LED Lighting in Farming
LED lighting is a fantastic lighting solution for almost all businesses - financial savings and a reduced carbon footprint can only be a good thing! This is especially true in the farming sector, be that livestock or horticulture. When working with nature, it pays to be green and along with all of the undeniable benefits that come with LED lighting - low energy, long-lasting, low heat and significantly cheaper bills - they have a few amazing and perhaps unexpected advantages for animals and plants.
Much like it has for us human beings, LED lighting has been proven to increase productivity in livestock and improve animal wellbeing. It’s particularly beneficial for chicken farms. Chickens get very little vision from incandescent bulbs as strangely, in their eyes, they appear as a barcode with half the information missing. Combined with the bulbs low frequency, this causes the bird stress as it is having to use its brain to guess the missing information. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to see why these lights have been linked to problems with bird behaviour such as bird-to-bird aggression.
With LED lamps however, the light is evenly distributed and is the closest alternative to natural light, creating a calmer and more productive environment for poultry. With happier chickens, comes a higher quantity and quality of eggs that have been proven to develop at a faster rate than under traditional light sources.
The effect is similar in dairy farms. Research shows that LED lights have a positive impact on cow’s health, fertility, welfare and productivity, to the point where milk production has been found to increase by 6%.
LED lighting and plants are a match made in heaven for many different reasons. LEDs have the ability to stimulate plant growth by up to 40% and they can operate as normal in very hot or cold temperatures. They help to create a low-pressure, controlled environment where more fruit and vegetables can be produced with shorter grow cycles in any climate necessary.
However, perhaps the biggest benefit LED lighting holds for horticulture is that it can alter the way a plant grows. 90% of plant genes are regulated by light so by changing the light spectrum, farmers can change and improve the taste, quality, aroma and nutritional value of their fruit and vegetables. Through this, farmers can ensure that the taste of their produce is consistent throughout the year, meaning off-season fruit and vegetables can be a thing of the past. It’s also possible to improve the strike rate of plant cuttings, taking the number of plants from the root from 20% to nearly 100%, making a huge saving on labour and materials.
To see for yourself, our LED lighting calculator can really bring to light the benefits. Let’s say for example that your dairy farm is 10,000 square feet and contains 500 lights, all at 40 wattage. Based on a typical £0.1 kilowatt per hour, your existing electricity consumption stands at 368 kWh, leaving your running costs per year at £13,432.
By switching to LED lighting, your new electricity consumption, (based on a 50% reduction over your current lighting installation wattage required for farming use), would be 184 kWh, with your running costs halved at a much lower £6,716 with your CO2 emissions savings left at 28,878.8 (based on a conversation factor of 0.43kgCO2/kWh).
The pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint is increasing all of the time, with many green regulations and solutions already in place for businesses to follow. LED lighting is a fantastic place to start going the extra mile as you’ll be taking important steps to working in a more environmentally friendly way whilst reaping the numerous benefits.
So, you’ve used our LED lighting calculator and estimated the savings your farm could make by switching to an LED solution. Making the change could not be easier as LED’s can simply be retrofitted into existing fixtures. If you have any further questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to contact INUI on 01509 266355 or [email protected].