Most fluorescent llightbulbs can't be dimmed, unless they are specially made for dimming, which will be listed on the package.
I think the dimming ones are the types used in houses for lamps, etc. If you're using the long t-type bulbs, I'd bet they aren't dimmable...one option is to have the lights on different circuits, so you could shut them off one by one, dimming that way.
You can use any timer to shut them on or off, and if the lights are dimmable, then any dimming timer should work.
I don't worry about the lights going out and leaving the chickens in the dark at night. By that time, mine are already up on the roost. The get used to the times that the lights come on and go off. We don't have the coop brightly lit, anyway. Plus, the chickens can see that it's dark outside, through the windows. The coop has a cozy feeling, like it's getting late and time to wind down for the day. It's not like a brightly lit office building or store. They wander around in the coop in the evening, eating and drinking for awhile. Eventually they get up on the roost and rest for the night, even though the light is still on. We watch them on the coop cam. Other chickens might behave differently. This is just how ours behave.
I am having power run to my coop.
My plan is similar but different.
I am putting the low voltage rope lights around the ceiling and plugging those into a timer. I will have a main light that will be a regular light on a switch control.
I plan to just have the rope lights on for the chickens and the main light fixture for us humans.
Hi, After reading this post my question is why the rope lights? Are they gonna be on all night? If so, when do the girls get to sleep? Mine are in total darkness from sunset until sunrise and seem to like the down time. Is it an egg production thing? Just curious. Learning.
The rope lights are going to be on during the day only. They consume less electricity. I don't really worry about the egg production since I will have more eggs than my small family can possibly eat. It is, for me anyway, my way of making sure that there will be enough lighted time that they eat well even on the gloomiest of days.