Lighting your stable

Monday 13th December, 2021

Black horse stood within corridor of stables

As the days grow shorter, lighting your stable will help you and your horse get through winter. Humans and horses alike need sufficient natural light. Cooler temperatures and limited sunshine can make anyone feel like hunkering down indoors – including horses. 

This may come as a shock to many, but horses can also experience the winter blues. You’re probably wondering what your equine friend may feel down about. But a simple change in living arrangements or daily schedule could impact a horse’s mood. The arrival of winter means that horses have less time to enjoy the normal things they love. Be it grazing, training, socialising with other horses, or even just enjoying the light and warmth from the sun.

Many of us may not have the budget to move somewhere sunny year-round. So, what’s the solution?  Lighting your stable, of course! Read on for some effective tips on keeping your stable bright and well-lit all year round.

How much light does a horse need?

Before we dive into stable lighting ideas and tips, it’s important to know how much light a horse actually needs. Experts suggest that horses should receive an average of 16 hours of continuous light every day with 8 hours of darkness. Sounds a bit like us humans.

This can be slightly harder to achieve during winter. However, keeping the lights on for an extra few hours whilst you’re working in the barn could make up for lost daylight.

Horse stable lighting

Choose the right lighting

Unsurprisingly, the first thing you’ll need to do when it comes to lighting your stable is to pick the right lighting fixtures. Remember, stable conditions can be pretty harsh compared to a cosy home. So, standard household lighting will not do. You need to choose something that will withstand the elements, as well as general wear and tear. With this in mind, it’s wise to opt for lighting fixtures that are agricultural or commercial grade. This will save you the headache of constantly replacing stable lights for horses.

Where possible, it’s best to avoid halogen and incandescent bulbs as they can generate a lot of heat and, in some cases, become a potential fire hazard. LED stable lights for horses are much more energy efficient and work well in both warmer and cooler temperatures. Not only are LED lights the more efficient option, but they are also the more cost effective choice.

If you don’t have electricity in your stable, don’t worry! There are plenty of solar powered stable lights out there that are just as effective and can be easily attached to the stable roof. Not to mention, solar stable lights are more environmentally friendly.

Safety proof lighting fixtures

While you may not be hanging a chandelier in your stable, it’s still important to make sure that all bulbs are secure. As long as lighting fixtures are fitted correctly and are out of reach, lighting your stable should be a walk in the paddock. 

But sometimes things can go wrong. Your horse may rear in its stable, for example, causing a bulb to shatter. To prevent this from happening, plastic safety covers should be fitted on all bulbs. Think of it as betting against the worst-case scenario. If a bulb breaks, your equine friend will not be harmed.

Even if you regularly muck out your stables, we all know how quickly chaff, cobwebs and dust can build up. Plus, what about those hard to reach nooks and crannies that are often neglected. If debris is left to gather around lights, this could eventually become a fire hazard. Thankfully, shatterproof covers will act as a barrier and prevent debris from accumulating around bulbs. 

Safety proof wires too!

It’s important to not leave any wires exposed for your horse or rodents to potentially chew on. It’s wise to make sure that any wires are in conduit. Bear in mind that certain types of conduits can rust when exposed to the elements.  So, it may be a good idea to paint wires with a rust prevention spray to keep them in good condition.

Use an electrician 

When it comes to installing lighting fixtures and wires, this task is often best left to an experienced electrician. Plus, a licensed electrician can help you manage your expectations when planning how you would like to light your barn and give you advice on the best way to do so.

Not to mention, by seeking the services of a qualified professional, you can rest easy knowing that your stable and horses are safe.

Carefully position lights and switches

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to place lights and switches – particularly if your stable is quite small. It goes without saying that all lighting fixtures and switches should be placed out of reach to prevent horses from tampering with them. Keep in mind that any switches will need to be conveniently placed for you to reach them though. 

A good place to position light switches is often behind the stable door. That way, they are out of your horses’ way and you can easily access them without turning your body into a pretzel. You should avoid shadowy areas when positioning lights, but you also do not want to create too much glare as this could be a nuisance when you’re working. 

Horse stall lighting may not be wise if your stalls are not that tall, as your horse may hit its head.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t get good horse stall lighting. Consider placing lights outside stalls instead. You can then use a reflector to send light to where it needs to go. 

No one said that it was easy to find the right lighting for stables. Planning alone can be quite time consuming. Whether it’s finding a good place to hide switches or deciding on solar stable lights or electrical fixtures, there’s so much for you to consider.  But the size of your stable should not impact your plans, no matter how big or small. 
Moving hay bales around or knocking down a wall may sometimes not be enough to fulfil your stable lighting ideas and vision. Don’t worry! We can help you find the right stable solution for you. Contact us today to discover how we can help you and your horse get the stable lighting you deserve.

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