How to Use Ceramic Heat Emitters for Reptiles

Updated on December 3, 2016

Using Ceramic Heat Emitters for Reptiles

Ceramic heat emitters are one of the best ways to provide a heat source to cold blooded pets. Ceramic heat emitters are an affordable way to provide heat and last much longer than a normal light bulb. See a photo of the ceramic heat emitter below. Strange looking device but well worth the cost of this product.

I have tested two of the ceramic heat emitters with my snakes and lizards. I prefer one of the two manufacturers below for my ceramic heat emitters.

  • Zoo Med
  • Repticare

Both of these manufacturers products stack up about the same as far as price, quality and life-expectancy. Below is more of the product review for these two manufactures products.

Price Range - Anywhere from $20.00 up to $30.00 and even higher for some styles depending on where you purchase the product.

Life Expectancy - About 5-years or 25,000 hours.

Wattage To Use

  • 100 watt for 30-40 gallon enclosure
  • 150 watt for 50-100 gallon enclosure

The ceramic heat emitters are typically used most frequently for:

  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Plant Terrariums

This product can increase the inside air temperature or your terrarium a full ten to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above the outside room temperature. I have tested this product extensively and the bulb stands up to what both manufacturers say about their product.

Like a light bulb, this product radiates heat in the direction the fixture is pointed. Unlike the light bulb, this product does not provide a light source. The bad part of this is you have to be sure the fixture is positioned as you need it. It can be difficult to position because you can't see the light as with a light bulb.

Many say you can use a regular clamp on fixture as long as the receptacle of the fixture is porcelain. I disagree due to the fact of the heat this unit emits. This bulb gets very hot! If using a regular clamp fixture with a plastic receptacle, it may melt from the intense heat. I recommend a porcelain clamp lamp fixture that is designed for this product. This fixture cost a bit more but can you really put a price on safety? I have included a picture of a porcelain clamp lamp fixture below.

Ups and Downs of Ceramic Heat Emitters
As with any product type such this unit, there is ups and downs to be concerned with. I have listed some ups and downs below. A Word Of Caution For Beginners: This product must be used with extreme caution. Please follow all of the manufacturers guidelines for use. This item can severely burn or even cook your pet if used incorrectly. You must watch the temperature and placement very closely until it is set perfectly. This product can also be a fire hazard if used carelessly.

Ups Penetrating heat needed by cold-blooded reptiles Zero light emission - perfect for day or night use Higher heat, longer life than light bulbs Deep down warmth that keeps reptiles at their active best Downs Can overheat the pet if not used correctly Can burn the pet if to close to the pet or the pet comes into contact with the bulb Gets very hot. Muct set in place so not to cause a fire hazard You can get burned if not careful, gets very hot Takes some time to get set correctly, must watch closely until you get the placement figured out A bit pricey

Overall opinion of this product is very good. I recommend this product but only if the user of this product is careful and pays attention to detail. This product can cause harm or death to the pet if not used correctly. Can be a fire hazard is used carelessly. Great product, thumbs up and highly recommended!


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      hunter t 3 years ago

      can a heating pad replace the heat need at night for a reptile?

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      mr'tang 4 years ago

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      ballpythonlover 6 years ago

      i am planning on getting a ball python in a 40 gallon breeder tank {adult] and i am going to use a UTH for the hot side but i neede to raise the cool side by 8 to 15 degrees what wattage of ceramic heat emitter should i use by the way love this article.