Hi. My 2 year old ball python is about 2.5ft - 3ft long and is living in a wooden viv with glass panel doors on the front. the viv is about4 ft in length, 1.5 ft deep and 3 ft high. i have a lamp attached tothe ceiling to the right of the viv for heating with a 60watt incandescent bulb in and on the right side of the tank at the back, i have a large heat mat(inside the viv). Well, i worry about using the lamp because i worry the snake will burn himself on it, so i want to provide heating solely from heat mats.

i want to put another heatmat on the right side of the viv and one on the floor, so that there are 3 heat mats in the hot area (right half of the viv). Is this sufficient/too much/too little heating? Are heat mats 100% (or near enough) safe? I would use the lamp for heating but i have found him climbing on it and worry he would do so if it was on and burn himself.
All ideas and comments welcome.
Gremlin Dude
I firmly believe that snakes need belly heat for proper digestion & use heat mats as my sole source of heat for my snake vivariums. However I control their ambient temps by adjusting the herp rooms' temps. Many people don't have the convience of having rooms solely devoted to herpetoculture. If I didn't have a herp rooms I'd use another method of heat in addition to the heat mats. In my experience heat mats haven't raised the vivarium's ambient temps significantly but obviously much depends on the room's ambient temps. snake lady
My experience has been exactly the same...the vivarium temp doesn't increase much, just the localized heat. What I do to "regulate" heating pad temps is to use pieces of cardboard inside the viv, directly over the pad and then newspaper as a substrate over the top of that.
Also, it's very important that there's air flow on the bottom of the viv (raise it up a half inch if need be) so temps don't get too hot. No air flow IOW, an enclosed space can dramatically raise the localized temps and burn the snakes.

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
I use both heat light and heat mat for my royal.
I was told when I bought him that royals need a heat light for basking. I don't think there's much risk of my Jasper being burnt as he seems to spend 99.99% of his time in the tank curled up under his wood hide

Taking him out from under his hide = Jaspie rapidly sliding back under the hide
When I used a hollow log hide with him I occasionally used to find him lying on the ledge under the lid of the tank (only times he used to go near the light), but he got too big for the log, it was hard to get him out when he was curled up inside it and I started having to poke him in the side from one end to take him move to the other end, that was before I discovered it was quicker to shake him out.
You may be able to get mesh housing for the bulb to stop your royal coming in contact with it