yes, they need the heat all night long. I don't usually start weaning them off the light until they are about to go outside and have fully feathered out.
The idea that red light is not visible is a myth. We can see it, reptiles can see it, and chicks can see it. Just look at their pupils and you will see them reacting to light. It is more soothing, but if they could not see it then my chicks wouldn't be eating at night...and I've seen them easily maneuvering the brooder with just a red lamp.
I've been leaving my light on all the time, but then I'm just using a flood lamp not a heat lamp. It's warm enough down here now that a heat lamp was just too much for them.
It's been amusing to watch them run around, run around...then all stop to nap under the light....then run around, run around...
I have mine under a red lamp, but the light is still bright. It has an orange cast. You'll need to leave it on for them all night unless it's extremely warm (90s). Mine wake me up at 3:30 in the morning, having a grand time playing keep-away with a single shaving. I don't mind getting up to check on them because I sleep terribly and am awake most of the time
. If you can, close the door to the room they're located in to give you a little more peace and quiet. IMO, more importantly, enjoy them while they're so little because they grow so darn fast!
We just turned off our light last night for the first time. They are almost 5 weeks old. We are finally having warm weather here in NH and it was 75 in the house last night. My chicks are due to go out this weekend so I figured, better start getting them use to no light!
My chicks catch bugs all night by the glow of their infrared (red) lamp! It's still providing lots of visible light (and attracting the bugs); it's just not as bright as a white light. I do wonder how they'll adjust to having long, dark nights but they're not the first chicks to be raised outdoors with a light for heat so I'm thinking they'll survive just fine.
Just bought a Satco heat lamp today for my 6 chicks. The weather is crazy here in CA- with it being in the low 60's today and at night it drops in the 50's. We think it is the reason why we lost a chick last night. We are rather new to this and thought we had their area plenty warm enough- but after our Rhode Island Red died thought we might invest in a heat lamp. Just hoping it is not too warm now.
I started with a regular heat lamp, and switched to the amber heat lamp. They seem to sleep a little better with the amber one, and they definitely sleep well if you give them complete darkness (just cup your hands over their head and watch them flop down).
Another thing you can do is put a cardboard box in their setup on its side as a shade barrier from the lamp. Mine used to love sitting underneath, on top of, inside, or jumping off the springy flaps of the box. The simple pleasures of life