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Incandescence vs. Heat lamp bulb

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by speedy2020, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster 8 Years

    Jul 24, 2010
    I want to stock up some incandescence light bulbs before become obsolete, but not sure it best. I mainly use for heat source in the brooder box. Is incandescence any better than heat bulb? Any advice?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I am not quite sure what your question is. Are you asking the wattage you should buy?
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The heat you get out of a bulb is pretty much dependant on its wattage no matter whether it is a regular bulb or a "heat" bulb. (there is a very minor difference but not so's it matters).

    My suggestion would be to stock up on a variety of wattages spanning the whole range of what you may wish to use. For me, that's all the way from 25 up to 250 (the latter usually available only in heat-lamp versions), but for someone else's brooder the useful range might be different.

    Good luck, ahve fun,

  4. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster 8 Years

    Jul 24, 2010
    I never own heat lamp bulb and wonder if they are any better than incandescence bulb. The incandescence is cheap 16 bulbs for $2.97 at home depot.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You need to be comparing the same wattage. Heatlamp bulbs generally come in 175 and 250w sizes. Regular incandescents come in a variety of numbers up to 175w; I have never seen a non-heat 250w bulb (although they certainly might exist).

    Standard heatlamp bulbs are the 250w ones. To get the same heat output you would need to use an equal wattage of regular lightbulbs, for instance 2 100w plus one 60w (well ok that's actually ten watts more but they don't make 50w lighbulbs [​IMG]) or perhaps use 4 60w bulbs (again, that's actually ten watts *less* but close enough)

    I'd be real cautious about using discount or no-name brand lightbulbs in a brooder. At the very least I would not use them unless I was running multiple bulbs (which tends to be safer anyhow, both in terms of avoiding failure and having less chance of things catching fire). They tend to be very um unreliable in length of service life, and having your brooder go dark (=cold) for even just a few hours before you discover the problem can mean dead chicks.

    IMHO a lot of people who use high-wattage heatlamps really do not need to be doing so, though. A lot of times a lower wattage regular bulb, or several of them, sometimes hung lower, will give you the same effects at less cost/risk. Just depends on your setup.

  6. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I used a small (60 watt) ceramic heat emitter for my brooder. I like that it produces only heat and not light, so there's no issue about interrupting the sleep cycle. You do have to use the special ceramic outlet for these types of bulbs, though.

    Of course, I was brooding chicks indoors in the spring, so I really didn't need to add that much heat, which is why the 60 watts was plenty.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I like to use 100 watt bulbs (several on at once to reach the desired temperature) with my smaller chicks, then progress to 60 watts as I wean them off heat.

    I like the idea of stocking up on them.
  8. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I buy them in bulk, as well. I have 40 wts up to 125 wts. I have a large supply of them in my home but mainly use them in the brooders down in the barn. I have to be careful how many I have and run at one time because I use a drop cord to the barn. County wants to tax me for electricity in the barn, that's fine, I took it out and just use a drop cord. Less taxes to pay each year and still get the same result. Not to mention if the power goes out then we just plug the drop cord into the generator.

    Keep stocking up. I go through more than I ever realized I would.
  9. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings 9 Years

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    there is some research and opinions linking constant incandescent bulbs to eye damage in chicks- so i would avoid it, i have two silkie roos with that kind of damage- so go with the red heatbulbs- also the red discourages feather picking in chicks- just my 2 cents on it
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I brood my chicks in my unheated workshop where it might go as low as the teens all the way to the nineties depending on the time of year. Accordingly I stock the 250w red heat lamps, 125w brooder lamps, ordinary frosted white 100w and 60w bulbs which gives me a warmth range to handle anything. Mostly I use the 125w brooder lamps (that's the way they are labeled) and ordinary 100w bulbs. I can get all of them from my local Lowes and most of the local farm supplies and feed stores have them as well.

    Especially for the 250w bulbs make sure you only use them in ceramic bases. Right about now the local hardware stores will carry clamp on brooder lights that have ceramic bases so they should be easy to find. The big bulbs can get quite hot so do not use them with any sort of plastic fixture and make sure you have them well secured so they cannot fall into the bedding.

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