How you light a room matters, and it's no different on a dairy farm or in a milking parlor. Energy-efficient lights save energy and costs. And, they are being featured in a growing number of energy-conscious dairy farms across the country. According to EnSave, Inc., national farm-energy-efficiency specialists, research proves that the right lighting improves the lives, efficiency, safety, and comfort of both people and cows, while saving on energy cost.
• A unit of light is one “foot-candle” or lumen lighting each square foot of work area. Dairy farms typically use 20 lumens; milk parlors and pits use 50 lumens.
• By switching from T-12 to T-8 fluorescent light fixtures, the New York State Fair milking parlor decreased the amount of energy used to light the area by about 20 percent.
• Similar fixture changes could annually save an average 110-cow dairy farm, lit for 8 hours per day, nearly 2,000 kilowatt hours or an estimated $260 in the milking parlor.
• If the same energy-efficient lights were installed in other areas of the 110-cow dairy, energy savings could increase an additional 10,000 kilowatt hours or an estimated $1,680 in total annual cost savings.