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Best Leopard Gecko Thermostat And Setup Guide

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A thermostat is an essential device in your leopard gecko enclosure that will monitor and regulate the temperature of the heat mat. The thermostat comes with a temperature probe, which is used to monitor the temperature. You control the temperature settings to ensure your leopard gecko has a comfortable habitat. The thermostat will turn off when the temperature recorded by the probe reaches a desired temperature, or it will lower the voltage to reduce the heat, based on the type of thermostat you use.

This device is imperative to your leopard gecko’s health and habitat, as heat pads are known to overheat from time to time and it can happen at any time. The heating pads do not come with temperature controls, so they stay on until you physically turn them off, making it difficult to maintain a desired temperature without the assistance of a reptile thermostat.

In a Hurry? Here's Our Top Picks...

Our Pick

Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Thermostat

  • Temperature control range: 50ºF - 120ºF
  • Can control both heating devices (e.g. heat mat) and cooling devices (e.g. fan)
  • Probe with 6 foot cable
  • Control up to 600 Watts of heating devices and 150 Watts of cooling devices
  • Built-in memory
  • Alarm feature

BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller

  • Temperature control range: 32ºF - 140ºF
  • Affordable price
  • Simple 3 button interface
  • Probe with 6 foot cable
  • Control up to 1000 Watts

EXO-TERRA Electronic ON/Off Thermostat

  • Temperature control range: 68ºF to 95ºF
  • Control up to 100 Watts
  • Probe with 6 foot cable, waterproof

VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

  • Temperature control range: 40ºF to 108ºF
  • Control up to 1000 Watts
  • Simple 3 button interface
  • Probe with 6 foot cable
  • Come with a hanging tab

Zacro Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

  • Temperature control range: 41ºF to 108ºF
  • Control up to 1000 Watts
  • Simple 3 button interface
  • Probe with 6 foot cable

What Type of Thermostat for a Leopard Gecko Tank?

There are three main thermostat types for reptiles. Each one works differently to control the temperature, making them suitable for a variety of applications.

On/Off Thermostats

The on/off thermostat is ideal for leopard geckos and is suited for controlling the heat mat you have placed under your gecko enclosure. The good news is that these are also the cheapest. They use a probe to check temperatures at regular intervals and then turn the heat mat on or off to reach the desired programmed temperature. The probe should be placed where it cannot be moved accidentally for accurate temperature management.

The on/off thermostat is the easiest to use and understand thermostat that will control your heat mat to the temperature you set it to. When the temperature inside the enclosure reaches your chosen temperature, it turns the heat mat off and on again when it reaches your minimum temperature settings.

Pulse Thermostats

These are also suitable for leopard geckos and are often used to control heat mats and ceramic heat emitters. They offer good control by using a probe to check the temperature and changing the frequency of the pulses to increase or decrease the temperature.

These thermostats are great for controlling non light emitting heat sources such as ceramic heat emitters/bulbs. They are also suitable for more accurate control of heat mats where precise temperatures are important, such as in incubators. Can also be used with leopard gecko enclosure.

The pulse thermostat is a higher level thermostat that is more complex than the on/off thermostat. These usually come with higher range options, allowing for higher temperature levels.

Dimming Thermostats

A dimming thermostat is an expensive option that is used to control lighting and heating sources. Dimming thermostats are very similar to the pulse thermostat, but they reduce the amount of energy being sent rather than sending packets of energy. This helps them reduce the temperature of the heat mat to provide accurate enclosure temperature control. These thermostats work by offering a set amount of electricity to the heat mat, causing the heat source to increase or decrease the temperature to maintain a comfortable habitat for your reptile pet. Due to the cost of these thermostats, they are more cost effective to use with lighting sources than heat sources.

Best Leopard Gecko Thermostat

BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller

This heat mat thermostat is easy for us with a simple setup using a temperature probe. It offers a digital display and the convenience to choose Fahrenheit or Celsius. The LED indicator lights let you see the status of the thermostat with a quick glance. It has a grounded three prong plug and a long cord of six feet for convenience. It is safe, reliable, and offers a temperature range of between 40 and 108ºF.

Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Thermostat

The Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Thermostat is a lightweight device that can control temperatures from 50ºF to 122ºF. This is an on/off thermostat with a temperature probe on a long six foot cable. This thermostat can control up to six hundred watts of heating devices with built-in memory to store settings in event of power failure. The thermostat offers the added convenience of an alarm which flashes and sounds in the event temperature go too high or too low. This thermostat weighs only one pound and measures 3” x 7” x 7.5”.

EXO-TERRA Electronic ON/Off Thermostat

The thermostat from Exo Terra is a sleek black box with LED light. This on/off thermostat helps to accurately control the temperature of your heat mat with a waterproof sensor. The thermostat can control up to one hundred watts. The temperature setting is recessed, which eliminates the risk of tampering. The thermostat weighs 14.11 ounces and measures 8.07” x 7.87” x 1.87”.

VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

This reliable thermostat helps to regulate and maintain your chosen temperature in your leopard gecko enclosure. It controls temperatures ranging from 40ºF to 108ºF. The senor probe helps you monitor the temperature within the enclosure accurately. Made from high quality construction, the components are designed with the reduced risk of corrosion, reducing the risk of malfunctioning. Choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius, it has a clear display, smooth edges, and can provide you with peace of mind when it comes to controlling your leopard geckos heat mat.

Zacro Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

The Zacro Digital Heat Mat Thermostat will help you maintain optimal temperatures in your leopard gecko enclosure. It includes a bright LED display, which is very easy to read it provides precise temperature control between 41ºF and 108ºF, along with the option of Fahrenheit or Celsius. Easy plug in operation with three prong grounded plug.

Leopard Gecko Thermostat Setup

heat mat setup with glass tank

Leopard gecko thermostat setup in a glass tank

The setting up of the thermostat with a heat mat isn't a difficult task if you carry out the process properly. Simply follow these easy steps:

Heat Mat Placement

If your heat mat isn't already installed, you will want to do that first. The heat mat should be placed under the glass bottom of your enclosure. If you have a wooden enclosure, you will place the heat mat on the inside. Remove the wax paper on the heating mat and stick to the underside of the enclosure. Ensure there is a gap to allow adequate airflow. If your tank doesn't have an airflow space underneath, use the feet provided to lift the tank slightly. Place your tank in the location where you intend to keep it.

Connect The Heat Mat With The Thermostat

The next step is to plug your heat mat power cable into the socket on the thermostat. This now puts the thermostat in control of monitoring and maintaining the mat temperature to ensure your leopard gecko remains happy and healthy.

Once you have the heat mat plugged into the thermostat, you can plug the thermostat into your mains power. Most thermostats come with a long power cord, enabling you to position the thermostat next to the enclosure, somewhere where you can keep an eye on the display to ensure that it is working properly.

Thermostat Probe Placement

Cover the bottom of the enclosure in substrate before placing the thermostat probe on top of the substrate, on the side where you have the heat mat. Ensure you place the probe in a way it cannot accidentally be bumped or moved as your gecko moves around.

Do not put your remote sensor directly on the heat mat, always put a layer of substrate down.

Thermostat Temperature Setting

In your leopard gecko enclosure, you need to create a temperature gradient from the cool side to the warm side. Cool side temperature should range from 75ºF to 80ºF. Warm side temperature should be between 85ºF and 95ºF. 

To archive the ideal temperature in your leopard gecko tank, you can set the thermostat temperature between 90ºF and 95ºF. You may need to play around with the temperatures slightly to ensure you achieve the best temperatures inside the terrarium. Remember to always use a digital thermometer as well, for added peace of mind.

Conclusion

As a leopard gecko owner, you want to provide your reptile pet with the best habit where it can live happily for many years, bearing in mind that these geckos can live up to twenty years or more in captivity. A thermostat is an essential piece of kit that will give you peace of mind when it comes to maintaining the optimum temperatures inside the enclosure.

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