Unique Barn Lighting to Fit Your Budget
How is the lighting in and out of your barn? Do you have dimly lit areas that never see the light of day? Can you clearly see your horse when you’re in the stall with him? If your barn is in need of better lighting, read on. I have some truly 'enlightening' ideas that will not only brighten things up, but turn your barn into 'day light' any time of the day or year!
Poor barn lighting in a barn is often over looked by many horse owners. Once the barn is built or after you have moved to a new barn, you just become accustomed to the lack of good lighting. Without being able to see clearly in your barn, you may be over looking many aspects of proper care for your horse, some of which are:
IN YOUR STALLS
- Grooming properly, being able to thoroughly see your horse (on both sides)
- Cleaning stalls completely without out a 'build up' over time
- Seeing if your horse is eating all of its grain, feed and drinking enough water.
- Allowing vets, equine dentists-the experts that you may need, to be able to evaluate your horse properly
- Keeping isle completely free of baling twine, small debris- such as nails even from your farrier
- Being able to see when you turn out, bring in and evaluate your horses
- Making sure brushes, hoof picks, your tools are where they belong
- Being able to assess any hydrants, hoses, tractors, spreaders or equipment for horses
IN FEED ROOMS, HAY ROOMS, TACK ROOMS
- Checking feed and hay to be sure that it's clean (not moldy).
- Being sure that your tack is in good order, being able to see to clean it
- Making sure in any room or in your barn that you're not having a mouse or rat problem before it gets out of hand
- Being able to assess how much feed you have and when you need to order so that you don't run out
INDOOR RIDING ARENAS
- Proper lighting allows you to ride more freely to see your horses movement ?
- "Quick-On" lighting saves time and money
- Making sure you can see to evaluate your footing ?
- Having the ability to see clearly both day and night
- Good light is needed where you go in and out of your barn as well as where your horses are lead in and out
- Good lighting helps you to keep an eye on your barn at night
- If you turn out your horses at night, it's important to be able to see footing and help to avoid horses from spooking
- Proper lighting is a big help when you load or unload horses early A.M. or after night falls.
I have personally been in barns with poor lighting and know the significant difference of having a barn that is well lit. State of the art technology lighting saves energy and resembles natural day light! You can replace your inefficient, incandescent or high-intensity lighting. With Ramm Agricultural lighting systems you can use about 50% less energy than HID's * and incandescent lighting which will relieve strain on our already stressed electricity grid. That actually helps prevent toxic green-house gases - because you are not using the same amount of energy!
Moreover, you will gain a natural 'day light' effect in your barn! That lighting, for me - as well as many very satisfied customers - makes all the difference in the world with anything done in the barn!
RAMM Agriculture lighting has been used in over 1,000 indoor arenas and twice as many barns.
These lights are used in Vet and breeding facilities, coliseums and stall barns. The AG fixtures are 'the safest in the market". They are cool burning with the ballasts and lamps sealed in a self-extinguishing poly-carbonate shell with no exposed wiring. The fixtures are free of rusting parts, important in ammonia rich environments common in horse barns. The lens on the stall fixture is made of high impact, shatterproof lexan. All parts of the fixture are replaceable!
They are affordable and economical to operate. "You cannot afford NOT to buy them. This is ONE thing that you are going to put in your horse barn that is guaranteed to make you money!" The fixtures will pay for themselves within 6 to 12 months and continue to generate income for your farm in years to come! The lights come on INSTANTLY in the winter and provide daylight quality light in the night hours and the long dreary winter months!
Horse owners who breed and/or show have special needs.
They need to manage heat cycles and control hair growth. Because of the full spectrum daylight lamps in the fixture, a single stall light will provide enough light to cycle a mare and control hair growth. One good tip is to also check with your local energy provider to see if rebates are available in your area. By implementing energy-efficient products like Ramm lighting systems, rebates may be available to you!
In my barn, I wanted to be sure that I could see well and save even further, when I used the Ramm Ag lights. We installed the RL 300- 4' light in each stall (6 on each side of the aisle) and then a row of lights down the center of the aisle. Our light switches were set up so that could turn off one side of the barn or the other, just the aisle, or every other light in the aisle. This may sound a bit over the top, but trust me, I use all the options depending on what time of the year it is! The lighting is beyond what I have ever had in a barn and I can see clearly in every area-day or night. Its especially nice during cloudy storm days or during winters shorter daylight months. We set up lights in our indoor so that half of the indoor could be lit or both sides.
We have had several clinics, including Lynn Palm and her husband Cyril and Kenny Harlow. All the professionals told us that we had a beautiful arena - and the lighting was great no matter what time of day!
We used the highest output RL300, 4'-3 lamp sealed fixtures throughout our barn and arena. They are instant on at 0 degrees F, and are full spectrum, daylight quality lighting. The recommended mounting height is 10'-14'. These lights have 800 watts of light with only 84 consumed. The fiberglass housing is designed for WET locations so that rusting does not occur. A gasketed and enclosed fixture seals out not only moisture but dust and bugs- that's huge in my book! The lamps (light bulbs) are 3 high-performance, T8 - 5,000 Kelvin temperature 30.000 hour lamps
Enlightening tips! We have found that by installing two 4' lights on the wall-not on the ceiling- of a wash/grooming area, it makes grooming a breeze!
If your horse is sick or suffers from an injury, good lighting is essential for accurate assessments of his condition.
You need good light to see if the whites of his eyes are truly white or have a sickly tinge. Also you need to check his gums to see if they are normal pink. Good lighting can help you make these determinations quickly in instances when time counts.
Incandescent light bulbs are a common cause of barn fires. Old wiring and cheap sockets meant for 60 watt bulbs get hot when you try to improve the lighting by using 100 watt bulbs. These bulbs are hot, fragile, prone to breakage and shorting when used in barn conditions with wide temperature changes and moisture fluctuations.
There are several models to choose from. A popular lamp true that we carry is called the RL100 - Jelly Light. Its fixture is in the shape of a 'layer cake' and uses 36 watts to produce light equivalent to 200 incandescent watts without glare or shadows. The light produced when hung 10' high over the center of a 12 x12 ' stall has been determined to be sufficient for breeding-season manipulation and winter coat suppression.
No matter how small or large your barn is, proper lighting is necessary for daily equine care! When you add new fixtures in your barn that simulates daylight - you will be so surprised with the outcome! You will not only be able to see much easier, but I also feel it changes the entire 'attitude' of the barn! I hope you give this new lighting a try. It worked for myself, and I'm sure it will work for you!
* HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. It refers to lighting technology that requires an electrical charge to ignite xenon gas contained in a sealed bulb. It is similar to common vapor filled stressed lamps. HID lighting doesn't have a filament. It creates light by igniting an arc between tow electrodes. This produces an intense white light that is produced by the electrical discharge. HID lamps are also called xenon lamps - that refers to a gas inside the lamp. HID general lighting has been used for years in sports arenas and stadiums around the country.
Debbie has over 45 years experience with horses and equine-related businesses. She has owned, trained, boarded horses and run stables at various times in her career. She is a certified fence installer, has given balanced riding lessons, and has shown horses in Western, Western Pleasure, Trail, English, Hunter/Jumper, Fox Hunting, Hunter Trials, Dressage and driving classes. Debbie has been involved in foaling, and just about every aspect of horse ownership possible, and she welcomes your questions and comments. If you are interested in using any articles by Debbie, please send her an email.
RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. makes every effort to provide reliable and useful information on horse health, care and products. The statements made on this website are based on years of experience with horses, however, they are based on generalized situations and should not replace diagnosis or treatment by a veterinarian or consultation by a professional. RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. does not assume any legal responsibility. Readers should always consult qualified health care providers for specific diagnosis and treatment.