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Do Iguanas Need Heat Lamps? 8 Best Heat Lamps For Iguanas

Being reptiles, iguanas are naturally cold-blooded so they need to regulate their body heat to thrive. Heat lamps are essential in caring for iguanas as these help in their digestion and immune system. They conflictingly respond to the low temperature of their environment, especially when it plummets to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When this happens, they gradually become inactive and immovable. Eventually, they develop a sickness due to improper digestion of food and a weak immune system. This article contains the basic information to keep your pet iguana alive by supplying tolerable and adequate heat for their survival.

Do Iguanas Need Heat Lamps?

Iguanas certainly need heat lamps for their basic survival. They cannot modulate their internal body temperature. They warm their bodies by basking underneath a heat lamp or source. promote proper food digestion and a strong immune system. 

If the temperature happens to be extremely low, the iguanas will be unable to adequately break down the food they ingested. Moreover, they will not be able to soak up the nutrients required in their body. 

Ideal Heating For Iguanas

As tropical reptiles, they raise their body temperatures by going to their basking spot. Ideally, the temperature in this area must arrive at between 96 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (35.5 to 37.7 degrees Celsius). 

Moreover, the temperature of the air, also known as background temperature, must be approximately 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 to 29.5 degrees Celsius). The cooler areas in the enclosure must be 80 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5-26.6 degrees Celsius). 

When darkness strikes, or at night, the temperatures must be held at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 to 23.8 degrees Celsius) for adults. The temperature range for babies and young ones is 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (22.7 to 23.8 degrees Celsius).

If the temperature reaches above 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius), then this could be bad for both the iguana and the owner. The iguana may die under these circumstances.

Important Of Heating For Iguanas

Iguanas are ectothermic. This means that they depend on their surroundings for body temperature regulation. Heat is specifically important for proper general functioning in reptiles. 

The right temperature allows mobility. Proper heating aids in their digestion and establishes a well-fortified immune system. This also helps in reproduction and blood circulation.

You have to make sure that the heat source is stable and strategically positioned in the enclosure. This is because iguanas cannot feel the heat directly on their skin. They can only feel the hotness in the base of their brain through their receptors. 

This is why they are prone to burns because they do not immediately stay away from hot objects even if pressed against them. They can be separated with a metal screen to avoid contact with the heat source.

Ideal Light and Darkness For Iguanas

The most ideal source of light is the sun. If you are able to directly expose your pet iguana to the sun, you may do so. You may set up an outdoor cage to easily keep your pet outside for some time to give it vitamin D. This can be done for tropical places, however, for colder areas, you may invest in powerful full-spectrum lighting to be placed inside their enclosure.

For lighting, you may consider the following sources:

  • Incandescent light bulbs;
  • UVB light bulbs or fixtures like this;
  • Mercury vapor lamp; and
  • Full-spectrum light bulbs that are specifically made for iguana tanks or enclosures.

It is important to control the growth of your iguana in order for it to live a long, happy life. The best way to do this? Install an automatic timer! When set to 12:12 hours of light and darkness(or 13 light and 11 dark), you’ll be able to keep track without any worries about turning off or waning their natural circadian rhythms with artificial lighting.

Do Iguanas Need Heat Lamps? Yes, they do
An iguana in its home

Important Of Lighting For Iguanas

Lighting is highly important for iguanas as they require UV light to process and produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D is often acquired with exposure to the sun and it has a variety of benefits for iguanas. It helps in calcium absorption. Additionally, lighting can also indicate the time of the day. This will pique their interest in food during feeding time. 

If the lighting is too low, then iguanas will fail to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. They are likely to have fragile bones and ailing immune systems. Too much lighting can also be bad for the iguana as this can pigment the skin and provide more heat.

There are two types of lighting – natural unfiltered and artificial. 

Best Heat Lamps For Iguanas

There are a total of 10 heat lamps that can best attend to the needs of pet iguanas. The table below summarizes the high-quality products, along with their wattage and corresponding costs.

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter150 watts$16.79 
REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp160 watts$29.99
BYB – 150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter150 watts$18.10
Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp100 watts$33.99
SUNVIE Pet Reptile Heat Lamp Infrared Heating Lamp100 watts$26.99
Incandescent light bulbs 100 watts$9.53
UVB light bulbs or fixtures15 watts$19.54
Mercury vapor lamp100 watts$27.99
Best heat lamps for iguanas

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter is a good instrument to provide heat while proving zero light for pet reptiles. It lasts longer than normal light bulbs. This product is used for reptiles, amphibians, and plant terrariums. 


  • Standard Features:
    • 150-watt ceramic heat emitter for reptile habitats
    • Also available in the watts:  60, 100, 150
    • Emits intense infrared heat with zero light
    • Can be used to set up an adequate and fitting ambient temperature range for reptiles
  • The price is $16.79.

Last update on 2023-01-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Review:

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter is an excellent 24-hour heat source for your tropical or desert reptile. Moreover, there is no extremely bright and flashing light, suitable for enclosures. It produces a natural nighttime heat. 

Based on the experience of customers, this heat emitter may be used indefinitely as long as it is correctly installed and utilized with a surge protector. Considering the specific wattage is important when selecting. High-wattage heat emitters usually drop the humidity below ideal levels in the enclosure. 

The temperature then rises to a deadly level for the pet reptile. The higher the wattage, the bigger space the tank should have. If the temperature in your pet reptile’s habitat is too cold, it may develop digestive difficulties or infections.

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter Pros and Cons

Can provide heat without bright light for 24 hoursCan be used to establish an appropriate ambient temperature rangeHeat is directly emitted to increase the temperature of the basking areaSupplements overhead heatingComes in single, two, three, and four packsGreat for reptiles and amphibiansCan provide too much heat for the pet if not used properlyThe bulb can burn the petMust be carefully placed to avoid fire hazardsTakes time to be set correctly and must be watched closelyQuite costly

REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp

REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp is specifically designed to provide adequate and necessary light, heat, UVA, and UVB for your pet reptile in an enclosure. With this self-ballasted tool, solar radiation can be straightforwardly supplied. 


  • Standard Features:
    • Provides the appropriate sun radiation for reptiles (visible light, heat, UVA, and UVB)
    • UVA gives the heat that cold-blooded reptiles are accustomed to in nature; UVB generates Vitamin D3 to keep your reptile’s skin and bones healthy.
    • Self-Ballasted – no external ballast required, with integrated thermal protection against overheating
    • Package Included:1 x REPTI ZOO Reptile UVA + UVB Sun Lamp 100 W
  • The price is $29.99.

Main Review:

REPTI ZOO is a company with over 12 years of expertise continuing to focus on the development, manufacture, and sale of reptile equipment, with a creative R&D team, high-quality production, and stringent quality control methods. They deliver high-quality items on time to their clients.

Based on customer experience, it is a good quality heat lamp with mounting conditions. It is great for giving off UVA, UVB, and heat. It is recommended that it be installed pointing down on the ground by the manufacturer, so be ready to mount it that way. Its lifespan is shortened and any warranty is voided if it is pointed at an angle.  

REPTI ZOO Reptile Heat Lamp Full Spectrum UVA UVB Reptile Sun Lamp Pros and Cons

Provides the essential UVA, UVB, heat, and lightLightweight and reflectiveSelf-ballasted The right positioning of the bulb, with the specific angle, can be complex to set upEarly burnout may potentially occurQuite pricey

BYB – 150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter

BYB – 150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter is ideal for tanks or enclosures with high humidity. It usually lasts up to 10,000 hours.


  • Standard Features:
    • Heating source: Infrared, no light emitted, electrical, Ceramic
    • Ceramic sockets don’t break down in heat stress
    • Ceramic element, conducive to wet environment
  • The price is $18.10.

Last update on 2023-01-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Review:

This zero-light heater bulb provides a reliable 24-hour heat source that will completely warm any reptile without the need for extra lighting. Only used with porcelain sockets (E26 socket).  Wait at least an hour for it to cool down after turning it off.

It will also raise the enclosure’s ambient air temperature. Infrared heat infiltrates the skin tissue and scales as it promotes blood circulation, health and healing. 

This video highlights the specifications of this device

BYB – 150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter Pros and Cons

Ideal for terrariums with high humidityLasts up to 10,000 hoursPower: 150w; Voltage: AC 110-120V; Material: Ceramic, Metal, NiCrAlZero-light emittingProvides 24-hour heat sourceCan provide too much heat for the pet if not used properlyThe bulb can burn the petMust be carefully placed to avoid fire hazardsMay cause scalding if not cooled down after use

Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp

The Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Terrarium Heat Lamp is a best-selling standard heating lamp that generates infrared heat waves. Heat is crucial to reptiles because it is required for movement and digestion. 


  • Standard Features:
    • Emits infrared heat waves – a special filament produces infrared waves being transmitted by the red glass. The lamp’s built-in reflector directs the heat in any required direction.  
    • A perfect 24-hour heat source as it does not disrupt a reptile’s activity.
  • The price is $33.99.

Main Review:

Based on customer experience, the bulb does not have a lengthy lifespan. However, customers still come back to this device as it is effective in maintaining and caring for their pet reptiles.

This video best describes, demonstrates, and highlights the device in use [source: BigAppleHerp]

Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp Pros and Cons

A powerful source of infrared heat emissionsIncreases overall air temperature of the enclosureIdeal for nocturnal viewingCan be used with Exo Terra Repti-Glo or Sun-Glo bulbs 100 watts, 120 voltsFragile bulb; may overheat when used too muchShort lifespanExpensive

SUNVIE Pet Reptile Heat Lamp Infrared Heating Lamp

SUNVIE Pet Reptile Heat Lamp Infrared Heating Lamp has a high-quality metal enclosure that surrounds the light bulb, keeping reptiles from interacting directly with the heat lamp. 


  • Standard Features:
    • Provides continuous heating of 20,000 hours
    • Longest working life
    • Ceramic components resistant to any wet environment
    • Heating lights are able to produce heat in 30 seconds. They are able to keep a constant temperature when reaching a certain power.
    • Side hooks for hanging items
    • For pets: all kinds of reptiles
    • The price is $26.99

Last update on 2023-01-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Review:

The metal mesh also aids in heat distribution, ensuring that all regions of the tank are uniformly heated. It includes a 100-watt infrared heat generator. It comes with a handy hook for hanging in the tank (if needed). Because the socket is ceramic, it can endure high temperatures.

SUNVIE Pet Reptile Heat Lamp Infrared Heating Lamp Pros and Cons

It will raise the terrarium’s ambient air temperature.Can endure extreme temperaturesHigh-quality design that prevents the pet reptile from coming into contact with the lampEqual heat distributionThe heating lamp may cause scalding when touched and not properly placedNot suitable for a small cageQuite pricey

Incandescent light bulbs: Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps Incandescent Bulb, Day White, 100W

An incandescent light bulb such as that of Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps provides a healthy habitat for reptiles with ambient heat. More importantly, it is high-performing and cheap. 


  • Standard Features:
    • Provides heat that creates a healthy environment
    • Heavy-duty filaments give hours of performance
    • Recommended for use with Zilla Reflector Domes
  • The price is $9.48.

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Review:

Heavy-duty filaments in Zilla® Incandescent Bulbs provide longer hours of operation per bulb than standard filaments. They have a wide range of products that can meet the needs of your pet.

This video discusses the device in detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxt_tmumKJg

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Heat Lamps Incandescent Bulb, Day White, 100W Pros and Cons

Light intensity of 50, 75, 100, and 150 wattsAvailable in the styles: day white, day blue, night black, night redThe lighting time is 2000 hours.Provides healthy light and keep reptiles warmCompact design, very cheap priceA few reviews of quick burnout

UVB light bulbs or fixtures: ​​Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb, 15 Watts, 18-Inch

UVB light bulbs such as Zoo Med ReptiSun provide an adequate amount of UVA and UVB lights while allowing reptiles to regulate their vitamin D3 levels in their bodies. This actually helps in preventing or treating metabolic bone disease between the ages of six and twelve months. 


  • Standard Features:
    • 10% UVB
    • 30% UVA
    • Prevent metabolic bone disease
    • Optimal for use with large terrariums
  • The price is $19.54.

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Review:

UVB is emitted at a distance of 20/51cm from the lamp’s surface to prevent or treat metabolic bone disease. The ReptiSun 10.0 is intended for use above screen coverings that can filter out up to 50% of UVB wavelengths and is ideal for use with larger terrariums when UVB penetration of more than 12″ is required.

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb, 15 Watts, 18-Inch Pros and Cons

Reptiles can naturally adjust their Vitamin D3 levels attributable to the UVB wavelengthProvides proper  UVB/UVA radiationReliable lightGives off a little heat and has to be checked constantly

Mercury vapor lamp: 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb / Light / Lamp for Reptile and Amphibian Use

It is a powerful generator of heat as well as UVA, UVB, and visible light that is totally self-ballasted (no harmful UVC). Just like sunshine, the mercury vapor lamp delivers warmth and vitamin production to reptiles.


  • Standard Features:
    • A powerful source of heat and UVA, UVB, and visible light
    • Daylight white color
    • Large-sized bulb
  • The price is $27.99. 

Main Review:

The device delivers a powerful heat source as well as UVA, UVB, and visible light — all 100% naturally (non-toxic). Warmth and vitamins are provided by light bulbs.

It is suitable for a variety of tanks, reservoirs, small lakes, sight cages, and more. Ceramic sockets of excellent quality are used. A huge/deep dome is designed to accommodate enormous, high-power light bulbs. Avoid using with a dimmer.

Mercury Vapor Lamp Pros and Cons

Ideal daylight bulbExcellent reptile and amphibian bulbCompatible with enclosuresTested for quality and lifespanUsage directions includedFragile bulbNot ideal for small enclosures/cages/tanksQuite pricey

How To Monitor And Control The Temperature And Light In The Tank

Thermometer supplies

To ensure that the temperature in the tank is ideal, place two thermometers on the opposite ends. Having a digital thermometer could be easier to keep and use.


If you place a heater under the tank, you will be able to control the temperature inside. You may also prevent overheating.

You may also use ledges to maintain the hot and cold areas in the tank. These help in generating temperature and aid in the cooling down when it rises.

A thermostat will help you to keep tabs on you the temperature of your iguanas tank
A thermostat will help you to keep tabs on you the temperature of your iguanas tank

Copy the photoperiod of the season

Seasons and photoperiod change. Days are shorter in the winter and longer in the summer. If you intend to keep your pet indoors, you will have to copy the season’s photoperiod. Check the times of dawn and sunset then set your alarm clock accordingly.


Iguanas are cold-blooded creatures that need to stay warm. If they don’t, then their body temperature will drop and cause them to become lethargic or even die. It is important for iguanas to have a heat lamp over the basking area where they can climb up on rocks and bask in the sun’s rays. They also need an overhead light source too so be sure not to forget about this when designing your enclosure. 

All of these things together make it possible for your pet iguana to live comfortably without having any problems with its health or appetite. We hope this article has been helpful in answering your questions about iguanas and heat lamps.

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