Best Heat Lamps for Ball Pythons

Heat lamps are important for the health of any Ball python. They are a very popular species of snake to keep as a pet. But what type of heat source do they need? They can’t have heating rocks. Is there a certain type of bulb you need for them? I poked around the internet a bit and have an answer for you!

So what’s my favorite heating amenity for a ball python? A UV bulb is most recommended for your ball python’s habitat. It will provide the best heat without burning your snake and will give great lighting for its colors and designs to show vividly.

Keep reading to discover more of my top-rated heating options and more about your Ball Python’s temperature and environment control.

Best Heat Lamps:

Your ball pythons habitat will need two temperature settings: one side for basking in the heat and the other side for chilling out. (Yes, I just pulled that one.)

The basking side of your python’s tank will need to stay between 88 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit. This side of the tank is so that your scaly friend can warm up and sunbathe.

The ambient side of the tank will need to be sure to stay between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This side of the tank CAN’T get any LOWER than 75 degrees! It is very unhealthy for your snake and could possibly freeze it out!

Now, you can’t just guess when it comes to measuring the temperature of your snake’s habitat. You will need a thermometer such as an indoor/outdoor thermometer. Or a dual thermometer such as this one I’ll give you a link to. To find out what the best temperature to keep a ball python at, read this article we wrote on our website!

You will also need to set up your light in a specific way to maintain your habitat’s temperature well. Most people recommend setting the heating lamp on the grate lid of your tank on the warm side of the tank. It may, however, take some trial and error in order to get the perfect setup for your tank to maintain its proper temperature specifications.

UVB lighting for your snake’s enclosure has some cool perks, too. The UV rays from your light are actually good for your snake and make it super happy. Your UVB light will make your snake more active and all around happier, along with making his colors show vibrantly. Here is a good UVB light I found on Amazon for you guys.

Something to note about your UVB light for your snake’s enclosure is that the bulbs which have UV rays usually die after about six months of use, in which case you will have to change the bulb. The light will still work, but the benefits of the UV rays for your scaly friend will not be there without a good bulb. Some UV bulbs can last longer than the average six months, but unless it is stated otherwise on the packaging, assume it only lasts the six months before you change your bulb again.

What Should the Humidity Level Be for a Ball Python?

Along with the proper heating specifications in your ball python’s enclosure, you will need the proper humidity settings as well.

Ball pythons need a humidity level in their tank of about 50% and no more than 60%.

When your python is shedding you can increase the humidity to up to 65% but no higher and only when it is shedding.

In order to get this humidity in your python’s tank, you can do a number of simple things, such as:

  • Keep a large water dish in the tank
  • Cover HALF the lid of the tank with waterproof material to hold in some of the humidity but still allow air flow
  • Regular misting of your tank with water
  • Using the proper bedding in your tank

All four of these methods will work great to increase the humidity levels in your tank as needed. They are all very simple and can make the biggest difference in your habitats humidity levels.

Also, you will need to make sure you have a humidity gauge in your tank because, like the temperature, you cannot guess on this important feature! Luckily, the dual thermometer I gave you guys the link to earlier ALSO has a humidity gauge on it! Perfect, right? In case you missed that link earlier, here it is again for you guys. We recently wrote an article all about how to give your ball python the best care when it comes to their humidity. We talk about how to measure and create the humidity for your snake, along with why humidity is important for ball pythons. Find the article here.

Do Ball Pythons Need a Day-Night Cycle?

Pythons, like all other animals and humans, need sleep too. Without this precious energy booster, how else would we survive a healthy life?

Ball pythons do need a day-night cycle. The general good rule to measure a day-night cycle for your reptile is twelve hours with the light on and twelve hours with the light off. This will give your snake some time to sleep without a bright light in their face all night.

However, your snake will still need a heat source at night!

You can’t let your pal freeze to death! So, you will need an alternative heat source for the night cycle. It is recommended to get a heating pad or heating strips for under your tank. This will help maintain the heat needed in your tank without the bright light. Here is a link to a great heating pad for these purposes.

This source of heat may be preferable to you so that you don’t have to keep switching heat sources for your tank, but your tank will still need a light source to ensure a proper day-night cycle

What Happens if a Ball Python Gets Too Cold?

It is very bad for your snake to get cold. Ball pythons, like a lot of other reptiles, are cold-blooded animals, which is why they need reliable heat sources to maintain a healthy life.

Without a proper heat source, your snake can get very sick and possibly die! It is very important for you to keep your reptile enclosures at their proper temperature specifications.

If you don’t keep a close eye on that temperature gauge, then your pet can get sick which will result in a lot of expensive vet bills!

I will gladly restate for you these temperature specifications for your ball python’s enclosure to prevent your possible extreme loss of money.

Want to learn about the best heat lamps for different kinds of snakes? We recently wrote an article where we go offer different factors that are important to know when picking out your heat lamp for any type of snake. Find the article here.

You will need a warm and a cool side of your snake’s tank. The basking side must stay between 88-96 degrees Fahrenheit and the ambient side must be about 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. No hotter, no colder!

Related Questions:

How long does it take for a ball python to grow to its full size? It will take about 4 years for your snake to be full grown. Its size will end up being about 4-5 feet.

How big should a ball python’s tank be? Your ball python’s tank should be about 30-40 gallons to make sure you have enough room for your snake to have a healthy lifestyle. Without this extra space, your snake won’t be able to stay very active.

How long can a ball python go without eating? A ball python can go about six months without eating. However, this is highly not recommended because your snake will need a proper feeding schedule in order to maintain its health.

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