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How to Attach a Clamp Light to a Reptile Tank With a Screen

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium

  • UVB bulb

  • Basking rock

  • Terrarium screen lid

Reptiles, once confined to zoos, are now available as exotic family pets. Although they are relatively simple pets to take care of, they do have some special needs. Specific considerations must be made to replicate their original environment. Reptiles need vitamin B for healthy bones, and UVB light can be used to replicate the effect of the sun's rays to produce this vitamin. Clamp lights are designed to attach easily to the sides of terrariums to create temperate basking areas for your pet. Terrarium clamp lamps require only simple assembly and can help to maintain your reptile's well-being and happiness.

Set up the terrarium for your reptile's specific needs. Depending on the type of reptile you have, you will need either a 2.0, 5.0 or 10.0 UVB bulb for your clamp light.

Place the basking rock in the terrarium. The rock will act as a marker for the placement of the clamp lamp over the reptile's basking area.

Turn the wing nut on the clamp counterclockwise to unscrew it. Unscrew the nut as far as possible without removing it completely.

Position the ball found at the end of the metal holster so it sits in the angled space found behind the screw on the clamp.

Position the lamp in place. Keep a hold on the holster throughout this process to ensure that the clamp light can be secured as tightly as possible to the side of the terrarium.

Slide the cylinder found at the back of the lamp into the large grips on the clamp.

Tighten the clamp's wing nut by rotating it clockwise. The clamp lamp and holster should now be fully secure, with the clamp holding the parts together.

Slide the plastic-covered portion of the clamp light holster on the top edge of the terrarium.

Position the lamp at the correct angle so the rays from the clamp light will cover the entire basking area.

Tighten the clamp for a final time so the clamp light stands securely over the terrarium.

Slide the screen lid into place on top of the terrarium. There will be a small gap at the top of the terrarium where the screen lid meets the attached clamp light. As long as the clamp light has been secured correctly, the size of the gap will not be large enough to allow your pet reptile to escape.


  • UVB light can't penetrate glass, so check that the UVB lamp is positioned over the terrarium's screen lid and not against any of the glass sides. If it is positioned against the glass, it will not benefit your reptile in any way and will instead be a completely useless addition to your terrarium.

    Make a note of the date you install the heat lamp bulbs; they should be changed every six months to ensure optimum performance.

    Carefully follow any and all safety instructions that are attached to the heating lamps and bulbs.


  • Never place the heat lamp over your reptile's water bowl. This can lead to heating or evaporation of the water, which can potentially leave your reptile dehydrated.

    Check that the lamp is secure. If it is not, it can fall into the terrarium. The high temperature of these lamps can easily lead to severe burns or even death of your reptile.

    Turn off the heat lamps for at least an hour every day. This will allow them to cool down, avoiding the possibility of overheating.