Best heat lamps for corn snakes in 2023

best heat lamp for corn snake
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Your pet corn snake requires a good external heating source to maintain its body temperature. When it comes to external heating sources, there are many options to choose from. However, a very common question many corn snake owners ask is: what is the best heat lamp for corn snakes.

The best heating lamp for corn snakes is the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter. This heating lamp is popular and trusted by many corn snake owners. It’s non-light-emitting heat source is ideal for producing an appropriate temperature gradient in your corn snake’s habitat without interfering with their day-night cycle. The ceramic construction assures long-term endurance. It is energy-efficient and enhances heat and light output. thereby ensuring that your corn snake receives adequate warmth.

This article will provide a guide on choosing the best heating lamps for corn snakes. We will look at different types of heating lamps, their pros and cons, and our recommendations. We will also look at what heat lamps are and why snakes need them to survive. We hope to equip you with the necessary information so that you can create a very comfortable and ideal environment for your pet snakes.

There are various heating sources out there if you want to provide warmth for your pet snakes. The most common options are heating mats, heating rocks, and heating lamps. For this article, we will look at heating lamps for pet snakes.

Heat lamps for pet snakes

Heat lamps are one of the heating sources available for your corn snakes. They are usually made up of three parts: a bulb, a lamp, and a stand. They’re lights fixed on top of your snake’s enclosure; they can radiate heat and light, which provides warmth for your snake.

The bulb is the part that shines light and produces heat. Some bulbs only produce heat without emitting light. The bulbs are usually screwed into the lamp so that it can be mounted on top of the enclosure or suspended above.

The lamp helps hold the bulb. Some lamps are designed to reflect light, thereby intensifying the heat energy produced to make the enclosure warmer and brighter.

Some lamps have stands attached to the ends of the lamps. The stands help to direct the lamp in any direction when needed. To achieve this, most lamp stands are flexible.

Heating lamps are very suitable for diurnal snakes because they are designed to mimic the heat that the sun would give off on a warm day. Examples of diurnal snakes are corn snakes, rat snakes, garter snakes, king snakes, milk snakes, and hognose snakes.

Do corn snakes need heat lamps?

Snakes and other reptiles are cold-blooded. They are not able to produce their own internal heat, so they depend on their environment to regulate their temperature.

Snakes are well adapted to their natural habitat. In their natural habitat, they come out to bask in the sun when they need warmth and go back into their shelter when they’re done.

In order to keep them comfortable in captivity, it is necessary to provide an artificial environment that mimics their natural environment.

What type of heat lamp do corn snakes need?

For us to get a clear answer to this question, it is important to understand the various types of heat lamps and the different types of heat and/or light energy they produce. There are basically four types of heating options in heat lamps: incandescent bulbs, ceramic heat emitters, mercury vapor bulbs, and infrared lights.

Incandescent bulbs emit both bright white light and heat. They can be used in many types of heat lamps, and they are available in different wattages.

Ceramic Heat Emitters: They do not emit white light; they emit only heat. This is a very good option for a 24-hour period because it does not disrupt your snake’s day-night cycle.

Infrared lights do not emit white light; they are designed to be used at night because they do not interfere with your snake’s day-night cycle. However, it is important to note that some snakes, like pit vipers and pythons, are able to detect infrared radiation.

Mercury vapor bulbs are UV-spectrum light bulbs that are specifically designed to emit UVA and UVB rays, heat, and light. Corn snakes do not depend on UVA and UVB rays to survive. However, they certainly benefit from having it.

How to place a heat lamp on your corn snake’s terrarium

It is important to know how and where to place a heating lamp in your snake’s terrarium. Some snake owners make the mistake of placing a heating lamp at the center of the snake’s enclosure.

The best way to go about this is to place the heating lamp on top, on one side of your snake’s enclosure. This one-sided placement of the heat lamp allows the snake to move back and forth in order to thermoregulate.

Thermoregulation is a behavior in snakes that causes them to move around in order to vary their exposure to sun and shade.

Apart from placing the heating lamp in the right place in a snake’s terrarium, it is important to regulate the temperature to get the best temperature range for your corn snake. Although there isn’t any unanimous agreement amongst experts on what the exact temperature for corn snakes is, most experts agree that corn snakes can thrive in temperatures ranging from 70 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

That means that the heated part of the cage should be around 87 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cooler side of the cage shouldn’t fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Ultimately, the goal of using heating lamps or any other source of heating is to mimic the natural conditions of these snakes.

The next thing to do after placing the heating lamp is to monitor the behavior of the corn snake. Most of the time, there is a need to adjust the temperature to find the perfect balance. For example, if your corn snake spends all of its time on the hot side, it means that the other side of the terrarium is too cold for it. In that case, you may need to increase the external or background temperature. In a situation where it spends all of its time on the cold side, there is an indication that the heated side of the terrarium may be too hot for it. In this case, you will need to reduce the temperature.

It might take a little trials before you get the right temperature conditions for your lovely pet corn snake. Don’t worry the guidelines mentioned above should help you get it right.

Should I Leave The Lamp On All Night?

Corn snakes do not really need too much light, especially in cases where their terrarium is brightened by normal daytime light. At night, it is recommended that you turn off the light in order for your corn snake to relax. It is necessary for your snakes to have a light-dark cycle, as they do in the wild. However, you can use ceramic heat emitters or heat pads. These heat sources provide only heat with no light, making them very suitable for nighttime heating.

The best heating lamps for corn snakes.

Here is our top four pick.

1) Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb

Non-light heat emitters are becoming very popular among many snake owners. When it comes to this category of heat emitters, the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb is the most popular and go-to choice. This non-light-emitting heat source is ideal for producing an appropriate temperature gradient in your corn snake’s habitat without interfering with their day-night cycle. The ceramic construction assures long-term endurance, with the heat emitter lasting up to 10,000 hours. In order to fit different enclosure sizes, the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter is available in two wattages, namely: 100W, and 150W.



Crack resistant 

non-light-emitting heat source

long-lasting (up to 10,000 hours)

ceramic construction for durability


made for voltage between 110 and 120 volts and therefore might need reconfiguration with an adapter or converter for international users.

The lamp surface temperature is very high. You should still keep it away from your pet snake at a distance of 35cm, Place it outside the enclosure if possible.

2) REPTI ZOO Dual Reptile Light Fixture Dome Lamp Fixture.

Because of its energy economy and concentrated heat production, the REPTI ZOO Dual Reptile Light Fixture is a good choice for your corn snake heating requirements. This heating lamp is intended to provide a basking area for your corn snake to absorb heat, assisting them in maintaining their body temperature and digestion. Its innovative double-layer, connectable design increases heat and light output, ensuring your snake is kept warm. This heating lamp is available in a variety of wattages and is appropriate for terrariums of various sizes and configurations.


It has an integrated design of double lamp holders, each of which can bear up to 200 watts.

The bottom of the reptile light fixture is removable.

The lamp can be switched to different heights (between 6.7″ and 8″), therefore it can fit different sizes of bulbs.

It has two independent switch power lines for easy control of each lamp.

It has radiating and ventilating holes that help ensure good heat dissipation.

It has a long cable line of about 74 inches and neat cable organization.


The dome is very large, so it might not be suitable for a smaller enclosure.

The product is more expensive than other reptile lamps.

3) Fluker’s Sun Dome Reptile Lamp 

The Fluker’s Sun Dome Reptile Lamp is a small, energy-efficient heat lamp that is ideal for smaller pet enclosures. It makes use of incandescent lights, which are well-known for their high energy efficiency. Its small size makes it simple to put on the enclosure’s side or top, and the built-in reflector assures even heat and light dispersion.


Compact size for smaller enclosures

It can accommodate larger or longer bulbs, such as the Fluker’s Sun-Glow and Sun Spot bulbs

It is very easy to assemble


May not be suitable for very large vivarium

4) Exo Terra Solar Glo All-In-One Reptile Lamp

The Exo Terra Solar Glo All-In-One Reptile Lamp is a multifunctional option that gives heat as well as UVA and UVB rays. Corn snakes may not have high UVB requirements like some other reptiles, However, it has been established that exposure to UVA and UVB light improves their overall health and well-being. This heating lamp has a  self-ballasted mercury vapor bulb that emits a natural-looking spectrum of heat and light. Its balanced UV and visible light output makes it ideal for corn snake enclosures.


Provides heat, UVA, and UVB light

Simulates natural sunlight

Balanced ultraviolet and visual light output


May not be suitable for very large vivarium

Final thoughts.

Finding a good source of heat for your corn snakes is very important. We hope that this guide will help you while making this choice.

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