The 9 Best Heating Lamps for Turtles: Our Top Picks!




heating lamps for turtles

Sharing is caring!

Do you have a pet turtle? If so, you should know they need a warm environment to stay healthy and active. You need a good heating lamp for your turtle’s tank.

When I got my first turtle, I had no idea that turtles were cold-blooded animals. I just assumed they could regulate their body temperature like other animals. Boy, was I wrong!

It turns out that turtles need a basking spot in their tank where they can soak up some heat. Since then, I’ve been hunting for the best heating lamps for turtles.

I’ve tried a few different brands and types of heating lamps, and I’ve made a list of my favorites. In this guide, I’ll share the best heating lamps for turtles based on my experience.

How Important Are UVA & UVB Lights for My Turtles?

UVA and UVB light are two types of ultraviolet light. They recreate the sunlight that turtles would get if they were outdoors. Also, they provide the vitamins your turtle needs.

UVA Light

Since your turtles don’t receive as much natural light in your home as they would in the wild, they become sluggish. UV light or Ultraviolet A helps to stimulate their activity and makes them more comfortable.

Some aspects that UVA light covers are:

  • Helping your turtle become more active
  • Regulating their metabolism
  • Increasing their appetite
  • Inducing breeding

UVB Light

Turtles need vitamin D3 to keep them active and healthy, and UVB light or Ultraviolet B provides this supplement.

If your turtle doesn’t get enough UVB light, it may develop serious health problems like metabolic bone issues and shell deformities. If deprived of UVB light for too long, your turtle will die.

Thus, you should provide your turtle with a UVB light system and replace it every six months to ensure that it is healthy and happy.

How To Determine the Best Wattage for a Turtle Heating Lamp?

Watts aren’t significant when it comes to selecting a turtle heat lamp. For turtles, the first thing you should look for is UV light in both UVA and UVB ranges.

However, wattage becomes a factor in determining how hot the basking area should be. You can determine the best wattage as follows:

50-75 Watts

If your aquarium is small and only has a basking area that’s 2-3 times the length of your turtle(s), then 50 watts of power will suffice. A turtle heat lamp wattage helps determine the appropriate watts for the aquarium. You should only upgrade to 75 watts if you have a greater basking spot.

Thus, they are suitable for your turtles if you have:

  • Small aquariums that are around 55 gallons
  • Only one or two turtles
  • Small basking areas

100 Watts

A 100-watt turtle heat lamp produces more energy and heat; the larger the scope, the wider the basking area is covered. Thus, they are suitable for your turtles if you have:

  • 100-gallon aquariums or larger
  • More than two turtles
  • Larger basking areas

What Are the Different Types of Turtle Heating Lamps?

Compact UVB Lamps

For smaller terrariums or “sick tanks,” compact UVB lamps or fluorescent bulbs are the greatest options. These turtle heat lamps have a tiny footprint, resulting in a more focused UVB spot for your turtle.

Some people believe that UVB lamps cause eye damage in turtles and tortoises. Still, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

In addition, the lack of dark retreats is more closely related to the problem than any other factor. Traditional UVB bulbs emit radiation that can lead to cloudy corneas in reptiles. In contrast, compact UVB lamps do not have this side effect.

Tubular UVB Lamps

Tubular or linear UVB lights are long tubes with changing lengths. It’s been a long-standing debate whether linear or combat UVB bulbs are better for turtles.

Unlike compact bulbs, linear lamps provide full coverage with even light distribution. If you have many turtles or a giant aquarium, linear lamps are the best choice to provide them with the necessary lighting.

Night Lights & Timer

Night lights are available in two colors: purplish-blue and red. They emit a low light that lets you see your turtles at night without disturbing their sleep.

Also, these lights generate heat, so it’s up to you whether you want to leave them on all night or not. That is when the timer comes in handy, as you can set it to turn on and off at specific times.

Basking Lights

Basking lights help to heat the basking area of the terrarium, which is important for reptiles like turtles.

While UVB lights for turtles also emit heat, I don’t recommend using them as basking lights because long exposures can cause health problems. Here are the best basking temperatures for some of the most common pet turtles:

  • Florida Box Turtle: 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Eastern Box Turtle: 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Ornate Box Turtle: 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Red Ear Sliders Turtles: 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Map Turtles: 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Painted Turtles: 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mud Turtles: 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Musk Turtles: 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit

Combination Turtle Heat Lamps

Combination turtle heat lamps are life-changing since they provide UVB light and heating in one simple setup. Additionally, setting up two different lights saves you a lot of time and effort!

However, I recommend only using combined lighting for large setups, as they produce a lot of heat that small tanks can’t handle.

In addition, you can invest in a timer to help run this type of heat lamp – especially when you need to alternate between the two types of light.

Another option is to install a screen below these lamps if they are incandescent, halogen, or mercury vapor since they get hot and might explode if water splashes.

You can purchase a turtle heat lamp with fluorescent or LED lights to avoid any potential hassle.

Ceramic Turtle Heat Lamps

Ceramic heat emitters (CHEs) offer warmth for your pet turtles without any light. Like basking bulbs, CHEs can’t emit heat in large areas but could overheat a tiny space.

I recommend plugging them into porcelain sockets instead of plastic ones since they get incredibly hot and might cause a fire.

What Are the Best Turtle Heating Lamps?

OMAYKEY 2-Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp

OMAYKEY 2-Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp
  • This heat lamp bulb is ETL Listed, input voltage is AC 90-120V, power is 100-Watts, full size is diameter 3.15 inch x height 4.13 inch
  • This ceramic heat emitter bulb is 24hr heat source, with 100% efficiency, perfect for reptiles and amphibians. It could last 9000-15,000 hours, even longer.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The OMAYKEY turtle heat lamp is sleek and stylish, with a minimalist look that will blend well with your habitat. Also, this heat lamp is highly efficient, providing long-lasting functionality.

Not to mention, it’s a piece of cake to set up. You just need to screw it into a standard porcelain E27 socket, and then you’re all good to go!

When I used this heat lamp, I was impressed by how quickly it warmed up my turtle’s basking area. Not to mention, the price is unbeatable for a 2-pack!

What We Like

  • Affordable 2-pack
  • Quickly heats up the basking area
  • Easy to set up
  • The package includes a digital thermometer
  • The standard wattage for this heat lamp is 100W.
  • The diameter of the heating surface is 8 cm
  • It has an elegant black color

Room for Improvement

  • Not suitable for huge artificial habitats
  • They can get too hot for some turtles

Simple Deluxe 2-Pack Clamp Lamp Light

Simple Deluxe 2-Pack Clamp Lamp Light
  • Material: 5.5 inch aluminum reflector, 60W max phenolic plastics lamp holder (E26). Type A lamp. (Note: The temperature of the lamp holder will rise after use, do not touch it with your hands)
  • Function: the clip is firm and well fixed, 360° adjustment, the direction of the light can be pointed to where you need.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The most appealing aspect of this lamp is its versatility. You can use this lamp to warm your turtle’s tank or as a desk light in your office!

Other places to use this light include:

  • Garages
  • Art studios
  • Growth light for indoor plants
  • Work light in photography and workshops

In fact, my turtles weren’t the only ones who benefitted from this lamp – I also ended up using it as a reading light in my bed.

Also, I like how you can adjust the angle of the light with its gooseneck design. This means you can target the basking area much better, which is essential for providing your turtles with the warmth they need.

What We Like

  • Versatile – can be used for different purposes
  • The 8.5-inch adjustable aluminum reflector
  • The non-marring clamps provide a secure grip to prevent slippage
  • The On/Off button has a 6-foot-long cord
  • The wattage of the turtle heat lamp is 150 W

Room for Improvement

  • Its look might not be for everyone
  • It’s a bit pricier than other options
  • Prone to a lot of issues

AIICIO Ceramic Heat Lamp

AIICIO Ceramic Heat Lamp
  • No Light Emitted – 60 watt heat bulb does not disturb normal sleeping habits of reptiles, chickens coops and outside pets. Available for daily use.
  • Suitable for High Humid Environments – Ceramic heat lamp was made of high-purity pottery clay which ensures its anti-crack and working in high humidity terrariums.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

It was a tight race between the OMAYKEY 2-Pack Ceramic Heat Lamp and this ceramic heat lamp. However, this lamp is white, giving a more elegant appearance and working in the same way as the OMAYKEY heat lamp, so it’s just a matter of personal preference.

Once I plugged it into my turtle’s habitat, I noticed an immediate difference in the temperature. Not to mention, the lamp is also quite durable, so I don’t have to worry about it breaking anytime soon.

What We Like

  • Long-lasting
  • Can handle 24-hour use
  • Can stand high humidity
  • Increases the temperature of the air inside the enclosure

Room for Improvement

  • Only has 60 watts
  • Suitable only for small aquariums

Zoo Med Aquatic UVB & Heat Lights

Zoo Med Aquatic UVB & Heat Lights
  • Polished aluminum dome increases light and UV output up to 30%
  • Dual ceramic sockets for use with lamps up to 100 watts (each socket)
  • Deep dome extends beyond the face of the lamp preventing the lamp from "sticking out"
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Zoo Medkit provides the best combination of lighting and heating for turtles, and there is no other product on the market that compares. This kit provides your turtles with UVB light, which is essential for their health.

Plus, I noticed that my turtles were much more active under this light. I think it’s because they could see better and had a more natural environment.

What We Like

  • The aluminum dome amplifies light and UV output by 30%.
  • Ceramic sockets (each socket can handle 100W).
  • The Depp dome surrounds the bulb to stop it from dangling out and around the face of the lamp.
  • Double fixtures.

Room for Improvement

  • A little expensive.

Fluker’s 27002 Repta-Clamp Lamp

Fluker's 27002 Repta-Clamp Lamp
  • The perfect lamp for reptiles
  • All sizes feature safety clamp
  • Country Of Origin: United States
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Fluker’s 27002 Repta-Clamp Lamp is one of the most basic ceramic turtle heat lamps on the market, but it is also one of the most efficient. Its flat design allows you to place it close to the basking area without too much space.

Furthermore, the lamp is available in three different sizes to fit your specific terrarium size. These are the following sizes:

  • 5.5” – 75 watts
  • 8.5” – 150 watts
  • 10” – 250 watts

When I first installed this lamp, my turtles hesitated to go under it. However, after a few days, they got used to it, and now they love basking in its warmth.

What We Like

  • The flat design saves space
  • Available in three sizes
  • Durable ceramic build
  • It is simple to attach with no fumbling or fuss
  • Lighter than most turtle heat lamps
  • It comes with an on/off switch
  • It has a polarized plug to reduce the risk of electric shock significantly

Room for Improvement

  • Short Lifespan

Exo Terra Swamp Glo Basking Heat Lamp

Exo Terra Swamp Glo Basking Heat Lamp
  • Daylight basking spot lamp for reptiles & amphibians Splash & mist-resistant construction for use in high-humidity terrariums Extra strong neodymium glass outer sleeve Broad-spectrum lighting enhances pet coloration This is an offering for multi quantity bundle - 2 count
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Exo Terra basking spot lamp is the perfect choice for turtle tanks and any other humid enclosure, as it is splash-proof and won’t shatter when splashed with water.

While this bulb does provide some UV radiation, it is more of a heat source. It warms up the enclosure nicely and is the idea for creating a basking area for your pet.

I was impressed with this lamp because it came in two sizes. The 50-watt bulb is best for any enclosure smaller than 55 gallons, and the 100-watt bulb is better for larger enclosures.

Furthermore, the neodymium glass used to make this lamp is shatter-resistant, making it a safer choice than most basking spot lamps on the market.

What We Like

  • It comes in two sizes
  • Shatter-resistant neodymium glass
  • Splash-proof
  • Warms up the enclosure nicely
  • It fits into most light fixtures available

Room for Improvement

  • Not a UVA/UVB fixture

Wuhostam 100W Infrared Ceramic Heat Lamp for Turtles

Wuhostam 100W Infrared Ceramic Heat Lamp for Turtles
  • This heat lamp's input voltage is AC 90-120V, power is 100-Watts, full size is diameter 3.15 inch x height 4.13 inch
  • This ceramic heat emitter bulb is the perfect 24 hour heat source for reptiles and amphibians. It could last 9000-15,000 hours, even longer
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Wuhostam ceramic heat lamp is ideal for tiny and big tanks as it generates heat only. To control the amount of heat produced, you can use a thermostat.

In my opinion, the lamp’s most outstanding feature is that you can use it in both aquatic and terrestrial settings. This flexibility is rare for a heat lamp, making the Wuhostam one of the best on the market.

I like to place this lamp near my turtles’ basking area on cold nights to help them warm up. I found that it doesn’t produce too much light, so my turtles can still sleep peacefully.

What We Like

  • Generates heat only
  • It can be used in both aquatic and terrestrial settings
  • It doesn’t give off any visible light, so it can be left on all night without interfering with the turtle’s circadian rhythm
  • It doesn’t produce harmful UVC rays
  • It heats evenly and can be used for large or small reptile enclosures

Room for Improvement

  • This is basically a heat lamp, and you’ll need a separate UV lamp

MyComfyPets Mercury Vapor Bulb

MyComfyPets Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • Works for turtles, bearded dragons, lizards, reptiles, birds, terrariums, and aviaries.
  • 10,000 Hour Lifespan Produces Natural Sunlight Benefits and Heat for your Reptile
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The MyComfyPets mercury vapor bulb is perfect for sizable reptile homes as it gives off 100 watts of heat and UV light. However, what’s even better is that this lamp doesn’t produce harmful UVC rays that can damage your pet’s eyesight.

For the proper usage, you’ll need a ceramic socket and a large dome fixture. These heat lamps aren’t compatible with rheostats or dimmers.

This heat lamp would make an excellent addition to tanks of more than 55 gallons or with many turtles and a big basking area. If you use this heat lamp, keep it at a distance of 12 inches from the basking area.

Like any mercury vapor lamp, you can’t use thermostats with this one since the light will go off when you turn off the heat.

At first, I was hesitant to use this lamp because I didn’t want to produce too much light in my turtles’ enclosure. However, after doing some research, I found that this bulb is designed to produce a natural daylight spectrum so that it won’t disturb your turtles’ sleep patterns.

What We Like

  • This product will efficiently heat your turtle’s enclosure
  • This bulb produces both UV light types (UVA &UVB), so you don’t need to buy an extra lamp
  • It does not generate hazardous UV radiation
  • It’s a high-wattage lamp with a wide beam

Room for Improvement

  • This light bulb is not compatible with a dimmer or rheostat

Fluker’s Red Heat Bulbs

Fluker’s Red Heat Bulbs
  • Incandescent Light Bulbs Provide the Radiant Heat (Infrared Light) that Reptiles Need
  • Provides Your Reptile with an Appropriate Environmental Temperature Range (ETF)
  • Perfect for Basking Animals
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Fluker’s red heat bulb has many output options, from as low as 40 watts to 100 watts. The lower wattage works for small reptile homes, while the higher option is perfect for large ones.

Also, this heat lamp is a regular incandescent light bulb that emits infrared radiation, which warms up the turtle. Furthermore, the bulb does not interfere with the turtle’s nocturnal habits when they are on at night. This makes them perfect for keeping the enclosure warm throughout chilly nights.

I liked these bulbs since they are more cost-effective than ceramic and mercury heat lamps while still delivering a lot of heat. I suggest using this bulb for dry habitats as it isn’t shatter-resistant.

However, I was confused when I discovered Fluker’s red heat bulb was simply a heat lamp, not a UV lamp. I had to invest in a separate UVA/UVB light to operate it.

What We Like

  • This product is available in multiple wattage options
  • The light does not disturb the reptile’s nocturnal habits
  • The product is very cost-effective

Room for Improvement

  • This bulb is not shatter-resistant, so it’s not ideal for wet habitats
  • You will need to buy a separate UV lamp to operate it correctly

Where Should I Place My Turtle Heat Lamps?

Generally, depending on its wattage, you should place the light 5-12 inches away from the artificial turtle habitat.

These are the guidelines for the placement of your heat lamps:

  • 50 Watts: 5-7 inches away
  • 75 Watts: 7-9 inches apart
  • 100 Watts: 10-12 inches away
  • 150 Watts: 12 or more inches away

Tips for Setting Up Heating Lamps for Turtles

There are several factors to consider while setting up your turtle’s UV light. To make things easier to remember, I’ve compiled a list of the most important points:

  • If you want a cover for your bulb, do not use glass or plastic surfaces since UVB rays cannot penetrate those materials. Leave the bulb’s area open or invest in a wide mesh cover.
  • Even if your turtle’s lamp still produces light, replace the bulbs bi-annually. UVB light intensity reduces over time, and an old UVB won’t benefit your turtle.
  • Mercury vapor lamps are fragile to water splashes and become excessively hot, so choose carefully before purchasing one for your turtle’s environment.


Do Turtles Require a Heating Lamp at Nighttime?

This depends on the natural temperature of your home and the ambient temperature inside the enclosure. If the temperature inside the enclosure is too low for your turtle, you must provide a heat source at night.

What Wattage Do Turtles Need?

Most enclosures work well with a 60 to 75-watt heat lamp, but you need a 100-watt one for larger ones. A large enclosure is anything bigger than 55 gallons.

How Long Do Turtles Need Basking Lamp?

To maintain an ideal habitat, you should set the basking lamp for 10 hours daily. However, if nighttime temperatures are below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the basking lamp on to maintain a warm basking area for your turtle.

Wrapping Up

It was a long read, but I hope you found it helpful. By now, you should better understand what kind of heat lamp your turtle needs and where to place it inside the enclosure.

If you follow these simple tips, your turtle will enjoy a warm and comfortable home for many years!

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.