Coop Lighting and Egglaying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Steve777, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Steve777

    Steve777 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2013
    I was wondering if there is any common wisdom regarding the color temp of the light one uses for increasing the daylight hours during the winter. Is a "daylight" light bulb better than a regular soft white bulb? Any color tints more effective?

    Also, for a small coop (4x8' floor), how many watts is needed to effect the hens and "trick" them into laying again?

    Along the same lines, I am also using a heat lamp to warm the coop during really cold outside temps ( below 10F). I ended up with a clear heat bulb, but there are also red colored ones available. Since this heat bulb is on quite a bit during cold spells, I was wondering if having a white heat light on 24 hours a day will impact the hen's day/night cycle, and if a red bulb would be any better?
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
  3. Steve777

    Steve777 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2013
    Thanks Kelsie. Good articles.

    So it seems that warmer (or "soft white") are better for layers. Does anyone know what incandescent wattage would yield that recommended light level in a small coop though?
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    The very minimum they seem to recommend is .5 fc's at chicken level for laying hens, most seem to recommend 1-1.5 fc minimum, so guess with a 4x8, 32sq/f, you'd only need like 4-5 watt min inc. bulb? Sadly, we usually just go by the "bright enough to read a newspaper" method of light bulb selection.

    Table 2. Light Output of Compact Fluorescent compared to Incandescent Bulbs (in Lumens)
    Incandescent Light Bulbs Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
    Watts Lumens Watts Lumens
    25 270 5 250
    40 510 7 400
    52 780 9 600
    60 860 15 900
    90 1,540 18 1,250
    100 1,680 26 1,800
    1 fc is equal to one lumen per square foot or approximately 10.76 lux
    Lumens - light output from a lamp is measured in the term "lumens" (lm). For example, a 40 watt (W) incandescent light bulb produces about 13 lumens per watt or 13 lm/W.
    Lux or Foot-Candle - the light level at the working surface is measured in lux or foot-candle (fc). [10 lux equals »1 fc] Typical light levels in animal pens and corner areas of barns can be less than 5 lux or ½ fc. Outside on a bright sunny day in mid summer the light level will be around 80,000 lux or 8,000 fc.
    Footcandles & Lumens
    Footcandles (fc) = Total Lumens (lm) ÷ Area in Square Feet
    1 Lux (lx) = 1 Footcandle (fc) x 10.76
    Lux = Total Lumens ÷ Area in Square Meters
  5. rlc3

    rlc3 New Egg

    Nov 30, 2014
    Thank you for this excellent information. My chickens have virtually ceased laying this winter (1-2 eggs/day for 45 hens :-( ). When I add "warm white" lighting to the coop, how long should I expect it to take before they resume laying regularly?
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It will take the article linked in the underlined blue text below to see why.

    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I posted this on another query, this is how I do it, works extremely well, hope it helps:

    There are a lot of opinions on supplementing light to keep the chickens laying during time period where there is less than 12-14 hours of available daylight.

    My coop gets 16 hours of light 351 days per year.

    I turn lights off for 14 days to have birds go into a controlled moult late September .

    Having had to install electricity for the thermostatically controlled water heater, I took advantage and installed a lighting system.

    My system has two timers. The first is set to turn the lights on at 5:30am, off at 9pm.

    Power goes on, passes through a photocell, then to a 300 lumen LED bulb, 4.8 watts, in the 8x8 foot print coop, and 2 4.8 watt LEDs for the 14x14 foot print outside run.

    I light the run because I found the birds huddled outside the coop door in the dark one 5:30am morning...
    They have access to the run 24/7, as it is as secure as the coop.

    The lights are on only when it is dark enough outside to be necessary.
    The time on very closely mimics my Summer Solstice in NJ.

    The second timer is set to go on at 8:30pm, off at 9:30pm, a diffused 200 lumen LED 4 watt bulb.
    This low light allows the birds to settle in before all lights out and 8 hours of darkness.

    This system costs less than $5 per year to operate..
  8. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2013
    Omak, Washington
    My Coop

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