The 5 Best Lights for Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab Jan 4, 2020
Written by Kate Barrington | Updated Jan 4, 2020
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The 5 Best Lights for Hermit Crabs

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Hermit crabs make for very unique and entertaining pets. Because they are fairly easy to keep, they are a good choice for children.

To keep a hermit crab, you need little more than an appropriate habitat with plenty of substrate to dig in and a healthy diet. But what about lighting? Do hermit crabs require a heat lamp or lighting for their habitat?

In this article, we’ll talk about heating and lighting a hermit crab habitat and provide some tips for choosing the best hermit crab light. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best hermit crab lights.

At a Glance: Best Lights for Hermit Crabs To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Affordably priced at all wattages
  • Produces gentle heat and infrared light
  • Won’t disrupt nocturnal behavior
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  • Comes in a 2-bulb value pack
  • Economical heat source for hermit crabs
  • Won’t disrupt sleep or nocturnal behavior
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  • Produces natural-looking daylight
  • Also a source of daytime heat
  • Available in several wattages
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  • Includes both day and night LEDs
  • Doesn’t produce an excess of heat
  • Integrated fixture is easy to install
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  • Clip-on fixture is easy to install
  • Low 25w strength won’t overheat tank
  • Rotates 360° for easy positioning
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What To Look For In Lights For Hermit Crabs?

Hermit crabs are nocturnal animals, so they are going to be the most active at night. This means that your hermit crab will likely spend most of the day hiding, whether in its shell or in a hideaway in its cage. The brighter your hermit crab cage is, the less likely your hermit crab is to be active. This being said, there are ways you can illuminate your hermit crab tank at night to view its activity without having a negative impact on your crab.

Here Are Some Important Things To Look For In Hermit Crab Lights:

  • Day vs night. Regular white light or full-spectrum lighting can be used during the day for your hermit crab, but red light is recommended for night, so it won’t affect your crab’s activity.
  • Heat output. Your hermit crab tank should be kept at a daytime temperature between 70°F and 75°F, so if you don’t live in a very warm climate you may need a light that produces some heat.
  • Made for reptiles. When purchasing equipment for your hermit crab, it is important to choose products made specifically for reptiles so they will be appropriate for your pet.
  • Automatic timer. Though hermit crabs are nocturnal and will be most active at night, they still require a 12-hour day/night cycle. To make sure the day/night cycle remains consistent, consider hooking up your lights to an automatic timer.

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a hermit crab light, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best lights for hermit crabs.

Hermit crabs don’t have specific needs for lighting. The best lighting for your hermit crab tank depends on the climate and lighting where you live and where you keep your hermit crab. To help you see the different options you might consider, review our top picks below.

Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Hermit Crab Light:

Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp

Specs:

  • Type – Infrared
  • Size – 75w
  • Features – Heat, infrared light
  • Price – $

Pros:

  • Affordably priced at all wattages
  • Produces gentle heat and infrared light
  • Won’t disrupt nocturnal behavior

Cons:

  • May produce more heat than needed in some tanks
  • Requires a fixture, sold separately

If you’re looking for a hermit crab light that will also help you keep your tank warmed to the proper temperature, this Exo Terra Heat-Glo Infrared Spot Lamp could be the right choice. It comes in four different wattages (50w, 75w, 100w, and 150w), so you can choose the one that is appropriately sized for your tank. It produces heat to keep the tank warm but features infrared rather than bright white light, so it won’t interfere with your hermit crab’s nocturnal behavior.

Zoo Med Nightlight Red Bulb for Reptiles

Specs:

  • Type – Infrared
  • Size – 60w
  • Features – True red (not painted), economical
  • Price$17.99

Pros:

  • Comes in a 2-bulb value pack
  • Economical heat source for hermit crabs
  • Won’t disrupt sleep or nocturnal behavior

Cons:

  • Somewhat more expensive than other options
  • May produce more heat than some tanks need

Another option in infrared lighting for hermit crab tanks is the Zoo Med Nightlight Red Bulb for Reptiles. This light comes in a 60w strength and is sold in a special 2-bulb value pack. It is a little pricier than the previous option, but still very affordable and you’ll have a back-up light for when one burns out. This light is true red as well, not painted like some reptile lights, and it is highly economical.

MyComfy Pets 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb

Specs:

  • Type – Mercury vapor
  • Size – 100w
  • Features – UVA and UVB, produces heat
  • Price$39.99

Pros:

  • Produces natural-looking daylight
  • Also a source of daytime heat
  • Available in several wattages

Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive than other options
  • May produce too much light or heat for some tanks

If you keep your hermit crab in a room that doesn’t get much natural light, you might need to simulate the 12-hour day cycle before turning over to your nighttime lighting. This MyComfyPets 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb is a good choice because it emits UVB and UVA radiation, both of which are important for building calcium. It also produces light that mimics natural sunlight and gives off a decent amount of heat as well.

Exo Terra Day/Night LED Fixture

Specs:

  • Type – LED
  • Size – 24 23w bulbs
  • Features – No heat, white and blue
  • Price$29.12

Pros:

  • Includes both day and night LEDs
  • Doesn’t produce an excess of heat
  • Integrated fixture is easy to install

Cons:

  • Doesn’t produce heat (some tanks don’t require it)
  • Daytime light may be too bright for some

For many hermit crabs, all that is needed is a source of daytime illumination – not a lamp that also produces heat. If that’s the case for your hermit crab habitat, consider the Exo Terra Day/Night LED Fixture. This LED fixture includes large white and blue LEDs for both daytime and nighttime illumination that won’t interrupt your hermit crab’s natural behavior.

OTO Reptile Lamp Fixture Holder Clamp

Specs:

  • Type – UV/infrared
  • Size – 25w
  • Features – Clip-on fixture
  • Price$12.99

Pros:

  • Clip-on fixture is easy to install
  • Low 25w strength won’t overheat tank
  • Rotates 360° for easy positioning

Cons:

  • Lamp may not last as long as expected

If you’re looking to add just a little bit of heat and some daytime light to your hermit crab tank, this OTO Reptile Lamp Fixture Holder Clamp could be a good option. It is an affordable choice and it is easy to clip it to the side of your hermit crab tank.

Tips For Heating And Lighting Your Hermit Crab Tank

Hermit crabs are native to tropical areas where it is always warm, so you should plan on keeping your hermit crab tank heated to a temperature between 70°F and 75°F. It is also important to maintain humidity in your hermit crab habitat, so you’ll need to utilize a combination of heating and lighting elements in your tank if you want to create the ideal habitat for your pet.

Here Are Some Simple Tips For Heating And Lighting A Hermit Crab Tank:

  • Choose a tank or terrarium that will retain heat and humidity – an all-glass or acrylic tank is preferable to a plastic or screened-in enclosure.
  • Use a full-spectrum or white light bulb for 12 hours during the day – if the room you keep your crab in gets plenty of natural daylight, this may not be necessary.
  • Install a red-light bulb for nighttime illumination, keeping it on for 12 hours overnight.
  • If the ambient temperature in your home is less than 70°F during the day, you may want to install an under-tank heater to keep the tank warm.
  • Install your under-tank heater along one of the side walls of the cage instead of under the substrate – hermit crabs burrow and may hurt themselves if they dig into the heating element.

Now that you have a better understanding of your hermit crab’s housing requirements, you’re ready to start shopping for equipment. Take what you’ve learned here to decide what combination of heating and lighting elements is best for your hermit crab.

Final Remarks

Though hermit crabs are not one of the most difficult pets to keep, they have much different requirements than a cat or dog. In addition to keeping your hermit crab habitat warm and humid, you also need to recreate the 12-hour day/night cycle so your hermit crab can exhibit natural behaviors. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a hermit crab light, try out one of the top 5 best hermit crab lights we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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