Ideas for "Safer" Lighting in Winter...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fasschicks, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first winter with my 6 chickens. I am loving every minute of it and everything has been going great so far. We have good ventilation in the coop and have plastic wrapped around 3/4 of our run. They seem pretty happy for the most part and are excited to come out every morning (except for my one grouchy girl [​IMG]).

    I know there are lots of posts on fire safety. I have done my best to be sure that safety is met. Unfortunately, we do not have electricity in our coop, so we have run a heavy-duty extension cord from the house to the coop. It powers my red 250 watt heat lamp and my aquarium heater for the water.

    I know I need my aquarium heater for the water. I also want to provide light to keep the girls laying through the winter (also helps to see when I lock them in at night). We have our heat lamp screwed into the wall so it will not fall - it is about 4 feet off the floor. I no longer feel the need to actually heat the coop, but still want to provide light. I guess when I first bought the heat lamp I was getting the 'feel bads' of them being cold, but as the winter progresses, I am comfortable with just a light source versus heat.

    I have to admit I am absolutely terrified about a fire starting - it actually keeps me up at night. Are there any better ways to light our coop to reduce the risk of fire instead of a red heat lamp? Different types of bulbs, lighting, etc? Looking for the safest option. Maybe I can finally get some sleep?

    Fass
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want light in the coop, for better egg production, simple answer. Get rid of the heatlamp(Not needed anyway) and replace with a low wattage bulb, like a 40W. Have it come on, with the help of a timer, early in the morning to ensure 14hrs of "Daylight". I don't have any extra light in my coop. I let the birds have their natural time off at this time of year. I get enough eggs for my family without it. But, if you want max eggs, year round, I guess you have to add to the available daylight.
     
  3. I agree^ but you probably want to have 15-16 hours of "daylight" or they're egg production will drop drastically(I know from expiriance :/)
     
  4. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are there any issues with 40w bulbs blowing up/shattering because of the cold? If so, is that a fire hazard or do they just break with no sparks? So far, I haven't seen any temperatures below 0 in the last 2 months inside the coop.

    Since we only have 3 girls laying so far, I wanted to give them light through part of this winter so that we can get enough eggs to eat. Once we start getting more daylight, I will cut the light back partially or completely. With 6 birds hopefully laying next winter, I might decide to remove the light and see if they still lay for me.

    I did have to bump up to 15 hours of light to keep them laying consistently.

    Fass
     
  5. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you hear? 40W and 60W incandescent are no longer produced and imported. 100W is already gone. So stock up, or use CFL light I do. CFL works fine for egg stimulation, not for heat, but my area needs no heat.

    If you (not necessarily the birds) feel absolutely the need for heat. Make sure you size your cable properly. Thin wires running long distance with high load (and poor insulator) is a recipe for electrical fire.

    I have had success with 12 hours but may need to bump it up a little until we get over winter solstice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  6. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went with a cage covered, glass cover light fixture. <Click Here>

    Incandescent bulb pops the glass cover prevents fried chicken.

    The cage over the class protects from accidental breakage and fried chicken.
     
  7. jonadue

    jonadue Out Of The Brooder

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    I use CFL, on a timer to get 16 hrs. It uses only 13w and doesnt get hot. Plus they last longer. A coworker whos kept chickens his whole life told me to use blue or green, to keep them calm and prevent pecking and cannibalism. Not sure if theres any truth to it but I havent had any issues so far.
    There are also LED bulbs and christmas lights as options.
    I should disclose that I am new to chicken keeping, I started in May with 6 day olds and now have 6 hens that give us 5-6 eggs a day.
     
  8. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would solar lights work? So then you don't have to worry about electricity
     
  9. jonadue

    jonadue Out Of The Brooder

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    Ive been looking at solar too, but its hard, for me, to justify the cost.
    Theres no reason it wouldnt work, using LED bulbs would allow smaller system. My issue is that I use a water heater that would require abit more wattage and would cost a couple hundred bucks to set up.
     
  10. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had been wondering if I could use CFL in my coop. I am always confused as to what type of light bulbs are safe in 0 or below 0 temperatures. I will check that out. Thanks!

    Fass
     

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