Extremely hot basking spot

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Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Oxymiocysu » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:08 pm

Hey there,

I'm having an issue with my basking spot being way too hot. This isn't an issue in the winter, as the ambient temperature of the room is much cooler - but in the summer it heats up a lot. I don't want to burn my dear Pancake. I'm failing to find a light that runs cooler, but not so cool that it won't have any effect as a heat bulb.

A bit of information about her home - it's a 4x2x2 wooden enclosure with small vents in the back and sliding glass doors. I have created a small additional ventilation solution with a diy window screen kit to put on the door tracks. Her basking spot is an open faced wooden box coated in sand and the inside of the box stays relatively cool.

She really likes her box so I won't take it away from her to get some distance between the light and the basking spot. I've tried, she's not a fan.

Here is a link to an Imgur album of several pics showing temps and supplies.
https://imgur.com/a/zK9f20g

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:44 am

Sand gets very hot coming from Florida I know it can heat up--- I would get rid of the sand coated box replace the box w/ another one w/ some textured NON adhesive shelf liner -- try that and see if it gets the temp down--
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Oxymiocysu » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:54 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Sand gets very hot coming from Florida I know it can heat up--- I would get rid of the sand coated box replace the box w/ another one w/ some textured NON adhesive shelf liner -- try that and see if it gets the temp down--


What if I put a piece of tile on top the box?
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:10 am

You could just make sure its a slated ceramic and its not to porous ( coarse) -- you dont want a piece thats going to give him abrasions or rub his feet raw-- I have some nice stuff I use that is slated ceramic and has texture but not rough I got it from Home Depot here is what it looks like [Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Gail » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:31 am

Is the thermostat for the heat bulb? Where is its probe at? You'll need that probe right on the basking spot so you can keep it under control.
You could also use a dimmer switch on your lamp and turn it down a little.

A indooe/outdoor spotlight from a hardware store might be a option too. I always had to switch bulbs around in the summer. I used regular 65 watt household bulbs for year but they don't exist any more.

Adding more ventilation might help too. When I had a wooden viv, it had large screened vents on each end, they not only release heat but provided cross ventilation
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:02 am

You are in Florida , a semi tropical location , hot in summer.

Unplug the heat globe , just run the UV ==> problem solved.

Lots of aussie reptile keepers do this in summer.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Oxymiocysu » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:42 am

KarrieRee wrote:You could just make sure its a slated ceramic and its not to porous ( coarse) -- you dont want a piece thats going to give him abrasions or rub his feet raw-- I have some nice stuff I use that is slated ceramic and has texture but not rough I got it from Home Depot here is what it looks like [Click image to enlarge]


I was thinking maybe using an extra slate panel like the ones already in her tank.

Gail wrote:Is the thermostat for the heat bulb? Where is its probe at? You'll need that probe right on the basking spot so you can keep it under control.
You could also use a dimmer switch on your lamp and turn it down a little.

A indooe/outdoor spotlight from a hardware store might be a option too. I always had to switch bulbs around in the summer. I used regular 65 watt household bulbs for year but they don't exist any more.

Adding more ventilation might help too. When I had a wooden viv, it had large screened vents on each end, they not only release heat but provided cross ventilation


The probe is sitting on top of the skull so it was out of the way for the pictures. Is a dimmer switch safe for a heat bulb like that one? Because it's so hot the bulb is always going off and on so if a switch would help and is safe I'll look into getting one. Would it safely work with a mercury vapor bulb also?

I could try to add more ventilation but I'm no good with tools and construction. Would making the vent holes in the back larger work fine?

kingofnobbys wrote:You are in Florida , a semi tropical location , hot in summer.

Unplug the heat globe , just run the UV ==> problem solved.

Lots of aussie reptile keepers do this in summer.


I'm in Minnesota, it doesn't get as hot and I run an AC.
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Gail » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:24 pm

I really don't know how a mercury vapor bulb will work on a dimmer. It should be ok and if its not so hot, it shouldn't turn on and off.
Do you have a mercury vapor and a basking bulb? If so, thats probably why its so hot. You only need one heat bulb.

You might need to do some rearranging. Can you make a different basking area that is further from the bulb? Adding a tile on top of the box won't help, it will get as hot, if not hotter then the sand.
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby SandP » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:50 pm

Easiest option is to change the bulb. A spot bulb is meant to focus the beam so the center spot will be very hot. Switch it with a wider beamed bulb like a regular or flood bulb.
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:41 am

Gail wrote:I really don't know how a mercury vapor bulb will work on a dimmer. It should be ok and if its not so hot, it shouldn't turn on and off.
Do you have a mercury vapor and a basking bulb? If so, thats probably why its so hot. You only need one heat bulb.

You might need to do some rearranging. Can you make a different basking area that is further from the bulb? Adding a tile on top of the box won't help, it will get as hot, if not hotter then the sand.

MVBs wont work on a dimmer .
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby Oxymiocysu » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:48 pm

UPDATE - Apparently adding a lighter colored tile did the trick, but is it slightly too cool now?
New temps - https://imgur.com/a/VypFsKA (no, I do not regularly temp gun Pancake. Just wanted to share her general 'surface' temp. She's not directly under the focus of the bulb.)

Gail wrote:Do you have a mercury vapor and a basking bulb? If so, thats probably why its so hot. You only need one heat bulb.


I only have a basking bulb, not both. That would be ultra overkill.

SandP wrote:Easiest option is to change the bulb. A spot bulb is meant to focus the beam so the center spot will be very hot. Switch it with a wider beamed bulb like a regular or flood bulb.


Could you perhaps link me to an example for the kind of bulb you mean on Amazon/Menards/Home Depot/wherever? Also, a dimmer is mentioned. Could someone link me to that as well? I'd like to know some good examples of what to buy before buying them, as some things aren't as safe as others. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Extremely hot basking spot

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:53 pm

Put your probe on the tile its going to give you a more accurate temp --- I use IR guns too and probes and stick ons all 3 but the most accurate out of all of them is the probe---- I dont know what kind of bulb you want to use you can try a regular bright white basking bulb like a Exo Terra Intense bulb -- start w/ a 100 watt and see what you get for temps - you want a range of 95-100
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