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4 Best Devices for Heating a Bearded Dragon Habitat

Most new bearded dragon owners would have little-to-no idea on what the best devices for heating a bearded dragon are, so don’t worry – I got you!

Whether you’re looking for an excellent external heat source or if you want a little additional heat.

I’ll discuss all you need to know about giving heat to your pet reptiles.

Best Devices for Heating a Bearded Dragon

In my years of being a beardie owner, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best heating devices are those that were safe, secure, and can do the job effectively.

Here’s a list of my top picks for the best basking bulbs, heat pads, ceramic heat emitters, and heat tapes.  

#1 Basking Bulbs (Heat Lamp) 

I like to use basking bulbs for bearded dragons or heating lamps for my bearded dragon tanks because of their availability, convenience, and ease of use.

Not only is it able to make the heat needed for my beardie’s body temperature, but it can also be an effective way to set up and establish the proper temperature gradient inside the tank.

Usually, these heat lamps are made from incandescent bulbs, providing the recommended amounts of heat to the glass terrariums, ensuring your beardie wouldn’t have bone health issues [1].

They’re placed on top of the tank so that the heat can penetrate and make your dragon warm. 

Here’s a video that gives you an idea of what the best bulbs are for your beardies: 

EXPERT NOTE: Choose the type of heat lamp you’ll use adequately. It may take you a bit of time to find the perfect spot lamp for your beardie, but when you do, it will be everything you’ve been rooting for.  

If you’re not sure where to get these basking bulbs, check out my comprehensive review of the top basking bulbs!

READ MORE: Best UVB Bulb for Bearded Dragon

#2 Heat Pads for Bearded Dragons

Other reptile pet owners also use heating pads to warm up their tanks. [2] One of the benefits of using these heat pads is that it warms up the terrarium underneath.

What’s good about this is that the heat distributed inside would travel upwards and be done naturally. Some of the reasons why a heating pad is a primary choice as a source  of warmth include:

  • They’re able to withstand pressure and high temperatures
  • It can directly heat and warm the bellies of beardies, helping with their digestion
  • You can create an ambient temperature within the bearded dragon tank setup

One good thing to note about using heat pads is that they’re not too hot. So, even if your beardie has direct contact with it, it’ll be completely safe – plus, it won’t electrocute them, too!

In my years of owning bearded dragons, I used quite a few different types of heating pads. And I was able to see how devices are separate and distinct from one another.

EXPERT NOTE: Place your heat pads away from areas that often get wet. Wetting it can mess up and damage the device indefinitely, so use it cautiously.

To make sure you get the best under tank heaters, read my complete review of the year’s best heat pad for reptiles. It’s complete with details and a few tips on selecting the best tank heater for you, too!  

#3 Ceramic Heat Emitters

Ceramic heat emitters are also one of the best and most effective devices for heating a bearded dragon. They’re safe, simple, and convenient to use!

You can think of these as regular radiant heat lamps. Still, the difference is that they do not produce visible light, making them perfect for maintaining nighttime temperatures without disrupting your sleep.

In my opinion, it’s the best source of heat at night because it doesn’t produce tantalizing lights. 

These devices use ceramic heating elements to project and provide heat. And in my professional experience, it’s a great device to consider giving your reptile friend.

Not satisfied? Here’s a video explaining what makes an excellent ceramic bulb: 

EXPERT NOTE: While most ceramic heat emitters are water-resistant, it’ll still be wise to keep it away from splashes and puddles of water AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

I’ve made this complex review of the best, top-rated ceramic heaters. Check it, so you can tailor-fit the ceramic heaters you’ll let your beardie use!  

#4 Heat Tapes for Your Pet Reptiles 

Last but most definitely not least are heat tapes. They’re much like radiant heat pads, but they’re flimsier, more flexible, and they apply to most areas and corners of your bearded dragon tank setup.

Frequently, beardie owners use heat tapes as an additional heat source to the basking spot in the tank.

This is because the heat it generates isn’t that much but is effective as a complementary heat source; it can also make your dragon warm efficiently and effectively.

EXPERT NOTE: Refrain from placing it where your beardie may have direct contact with it because it’ll be equipped with wires and cables, which can electrocute them.

Not sure how you can choose from the heat tapes in the market? Read this review I’ve made that discusses the best heat tapes for reptiles and learn what factors you need to consider before making the purchase.  

What You Should Avoid as Heating Devices for Bearded Dragons

Experts reveal that red bulbs, heat rocks, and other overheating-capable heating devices could be dangerous to your beardie’s health.

But if they can provide the necessary heat, why should you avoid using them?

Avoid Using Red Bulbs

red bulb

Red bulbs are infamous for damaging the eyes of your bearded dragon. And while UV lights are needed and required by bearded dragons, red bulbs tend to be stronger and more focused.

Because they’re too bright and focused, these can hurt your bearded dragon’s eyesight in the long run.

Avoid Using Heat Rocks

heat rocks

Another thing to note is that you want to avoid heat rocks and heat caves inside the tank. This is because these components are known to cause burns and scorches on the skin’s surface.

Furthermore, these materials also overheat when used continuously, causing many unwanted potential issues. 

Avoid Using Devices That Could Overheat

All the devices I listed above have the chance to overheat – I mean, what doesn’t? –especially if they’re not made and produced correctly.

So, make sure that you choose a safe product that does not overheat. Double-check reviews, assess the specifications and test the product before using it.

QUICK NOTE: The materials I gave above are perfect examples of the best devices for heating a bearded dragon. So, please take note of all these and consider adding them to your arsenal.

FAQs

Many people have already found this helpful guide, but if you still feel like you lack information, here are some other commonly asked and thrown questions about purchasing devices for heating your reptile friend.

What Are the Best Heat Sources For Bearded Dragons?

Ideally, the best heat sources for bearded dragons are soft UVB lights/basking lights, a heating pad, heat tape, and a ceramic heat emitter.
Out of all these, my personal choice is a heat lamp. This is because it can effectively heat your beardie, and it’s the closest thing to direct sunlight.

What’s the Difference Between a Basking Light and a Heating Light?

ceramic bulb

Basking lights and heating lights are typically the same because the purpose of “basking” is to create a warmer and hotter spot.
If you’re referring to regular daylight bulbs, the primary difference would be the heat emitted. Basking bulbs or heating lights focus on producing heat, while daylight bulbs focus on giving light.

Can You Keep a Bearded Dragon Warm Without a Heat Lamp?

There are a few ways to keep your reptile friend warm and hot even without using a heat lamp. These ways include, but of course not limited to:
1. Keeping the temperature in the room where it is up.
2. Installing insulation inside the tank so that it can retain heat. (Make sure they’re non-toxic).
3. Heat a water bottle inside a foam box and put it inside the terrarium.
NOTE: You can also cuddle with them from time to time and make use of the warmth of your hands as a natural heat source.

Final Thoughts – What Device Would You Use in Heating Your Bearded Dragon?

As we all know, it’s essential to keep our beardies heated at particular temperatures as a substitute for natural sunlight.

With this guide, you’ll have a better idea of what you can use devices for heating a bearded dragon. Take your pick, experiment all you want, and then use what you think is best for your beardie.

Resources

  • 1. UV Lighting for Reptiles: Vitamin D synthesis in Ultraviolet Light [Internet]. www.uvguide.co.uk. [cited 2022 Feb 1]. Available from: http://www.uvguide.co.uk/vitdpathway.htm
  • 2. Q: Use of reptile heating pads/mats for DIY aquaria? [Internet]. Aquatic Plant Forum. [cited 2022 Feb 1]. Available from: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/threads/q-use-of-reptile-heating-pads-mats-for-diy-aquaria.1007/
little beardie on top of a rock

What devices do you use for heating a bearded dragon? Please share below!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
Follow her on:
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Learn more about her HERE.

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