Do Crested Geckos Need a Heat Lamp? Too Hot or Too Cold

Crested geckos do not necessarily need a heat lamp, and this is one factor which most people are miss lead by. Oftentimes, radiant heat is enough. A low-wattage heat lamp is ok though, especially in climates with low temperatures. In this situation, we would definitely recommend a heat lamp. Crested geckos need slight temperature variations provided to create the temperature cycle of day and night. Optimally you should keep their enclosures at 75° to 80°F during daytime and 68° to 75°F at night. Let’s carry on to find out more on, Do crested geckos need a heat lamp.

This article is about providing an optimum environment for your crested gecko. The temperature in a reptile’s enclosure is important for their well-being. This post emphasizes the need for temperature regulation in a terrarium and how to provide it. We’ll also touch on some other tips for providing your crested gecko with an ideal habitat.

Why Do Crested Geckos Need a Heat Lamp?

Crested geckos are special because they don’t need high temperatures to thrive. These geckos do the best at room temperature. That means heat lamps aren’t always necessary. 

Crested geckos need heat lamps in climates where the average temperatures are lower than comfortable room temperatures. If you live in a place where the temperature decreases at certain times of the year, you should use a heat lamp for your crested gecko throughout the cold seasons. 

Can Crested Geckos Overheat?

Crested geckos can overheat. Their habitats should be kept between 60° and 80°F. Temperatures 85°F and above are dangerous for them. These animals get lethargic and can die from prolonged exposure to higher temperatures. With that said, these hardy little reptiles natural habitat it quite unforgiving. They primarily live on a small island off the coast of Australia called New Caledonia. New Caledonia is a French Territory which regularly averages temperatures of 25 Degrees Celsius in the summer, and 17 Degrees Celsius in the winter periods.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Heat Lamp?

Having a heat lamp in your crested gecko’s habitat gives you control over the environment. It allows you to provide a healthy heat cycle. Heat cycles work to promote healthy metabolism in many reptiles. 

A heat lamp is also a tool for creating a basking spot for your crested gecko. Reptiles like to bask in the sun. It warms them and provides their bodies with vitamin D. Sunbathing helps keep crested geckos healthy. A well-placed heat lamp will provide a “sunny” spot for your gecko to rest in.

Large tanks are difficult to maintain specific temperatures in. Heat lamps make it easier to regulate the temperature in a large enclosure. You can even position multiple heat lamps in various areas of the terrarium, so there are some cooler spots and some warmer ones.

Are There Disadvantages of Using a Heat Lamp?

Heat lamps come with some disadvantages, too. The biggest is the risk of your crested gecko getting too hot. As was mentioned above, prolonged exposure to temperatures that are too high for the gecko can kill it. The best way to minimize this risk is to provide places in the enclosure for the gecko to cool off. 

Unattended heat lamps are a fire hazard. As with any heat-producing mechanism, there is a level of fire risk that comes along with it. Make sure you use any heat lamps responsibly and according to their directions. The bulbs should not come in contact with other materials inside the tank. In most situations, the heat lamps should be turned off at some point.

Using heat lamps also consumes a lot of energy sometimes. That energy consumption shows up in the form of money owed on your electricity bill.

How Long Can a Crested Gecko Go without a Heat Lamp?

In some climates, crested geckos don’t need heat lamps. Should you live somewhere with temperatures that typically stay between 60°F and 80°F, your crested gecko can live happily in its habitat, provided you don’t position it next to a sunbathed window. When sunlight comes through a window, it dramatically raises the temperature of that area in a short amount of time. 

If you live in a climate where you need to use a heat lamp for your crestie, you should only have it on during the day. Crested geckos are nocturnal. They move around, climb, eat, and do other activities at night. Turning a heat lamp on at night would interrupt your gecko’s natural internal clock. 

Heat lamps should only remain on for a couple of hours at a time. You can make exceptions for times of the year when the temperature drops a lot. Make sure there are always cool spots for your gecko to get away to when the heat lamp is turned on, though. 

Does It Take a Long Time for a Heat Lamp to Warm Up?

As you may have guessed, heat lamps need a little time to warm up. The amount of time depends on the materials they’re made of and what level of quality your lamps are. Generally, higher quality lamps warm up in about a half-hour, while low-quality lamps need around an hour.

Heat lamps for crested geckos shouldn’t take long to heat up to an optimum temperature. Since cresties thrive on temps close to room temperature, you shouldn’t be waiting long.

What Temperature Do Crested Geckos Need?

The typical room temperature is all your crestie needs. Technically, you can keep the tank at 75°F all the time, and your crested gecko will be just fine. However, the healthiest situation for them is to have a temperature fluctuation of some level.

The heating up and cooling down of a reptile’s body is what drives its metabolism. In environments or during seasons where there isn’t much temperature variance, your crested gecko’s metabolism will slow down. You might notice him being slow and lethargic. You can keep your gecko healthier by providing a temperature cycle in his habitat.

Crested geckos thrive in 75° to 80°F during the day. At night, you can lower the temperature down to 60° to 75°F. This provides enough variation for your crestie to develop a healthy metabolism. If there is a drastic change in temperatures in your home, make sure you adjust the temperature in your gecko’s habitat accordingly.

What Is THE BEST Crested Gecko Heat Lamp?

Heat lamps for crested gecko environments should be low wattage. The best options aren’t more than 25 watts. Some good choices include Daylight Blue and Nightlight Red. 

If you have a large gecko enclosure, you may need to get multiple heat lamps to regulate the temperature more accurately. The heat lamps don’t need to bring the entire enclosure to one temperature. The best setup will bring certain basking spots to higher temperatures, while the rest of the tank provides spots where cresties can go to cool down. 

There are many different heat lamps which can be used within a crested gecko enclosure. However none of them are as suitable as the DGE Reptile Heat Lamp. (With safety guard)

The DGE Reptile Heat Lamp has an amazing 100Watt output which is more than enough for what your crested gecko will need. Whats good about this product is that it includes a heat protective guard, made from a special material which does absorb heat. Therefore your crested gecko will never injure/burn itself from getting too close to the heat transmitting bulb.

Click this link to purchase your DGE Reptile Heat Lamp today!

How Should I Monitor the Temperature in My Crested Gecko’s Habitat?

Various kinds of thermometers are used to monitor the temperature inside reptile tanks. It’s best if you use more than one. Your crested gecko has to regulate his own body temperature. That’s why you need to provide sunny warm spots and darker cool spots for him to hide away in. Place thermometers in the different areas of the tank to make sure your temperatures are consistently optimized for crested geckos.

How to Protect a Crested Gecko from a Heat Lamp

You’ll protect your crested gecko from the heat lamps by providing him the cool spots to get away to. Your crestie’s health depends largely on the environment you build for him. 

The tank should be at least 2 feet deep. That allows for enough room to climb. Climbing is a favorite activity for crested geckos. 

Fill the tank with sticks, branches, and non-toxic plants that allow for climbing and hiding. We all want to watch our geckos and see how they behave, but they need some hiding places, too.

One way to protect your crestie from a heat lamp is to place it on a stand that raises it further above the enclosure. Crested geckos should not be able to come in contact with the heat lamp. DO NOT put the heat lamp inside the tank where your gecko can climb on it. 

Other ways to protect your crestie from the heat lamp include turning it off at night, only turning it on for short periods of time, and adjusting it accordingly based on temperatures in your home.

Are There Alternatives to Heat Lamps?

Alternatives for heat lamps do exist. Radiant heat is often used in place of heat lamps, especially with regards to crested geckos. Usually, crestie owners looking for an alternative to using heat lamps will put a heat mat in the bottom of the tank underneath the substrate. 

Radiant heat panels shouldn’t feel hot to the touch. They’re made to be safe for use inside the enclosure. They add only moderate levels of heat to the tank. That makes them ideal for crested geckos, which thrive at room temperature. 

The other alternative is not to use a dedicated heat source at all. As was mentioned above, some climates provide temperatures that are already optimized for cresties. If you live in one of those, you likely don’t need an artificial heat source.

What Else Are Heat Lamps Used For?

Heat lamps have several uses. Heating the environments of pet reptiles is just one of them. Heat lamps are also used in bathrooms to provide heat in showers and other places. Some are used to keep baby animals warm, such as chicks, puppies, kittens, piglets, and ducklings. 

Some heat lamps are used to warm things that aren’t alive, as well. Restaurants often use heat lamps to keep food warm when it’s waiting to be served. You’ll sometimes see heat lamps used in spas and beauty salons, also.

How Hot Does a Heat Lamp Get?

The amount of heat a heat lamp produces depends on the wattage. Low-wattage bulbs, like those needed for crested geckos, don’t produce high temperatures. You don’t need more than 25 watts to warm your crestie’s habitat. That’s enough to produce the high end of the temperature range, 80°F in most climates.

A 40-watt bulb for a heat lamp is capable of producing heat up to 110°F. That temperature is too high for a crested gecko. Unless you live in an exceptionally cold environment, don’t use anything higher than a 25-watt bulb to heat your crestie’s habitat. 


Crested geckos are easy to take care of when it comes to temperature settings. These reptiles thrive at room temperature. Heat lamps are useful tools for optimizing temperatures for your pet reptiles.

You can easily regulate the temperature in a crested gecko’s habitat with a low-wattage heat lamp. You won’t have to turn it on at night. During the day, you can flip it on for a few hours to give them a basking spot. If you notice they run and hide in a shaded spot, turn it back off. 

After searching into “Do Crested Geckos Need a Heat Lamp” and testing many different products, we have come up with our list of “Must Have” items for recommendations for both price, and durability for the best enclosure accessories.

Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here

Heat Mat – Click Here

Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here

Reliable Thermometer – Click Here

Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here

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Do Crested Geckos Need a Heat Lamp? Too Hot or Too Cold

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