I read that chickens require 12-14 hours of daylight. So I guess light bulbs on a timer in the coop would take care of the extra "daylight" needed. However, does anyone use battery powered lights for additional light in the coop instead of electricity?
battery powered lighting
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First, they don't need that much light. They do however lay better if they have that much light. It depends on the breed. Some are winter layers and some are not.
The rule of thumb is to provide enough light so that you could read the newspaper at the roost height.
Lots of folks do use battery and solar powered lights for that purpose. LED lights are they way to go as well. They use much less power.
The only issue is that you will need a timer that runs off of DC power. They are about $70 last time I looked.
I use solar powered landscape spotlights for additional light for my bantams. They are dusk to dawn, but of course only stay on a few hours in the winter. For backup when the sun don't shine, I have two, one bulb LED stick up lights. They are the ones "as seen on TV" ($9.99 for 3) and take 3 AAA batteries each. They are surprising bright and run 100 hrs. on a set of batteries. I do not have a timer set up, but it works pretty well the way it is.
My husband and I were discussing this very issue: How to light our chicken coop temporarily with battery power. John thought of using the LED light ring that we have, (and never use), to light under our deck umbrella. We discussed whether to mount it on our wall directly opposing the laying boxes, or suspend it from the ceiling joists which have a slant surface facing them. I told him, "I don't want the light glaring down at them, like we are saying, "Heh,heh,heh, heh, heh...Vee know how to MAKE you LAY..." Chickens:), If you couldn't laugh about them, you couldn't stand all the CRAP:)