When lighting a barn, it is important to consider the various factors that may make lighting safe or unsafe. Barns are often used to stable horses, cows, and other livestock, as well as provide valuable storage space for hay and farm equipment.
A customer recently contacted us to ask if we could create a lighting solution for an old barn currently being renovated. The barn is a 37′ x 39′ interior space that consists of one storage area, a breezeway, a tackroom, two horse stalls, and a workshop. The ceiling is also 10′ high at most points throughout the space.
The barn has no lighting at all currently, and the only light available in the space is provided by two skylights in the breezeway. Since horses will be stabled here, lighting must be effective enough to illuminate the animals as well as any people coming in to work in the tackroom or workshop. Our customer informed us that the barn, once completed, will be in use for approximately 20 hours per week.
Access Fixtures Creates an LED Barn Lighting Solution
Another important aspect of barn lighting is customer preference. There are many potential lighting solutions for lighting a barn, but individual customer choices such as the placement of light fixtures, Kelvin temperature, and design of the fixtures ultimately take precedence over everything else. In order to properly illuminate this barn, we asked our customer what her lighting needs and preferences were. She gave us some general guidelines that we used to inform our lighting solution.
Our customer specified previously that the barn will be in use for about 20 hours a week, which helps us choose a fixture based on its longevity. She wanted some of the natural light from the two skylights to supplement the artificial light. Our customer also desired higher footcandles in the workshop for the purpose of possible future metalworking. Finally, our customer specified that she didn’t want lights hanging in the center of ceilings, especially in the aisles where horses will be, as this can create unpleasant shadows and glare.
Our solution included conducting a photometric analysis beforehand, which you can see in the image to the right. A photometric analysis is a computerized simulation generated and analyzed by engineers and lighting specialists using a proposed plan. Our proposed plan included the use of the EPTA linear fixture, which is a durable and versatile linear fixture. In each room, the lights were placed side by side as opposed to hanging directly from the center of the room.
This placement is especially important in the aisles where horses will be kept. For foaling, veterinary work, and shoeing of horses, high visibility of the animal is desired for accuracy and safety reasons. A light hanging overhead may cast shadows on the horse and prevent specialists from working. Lighting horses from the side is much more preferable as it prevents this issue.
Ultimately, our customer was happy with our proposed lighting simulation that consisted of several 60w EPTA fixtures throughout the entire barn. These fixtures produced an average footcandle reading of 36, which is slightly brighter than the inside of a Wal-Mart. We used 3000K fixtures for a rustic, warm feel to the barn’s interior. Using our customer’s guidelines and our own lighting expertise, Access Fixtures was able to light this customer’s barn with fixtures that will last for years and years.
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