Make sure to buy spare heat lamps!

Toehead

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
44
1
24
Littleton, Ma
I walked out to my unheated barn this 20F morning to find my heat lamp burned out and my 3 week old pullets huddled in the corner chirping indignantly. If they were any younger, this would have been a tragedy.


Make sure you have a spare heat lamp! Mine was rated to 6000 hours and lasted about 300.
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
Yeah, I always run two lights. One is on 24/7, the other is on a thermostat. Kicks on when the temperature drops too low.
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
315
221
Kansas
Good advice. We tend to have two lamps on the outdoor brooder to be on the safe side. No matter what you do, there's always a risk that the heat source will go out, which is why it's such a challenge to start chicks this time of year.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
Just get a ceramic heat emitter instead. No worries with it burning out or breaking. I've had one for 10 years now that gets used most of the growing season and then again for the winter to keep the water thawed. Also they save money because the power is utilized for heat instead of heat and light. A 150 watt is the replacement for a 250w heat lamp. Ceramic Heat Emitter In case of power outages put a brick, paving stone or rock directly under it to absorb and release heat. The emitter itself will take a very long time to cool off as well so it's actually producing heat for several hours with the residual heat left in it.
Good Luck
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
Also they save money because the power is utilized for heat instead of heat and light. A 150 watt is the replacement for a 250w heat lamp.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but a watt is a watt, regardless of how the energy consumed is emitted. Stick a 100 watt light bulb in a bucket of water and it will heat at the same rate as 100 watt resistance element. Watts convert directly to BTUs, the measurement of heat, no matter what form of resistance is used to consume the energy. Visible light is just a "by-product" of the heating of the resistance element. 95% of the energy used by a standard "white" light bulb is emitted as heat. The other 5% is absorbed, or, reflected by the surface it is cast upon. The red "infrared" bulbs emit the light waves at a lower frequency, which has less reflection off of most surfaces and heats those surfaces more efficiently, than white light.
That being said, I agree, the reptile heaters are a good substitute for incandescent heat lamps.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium member
9 Years
When brooding in a cold place, two bulbs are a must, in my book, for peace of mind.

I'd rather have two 125 watt fixtures running than just one 250 watt for this very reason. They may complain a bit if a 125 burns out, but the other 125 will keep them going until I arrive.

Same principle as in the homemade incubators that use light bulbs. Build it with two fixtures and divide the wattage needed to provide the proper heat. If one burns out, the other bulb will keep them warm enough until you discover the loss of one bulb.
 

farnorth

Songster
6 Years
Jul 6, 2013
362
37
103
Upper Michigan
When brooding in a cold place, two bulbs are a must, in my book, for peace of mind.

I'd rather have two 125 watt fixtures running than just one 250 watt for this very reason. They may complain a bit if a 125 burns out, but the other 125 will keep them going until I arrive.

Same principle as in the homemade incubators that use light bulbs. Build it with two fixtures and divide the wattage needed to provide the proper heat. If one burns out, the other bulb will keep them warm enough until you discover the loss of one bulb.
Yep, I have had eggs in my home made incubator for 3 days. Mine has 1 bulb on constant and one bulb on the thermostat that pops on whenever needed. Woke up today to find the constant on light bulb had burned out (It's a 2 week old bulb) luckily the 2nd bulb that runs on the thermostat came on and all by itself kept the incubator at 100.5 .... whew
 

farnorth

Songster
6 Years
Jul 6, 2013
362
37
103
Upper Michigan
Just get a ceramic heat emitter instead. No worries with it burning out or breaking. I've had one for 10 years now that gets used most of the growing season and then again for the winter to keep the water thawed. Also they save money because the power is utilized for heat instead of heat and light. A 150 watt is the replacement for a 250w heat lamp. Ceramic Heat Emitter In case of power outages put a brick, paving stone or rock directly under it to absorb and release heat. The emitter itself will take a very long time to cool off as well so it's actually producing heat for several hours with the residual heat left in it.
Good Luck
I just ordered one of these 150 watt emitters. Do you put them in a clamp on reflector the same as you would a heat lamp? I also got a 100 watt one that I am going to use in my chicken water heater.....light bulbs kept burning out and breaking and I'm hoping the emitter will be a bit more durable.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
Sorry, s
Sorry to burst your bubble, but a watt is a watt, regardless of how the energy consumed is emitted.  Stick a 100 watt light bulb in a bucket of water and it will heat at the same rate as 100 watt resistance element.  Watts convert directly to BTUs, the measurement of heat, no matter what form of resistance is used to consume the energy.  Visible light is just a "by-product" of the heating of the resistance element.  95% of the energy used by a standard "white" light bulb is emitted as heat.  The other 5% is absorbed, or, reflected by the surface it is cast upon.  The red "infrared" bulbs emit the light waves at a lower frequency, which has less reflection off of most surfaces and heats those surfaces more efficiently, than white light.
That being said, I agree, the reptile heaters are a good substitute for incandescent heat lamps.

Sorry that's not accurate. What you didn't account for is efficiency. For instance halogen burns hotter than incandescent, incandescent burns hotter than fluorescent, fluorescent burns hotter than LED. A less efficient source provides more heat and less light according to Ohm's law. Also more efficiently means a brighter light with less wattage supplied, this is why we utilize 25 watt fluorescent bulbs to replace 75 watt incandescent and 3 watt LED to replace 25 watt fluorescent. When comparing light efficiency heat lamps are 40% efficient! ceramic is 1% efficient. Here's some reading on infrared efficiency if interested. http://www.infraredheaters.com/basic.html the new ceramic emitters are 99% heat efficient though this study was done when they were 96%. Heat lamps are 60% heat efficient. Sorry, it's sincerely not my intent to be argumentative. It's just to combat misinformation. As you know things are taught a certain way and the dynamics change with time when the theories are disproven with fact.
Have a wonderful day.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
I just ordered one of these 150 watt emitters. Do you put them in a clamp on reflector the same as you would a heat lamp?   I also got a 100 watt one that I am going to use in my chicken water heater.....light bulbs kept burning out and breaking and I'm hoping the emitter will be a bit more durable.

Yes you could use any type of fixture that is rated for that wattage. I like the aluminum reflectors like you are talking about because they are so durable. All of mine are outdoors but some of them are out in the elements all winter. I used silicone to seal the water out of the fixture and the actual metal hood to prevent problems. In many cases I use wire to attach them to whatever because a strong wind can catch them and blow them off of whatever they are clamped to.
Good luck.
 
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