I saw a post sometime ago where another member used a piece of PVC pipe stuffed with Christmas lights with caps on the ends as an electric hen of sorts. Does that sound similar to the tube heater you're thinking about using?
Another option for you might be a "momma heat pad". Its just the general heat pad we use for aches and pains laid over a bit of hardware cloth to make a heating pad cave the chicks can go under. You'd want to cover it with a towel or something to keep the poo off it and try to find a heating pad that doesn't time out. There a thread in the Baby Chicks section of the forum about them
Yep, thats pretty much exactly like the PVC one I'd seen on here. Are you using it inside or outside (if outside, what's your weather like)? It will probably be fine as a back up if you're using it outside and its cold, which it sound like is how you intend to use it. If its cold where you are, I would definitely only use it as a back up. But, if its warm enough where you're using it, you could probably not use the heat lamp at all.
I was going to make a brooder within my chicken coop because my coop is quite large. I'm from uk and it's pretty cold here. I was going to use this tube heater instead of the heat lamp. I was going to fit a small led bulb in the brooder so that the chicks can see what they are doing.
I would definitely test it out before your chicks arrive or are moved out. You might find that the tube heater just doesn't get warm enough and might have to add a bulb that will produce heat to compensate.