature Control: OMAYKEY Ceramic Reptile Heat Lamp

The OMAYKEY ceramic reptile heat lamp is a practical choice for a 24-hour heat source for your bearded dragon. The manufacturer estimates it will last between 9,000 and 15,000 hours or longer, essentially 13 to 23 months.

The infrared heat radiates without emitting light that would disturb your beardie’s sleep cycle. Like other similar bulbs, it does require a standard porcelain E27 screw socket to function effectively and safely.

Best for Temperature Control
OMAYKEY 75W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp Bulb
  • Doesn't emit light
  • Will last between 9,000 and 15,000 hours
  • Very easy to install
  • ETL Listed
Check Amazon

5. Best for Heat Output: Fluker’s Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter

The large circular emitter of Fluker’s ceramic reptile lamp heats an increased basking area for larger terrariums or when you need to mount the heater at a higher distance above your bearded dragon.

The intense infrared heat with no light is ideal for keeping your beardie comfortable and healthy. 

Best for Heat Output
Fluker's Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter
  • Can be used for reptiles and amphibians
  • Emit infrared heat with no light
  • Very good value for money
  • Can be used to supplement overhead heating
Check Chewy Check Amazon

What Wattage Should I Use?

Many of the reptile heat lamps we reviewed come in a range of watts from 50 to 150. The question is, how do you know what wattage to use for your bearded dragon?

The best choice will depend on how warm your home usually is, the size of your terrarium, the heat produced by your UVA and UVB lights, and the distance the heat lamp will be from your beardie.

Since beardies need ventilation, it’s likely you have a screen on top of your terrarium, though some people have screens on the sides instead. It’s generally recommended to mount the bulb above the screen outside the terrarium to prevent your beardie from ever making any contact with the very hot surface of the bulb.

If your lamp will be twelve inches above the basking spot, a 65-watt lamp may be more than sufficient. If you have 18 inches of height between the lamp and your beardie’s basking spot, you may need 100 watts. However, these are not hard-and-fast recommendations because the temperature in your home will also impact it.

The best thing to do is track the temperature in your terrarium with a digital reptile thermostat and adjust the number and intensity of the bulbs you use to maintain your beardie’s ideal temperature on the warm side of the terrarium.

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When selecting the best heat lamp for bearded dragons, there are three factors you will want to consider. Specifically:

  • How long does the manufacturer say it will last?
  • Is it waterproof and anti-crack?
  • Does the wattage match my setup?

How Long Does the Manufacturer Say It Will Last?

Our #1 top-rated reptile heat lamp costs two and a half times more than some of the other options, but it also lasts up to five times longer. So, you want to balance the cost you pay today and how long your lamp will last and keep your beardie warm and comfortable.

Is It Waterproof and Anti-Crack?

Ceramic bulbs emit a lot of heat, so much that you shouldn’t touch one that’s been on until it’s been cooling for at least an hour. They also have to be used with porcelain E27 sockets because they can melt a plastic socket or shatter. For your and your bearded dragon’s safety, you want a ceramic reptile heat lamp that is durable and made to withstand humid, wet conditions and resist cracking.

Does the Wattage Match My Setup?

Bearded dragons can be damaged by too much direct heat. If you have a small terrarium and hot UV lights and live in a hot climate, you can easily overdo your basking heat. Many ceramic heat lamps are available in different watts.

The Different Types of Heat Lamp for Bearded Dragons: Pros and Cons Compared

Bearded dragons are different than many reptiles. Many lizards thrive with a heating pad and don’t mind some light at night. However, our beardie friends from sunbaked Australia need UV light in the day and darkness at night. So, while you may be able to use nocturnal heat lamps for other lizards, they can damage your beardie’s eyes and disrupt his sleep.

Here is why ceramic heat lamps are most often recommended for bearded dragons.

Ceramic Heat Lamps

Pros

  • Infrared heat with NO light
  • Creates a basking area of warmth that works well with UV bulbs during the day
  • Permits your bearded dragon to sleep well and stay healthy

Nocturnal Heat Lamps

Cons

  • Beardies need darkness at night
  • Red lights can damage your bearded dragon’s eyes
  • Cause stress, lack of appetite, and a compromised immune system in beardies

Verified Review: User Experience

One user of the Zoo Med Repticare ceramic infrared reptile terrarium heat lamp reported their bearded dragon is sleeping much better now that they added heat with no light overnight. Other users rave about how long this lamp lasts compared with other brands.

LUCKY HERP ceramic reptile heat lamp users report it’s reliable heat and works great. The reviews are all positive, with a couple of comments saying the heat wasn’t as intense as expected, but they are otherwise very satisfied.

Reviewers rave about the WUHOSTAM Ceramic Reptile Heat Lamp’s quality for the price. Users who were frustrated with how quickly other bulbs broke were delighted with how these heat lamps worked. One user warned that he had to be careful while screwing the bulb into the socket because the glue that attaches the bulb to the socket is delicate.

Users of the OMAYKEY Ceramic Reptile Heat Lamp say it exceeds expectations. Some say the heat output is higher than expected. One user reports it’s still going strong after six months. One user found the heat lamp inconsistent because sometimes it seemed to stop emitting heat, but they are hard to check because they don’t emit any light. One user’s lamp cracked immediately, but most reviews were strongly positive.

Fluker’s Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter’s users say the lamp is a great value for the money. Users report that it works well and are satisfied with the heat output and reliability. One user advises to let it stay on in a well-ventilated space for four to six hours before using it on your pet because they smelled noxious fumes that burned off.

Products For This Review

About the Author

Joan Weisman is an experienced freelance marketing strategist and copywriter who helps small businesses expand their audience and stay top of mind with customers. She loves animals and dotes on her cat and dog.

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