Can You Put A Heat Lamp On Glass? Some Concerns and Recommendations

Can You Put A Heat Lamp On Glass

Are you thinking of putting some heat lamp over a glass but worried about the consequences? Do you think that heat of the lamp will make the glass shatter? What is the right way to keep your pets warm inside a glass aquarium or terrarium?

If these are your queries, you are in the right place. We’ll tell you that yes, you can put a heat lamp on glass. But this article is going to offer much more than this single-line answer. For instance, we will discuss how heat affects glass, instructions, and recommendations for using heat lamps safely. 

You will also learn to choose a suitable heat lamp to put on some glass surfaces.

How Do Heat Lamps Affect Glass?

It is not a very good idea to put heat lamps directly on any glass surface. Intense heat can even make the glass shatter. If you’re thinking of making this match with your aquarium glass, then make sure that your tank is made of tempered glass. Unlike ordinary glass, heat is not absorbed that much by tempered glass surfaces. 

The main reason behind the cracking of the glass is its expansion that happens due to heating. Therefore, keeping the lamps at a certain distance away from the glass is necessary. The type of bulbs used in heat lamps also matters. For instance, if you’re using incandescent bulbs that produce a lot of heat, then your glass is more likely to break. Halogen lamps are better than incandescent ones.

Ideally, people would keep the lamp a bit higher from the glass surface so that the glass remains safe. For the safe side, you should consider the quality of both glass and heat lamps before purchasing. 

Guide To Choosing The Right Heat Lamp To Put On Glass

Guide To Choosing The Right Heat Lamp To Put On Glass

You will find a wide variety of heat lamps in the market. These can be either UV lamps or halogen lamps. To keep your glass crack-free and tank safe, it is better to choose the lamp wisely. Let’s discuss some features of the best heat lamps to help you find out the right match. Carefully read these characteristics and observe them before making a purchase. 

Flexible design

The best lamp is the one that you can position in the way you want. Its clip should come with a 360° rotatable clamp. Moreover, the arm should be adjustable, and the flexible tube should be strong and durable. The tension in the clip should be in the right proportion to bear the lamp weight. These kinds of adjustable heat lamps are most suitable for aquariums and reptile tanks.

Adjustable Temperature

If you can adjust the temperature and brightness of the lamp using its switches, then you have the best basking lamp. The heat lamp head distance should also be adjustable to save the reptiles in case of usage in tanks. 

Dimmable Switch

There should be dimmable switches to control the brightness level of your glass tank. If the temperature seems to rise above the mark and there is a safety risk to the glass, use these switches to immediately control the heat level. 

Better Clip Design

The heat lamp should come with an easy clip design so that it may attach firmly to the glass surface. In addition, the light’s cable length should be long (min. 1 meter long) so that you may connect it to the socket easily.

Wider Compatibility

Your heat lamp should be compatible with all kinds of E26/E27 bulbs. Also, it should support all 25W, 75W, or 100W bulbs, including incandescent, fluorescents, halogens, and LEDs.


The lamp should be made of safe and certified materials. Also, see the warranty offered by the manufacturing company. Whichever heat lamp you are using, it should come with at least a 1-year warranty to save you from monetary losses in case of any future incompatibility. 

Special Instructions for Using Heat Lamps On Glass

Special Instructions for Using Heat Lamps On Glass

If you are intended to put a heat lamp on your aquarium wall or above the reptile tank, then pay special attention to this part. You need to take care of some sensitive things before putting a heat lamp on glass. The more you take care, the less your glass wear and tear. Let’s discuss some very important instructions one by one.

Choose the Right Kind of Dome For Your Lamp

By dome, we mean the aluminum fixture that holds the bulb in its place. You need to carefully select the right size of dome for the bulb you are using. The domes are rated for a particular type of bulb and work best only with compatible heat bulbs. Before choosing the dome, consider two things, namely the size of the bulb and its wattage.

The right size will make the bulb perfectly fit into the dome. At the same time, the wattage compatibility is a must for the dome to support the bulb. All you need to do is to read the wattage specifications carefully on both bulb and the dome, and you will be good to go.

Heat Lamp- Glass Cage Compatibility

It is noteworthy that you can’t use heat lamps on all kinds of glass cages. If you are using them with glass terrariums, then put the lamps on the top of the glass lids. But some kinds of glass cages can’t bear heat at all. So, you need to make the two things compatible to avoid any losses in the future.

Use Thermometers To Check The Cage Temperature

Your heat lamp will enlighten your glass aquarium cage, but it will also increase the temperature on the bulb side of the cage. To avoid any glass loss or damage to your pets, use thermometers inside the tank. Put one thermometer in the basking area and the other one on the opposite side to see the temperature difference. 

If you are using it in a terrarium, then also put a thermometer at the bottom where reptiles reside to keep the temperature safe for them. In case of having some terrestrial animal that likes to bask upon perch, then place a thermometer there as well. 

Use of Temperature Gun

If you have a large tank, then use a temperature gun instead of a bunch of thermometers. It will tell you the temperature of different areas of the cage efficiently without so much hassle. You should know what’s going on inside your cage so that you may change the heat lamp position accordingly. 

Make Fire Safety Measurements

No matter how safe your fixture looks, always prepare yourself for the worst. You should take appropriate measures to keep your glass tank or container safe. In fact, people who keep so many tanks at a place must have a proper fire extinguishing system. It will save them fire hazards and emergencies.

Some Useful Recommendations for Using Heat Lamps on Glass

Some Useful Recommendations for Using Heat Lamps on Glass

If you want longevity of your lamp as well as your glass surface, then keep care of some little things. Here are some tips to help you use the heat lamps safely. 

  • Keeping the heat lamp ON for 2-4 hours is enough for a day. By doing this, you will be increasing your lamp’s life and glass safety.
  • Don’t keep the heat lamp too close to the glass surface. Keep a minimum distance of 20-30 cm.
  • Let the lamp cool down after removing it from the surface. Water should not contact the bulb.
  • Do not put broken or worn-out heat lamps on glass. Replace the loose light fixtures and frayed electrical devices as soon as possible
  • It’s better to use timers to keep the lamps ON and OFF. Doing this will save your glass from heating up and cracking.
  • Do not let the heat lamps come in direct contact with flammable materials like paper, fabric or wood, etc.

Are Heat Lamps A Good Choice For Aquarium Keepers?

If you’re looking for ways to heat your aquarium, then putting heat lamps on a glass top is not a great choice. Besides heating and cracking problems, this artificial heating is unhealthy for your aquatic pets. The glass will filter the already useless artificial radiations. Therefore, it is better to heat directly from sunlight.

Glass panels used in aquariums are fragile, don’t let them get so close to heat lamps; however, if you’ve made a choice, then ON and OFF the lamps regularly after a few hours. It will save your cage from becoming a heated oven.


We came to know that intense heat lamps can damage thin glasses if kept close. Therefore, our recommendation is to keep heat lamps at a considerable distance from your glass canopy. Carefully choose an adjustable lamp and also take some preventive measures to avoid undesirable consequences.

We hope that you have got the answers to all your questions. Choose wisely, stay safe!