Do Ball Pythons Need a Heat Lamp?

Ball Pythons need proper heat to survive. We can manage artificial warmth for them by installing heat lamps. It is a good arrangement to simulate the sun and heat the air in the tank.

Get a timer or manually switch the heat lamp to avoid interfering with ball python’s natural day and night cycles. You can directly aid your pet’s health and digestion.

But a heat lamp is not completely necessary if the temperature at home is in the range as it is not easy to maintain the required temperatures throughout the year.

Do Ball Pythons Need a Heat Lamp at Night?

It is important to provide your pet with a consistent day-night cycle. The lighting system you use for your ball python is necessary. It may even reduce your snake’s willingness to feed for lack of heat.

A half-day cycle works perfectly if you’re not intending to breed your ball python. It is difficult to maintain a schedule over the long term. Owners opt to use a lamp timer to automate their snake’s day night cycle.

Ball python may not need special lighting to remain healthy. You can have more fun viewing it if you implement a high quality lighting system.

Can a Ball Python Live Without a Heat Lamp?

It is important to have a heat lamp in the ball pythons enclosure. All animals don’t live out in the open under the Sun. Ball pythons can’t warm up or cool down when they want.

Most of them do not really need anything like a heat lamp. Heat lamps replicate the sun. To heat the air in the ball python enclosure, it is important to install a heater.

Benefits of Using a Heat Lamp for Your Ball Python

Here are some of the benefits of using a heat lamp for your ball python:

  • It provides a basking spot that is the correct temperature for your ball python.
  • It helps to maintain a day/night cycle.
  • It can help to prevent your ball python from getting too cold.

Here are some of the drawbacks of using a heat lamp for your ball python:

  • It can be a fire hazard if not used properly.
  • It can dry out the air in your ball python’s enclosure.
  • It can be difficult to regulate the temperature.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use a heat lamp for your ball python is up to you. However, if you do choose to use a heat lamp, it is important to use it safely and properly.

Here are some additional tips for using a heat lamp for your ball python:

  • Place the heat lamp on one side of the enclosure, so that your ball python can choose to bask in the heat or not.
  • Use a reflector to focus the heat from the lamp.
  • Cover the top of the enclosure with a screen to prevent your ball python from getting burned.
  • Monitor the temperature in the enclosure regularly to make sure it is within the correct range.

What is the Best Heat Lamp for a Ball Python?

There are many kinds of heat lamps for ball pythons. We recommend best two heat lamps for ball python.

Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter for Reptiles Black

This ceramic heater is great for asking warmth from a bearded dragon’s case at night. The value for the money is great and cheaper than many other reptile brands.

It’s a thick bulb that’s solid and strong and gives off adequate heat. This lasts a long time. Definitely a great buy for any beardie enthusiast.

It is the best alternative to an under-tank heater if you do not want to use one. It does a much better job than the myriad terrarium light bulbs they sell at the pet store.

TEKIZOO Super Sun Reptile Lamp

Super sun Reptile lamp is an all in one lamp including UVA, UVB, heat and visible light.It can be attached about 16 to 18 inches above the basking area. It generates plenty of heat for its indoor space which is 24” x 37”. The ball python can move away from the lamp but still has heat and light.

It is really larger than the normal bulb for the ceramic light. It has to sit directly on the cage. It is for heat to escape so that pressure doesn’t build and break the bulb.

How Long Can a Ball Python Go Without a Heat Lamp?

Temperatures below 18°C for even a couple of hours can be deadly for a ball python. They can go about 6 hours in 23°C temperatures before it creates problems. Ball pythons do not reach brumation, which is a sign your snake is too cold.

It can lead to health problems and cause the snake’s body to slow down when a ball python gets too cold. Snakes can get colds like humans and rely on heat to help them overcome a cold.

If a snake is exposed to the cold for too long, it cannot get any energy from his food to overcome his illness and lead to his death. Give your snake to overcome this illness before it is too late by providing him with a heat source.

This leads to your snake developing other health conditions like a respiratory infection. Hypothermia includes skin that appears dehydrated, less movement,and loss of appetite.

Should I Turn Off My Ball Python’s Heat Lamp at Night?

Animals need a break from light at night. Ball Pythons stop eating if they have no escape from light. You need another heating method during the night like a heat mat instead of heat lamp. It is difficult to maintain and monitor proper temperatures with heating pads. Make sure it is on a timer, a half of the day on and a half of the day off. 

In the case of ceramic heat emitters, they emit no light. We call these lamps night time heat bulbs. You can have two separate heat lights.

The nocturnal red light on at night to simulate a natural environment. Leave the daylight heat light on during the day.

What Kind of Lighting Do Ball Pythons Need?

What Kind of Lighting Do Ball Pythons Need

Besides wattages, it is necessary to be aware of the type of bulb. They are categorized in white light, incandescent or infrared light. Incandescent are good for heating and red light helps with sleep cycles.

A ceramic socket is best to prevent melting that does not provide any light and focuses only on heat. Incandescent light bulbs may melt a plastic socket.

What Size Heat Lamp for Ball Python?

A variety of wattages gives the ability to maintain the proper heat needed in the tank. There is no need for a bulb with a higher wattage if you have a smaller tank.

If tank is larger, larger wattage will need to be like a 150-watt bulb. A small tank that is too hot with too high wattage can harm your ball python.

How to Set Up a Ball Python for Heat?

A heat lamp may not be entirely essential if the temperature in your home is within the range. A heat lamp is a better option as you can be able to maintain a different temperature for home and the snake.

But maintaining the appropriate temperatures throughout the year is tough. Humans have different temperature requirements but snakes need a lot of heat. Setting up the heating system should be in such a way that heat does not escape the enclosure.

How Do I Keep My Ball Python Tank Warm?

Ball pythons rely on external temperatures to regulate their bodies and aid with bodily functions like digestion that is good to maintain proper temperatures in the ball python’s tank to help keep them healthy.

The basking area should be between 35° to 40° C and the ambient temperature of the air 28° to 30° C. Heat lamps are one of the best options to maintain warmer temperatures in the tank. The ball python will need a home with a temperature gradient to give them different options.

Also Read: Does A Ball Python Need A Heat Pad?


Each snake is different and the way you have set up their terrarium will make a difference in which heating lamp is the best for them.

For ball pythons, the options mentioned are by far the best ones. Don’t forget to look for the lamp that fits the needs of your snake and enclosure. Consult with your vet so that it meets the minimum requirement of ball python.

Always keep a temperature monitor to measure the right temperature. Keep your python box in a well ventilated area so that it can breathe properly. To be summarized, have a good quality heat lamp to provide the right heat to your ball python.

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