Updated: November 16, 2021 by Jennifer Munsell
You have your bearded dragon all lined up to come home and you just need to put the finishing touches on its new digs… but what is the best heat lamp for bearded dragons? I’ll let you in on my picks and give you a guide on how to choose the best basking bulb for your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
Bearded dragons need to have a hot spot (a basking spot) in their enclosure to thermoregulate. This means that one side of the enclosure will be warmer than the other, and your bearded dragon can move to the different temperature zones depending on what they need.
Bearded dragons can live very long lives (15 years!) if they are cared for properly. An important part of their care is ensuring they receive the right amount of heat throughout their lives. That means they need to have a heating element in their enclosure at all times.
When you consider what kind of heating element your bearded dragon needs, you should think about the cost and lifespan of the element. There are few different kinds of heating elements. You can use a heat emitter, heat bulb, or a combination heating and lighting bulb.
This review will take you through our top five recommended products. We’ve ranked them in order from the best overall to the best budget buy to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.
Our number one heat lamp pick is the DGE Reptile Basking Spot Bulb! This lamp provides both heat and light to your bearded dragon’s enclosure. This duo bulb is controlled with a dimmer switch, which means you will be able to easily adjust the temperature.
Our number one budget pick is the Fluker’s Basking Spotlight Bulb! This bulb also provides both heat and light. This bulb works for anyone on a budget because it is a trusted brand at a good price. This bulb does not provide full-spectrum lighting, however, and does not come with a dimmer switch.
The Best Basking Bulbs for Bearded Dragons Are
1. DGE Reptile Basking Spot Bulb — Best Heat Bulb for Bearded Dragons
The DGE reptile basking spot bulb is a 120-volt, 100-watt red bulb that provides ample heat as well as a warm white light for your bearded dragon.
This bulb is intended to be fitted into a dome or housing that can withstand 100 watts without taking damage. It is suggested that your bearded dragon be completely unable to touch the surface of the bulb as it can get incredibly hot.
- This heat bulb is great because it lasts for 2,000 hours or longer! This means you will spend less time replacing heat bulbs and more time enjoying your bearded dragon.
- This bulb is dimmable, which means you can adjust exactly how hot it gets.
- The bulb is small for the punch it packs, measuring 4.3 inches in height and 3.1 inches in diameter and weighing only 1.44 ounces. This means it doesn’t take up as much space in your enclosure or ruin the aesthetic.
It is important to note that the color of the bulb does not matter in terms of special lighting. It is not scientifically proven that red lights affect a bearded dragon’s sleep less than yellow lights do. Bearded dragons can detect color, but having a light on all night will affect sleep patterns regardless of color.
This bulb can be used for your bearded dragon as well as a range of other pets such as turtles, chicks, and snakes. It gives off heat and light, which helps you save on equipment and electricity running costs.
- Small and neat-looking
- Readily available
- Good value for money
- Touch temperature is very high and will cause immediate burns
The DGE Reptile Basking Spot Bulb is the perfect, affordable, long-lasting heat bulb that also provides light for your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
The Wuhostam ceramic heat emitter is a fantastic heating element for any bearded dragon’s enclosure. This heating element is 100 watts and provides heat to your bearded dragon’s enclosure 24 hours a day.
Provided that you monitor the temperature inside the enclosure, your bearded dragon can have round-the-clock heating, and you don’t need to worry about turning the heating element off and on.
- This heating element is super long-lasting, with a run time of 9,000 to 15,000 hours! This means you will not need to replace it as often.
- The ceramic heat emitter provides 24-hour heating for your bearded dragon’s enclosure. This means you do not need to worry about turning it on and off.
- It is compact at 3.15 inches in diameter and 4.13 inches high. This means it will take up a small amount of space and will not be an eyesore in the enclosure.
- Due to the nature of the ceramic material, the heating element heats up very quickly and evenly. This means there is no wait time for your bearded dragon; it gets to have its basking spot instantly.
This heat emitter is made entirely of black ceramic. The heating element is solid so there is even dispersal of heat to the area it’s in. It has a 90- to 120-volt input and can be screwed into any E24-threaded source.
The downside to this heating element is also an upside. It does not produce any light. This is a positive because it means you will have 24-hour heat to your bearded dragon’s enclosure. However, it is a negative because it means you will have to add another source of light to the tank.
- Instant warmup
- 24-hour heating
- 9,000 to 15,000 hour lifetime
- Compact and neat
- No light source
The Wuhostam 100 watt infrared ceramic heat emitter is a great choice if you want your bearded dragon to have a concentrated heat source for 24 hours a day.
The Tekizoo UVB sun lamp is a high-intensity, self-ballasted heating lamp that provides light and a basking spot for your bearded dragon. The heating lamp provides full-spectrum lighting.
- This bulb has a heat emission hole, which acts as a safety precaution against overheating. The bulb will automatically turn off if it gets too hot. Once it has cooled down enough, it will automatically turn back on.
- This heating lamp provides healthy UVA and UVB light to your bearded dragon’s enclosure. This means their full-spectrum lighting needs are taken care of by one bulb.
- This bulb has a vertical mount requirement, so it cannot be mounted at an angle. This provides the area with an even distribution of light and heat.
This is a medium- to large-sized bulb that measures 6.3 inches in height and 4.5 inches in diameter. The sun lamp cannot come into contact with water as it may crack the bulb and cause harm to your bearded dragon.
The bulb must be mounted vertically over the enclosure and not at an angle. This is because the side of the bulb that is closer to the surface of the enclosure will become hotter than the surface that’s further away.
- Large bulb provides even distribution
- Provides UVA and UVB light as well as heat
- Cannot be used with a dimmer
The Tekizoo sun lamp provides excellent heat over a large area of your bearded dragon’s enclosure. The yellow light provides even warmth and light to your beardie baby.
The Zoo-Med Repti Basking Bulb is a 100-watt bulb that has a focused beam, which directs more light to a certain spot and provides your bearded dragon with the best basking spot. The bulb targets the basking spot but heats the rest of the enclosure evenly.
- This bulb lasts up to 2,000 hours, so you will not have to replace the bulb too frequently.
- The focused beam of the spot bulb provides concentrated heat to the basking spot while heating the rest of the enclosure too. This is important because it creates the evenly distributed temperature gradient that your bearded dragon needs to survive.
- This bulb is medium-sized, which means it is large enough for a bearded dragon in a 40-gallon tank.
The Repti basking spot bulb has a double reflector, which increases the heat and light by 33% without adding any electrical expense. The double reflector technology helps to create the targeted beam that makes basking in this bulb such a pleasure for your beardie.
- Targeted beam
- Provides heat and light
- Will break if it gets wet
Fluker’s is a well-known and well-loved brand of reptile accessories. The Fluker’s basking spotlight bulb for reptiles is perfect for your bearded dragon’s enclosure. It directs light and heat to a specific area and gradually warms the rest of the enclosure to create a comfortable temperature.
- This product features multiple wattage options to suit the size of your reptile enclosure.
- The bulb is very light at only 0.16 ounces. This means it will not put too much weight on a mounted fixture and cause it to bend.
- It is an incandescent bulb, providing both heat and light to your bearded dragon.
The Fluker’s bulb is small and compact. It measures 2.5 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches in height. This makes it ideal for any reptile enclosure that is on the small side and does not have a lot of extra room for lighting.
This bulb will heat and light the enclosure. However, the bulb does not provide full-spectrum lighting so you will need to have an additional light to take care of your bearded dragon’s UVA and UVB needs. Check out our guide on the best UVB bulbs for your bearded dragon here.
- Small and light
- Multiple wattage options
- No full-spectrum lighting
The Fluker’s Basking Spotlight Bulbs For Reptiles is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget. The bulb will heat and light your enclosure to create a nice, hot basking spot and a gradual temperature gradient.
How to Choose the Best Basking Bulb for Your Bearded Dragon
Heat lamps will eventually burn out. They have a lifespan and when the lifespan is over, they need to be replaced immediately. This means that your heat lamps need to be readily available.
When you are buying a heat lamp for your bearded dragon, you should pay careful attention to what size the bulb is compared to what dome or housing you have installed in the tank. You would not want to get home and realize the bulbs you bought don’t match the dome.
Always make a careful note of the wattage of the heat lamp before you purchase. Along with your heat lamp, you will need a dome or lighting fixture to contain the bulb if it does not come with one. The wattage on the dome and the bulb needs to match.
Heat Lamp vs Heat Emitter
A heating lamp will often offer you UVA and UVB lighting as well as provide enough heat for a basking spot for your bearded dragon’s enclosure. However, once it is turned off to avoid disrupting your beardie’s photocycle, there’s no more heat for your lizard.
The heat emitter has a longer lifespan than a heat bulb. It also provides constant heat throughout the night and day so you will never be worried about your bearded dragon’s temperature fluctuating too much. However, it is a completely separate product that you need to get in addition to a lighting source.
Expert Tip on Heat Lamps for Bearded Dragons
Get your enclosure set up a couple of days before you bring your bearded dragon home. This will give you the chance to cycle your heating and lighting systems a couple of times and record how the temperature fluctuates throughout the day and night.
This allows you to make any adjustments to lighting and heating without causing stress to your new bearded dragon! Check out our guide on the best bearded dragon tank setup here.
How many watts should a heat lamp be for a bearded dragon’s enclosure?
The wattage of the bulb depends on the size of the enclosure as well as the age of the bearded dragon. A hatchling or juvenile bearded dragon will be in a smaller 20-gallon enclosure, which will require a 60-watt bulb.
Subadults and adults will be in a 40-gallon+ enclosure and they will require a bulb that is 80 to 100 watts. The bigger the tank, the more space there will be to heat, which is why the wattage goes up with the size.
Do bearded dragons need to have their heat lamp on the whole day?
A bearded dragon needs to go through a natural photocycle that is roughly 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. This means you will need to turn off the heat lamp to avoid disturbing your bearded dragon’s sleep cycle.
If the enclosure does not drop below 75°F at night with the bulb turned off, then your beardie is not at any risk without supplemental heating. However, if nighttime temperatures drop too low, they can become sick and ultimately die.
If you live in a region that is very cold and the nighttime temperatures drop too low, then you would need to install a heat emitter or an under-tank heat mat to supplement the heat.
Happy Basking, Beardie!
The best heat bulb for bearded dragons is the DGE Reptile Basking Spot Bulb. This bulb provides full-spectrum lighting as well as heat to the enclosure. On top of that, it has a long run time and is connected to a dimmer switch.
The best budget heat lamp for bearded dragons is the Fluker’s Basking Spotlight Bulb. This bulb provides both heat and light to the enclosure for a good price.
Your bearded dragon needs a decent source of heat in their tank to thermoregulate themselves. Choose the heat lamp that suits your and your bearded dragon’s needs!