What wattage bulb in the coop to use to induce laying...


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 13, 2011
I'm building three good size coops for my chickens and I'm thinking that I want to have lights set up to induce laying in the shorter months of the year... My question is: What wattage would I need for the lights? Would I need a 250 watt bulb for more heat and more light or would a smaller wattage do it?

I plan to run the lights with a timer for as long as I need them to compensate for a 14 hrs day. (for instance, have them turn on at 3 or 4am and off at 6am or when the sun rises)

One pen will be about 12ft by 20ft and the other two will be about 7ft by 7ft.


Fred's Hens

Premium Feather Member
9 Years
In my experience, it takes very little. A simple mini-Flourescent is cheap to run. The timer is a great idea, just be sure to add the hours in the morning, before sunrise. At night, you'll likely want to take to their roosts long before dark. Should the artificial light go off suddenly, it might leave them scrambling.

I provide some light for winter laying, but not 14 hours. Our "days" get as short as 6 hours of light, so I never let them experience days shorter than 10 hours. The laying drops a bit, but that's OK. Our winters are cold and long and I don't push the hens too hard. FWIW.


CT Chicken Whisperer
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
You don't need a bright light. Bright white lights actually hurt their eyes. You can use a 7 watt compact florescent or a 15-25 watt incandescent bulb (red is better than white to discourage picking.) It's actually the duration of light that induces laying. Hens should have 16 hours of light during production. You can put the light on a timer: on at 5 am, off at 9 pm. Never decrease the duration or the intensity of light during the production period.


11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
We used an energy efficient bulb, cool white 60w equivalent. Think it's about 15 watts and provides the sun spectrum for vitamin production. The girls didn't even slow down until well into the third month of hard winter. Used a timer had it on from 6am to 8 am then again at 4 pm to 6 at night. Yup only 12 hours and started that when daylight was down to 11 hours then took the light out when back to 11 hours.

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