A red bulb allows the chicks to sleep better with it being on 24/7 for heat. A red bulb also hides the color of bood making cannibalism less likely if one chick gets injured.
I have used a white light it doesn't hurt, but a red one seems better for sleeping under.
If you are brooding in your relatively warm house, don't bother to buy the 250watt "heat lamp" --- just get a 75watt floodlight and it'll cost less on your electric bill. You really only need the super-wattage one if you are brooding outside in the cold.
Oh wow, thank you so much for the informative and quick response!! I'm planning on putting them in the sitting room off of our bedroom, which is nice and warm. The floodlight is a great idea, do they come in colors?
At WalMart the sell GE brand floodlights that are "weatherproof" meaning that the glass front is hardened (you'll notice that most "heat lamps" are made of EXTREMELY thin-feeling glass) they are on the lightbulb aisle in the hardware department and can be had in blue, green, red and anti-bug colors.
Also you can pick them up at Lowes, Home Depot or home repair type places. People use the colors in their gardens I think.
Bedroom huh... Have you been reading the posts about the smell and dust? Even if you keep the brooder very clean there will be a lot of dust and smell by the 4th week. I raised my first batch of chicks in the garage last year. Within a couple of weeks I knew that I would never raise them in the house. I could not wait to get them out of the garage by the 6th week. I am getting more chicks this year and will brood them in the garage again.
I used the 250 watt red heat lamp last year. For the first couple of weeks I had to use two of them. I was using a big steel tub. This year I am going to build a new wood brooder. It will be 8' x 3'. I am hoping one heat lamp will be enough. I won't know until I test it though. Hopefully I will be able to drop down to a smaller bulb by the 3rd or 4th week but I won't know until I do some testing.