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Thread: lighting for dairy cows

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    lighting for dairy cows

    Hoping to upgrade to 200lux lighting but what is the best sodium lights from agri light or leds from intershape. Thinking the leds will be cheaper to run and last longer. What do others think?

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Im not going to bombard your with facts but the idea that LED lighting is cheaper run is untrue, please see below

    Agrilight HPS 400w fixture produces 56500 lumens of light , this equates to 142 lumens per watt
    LED fixures are typically 140w producing 11500 lumens, equating to 82 lumens per watt

    Now if you have a building 180 ft long by 68ft wide that you want to light at 200 lux, this will require approx total luminous flux of 530000.

    10No. agrilights will produce enough light at 565000 lumens with a total power load of 4000w or 4kw.
    Now to light the same shed in LED will require 46No. led fixtures producing 529000 lumens with a total power load of 46 x 140w= 6440watts or 6.4kw

    Anyone wishing to discuss the matter further, please don't hesitate to call me on 07732348225

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    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Agree with the above.

    LEDs are very good "spotlights" but you need a strong diffuse light for the theory to work. We run 400w HPS lights and the working light is great. Not harsh at all.

    With a lot of chatter in the renewables field about battery technology being commercially viable in 2 years or so, running these in conjunction with a solar PV system is something we are looking at very strongly so it will take a lot of the cost out (?)

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Cowcare I take on board what you are saying but surely the sodium lights will decrease in intensity over time which will reduce the lux at cow level. I think I might get my hands on a lux meter and visit a few sheds to see for myself. Can you get the sodium lights in white light rather than yellow? Yellow makes it harder to see blood in cubicles.

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    I've just fitted the intershape ones to our new cubicle house, had all the concerns of above about LED problems. But having seen them in dark for first time last night, the light is bright and very diffuse. Going to be nice to work under, even in moon light mode, not glaring or harsh as I had worried.

    We we have two rows just back from the feed barrier, according to lux meter 204lux at barrier and still 150lux in the cubicle facing out the shed. Shed is 34m wide, central feed passage and two single rows of cubicle on both outer edge's of building.

    I'm a fan so far, but yet to put cows in it and yet to find how long they actually last. But having seen one unit where they have used 100's of double strip lights in building it can't be any more maintainence than that lot!!!

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    I'm thinking along the same lines Turboman, I was under the impression that the 'yellow' light from the sodium fittings is supposed to be better for the cows??

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    We have one 10w LED spot above the robot on a sensor so comes on at night. We are on our third one they only last around 10 mths, there is no moisture for them to come in contact with. They should last for 40,000 hrs, any idea why they are failing?

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Check the ip rating that its up to the job. Ideally around ip 65 for livestock housing. If its an ip rating down in 20s then its probably not going to last.

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by COWCARE SYSTEMS View Post
    Im not going to bombard your with facts but the idea that LED lighting is cheaper run is untrue, please see below

    Agrilight HPS 400w fixture produces 56500 lumens of light , this equates to 142 lumens per watt
    LED fixures are typically 140w producing 11500 lumens, equating to 82 lumens per watt

    Now if you have a building 180 ft long by 68ft wide that you want to light at 200 lux, this will require approx total luminous flux of 530000.

    10No. agrilights will produce enough light at 565000 lumens with a total power load of 4000w or 4kw.
    Now to light the same shed in LED will require 46No. led fixtures producing 529000 lumens with a total power load of 46 x 140w= 6440watts or 6.4kw

    Anyone wishing to discuss the matter further, please don't hesitate to call me on 07732348225
    Roughly what's the costs involved per light?

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    [QUOTE=Turboman;246365]Hoping to upgrade to 200lux lighting but what is the best sodium lights from agri light or leds from intershape. Thinking the leds will be cheaper to run and last longer. What do others think?[/QUOTE

    Try the VES Day Lighter induction bulb, available from www.wynnstay.co.uk, brightest I've ever seen and waterproof so can be power washed.

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    It's interesting to read that farmers in America have replaced sodium lights with the ves day lighters.

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Turboman View Post
    It's interesting to read that farmers in America have replaced sodium lights with the ves day lighters.
    Possibly because it needs more wattage with sodium to get to 200 lux?

    However, VES is a white light so is a much harsher light to work in and would make for deeper shadows. Personally I like the sodium



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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    [QUOTE=sirbillyofweobley;246654]
    Quote Originally Posted by Turboman View Post
    Hoping to upgrade to 200lux lighting but what is the best sodium lights from agri light or leds from intershape. Thinking the leds will be cheaper to run and last longer. What do others think?[/QUOTE

    Try the VES Day Lighter induction bulb, available from www.wynnstay.co.uk, brightest I've ever seen and waterproof so can be power washed.
    Have you a link to the page, couldnt find on the website

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    I know the led lights from intershape can be ordered in a choice of light colours.

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    We are at the point of fitting new lights to our recently refurbished cowhouse (new roof) and the debate came around to the 8 hour dark period. I know the fancy lights have a built-in red LED in which cows cannot see, but we can see the cows, a neighbour who has recently put up a completely new cowhouse reckons he wants to have a couple of pendant light fittings left on with energy saving bulbs so that the cows can still see to move around the shed and possibly avoid tramped teats.

    Has anyone with these lighting systems installed, having the 8 hours of complete darkness, encountered any problems of that kind?

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Could do with some brighter lights in our cow shed to, currently have 60w low energy bulbs which are not great and stay on all night. How does the 8 hrs of darkness work with robots? Do you keep a light on in the robot area or do the cows visit as normal in the dark?

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballygreenan View Post
    We are at the point of fitting new lights to our recently refurbished cowhouse (new roof) and the debate came around to the 8 hour dark period. I know the fancy lights have a built-in red LED in which cows cannot see, but we can see the cows, a neighbour who has recently put up a completely new cowhouse reckons he wants to have a couple of pendant light fittings left on with energy saving bulbs so that the cows can still see to move around the shed and possibly avoid tramped teats.

    Has anyone with these lighting systems installed, having the 8 hours of complete darkness, encountered any problems of that kind?
    Quote Originally Posted by yin ewe View Post
    Could do with some brighter lights in our cow shed to, currently have 60w low energy bulbs which are not great and stay on all night. How does the 8 hrs of darkness work with robots? Do you keep a light on in the robot area or do the cows visit as normal in the dark?
    Ballygreenan - Often the red light is a stand alone fixture (although it does look like the Lely lights incorporate the red lights, in fact they do not). Yin Ewe - the best solution is to put a strip light in the hood of the robot so it is always lit. That way, you can do away with the red light altogether

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    Ballygreenan - Often the red light is a stand alone fixture (although it does look like the Lely lights incorporate the red lights, in fact they do not). Yin Ewe - the best solution is to put a strip light in the hood of the robot so it is always lit. That way, you can do away with the red light altogether
    I know you're running a herd of first calved heifers Bald Rick, but have you had any problems with the girls not being able to see around in the 'dark'? I'm half contemplating leaving a couple of ordinary bulbs runing all night if needs be, but then perhaps this dilutes the positive impact of the 8 hours of darkness?? I'm confused.com!!!

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    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballygreenan View Post
    I know you're running a herd of first calved heifers Bald Rick, but have you had any problems with the girls not being able to see around in the 'dark'? I'm half contemplating leaving a couple of ordinary bulbs runing all night if needs be, but then perhaps this dilutes the positive impact of the 8 hours of darkness?? I'm confused.com!!!
    No problems at all because the robot hood strip lights throw enough out to guide them. Of the six red lights that went in, only 2 are working now as they are very sensitive to power surges.

    Perhaps just light the hood & have a look for a few nights. Can always add at a later date but the science behind this lighting suggests that cows need 8 hours of darkness in any case. Maybe their night vision is sufficient enough for the hungry ones to make their way to the feed fence and others to the robots?

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballygreenan View Post
    I know you're running a herd of first calved heifers Bald Rick, but have you had any problems with the girls not being able to see around in the 'dark'? I'm half contemplating leaving a couple of ordinary bulbs runing all night if needs be, but then perhaps this dilutes the positive impact of the 8 hours of darkness?? I'm confused.com!!!
    I have 8 hours complete darkness and the other morning when I landed to milk they were all in a heap on top of other, might have to get miners lamps for them now!

    Most nights isn't completely pitch black, and if your out in it a wile your eyes soon adjust, Thought the idea of complete darkness was to encourage them to lay down for longer, seems top work for mine as I have noticed more laying down at at time.

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    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    I have 8 hours complete darkness and the other morning when I landed to milk they were all in a heap on top of other, might have to get miners lamps for them now!

    Most nights isn't completely pitch black, and if your out in it a wile your eyes soon adjust, Thought the idea of complete darkness was to encourage them to lay down for longer, seems top work for mine as I have noticed more laying down at at time.
    Talking to someone today who was quoting work from an Austrian university that demonstrates that cattle will eat the most between the hours of 10pm to 3am.

    Now I am lost ......

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    Talking to someone today who was quoting work from an Austrian university that demonstrates that cattle will eat the most between the hours of 10pm to 3am.

    Now I am lost ......
    Maybe they like eating in the dark???

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Maybe they like eating in the dark???
    Actually, that's not so stupid. American research shows that cows prefer to be indoors during hours of daylight & outside at night.
    Probably ancestor memories of when they were prey but illuminating (pun intended) nevertheless

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    Re: lighting for dairy cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    Talking to someone today who was quoting work from an Austrian university that demonstrates that cattle will eat the most between the hours of 10pm to 3am.

    Now I am lost ......
    We just have some cheap 7w led lights over the feed trough on at night and 2 strip lights over the top of 3 robots. Never tried complete darkness because it is a low roof so would be really dark.
    Surprising when checking up at night how many cows are moving about, eating and how busy the robots are 2 0clock in the morning.

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