I love your books and have several,
on both barn/facility planning and arena work, thanks for your excellent instruction.
have a 36'x36' barn with 4 stalls, washrack, and tackroom, with a raised center
aisle. We installed halogen flood lights over each stall/room, and in the corners
of the aisle. While it gives a lovely golden glow to the barn, the dark shadows
and uneven lighting it creates are terrible to work in. I'm considering installing
fluorescent shop lights, possibly 8' long. To achieve the most even and bright
lighting, would you recommend placing the fluorescent lights up in the apex of
the roof, center and parallel to the barn aisle, or perpendicularly across the
aisle every 12 feet?
Thank you for your help.
We've already made one costly mistake and I'd like to get it right this time!
As you've found, quartz halogen
lights can produce bright light with a nice color but they can also produce harsh
shadows depending on the number of lights and where they are located. Placing
halogen lights in two or more corners of a stall or aisle or other space rather
than directly overhead can help provide more even lighting.
lights provide a diffused light that is more even, plus they don't get anywhere
near as hot at halogen lights. They work best if left on for long periods without
being turned on and off frequently and they are typically brighter after warming
up for a few minutes.
halogen or regular incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent lights need a ballast
to start the lamp and regulate current when it is on. There are basically two
types of ballast: magnetic and electronic.
ballasts are the oldest type and include preheat, rapid-start, and instant-start.
These ballasts use a magnetic core of several steel plates wrapped with aluminum
or copper windings. Preheat fixtures have a separate starter that jump-starts
the lamps with an extra boost of electricity. The most common preheat fixtures,
like shop lights, use two 1 ½" diameter 4-foot long 40 watt tubes
called T12 that have a two-pin cap on each end. These fixtures are readily available
and work well down to 50°F. Below that temperature, however, they can dim
appreciably, flicker, and be difficult to start.
ballasts use solid state circuitry instead of a magnetic core. They cost about
1 ½ times as much as magnetic ballasts but are smaller, quieter, cooler,
less prone to flicker, cost less to operate and work better in colder temperatures.
Some will hold 4 lamps instead of just two and some can also be used with a dimmer
The apparent color output of fluorescent lamps varies widely.
Some lamps will give an eerie whitish cast to a horse's gums - a distinct drawback
when your trying to assess the health of a horse's mucus membranes! Other types
can make objects appear pinkish or bluish.
are many marketing names used to describe fluorescent lamps. Cool White
lamps are the most commonly used and have more green in the light. Warm White
lamps have more red and orange light, and are designed to mimic light produced
by incandescent lighting. Daylight lamps have a blue tint similar to the
color of light reflected from a clear sky.
apparent color of a light bulb or lamp is designated by its Kelvin or "K"
rating. The following table will give you an idea of how
Kelvin designations relate to the real world:
K Setting sun
2800 - 2900
K Typical incandescent light bulb
- 3100 K Typical Tungsten-Halogen bulb
K Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight with blue sky
- 8000 K Cloudy overcast day
lamps project light perpendicular to the tube, so installing them in a line parallel
to the barn roof peak would light the aisle and throw light sideways into the
stalls, particularly the stall fronts. Spacing of the lights will depend on the
fixtures you choose.
Depending on the fixtures you
choose, the height of the lights (they should be a minimum of 11 feet high for
safety), and how light-colored and reflective the walls and ceiling are, the backs
of the stalls may be in shadow. So you might consider a fixture over the back
of each stall for more even lighting.
using 240 watt instead of 120 watt fixtures. 240W fixtures will use less amperage
so you can run more fixtures per circuit. Some units allow installations at either
I suggest that you visit other barns in
your area to how their lighting works and to discuss you plans with a local lighting
designer or retailer.
a clip from our video, Your
Horse Barn, that tells how fluorescent lights work.
information contained on this site is provided for general informational and educational
purposes only. The suggestions and guidelines should not be used as the sole
answer for a visitor's specific needs.