using solar lights


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
I don't have power out in the back pasture where my chickens are and heard that they need extra light in the winter to help with egg production. If I installed solar lights that would come on at dusk work and if so would having lights on all night to most of the night be too much light and cause issues?
Depending on where you live you may need a couple set ups, use low wattage bulbs, and may have to use a battery charger occationally to their boost charge (we only get a little sun in the winter) but it's a real good idea.

Check into, they have easy plans to build inexpensive solar units.
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Will Lights being on almost 24 hours a day cause any issues with chickens & do you have to have a certian amount of light?

I live in Illinois so we don't have light issues like Alaska would.
I only know two rules about lighting:

1.) Never increase duration or intensity of light during growing period.
2.) Never decrease duration or intensity of light during production period.

Laying hens should have 16 hrs of light a day. (ie. 5 am to 9 pm)
Well, the only reason I can think of that it wouldn't work would be the ability of the limited winter sunlight to recharge the batteries enough to give a sufficiently long period of artificial light. As far as the light intensity, they have a lot of ultra-bright LED solar lights now.

Your location might make a difference. You don't state where you are, but probably the further north, and therefore the shorter the winter day and the dimmer the sunlight, the less likely it will be to work. And, if you live someplace like I do, Michigan, with persistant fall and winter gloom due to lake effect clouds, and snow falling on the solar collectors and blocking the light.
You know, the solar charge dying in the battery, in the evening may serve as a timer for the lights (kind of a weak plan) or a electric time may be the way to turn the lights off and on but that too will draw some power off the system but if your solar system is generating enough power, it would not be a issue

Denninmi raises a valid point and reduced collection in the winter (I'm in North Pole, Alaska) but you will collect some power on gloomy / snowing days. I suspect you can even collect a little off moonlight on a clear night. Also that's why we have to put batteries in a generator occationally, to supplement the solar charge.

Yes, LED's are a wonderful thing and are high power lighting with a super low power usage.
i LIVE IN Montana, HECK HARDLY ANY SUNSHINE IN THE WINTER, AND THE WINTERS ARE LONG ! But my solar lights do recharge, so I was thinking of this same idea. but I am having my coops wired for light, just in case.
I live in Central Illinois so I don't think I will have any issues with not enough light. Our winters are moderate with a few bad times but those are short lived and we tend to have a good amount of son regardless of the season. I think once the roof is reshingled I will try it out.

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