Led lighting in the stable to save energy and improve animal welfare.
Professione Allevatore (L. Acerbis)
Barn illumination is often identified just with the aspect of the photoperiod. Instead, a good lighting, studied according to the needs of the cows, can make the difference. The classical neon lights used in the stable, accentuate the contrast between illuminated and shaded areas and, by their physical characteristics, produce an imperceptible flicker that disturbs the cows, generating apprehension and insecurity.
Innovation, performance improvement and animal welfare proceed in synergy in this case: a new led lighting is availabele, whose prototype has already been built and tested, giving excellent results in efficiency and behavior of the herd. The led system, being integrated with lenses, has a double advantage on the quality of the light and on the diffusion way, creating a more homogeneous illumination. Led light is at 4000°K, similar to those of the sun at midday and it hasn't the typical flicker of the fuorescent tube, which makes cows nervous. The chromatic yield is equal to 93-95% against 75-80% of the fluorescent tube, therefore much closer to the solar one (100%). The lenses offer tangential lighting, concentrated on the manger, not to disturb the rest area, where leds are installed too, but in a reduced number. A possible evolution is to install an illumination system similar to the moon lights, just on the rest area or to use during the night. For the operators, it is possible to benefit from extra lighting in the feed passage when it is necessary to carry out particular operations of barn management. The key funcion of the system is achieved in the milking parlor: the pit is perfectly illuminated, homogeneously, with a temperature of 5000°K such as to enhance the withe color and therefore to facilitate the observation of milk defects, while a bundle of light is oriented in the cow platform right on the breasts line. The whole surrounding area, on the other hand, remains in the dark: this relaxes the cows, speeding up milk release and reducing kicking. Obviously, during the entrance and the exit of the group from the hall, lighting of the whole room is provided.
Replacing the barn and milking parlor lighting system is certainly an important investment, but there is a return for the farmer saving immediately on the lighting costs and improving animal welfare, that consequently let increase performance and health of the herd.
Here the full article: