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Get Your Owner's Guide For Ball Pythons And Help Your Special Friend Live its Best Life.

Best Heat Lamp For Ball Pythons (Top 5 + Bulb Guide)

Do you want to provide the best habitat for your ball python?

Do you want to ensure your ball python stays healthy and thrives in captivity?

When you are researching what you need to give your ball python the best home, you are likely to find you need to look into heat lamps.

But what are the best heat lamps for ball pythons?

There are so many options on the market, and we are here to help you sift through the options.

Please keep reading for more information and our reviews of heat lamps.

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Optimal Temperatures For Ball Pythons

Ball pythons, like other reptiles, are cold-blooded, meaning they rely on external temperatures to regulate their bodies and aid with bodily functions like digestion.

Because of this, ball pythons will need a home with a temperature gradient to give them different options.

It is essential to maintain optimal temperatures in the ball python’s enclosure to help keep their health up.

Here is what the ideal temperatures should look like in your pet snake’s vivarium:

  • Basking Surface Temperature – 95° to 105°F (35° – 40° C)
  • Warm Hide Temperature – 86 to 90°F (30-32°C)
  • Cool Hide Temperature – 72-80°F (22-27°C)
  • Nighttime Temperature – 70-78°F (21-26°C)
  • Ambient Temperature – 82° to 86°F (28° – 30° C)
ball python temperature guide

It’s important to understand the difference between surface and air temperature.

To ensure your ball python’s comfort, use an infrared temperature gun to measure the basking surface temperature in its enclosure. This should include areas such as wooden branches, substrates, or flat rocks.

Keep in mind that these surfaces tend to be warmer than the surrounding air, even if they register the same temperature.

How to maintain temperature in a ball python’s enclosure?

Heat lamps are your best option.

There are other choices, too. We’ll touch upon them in a bit.

Do I Need A Ball Python Heat Lamp?

Heat lamps are a great way to simulate the sun, heat the air in a ball python’s tank, or mimic natural day and night patterns.

ball python tank with a heat lamp

It is good to have a timer or manually switch the heat lamp off and on to mimic those patterns.

A timer will also allow you to avoid interfering with the natural day and night cycles of your ball python.

As discussed above, a heat lamp will help maintain temperatures in the tank, directly aiding your pet’s health and digestion.

In some cases, a heat lamp is not completely necessary if the temperature in your home is in the range.

But, it isn’t easy to maintain the required temperatures throughout the year, so a heat lamp is a great idea.

What To Know About Bulbs

heat lamp bulb

Heat lamp bulbs will come in a variety of wattages.

This variety allows you the ability to reach and maintain the proper temperatures you need in the tank.

If your ball python lives in a small tank, you will not need a bulb with a higher wattage, but the larger the tank, the larger the wattage will need to be.

In a small tank, too high of a wattage, like a 150-watt bulb, will make the tank too hot and can harm your ball python.

In addition to wattages, you also need to be aware of the kind of bulb you are purchasing.

Heat lamp bulbs will come in incandescent, white light, or infrared, red light.

A red light will help with sleep cycles, and incandescents are great for heating.

When using an incandescent light bulb, getting a heat lamp with a ceramic socket is best to prevent melting.

Incandescent light bulbs will get hot and melt a plastic socket, but ceramic won’t melt.

Our list also features options for ceramic heat emitters.

These do not provide any light, focusing only on heat.

Because they do not produce any light, you will be able to use them as a 24-hour heat source, without disturbing your ball python’s sleep cycle.

Reviews Of The Best Heat Lamps For Ball Pythons

best heat lamp for ball python

Here we break down the best heat lamp options we have found for ball pythons.

These reviews are a great way to gather information, go over the pros and cons of each product, and help you shop with confidence.

Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb

100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • Ideal Daylight Bulb For Your Critter: A Powerful source of heat and UVA / UVB / visible light - completely self-ballasted (no harmful UVC). Our mercury vapor bulb provides animals warmth & vitamin production necessary for health - just like daylight
  • Ideal For A Wide Variety Of Reptiles And Amphibians: Our UVA UVB reptile light is ideal for bearded dragons, tortoises, turtles, geckos, snakes (pythons, boas, etc.), iguanas, lizards, chameleons, frogs, toads & more. An excellent reptile bulb!
  • Compatible With Virtually All Enclosures: Our large UVA UVB bulb is compatible with a variety of enclosures, including vivariums, tanks, terrariums, vision cages, chicken coops, and more. Great for those in need of reptile UVB light and UVB bulbs (light for reptiles)
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This bulb for a ball python heat lamp is an excellent choice for your pet’s tank.

If you are already the owner of a heat lamp, this bulb is an option you really should check out.

Not only will this bulb provide a powerful source of heat, but it also provides UVA and UVB high.

The company has tested this bulb to make sure it is good quality and works properly, offering a best-in-class lifespan for your pet.

This will work not only for your ball python but other reptiles and amphibians in your home, including bearded dragons, lizards, chameleons, frogs, turtles, and so many more.

It is also compatible with many enclosures from tanks, terrariums, vivariums, plus other types of enclosures you might have.

You will have to experiment with finding the proper placement when using this bulb to find the ideal location and desired temperature.

Before buying, be sure to check the bulb will fit in the socket of your heat lamp fixture.

The bulb should be used with a standard U.S. size ceramic socket designed to handle high-wattage bulbs.

You will not be able to use this with dimmers.

Pros For This Product

  • Provides Great Heat
  • Works With A Variety Of Enclosures
  • Easy To Use With Standard U.S. Size Ceramic Socket

Cons For This Product

  • Takes A Few Minutes To Heat Up
  • Cannot Use With Dimmers
  • More Expensive Than Other Members Of Our List

Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp

Exo Terra Repti-Glo 10.0 Compact Fluorescent Desert Terrarium Lamp, 26 Watt
  • 26-watt compact fluorescent bulb ideal for all tropical and sub-tropical reptiles
  • High UVB output effective up to 12 inches (30 cm)
  • Provides necessary UVB rays for optimal calcium metabolism
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Exo Terra’s Repti-Glo 5.0 is another excellent option when it comes to lighting in your ball python’s tank.

This bulb produces a UVB output effective up to 15″ inches.

With its low wattage, this bulb produces very little heat but instead provides UVB rays.

Using this bulb in conjunction with natural light or another bulb is recommended to give a well-rounded light output.

This bulb mimics the levels of UVB rays produced in shady environments like rain forests or tropical locations.

The bulb will fit in a standard screw fitting.

Pros For This Product

  • Provides UVB Rays
  • Very Inexpensive
  • Works With A Standard Light Socket

Cons For This Product

  • Produces Very Little Heat

Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb 60W Ceramic Heat Emitter

Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb 60W Ceramic Heat Emitter
  • ✔ Perfect 24 Hours Heat Sources – Ceramic heat emitter is a radiant heat source which creates a natural sunlike heat with a uniform pattern, last up to 10000 hours.
  • ✔ 100% Heat Efficiency – Reptile heat lamp the long wave infrared heat produced by this emitter will warm reptiles very efficiently. It also increases the ambient air temperature in the terrarium.
  • ✔ No Light Emitted – Reptile heat bulb does not disturb normal sleeping habits of reptiles, chickens coops and outside pets. Available for daily use.
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Our next light source to make the list is the ceramic infrared heater.

This is a perfect 24-hour heat source providing radiant heat lasting up to 10,000 hours.

The tank’s ambient air temperature is essential for your ball python, and this heat emitter is an efficient way to provide the ideal temperatures.

Since there is zero light emitted with this product, only heat, your ball python’s day and night time cycles will not be disturbed.

This heat emitter does get very hot and will require you to let it cool down for at least an hour before you attempt to touch it.

Because it is so hot, you will also need to keep it the proper distance away from your snake and the enclosure.

If you have the lamp too close, you risk getting the tank too hot and even burning or otherwise injuring your ball python.

The ceramic lamp is made of pottery clay of high purity, making it an anti-crack product, and it Ok to use if humidity levels are high.

It is shaped with a flat face design to provide heat more efficiently, plus it will last longer than conical-shaped heat emitters.

This is because, with a conical-shaped design, the heat is not dispersed as well, causing an internal build-up of excess heat, leading to the carbonizing of the element inside.

We also like how these bulbs fit in a standard light socket.

Besides being used for reptiles, these bulbs keep a dog or cat warm outside or as a chick brooder.

Pros For This Product

  • Flat Faced Design Provides An Efficient Heat Source
  • Anti-Crack
  • Long-Lasting Product
  • Works As A 24 Hour Heat Source Without Interfering With Day And Night Cycles
  • Low Wattage
  • Fits In A Standard Light Socket

Cons For This Product

  • This Product Gets Very Hot
  • Needs To Be Kept At A Safe Distance So As Not To Overheat Or Harm Your Snake

80W 2 Pack Ceramic Heat Emitter Infrared Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb

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Another option for a heat emitter is this option from Aomryom, and we especially like this product because it comes in a two-pack.

Whether you have multiple tanks you need to provide heat for or want a backup; the two-pack is a great option.

This is an 80-watt heat emitter providing radiant heat, with a flat-faced design made of high purity pottery clay.

Like the other heat emitter on our list, this one does not produce any light.

Use this as a 24-hour heat source, and since it does not produce any light will not interfere with the day and night cycle of your ball python or any other animal you choose to use this with.

The infrared heat produced from this ceramic heat emitter will penetrate the skin and scales of your pet to keep them healthy and happy.

Besides directly warming the ball python in your care, the heat emitter will also increase the ambient air temperature in the cage.

This product gets very hot.

You will need to install the heat emitter at a safe distance to avoid harming or burning your snake.

Also, never touch the product while in use and wait at least one hour before attempting to handle it.

Pros For This Product

  • Flat Faced Design Provides An Efficient Heat Source
  • Comes In A Two Pack
  • Anti-Crack Due To Use Of A High Purity Pottery Clay
  • Lasts Up To 9,0000-15,000 Hours Or More Of Use
  • Use As 24 Hour Heat Source Without Interfering With Day And Night Cycles
  • Fits In A Standard Light Socket

Cons For This Product

  • Use Caution When Handling The Bulb As It Gets Very Hot
  • You Will Have To Wait At Least An Hour After Turning Off Before Touching
  • Install At A Safe Distance To Avoid Overheating Or Harming Your Snake

2pc Reptile Light Bulb 75W Reptile Infrared Basking Spot Lamp

This is one of our top choices for a bulb for a reason.

This two-piece 75-watt reptile light bulb is a great buy, and it effectively provides an even temperature in the enclosure.

This bulb’s ambient heat will help create a healthy environment and give your ball python just what it needs.

On top of this, it emits soft moonlight and won’t interfere as you try to provide and maintain a day and night cycle.

You will be able to use this light during evening hours to view the ball python as it goes about its business, and you won’t disturb any regular nocturnal routines.

Since ball pythons are most active in the twilight hours, this is the perfect choice for observing your pet.

We love how this bulb fits in a standard U.S. size socket, so you don’t have to worry about buying anything special to use it.

It is also free of toxic or other hazardous substances.

There are practices to employ to prolong the life of your lightbulb, but it has been noted these particular bulbs don’t last a considerable amount of time, and you will need to replace them, so have some extras on hand.

Pros For This Product

  • Creates Ambient Heat To Promote An Even Temperature
  • Allows You To Watch Your Ball Python In The Twilight Hours, When They Are Most Active
  • Doesn’t Interfere With Their Nocturnal Routines Or Day And Night Cycles

Cons For This Product

  • Doesn’t Always Last A Very Long Time

Other Heat Sources for a Snake’s Tank

Here are a few other options you can choose from to maintain warmth in your pet’s tank:

  • Heat pads
  • Radiant heat panels
  • Deep heat projectors

These devices can help maintain a comfortable ambient temperature in your ball python’s enclosure at night. 

However, you can’t use them for daytime “basking” heat as they emit a less intense spectrum of infrared radiation (heat) for that purpose.

Let’s look at each one separately.

Heat Pads

A heating pad is an excellent source of heat to maintain the temperature of the warm hide.

A heating pad also helps snakes digest their food and enjoy some belly-heating sessions.

However, how well a heat pad functions depends a lot on how well you set it.

setting a heat pad in a snake's tank

Here are some tips that’ll help you:

  • Never use it as a primary source of heat.
  • Place the heating pad at least an inch below the substrate so it doesn’t come into contact with your pet’s skin.
  •  Always connect the heating pad with a thermostat to monitor temperature. It’ll help avoid burns.

Radiant Heat Panels

A radiant heat panel is a comparatively safer option. Unlike a heat tape or heat pad, It’s placed at the top of the enclosure, reducing the risk of burns.

A radiant heat panel is useful if you want to heat a large tank. Use a dimming thermostat to regulate it.

Deep Heat Projectors

A deep heat projector is another option. It emits focused infrared heat and can create warm spots in specific areas of your snake’s tank.

A deep heat projector is also beneficial for providing a temperature gradient within the enclosure, allowing your ball python to choose the right spot to thermoregulate.

Tip: Never use heat rocks in your snake’s tank. They can cause burns and won’t do much for the ambient temperature.

A Toasty Choice for Ball Pythons – Wrapping Up

We hope you now have a better idea of the best choices for heat lamps and bulbs for your ball python.

Remember to look for an option fitting for your needs and set up of the tank.

With some good research and an understanding of what ball pythons need, you will better find the best heat lamp for your pet and your home.

If you enjoyed the information in this post check out our other one on the best names for ball pythons.

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