The Zoo Med Nocturnal Infrared Heat Lamp is sort of a combination of the company’s nightlight red bulb and the basking spot lamp. It’s made of red glass, providing very good heat transfer and a red glow like the night light. But it’s designed to focus the heat emitted on a small area right below the lamp, like the basking light.
Since box turtles don’t need high heat overnight, this bulb isn’t strictly necessary (unless you have a sick or injured turtle that needs more heat). But if you prefer the red light over the white, this bulb is a perfectly good alternative to the basking spot lamp (although the basking area is a bit bigger).
Keep reading for more about Zoo Med’s IR Lamp:
Light and Heat Output
This bulb focuses heat on a small area of the cage, creating a nice basking area. It has an internal reflector similar to the regular basking light, but this bulb doesn’t focus the light into quite as small an area. It also helps create a heat gradient with cooler temperatures the farther away from the bulb you get.
It comes in five strengths:
- 50 watt
- 75 watt
- 100 watt
- 150 watt
- 250 watt
All except the 250 watt bulb are made of red glass, not coated clear glass. The 250 watt bulb is lacquered.
For better temperature control, you can attach a thermostat or rheostat.
Although this bulb is intended for heat, not light, the red glow is actually fairly bright. Because the light’s red, it won’t disturb your turtle, but it allows you to easily see him at night. The light is actually bright enough that it could disturb you if you keep your pet’s habitat in your sleeping area. If that’s the case, this may not be the right bulb for you.
Nocturnal Infrared Heat Lamp Life Expectancy
Like other bulbs of this type, it can be a little fragile. They can and do last for six months or a year, although if you’re using them 24 hours a day you should probably expect something closer to about 4 months. But sometimes they also burn out after just a few days or weeks. It’s not always possible to prevent this, but you can increase the chances that your bulb will last longer by taking a few precautions:
- Always handle bulbs with a tissue, lint-free cloth or while wearing gloves. This prevents skin oils from creating hot spots on the bulb (yes, that really can shorten a bulbs life!)
- Don’t get it wet while it’s turned on (and if you get it while while turned off, make sure it’s completely dry before turning on)
- Be careful not to jostle or bump it while turned on.
Zoo Med has a 3-month warranty, so if your bulb does burn out, you can get a replacement.
Pros and Cons Summary of Zoo Med’s Nocturnal IR Heat Lamp
- Provides nice, focused heat turtles love.
- Emits a red glow that might be preferable to a bright white light.
- May be used with a thermostat or rheostat to maintain temperature better.
- It’s somewhat fragile. It can burn out easily from too much handling or moisture.
- Price (but only if they keep burning out on you).
- The bulb itself can get very hot. Don’t touch it and keep all pets and children away from it.
- It does not provide UVA or UVB rays, both of which your turtle needs.
Check Prices and Availability
If you think this IR Night Light could benefit your boxie, here are a few places you can find one. For the most part they all sell the 50, 75 and 100 watt bulbs. Some may also sell the 150 and/or 250 watt bulbs. Unless you have a huge habitat, you’re not likely to need the stronger bulbs.
- Entirely Pets had a sale going on for these lights when we visited. It also offers a discount for setting up automatic repeat deliveries.
- PetCo also lets you schedule automatic deliveries, even as infrequently as yearly.
- Here we link to the 75 watt bulb sold by Amazon.