Many experts have repeatedly compared a halogen bulb to the sun. They can give our pets much of the light and warmth they need and have the scientific evidence to prove it!
With the fairly recent use of halogens as viable heat lamps for updated husbandry practices in the US, many are still unclear about what perfect halogen is for them and their pets. Because of this, the entire Reptile Hero team, with the help of experienced friends and experts, has put three of the most popular and widely used halogens to the test.
Based on our detailed review, the best halogen heat lamp for leopard geckos is the Philips EcoVantage Indoor/Outdoor Halogen.
Looking for something that lasts longer and has a higher power rating? Well, we’ve listed one that’s perfect for a generously sized 120-gallon tank. In case you are on the hunt for a halogen that’s compatible with smaller and simpler temporary set-ups (e.g., quarantine, breeding, etc.), we’ve got your back covered too!
Now then, let’s go on and start with the review!
Our Top 3 Halogen Heat Lamps for Your Leopard Geckos
|Power Rating (Watts or W)||70 (90 Equivalent)||53 (75 Equivalent)||39 (50 Equivalent)|
|Bulb Type & Size||PAR38||PAR30||PAR20|
|Base Type & Size||E26||E26||E26|
|Light Appearance (Kelvin or K)||2700||2900||2850|
|Life Span (hours)||2190||1095||1533|
Philips EcoVantage Indoor/Outdoor Halogen – Best Overall
More often than not, a leopard gecko will experience living in different set-ups as it grows up. As such, a cost-conscious pet parent will need a tried-and-tested but versatile halogen heat lamp compatible with as many set-ups as possible – and this is where the EcoVantage halogen from Philips comes in!
|Power Rating (Watts or W)||53 (75 Equivalent)|
|Bulb Type & Size||PAR30|
|Base Type & Size||E26|
|Light Appearance (Kelvin or K)||2900|
|Life Span (hours)||1095|
- With a power rating of 53W (75W equivalent), you can use this with virtually any enclosure size without having to worry about power consumption. In fact, you can use a pair or a cluster of three without breaking the bank for your leo’s monthly electricity bill.
- Using a single or couple of PAR30 bulbs, you keep your leo warm in a variety of set-ups regardless of purpose (i.e., temporary or permanent, basic or bioactive), enclosure size (i.e., 20-120 gallons), and material used (i.e., glass, plastic, wood), among other things.
- It has a declared life span of 1095 hours. This falls on the lower end of the expected range for halogens, this is equivalent to only about 3 months if used for an average of 13 hours per day at full power. Of course, its actual life can be improved when used with a dimming device (e.g., thermostat) – some have even successfully used it for up to 6 months and longer.
Sterl Lighting Canister Halogen – Best for Large Set-Up
For advocates of bigger bioactive set-ups, this halogen heat lamp from Sterl Lighting will raise not only ambient temperatures but also keep several inches worth of thick soil-based substrate warm in the death of winter. So if you’re up north, this will help your gecko stay feeling cozy even through heavy snowfall.
|Power Rating (Watts or W)||70 (90 Equivalent)|
|Bulb Type & Size||PAR38|
|Base Type & Size||E26|
|Light Appearance (Kelvin or K)||2700|
|Life Span (hours)||2190|
- This halogen bulb has a power rating of 70W (90W equivalent), which will definitely meet the heatings needs of leopard geckos in massive tanks while ensuring that the temperatures at the cool side don’t dip below optimal levels.
- Having a life span of 2190 hours, this will last you about 6 months at the very least if used at full power for 13 hours a day. Regulate it with a dimming switch or thermostat and you could easily have it for 12 whole months before it finally burns out.
- Because this halogen is a PAR38, it is totally incompatible for small temporary set-ups as the cool side will definitely reach ambient temperatures that are higher than optimal.
- On the flipside of its considerably high wattage rating is an equally high relative power consumption. So it would be impractical to keep this on during times of power outages especially if you have a limited alternative source of power.
Sylvania 16104 Capsylite Halogen – Best for Small Set-Up and Emergency
A heat mat can indeed be practical for temporary set-ups and emergency situations. However, a handy low-wattage halogen like this from Sylvania’s Capsylite line is definitely a better choice. That is if you have a backup power source to supply it with.
|Power Rating (Watts or W)||39 (50 Equivalent)|
|Bulb Type & Size||PAR20|
|Base Type & Size||E26|
|Light Appearance (Kelvin or K)||2850|
|Life Span (hours)||1533|
- Despite having a low power rating of 39W, this lamp has enough power to provide a great thermal gradient for small enclosures (10-20 gallons). Plus, it can also be used during blackouts if you have a good power bank at your disposal.
- With a declared life span of 1533 hours, this can provide your leopard gecko with sufficient light and heat for 4 months if used for 13 hours at full power daily. Similar to the bulbs mentioned earlier, its life span can also be double with the use of a dimmer.
- As a PAR20 heat lamp, this halogen definitely has limited usage – only suitable short-term minimalistic hospital set-ups (e.g., quarantine, breeding, emergency).
All three of our recommended halogen lamps share the following characteristics:
- Standard E26 base. Most household and reptile-specific light fittings have a standard screw socket so installation will be quick and easy.
- Flood distribution of light. As flood-type bulbs, they are essential in providing an optimal thermal gradient for set-ups of appropriate sizes – lower beam angles for smaller tanks, wider beam angles for larger tanks.
- Warm light output. Lights with color temperatures within the 2500-3500 K range produce significant levels of deep-penetrating near-infrared radiation, also called infrared-A.
- Readily available. You don’t have to search for “specialty” reptile supply shops, they are available in most local hardware stores, state-wide retailers, and online shopping sites and platforms.
- Package deals. There are plenty of deals to choose from which can give you cheaper prices per bulb without having to sacrifice product quality.
How to choose your best heat lamp? If you want to know more the details and you are a nerdy like us, then check the full guide on heat lamps!
A Word of Caution
As always, we try to be unbiased at Reptile Hero by providing our personal recommendations. But you still do need to be careful.
The products we discussed here are definitely the top choices. However, nothing comes without potential issues. Indeed, it might happen that a lamp can last you just one month – some even just a few days. This is not normal, you definitely received a defective product. So get in touch with the store for possible returns, replacements, and/or refunds.
Other people have also received products that are completely different from what they have ordered. Whether this is due to human or system error, I don’t know. Such cases are not common but they surely aren’t unheard of.
Another thing to keep in mind is product packaging. Most of my friends and I are fortunate enough to not have encountered major problems with our orders. A few other people, however, were definitely unlikely – receiving parcels with little to no padding. Needless to say, most if not all of the halogen bulbs they bought have shattered in transit.
Not Enough Detail on Halogen Lamp? Well, we have you covered. Check our full guide on halogen lamp so you can check yourself how we picked such halogen lamps for your gecko!
Got any suggestions?
Quite honestly, we kept our list quite short with only three of the best halogen heat lamps. But we did so considering not only price but also quality. Also having so many choices will make your life harder, we know that (analysis paralysis). However, if you have an additional recommendation not on our list that you think we should check out, you can send it to us here.
Once again, Reptile Hero’s top 3 recommendations for halogen heat lamps for leopard geckos are:
- Best Overall from Philips
- Best for Long-Term Use from Sterl Lighting
- Best for Hospital Tanks from Sylvania
The perfect halogen lamp for your leopard gecko’s tank should meet the standard recommendations for the following essential factors: 1) power rating, 2) bulb type, 3) base type, 4) beam angle, 5) light appearance, and 6) life span.
From the analysis of the Reptile Hero team and experts in the community, the halogen bulb from Philips is definitely the best choice.