Classic Equine Connection

Keep light in your barn during dark days

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Nov 3, 2021 3:55:42 PM

As the days start to get shorter with corresponding longer nights, now is a good time to start thinking of additional lighting in your barn to help chase away the gloom of the darkness for both you and your horse. Horse’s eyes are sensitive to weak light. Their eyes don’t have the ability to adjust to darkness quickly, which is why they will often refuse to enter a dark building. In addition, shadows and poorly lit areas make stall cleaning cumbersome and inhibit observation and care. A combination of individual stall and general aisle way lighting is preferred. Place fixtures where they won’t create shadows for the horse when he enters his stall.

Classic Equine Equipment Window GrillsFor natural lighting, provide a minimum of 4 square feet of window space in each stall. There are a variety of window styles from which you can select. Many come with grills or yokes to help keep your horse’s nose out of places it shouldn’t be. Glass windows should be either out of reach (generally above 7 feet) or protected by sturdy bars or mesh.

Big barns require big lights – standard residential type lights are typically too small for larger barns and do not provide enough light. Dusk-to-Dawn Halogens are often installed over entryways for general lighting and safety purposes. Select fixtures based on where they will be used; as some areas in the barn will be more dusty and some areas (wash bays) will be wet. Typically, vapor tight fixtures are suggested in wet areas for safety and durability. 

Using lights in strategic places can also help with security.Classic Equine Equipment Lighting Install lights at farm entrances and around barn doors. Either leave them on from dusk to dawn or install motion detection lights to alert you of intruders. Remember, however, that motion sensors can also be tripped by your barn cat or other animals.

In order for the lights (and other equipment) to work you need adequate electricity. All electrical wiring should be housed in a metal or hard plastic conduit since rodents may chew unprotected wires, creating a fire hazard. A metal conduit can be used, but has the tendency to rust. Plan enough circuits, outlets and fixtures so switches are within easy reach. Locate switches so lights can be turned on and off at two convenient locations, usually at either end of the barn. Install outlets approximately every 15 feet on both sides of the aisle. Light switches should be four feet up from the floor and outlets should be 13-15 inches off the floor (or as required by code).

Consider lighting in other areas of your barn as well. Common places are the wash/grooming areas, feed room and tack room. Classic Equine Equipment offers a variety of lighting options for both internal and external use. Help keep you and your horse safe and happy during the dark winter months.

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