Red light bulb vs. Ceramic bulb


In the Brooder
May 23, 2017
Racine, Ohio
I live in SE Ohio and it can get cold. I want to put a couple of lights in my barn. I have read several articles regarding both heat sources. I, also, listen to a youtube video from Home Depot stating that the reason (or some of the reason) for fires is the use of a 250W bulb in a lamp that specifies its use of a 175W bulb. I have used 250W red bulbs in the past with no problems. My chickens are in with the 2 goats and 2 dogs (all live harmoniously) half concrete floor the other half dirt, 30 to 40' square inside area. I have a 2X4 roosting outfit.

I want to simulate a good laying atmosphere which is why I'm for a 175 W red bulb (instead of 250W). Then again I like the ceramic bulb idea to prevent fires or injuries. I had an old lady tell me that the secret to laying in the winter is to keep their area warm.

There are plenty of vents (maybe too many). i was trying to get the other two walls re-done to close up the "many" vent areas but I wasn't able to do that. This is the first winter for the chickens in the "new/renovated" barn. ANY THOUGHTS? All advice will be appreciated. This is my second winter with my older flock. The older flock was in a 10'X10' dog kennel with tarps all around.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I had an old lady tell me that the secret to laying in the winter is to keep their area warm.
Well, that's not really quite true.
They need a consistent 13-15 hours of white light to stimulate the pineal gland to trigger laying, they also need a dark period of at least 8 hours with no light.

I use light, but no heat, for winter laying.... works well for 5 years now.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
To me the biggest danger from a heat lamp is that clamp that comes with it. Throw that clamp away so you are not even tempted to use it and use wire to to firmly hold it in place so you, a chicken, or a goat cannot knock it down. Then put on a back-up wire. There are risks any time you run electricity to anything but properly securing it will take a lot of the risks away from a heat lamp.

Pak Rat

Oct 28, 2018
NW Washington, US
The watts help determine heat output (with most bulbs), the higher the watt, the higher the heat, with the exception of certain "heatless" bulbs like LED. The maximum wattage that you should use is solely based on your lamp. All lamps will have a label stating the maximum wattage allowed. Going over this recommendation is potentially a fire hazard, but is more likely to simply burn out your bulb. Most hardware lamps have a 250W maximum, but it varies. Ceramic bulbs can be a bit expensive, but they produce no light, if darkness is what you're going for. They also often have a longer burn life than regular bulbs. Red lights and purple(black) lights are less bright than typical bulbs, and are good for nighttime because they are dim enough not to disturb sleep.
Ridgerunner is right, I use metal wire to keep my lamps firmly in place.
Aart is also right, the key to continued laying is to trick the birds' hormones into thinking it's still spring/summer- the time to be laying. Heat can help, for sure, but longer days (longer photo/light period) are the most important thing. You can use any ol bright lightbulb on a timer (you can get them cheap at any hardware store) to help "lengthen" the daylight consistently. But I tentatively suggest letting your hens have a bit of a break, at least for a little while, laying year-round isn't necessarily the healthiest thing, especially if the hens are a bit older.

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