Hooking up light timer

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mendozer, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. mendozer

    mendozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As winter approaches, I want to put a light in my coop. I'm not worried about their warmth, since people in Minnesota go without heat lamps, but I want to give them more light at like 6:30 am and have light till 7 pm. I don't want them under light all the time because I don't want to be commercial-minded, but just extend the day by like 3 hours. Is there a way to have it turn on at 6:30 then off at 8 am, then on again at 4 pm and off at 7 pm? I feel like I may need two timers for this, but if anyone has ideas, I'd love to hear them.

    thanks
     
  2. potluck

    potluck Out Of The Brooder

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    I got a timer that has "pins" on it for multiple settings - I think I got it at Walmart. Works great and has a switch on it if you want to turn the light on when its not programmed to be on.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Most timers at walmart will allow you to set on and off a couple of times a day, just read the package. It is good to set it for early morning say 5 AM, then having it go off in the afternoon by 5 PM before dusk because the chickens will go to roost before the lights go off when they can still see. Some recommend 14 hours a day, but I have done well with 12 hours of light.
     
  4. j3707

    j3707 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can do it with just one - get a wheel/dial type timer that has two sets of on/off clips. You can find them at most hardware stores.
     
  5. mendozer

    mendozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sweet ok. I'm thinking about using a CFL. would that generate heat? Heat's not my biggest concern, again. However, if I'm putting a bulb in there, it's going to be a 40 w incandescent or a 15 watt CFL.
     
  6. chemew

    chemew Out Of The Brooder

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    I've read the light needs to be provide enough light to read by. I had a 40W bulb in my coop but it seemed a little dim. After I changed it to a 60W, I started getting more eggs. It wasn't immediate so I don't know if the hens would have laid the same amount of eggs had I left the 40W inside but it was an interesting coincidence.

    i have it set so the light comes on around 4:30am and then shuts off about 7:30. With it getting dark around 5pm now, they get just over 12 hours of light a day.
     
  7. mendozer

    mendozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    does it matter when it goes on/off? I leave the house at 6:30 so I was going to have it turn on then and off at 7 pm. that's also 12 hours, but it seems that many of you are having your 12 hour windows earlier.

    is it that important?
     
  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can see using the light in the morning. But I don't think it's a good idea to have a light that turns off and plunges the chickens into sudden darkness. There they'll be, picking around, minding their own business talking amonst themselves, then blink, Sudden DAAAAARKNESSSSS. They won't be able to see to get up on the roosts, I don't think they would like that at all. You want to add more light to the day in the morning, fine. But don't extend their daylight only to be suddenly stuck in the dark. That sounds like some kind of mean joke to play on somebody.
    Jack
     
  9. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i leave my light on from 5am till 7pm....but they are all on the roost when it goes off in the evening.....do you think it bothers them or keeps them up at night and
    should only give them extra light in the morning???.....if so...that only gives then about 12 hours of light....and i thought they need 14hours??
     
  10. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I, personally don't provide any additional light. Whatever light is provided naturally, that's what they get. If I was running a eggfarm business and I was looking to maximize my egg production, then I would probably add light. But as it is, my chickens give me plenty of eggs year round. So there is no need to force/trick more out of them.
    Jack
     
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