When researching which reptile pet to get, one aspect of care often not discussed is “how much does a heat lamp and light actually cost to run”. However, the overall cost of these devices can surprise some unaware people. That is why we are discussing the importance of heat lamps, and how much you can expect them to tack on to your utility bill.
What Heat Lamps are Used For
When hearing the term heat lamp, most might assume that these devices are similar to your typical household light bulbs. This is not the case. One should not be used in place of the other. Heat lamps designed for reptile care emit UVA and UVB rays. This property is precisely why they are necessary for the care and husbandry of a variety of animals.
For reptile keepers in particular, they are important for regulating an animal’s body temperature and therefore metabolism. As reptiles are cold-blooded, they need an external source of heat to warm up. Certain pets, such as turtles, tortoises, and bearded dragons need heat lamps as well as UVB bulbs to help absorb essential nutrients, such as vitamin D.
Proper heating will also ensure that your reptile can regulate their digestion and other important bodily functions. Some negative health outcomes that may result due to improper heating and UVA/UVB exposure are dehydration and stomach distress as well as Metabolic Bone Disease in prolonged cases.
How Much Does it Cost for a Reptile Heat Lamp to Run
When seeking out reptile lights for purchase, the question of how much it will cost to run may be on your mind. These devices do run on electricity, and that may cause an increase in your overall utility consumption.
While there are a few different variables that will go into this (such as how many light bulbs you’re purchasing or animals you have), it’s easy enough to make an approximation. You can expect a lamp to cost around $10-$25 initially. These bulbs typically run at 100-150 watts an hour. This adds up to approximately 1.4 cents an hour. If you leave on the lamp for the recommended 12 hours a day, this would equal around $.17 a day, or around $5 a month. To help mitigate this cost, we would recommend researching ways to make other parts of your home more energy-efficient.
How to Position Your Heat Lamp
Your heat lamp should rest steadily on top of your enclosure, and positioned in a way that it warms up one specific area of your tank. This way, your animal has the option to enjoy the darker area or the “cool spot” away from your lamp. Before seeking out reptile for sale, you should do your best to have its environment already set up.
When using a heat lamp, you will need to monitor a thermometer. After all, overheating or other electrical malfunctions can be deadly to your animal.
Reptile Heat Lamp Best Practices
While heat lamps are essential for the care and husbandry of certain animals, it’s important to consider that these are electrical devices. Improper use can cause potential harm to your animal. However, as long as you follow these basic best practices, you will minimize risk and help everything run smoothly.
- Make sure that it is splash proof. Especially if you own a turtle or other animal that has a lot of water in its enclosure.
- Keep it on for around 10-14 hours a day. Adjust according to your own animal’s needs. In addition to being healthy for the animal, this will help reduce how much your reptile heat lamp cost to run
- Keep your heat lamp clean and free of dust or other loose particles.
- Make sure that you are adding enough moisture to compensate for the heat of the lamp that might dry out the enclosure. Especially if your reptile is shedding.
- The “basking spot” that your lamp is covering should take up about half the tank.
- This basking spot should remain at around 90-92 degrees. The cool side should be at around 80.
When asking yourself questions such as “how much does a reptile heat lamp or light cost to run”, it’s important to understand that your utility usage will have to be factored into your monthly animal care budget. Checking out a really cool reptile for sale can be exciting, but it is important to prepare first, and take every aspect of its care into consideration. If you believe that your tank is overheating, or that your light may have injured your snake in any way, we always recommend taking your animal to a reputable exotic vet as soon as possible.