Supplemental light calculator

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by juliefred, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. juliefred

    juliefred Hatching

    Jan 1, 2015
    Hi all. I've just created an account on BYC to share an Excel worksheet to calculate supplemental light ON and OFF times. During my process, I found it's not exactly a simple "set it and forget it" situation, thanks to the shifting sunrise and set times. My goal was to dial it in as close as reasonable, to avoid wasting electricity as the sunrise comes earlier each month.

    The times I've entered in the unprotected INPUT cells are for Seattle, but of course you are free to download the file and enter the appropriate times for your area to affect the protected calculations to the right. Please feel free to share this in any of the other threads that might find it useful!

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use this table...because lighting should be ramped up slowly starting in late summer for minimal stress.....and sunrise and sunset times both vary daily.
  3. juliefred

    juliefred Hatching

    Jan 1, 2015
    Guess I should have been more specific. This calculator I created uses the kind of table aart is referencing, but helps automate your timer on and off times. Also not obvious I suppose, those tables are listed from Jan to Dec so that's how I set my worksheet. Please don't try shocking your hens by giving them a big chunk of extra light in December...
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  4. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Yes, all good information.

    Multiple timer corrections was the main reason I constructed my automatic lighting method.

    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..
    1 person likes this.

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