Solar Light at night in chicken coop


Dec 14, 2015
So I've had my hens for about 1 and a half months now and I have been putting in a solar light inside the coop every night so the hens can see where to roost/perch. The main reason is because they tend to sleep on the doorstep area between the ramp where the run is and where the actual roosting area is. My father says that I shouldn't put a light there as according to him, 'the light is bright and it affects their sleeping patterns, which in turn affects their egg production...'. Hearing this i thought to myself that there's no actual evidence that proves this, as they are stable layers, with the odd day off. So i came here to to hopefully get some insight into this situation from some experienced keepers haha. All feedback is welcome.

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Jul 19, 2015
North Central Florida
I bought a solar powered light on amazon for $13. It goes on each night at dusk (530ish here right now) and last night I was out there putting some new arrivals out there and it was fading by 730ish, which is perfect. I actually angled the panel to keep it from charging as long so it wouldn't stay on 8 hours as advertised. Try not charging it all the way so it discharges faster. Also, aim it as a wall opposite the roosts to diffuse the light and make it not so bright.

I use the light to help everyone get settled in the evening. It gets dark in the coop before it's completely dark out. My girls aren't laying yet and I wouldn't force them to lay in winter anyway.
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Jul 19, 2015
North Central Florida
Also, I'll add that adding artificial light in winter is used to increase egg production, so yours continuing to be stable layers may prove the point he is making. It would not be wise for a chicken to hatch young in the dead of winter, hence why egg production dies down during that time (stimulated by the change in day length).

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
I read that some members do add light but only for a couple of hours or so. Others prefer to give their hens a break. I live on the equator so don't suffer from variable sunlight hours. If I did, I'd let them have a break from egg laying, but that's just my choice. Do whatever suits you.



8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
People actually add lights for the opposite reason, to trick them into thinking it's longer summer days so they lay more. Personally I think they take a break over winter cause their bodies need it so I don't light.

I used a solar light however to teach mine where bed was as well because otherwise I would find them curled up on our back step :). It's not needed long term though, once they have been regularly going to bed where they should for a couple months like you've been doing they should have no problem going to bed without the light. You should find now they are older they are actually starting to roost at dusk before it's really dark enough for the light anyway.


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I’m not sure how much light you are adding or for how long. If you look through the Egg Quality Handbook you’ll see a few different potential egg defects that can be caused by improper lighting. That generally means too much light but irregular lighting can also be a problem. You wanted feedback, read the EQH and get feedback.

Realize that these are potential defects. All hens will not exhibit all of them all the time, just that some hens could have some of these problems. I consider it good practice to not do things that can cause problems.

Chickens do best with a few hours of dark downtime at night. I don’t know what that minimum is. If you are far enough from the equator that might be a pretty short night if you go all natural. A number I have heard is that turning a light on at night for less than 15 minutes will not upset their “lighting pattern” but longer might. So try to limit your nighttime activities with light to 15 minutes.

Egg Quality Handbook

Light is an important part of egg laying. Days getting shorter can trigger a molt and cause them to stop laying. Days getting longer can cause them to start laying after the molt or even if they are pullets waiting for spring to start. One of the triggers to tell a hen to release a yolk and start the egg’s journey through her internal egg making factory is light. There are other triggers but this one keeps her from starting an egg at a time it would need to be laid at night.

Good luck!


8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
Op's intent is to guide the birds to roost.

This is not necessary. They will meander to roost as the day light wanes.

If they are not taking to roost, you might want to check the roost.


May 31, 2015
Also, I had to train most of mine, just by going out at dark and taking them from the nest boxes to the roosts. :)

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