Can I use a regular bulb in a heat lamp??


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 8, 2012
I have a heat lamp and am using a 250w red heat bulb in it right now. It's too warm for my almost 3 week old chicks and is making my studio style cabin HOT. I want to change it to a regular bulb but I'm not sure if you can use a regular bulb in a heat I know you're not suppose to do the opposite-heat bulb on a regular lamp...

Anyone know? Thanks :)
Yep, you can use a regular bulb in a heat lamp. I've never used a real "heat lamp" on chicks. Especially inside the house! When I brooded chicks in the house, 2-20 of them, I at most had one 100W lamp on, and quickly stepped down to a 60W lamp in a week or so.

For the most part, for up to 25 chicks, I use two 100W lamps for the first week outside in the brooder coop if temps get into the 30's at night. I use 60W or lower there after and have them on a dimmer switch so I can turn the heat down. The only reason I have two is in case a bulb blows they are not totally in the cold.

Speaking of which, I currently have 6 chicks living outside since 3.5 weeks old last friday (25 days old) who do not have a heat lamp or mother hen! They live in a 4x4x6 brooder coop and I don't live in florida either. Low's are in the 50's, highs are in the 60's in Everett, WA. They are doing great!


This is their non-insulated brooder when it was being used to grow out some silkies.
Thanks for the response!

My lamp is metal, shaped like a dome, and clamps. I believe it said heat lamp on the package when we bought it. It was in the chicken isle next to the 250w red heat bulbs.

I just want to make sure it's safe to use a non heat bulb in it.
You can use ANY bulb that fits in it that is 250 watt or less. Just nothing higher then 250 watt. Same as a regular lamp will say nothing above 100 watt doesn't mean you have to use 100 watt.
I have one of those lamps in a cooler as an incubator with a 20 watt bulb, one with a grow light in it (65 watt) over tomato plants. They work great for so many things.
You can use any bulb in a heat lamp. and you can even buy 40 watt (non heat lamp) red ones (and yellow and purple too) I use the red heat lams but the 250 is way to hot even 36" up. I used a 100 watt for the first 3-4 weeks raising it up a few inches every week and then switched to a 60 watt for a while. The chicks are 8 weeks old and it's over 60 in the utility room so I discontinued the lamp a few nights ago.

As for red or natural. The red light does obscure blood so it you have a pecked or injured chick it will stop the other chicks from pecking at the injury so a red bulb might be a good thing to have handy. Our Wellsurrmer chick was all pecked up and bloodied when we got her so the red light was needed while she recovered but I don't think that vicious pecking is a huge problem of small back yard flocks since they are usually not crowed and get plenty of human attention.

BTW I got the Wellsummer for free when I bought my Morans. She was being tormented by two other chicks in her brooder at the feed store and was in pretty sorry shape. She recovered and though is is timid she's the sweetest chicken in the flock and also the prettiest.
Aggie Mae, I have my name on a waiting list for some Wellsumers! The roos are gorgeous and the hens are so pretty!
I use a 250 watt red bulb but with a dimmer and adjust it down to temp with a remote thermometer for the first week or so and then just go by how the chicks behave after that. I can not imagine running that bulb at full power, would be like a insane tanning bed.

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