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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I live in Canada, where it gets really cold during the winter. (no duh :p) And I'm looking into an Inferred heat source for my hedgie. The sell them at my local pet store, and they are basically a lightbulb with red glass (the package says its pure red glass, and that its not painted or anything) and are also filled with gases that emit IR light when heated. The come in 50, 75, and 100 Watts. Anyway the guide to heating hedgehog's cages didn't really cover IR heat emitters thats why I'm asking about them.

So are there any negative effects to IR heat sources? I read the part about how you need to cycle their light on a timer, and I was planning on having this on at night when it gets really cold. The packaging on the IR bulb says it emits almost no light, and my hedgie always sleeps inside the "house" I made her thats in her cage so I don't think it will upset her day/night cycle.

Her cage is about 2 feet wide, 3 feet long, and 2 feet tall. Its got a plastic bottom thats about 5 inches tall and then the rest is a wireframe. I think a 50 watt should be enough to keep her warm enough. My house is usually around 18-20 degrees Celsius in the winter.

Any thoughts, opinions, or facts would be much appreciated.
 

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Depends on the hedgehog. Sounds like these are similar to some "nighttime" reptile heating lamps. Some hedgehogs are fine with a little bit of light, but most of them won't come out or will be much less active if there's even a small amount of light. It doesn't really matter what her hideaway is or how well it blocks light, because hedgehogs aren't going to be in their house during the night, they're going to be out and about on the wheel, eating, etc. Most times any heat source that emits light at all isn't going to work well, and you'd have to return it and get a CHE instead.
 

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I wouldn't recommend the IR heating lights. As far as I know, they do still emit a little bit of light, and hedgehogs can see it. Some hedgehogs refuse to go about their usual business if there's any light, so it might affect her nightly schedule. You COULD try it and see if it bothers her, but she might not let you know right away - a friend used them for her hedgehogs and never noticed any obvious changes. She realized after using them for awhile, though, that her female hedgehog was eating less. Upon changing to a CHE, her female started eating more again, and she felt terrible that she hadn't realized the light was bothering her. That's why CHEs are covered in the heating thread, and why most people use and recommend them.

As far as wattage and that kind of thing, I would guess you'll probably need 100 watts for her cage, especially with your house temperature, in order to keep the cage at 73* F or above (about 23* C or above). You'll also want a thermostat to regulate it - if your house stays that temperature during the daytime as well, the heating bulb will definitely need to be on during the day too, to keep her cage warm. Having a thermostat to regulate it will keep her cage at the right temperature so it's not varying back and forth depending on day/night and what the temperature of the house is.

For the day/night cycle, do you have a regular light set up to give her 12-14 hours of light? Just wanted to make sure, since that's important to avoid hibernation attempts too. :)

Glad you're getting this all checked out & in order before it gets too cold - I know it's getting chilly for most of the time down here in Michigan, so it's coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually don't have a light set up for her :/ I didn't know light cycles were that important until now. Should be easy to fix though. I already have some lamps with artificial daylight bulbs in them. I just need a timer.

So I would be better off in the end getting a CHE (I'll have to order on off ebay since nobody around here sells them) and a thermostat? Any tips on the best way to set up a CHE and thermostat? I don't want to end up hurting my hedgie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One more question. For the thermostat and for digital thermometers that use a "temperature probe" where should I place that to get the best readings and so that my hedgehog wont be able to get at them?
 

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Yeah, I'd recommend just getting a CHE bulb instead. The one like you posted should be fine, and I'd order it asap so you can get things set up and make sure everything works well before it starts getting too cold for her. If you have to order them online, I'd also recommend getting an extra CHE bulb, if you have the money to right now. That way you'll have an emergency one on hand in case the first one breaks or something, and you won't be panicking, trying to keep her warm enough until you get another one. (Yup, I'm a paranoid pet owner. :lol: It does pay off sometimes though!)

For the thermostats, I can't comment too much on either one, I don't have any experience with either brand. The first one does look a bit like the one I used though, perhaps just an off-brand version or copycat version. This is what I used - http://www.petco.com/product/108340/Zil ... SiteSearch The second one looks nice too though, and you can clearly see there's two outlets in it, which is nice in case you discover that it takes two lamps to keep her warm enough.

For me, I never had a problem with Lily bugging her thermometer or thermostat probes, or even seeming to notice them at all. So I just taped her thermostat probe against the coroplast on the inside of her cage, about at the middle of the front of the cage. I taped one of her thermometer probes down a little ways from it, then taped the other one on the back of the cage, and on the other side from the first thermometer probe. That seemed to give me pretty good readings & keep her cage evenly heated. I've also seen a few people just drop the probe through the top bars and let it hang about halfway down into the cage, but if it's too near to the CHE lamp, that may mess up its readings, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the helpful replies! :)
Apparently theres a big pet store in a nearby town so I'm going to look for a CHE and thermostat there first before I order one off ebay.
I'll probably post a picture of the setup once I have everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick follow up. The pet store didn't have what I needed, so I ordered a 100 watt CHE, a 150 watt ceramic light fixture, a dual plug digital thermostat, and a digital thermometer.
All the stuff should arrive by the end of the month just in time for winter. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A tip in regards to light for your hedgehog: Make sure the light you use isn't too bright. The bulb I was using at first was 1600 lumens and it seems at that brightness my hedgie couldn't sleep (she kept hissing every few seconds). I switched to a 600 lumen bulb and that seems better. I ordered a 7 watt LED bulb off ebay thats rated for 420 Lumens, so that should be bright enough for her to notice while dim enough for her to sleep comfortably. Not to mention the LED bulb uses a 3rd the energy as a CFL ;) think green after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So the past few days its been pretty warm. But today it got really cold and I checked on my hedgie and she was trying to hibernate (again). Ugh. I hope the heating supplies get here soon. For now I replaced the CFL bulb in the lamp I use for her 14 hours of light with an incandescent light to give her a bit more heat. I wrapped her in a t-shirt of mine and put her on a heating pad to warm her up. I'll probably put the heating pad under her cage once she's warmed up.
 
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