CFL bulb "shades" and effects on my birds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by groundpecker, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. groundpecker

    groundpecker Songster

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    I have glanced over a few other threads concerning lighting schemes in coops, but have noticed no discussions about different "shades" of CFL bulbs. I would like to discuss my experiment with different "shades" of CFL bulbs and the effects on my birds.

    First of all, i have 5 breeds of chickens and coturnix quail, the lighting schemes and effects below are the same for all.

    My lighting scheme turns on at 4;30 am and goes off at 7:30 am.around October after most of the moulting is over. I light my whole run(s), not just in the coop, with 23w CFL bulbs. The lights shine through the windows/doors and the birds become active.

    If you look on the box of CFL bulbs, you may see a number followed by a *k. This is what i call "shade" in layman terms. The *k value starts off low as orange shade and works its way to white then blue being the highest *k numbers.

    In the past i used 100watt edison bulbs with some success, but using 5 100w edison bulbs (not counting my brooders) adds to the electric bill quickly. So last winter i decided to switch to CFL bulbs.

    Last winter i used 2700*k bulbs which is more towards the orange side of the light spectrum. My birds layed decently, but were not very active until natural daylight took over.

    This winter, i am using 5000*k bulbs, which is a balance of blue and white in the light spectrum. My birds are laying more, the roos crow more, and the birds are noticeably more active than the 2700*k bulbs or the old edison type. They seem happier, so this is the "shade" i will continue to use from now on.

    I am no expert at writing lighting or electricity, so excuse me if everything is not correct.. I have tried to make this easy as possible to understand without all the "scientific jargon" i could have researched.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There was a book written specifically on the research of poultry lighting that's out of print but I'm trying to get a copy.
    From what I've learned so far, chickens see more color spectrums than humans so I don't think the color matters much.
    I also know that chickens can see the flicker that comes from flourescent lamps so that may bother them.
    I've used cfls and fl tubes to save energy the last few years but I may go back to incandescent because of this.
    If you've ever seen flourescent lighting powered at 50 hz. you know the flicker I'm talking about.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

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