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View Full Version : How do you light an OUTDOOR arena????



hhfarm
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:02 PM
I searched and searched, with tons of posts on lighting indoor arenas... But how the heck do you light an outdoor arena?

I would REALLY appreciate everyone's thoughts and comments on lighting that has worked for them, and lighting that hasn't. Compliments? Gripes? Photos????

I'd love to hear any comments you have on the subject!!!

katarine
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:07 PM
15-20' poles

400 watt metal halide lights.

4 lights does my 66X120' arena just fine.

allpurpose
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:24 PM
A friend placed two spotlights on the roof at each end of her barn, pointed them towards the outdoor, and voila! Let there be light! Note: the ring was right next to the barn...

Meredith Clark
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:04 PM
I often surprise myself with how little light I need to ride.

I haven't boarded at a farm with an indoor (or well lit outdoor) for a while now so I'm used to it!

If the ground is flat and you don't need to jump a big spotlight is usually enough for me. I don't have a spooky horse though!

knightrider
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:33 PM
Sorry, not meaning to t/j - but how do you change arena lights? Especially for the height challenged chicken....are their people you can hire toclimb and do it for you?

ShotenStar
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:40 PM
We have used two methods for changing bulbs on the 20 ft poles we have:

1-husband person uses 30 ft extension ladder and a climbing harness similar to that used by the guys who work on power poles. I steady the ladder, he climbs up with the safety line / harness rigged to the pole. Not a lot of fun but do-able

2-we hire the local electrical contractor to come out with a bucket truck and do it for us. Expensive, but sometimes worth it if several bulbs need changing.

*Star*

Mav226
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
http://www.residential-landscape-lighting-design.com/store/equestrian_center_horse_track_arena_lighting.htm

Scroll down to where it says horse track lighting. Put on large phone poles.

Sparky Boy
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:29 PM
15-20' poles

400 watt metal halide lights.

4 lights does my 66X120' arena just fine.

This is what I have but six of them for an area 100x200. I'd rather they were a little bit higher and I'd also like two more of them, one on each long end. Not that it's not super bright, but there are shadows on the ends.

msj
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:15 PM
My outdoor is right next to my indoor so I just had 3 lights placed just under the roof on the indoor. It wasn't bright enough to jump with but for flat work it was fine.

ThirdCharm
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:28 PM
Halogen (or something like that, the lights came from Lowe's Motor Speedway when they redid some lighting) lights--about 9x12" with a bulb approx 8" long--mounted two each on a crossbar mounted on a 16' phone pole. Four is plenty for our 75x150' arena.

We change the bulbs/work on the lights with our bobcat and a ladder..... hubby climbs in the bucket with the ladder, I lift them up, he ropes the ladder to the pole, climbs up and works on the lights.... not the ideal thing, obviously.....!

Jennifer

War Admiral
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:36 PM
It's worth noting that, depending on who your power company is, sometimes you can call them and have them put up streetlights for you. One place I boarded with did this at my suggestion and you definitely could jump by it - white stuff anyway! Don't quote me on this but I *think* she said it only cost her a few extra dollars a month... Worth a call anyway. GA Power will definitely do it, I know that...

dressagerose
Oct. 30, 2009, 04:42 PM
I have a dusk/dawn light near my outdoor (here when I got here). I pay the utility company for it about $6.00 per month I think. It is dim but enough to ride by. In a way it is better than my instructor's place that has 4 light poles with lights. She has light and dark spots on her arena. Mine is just uniformly dim.

The only problem I have at the moment is that I think it is dying and the light needs to be replaced, but we have had so much rain I don't want them back there with their truck. Guess I won't ride at night until it dries out some!

ESG
Oct. 30, 2009, 05:38 PM
15'-20' isn't nearly high enough. I'd say a minimum of 30 feet on the height of the posts, and 40' is better. If you do 20', you'll run the risk of being blinded every time you turn towards the light. NOT something I want to have happen when I'm riding, especially if I'm jumping.

hhfarm
Oct. 30, 2009, 07:35 PM
You guys are a regular encyclopedia of info! Thank you!!

But a couple of dumb beginner questions...

How the heck do you come up with the poles that are 15', 20', or 30' long??????

How on earth would you plant them in the ground?????

And any more stories/suggestions/photos/comments/gripes on your own lighting are also encouraged and much anticipated!!!!

Thanks so much!

ESG
Oct. 30, 2009, 07:58 PM
Contact your local phone company, and find out where they store, and what they do with the "old" telephone poles. Even an old one is more than sufficient for your use, since you're probably only going to be putting a couple of lights on each one - much less weight than the phone co. would. They'll probably cost you about $100 apiece. The tough part is finding someone to transport and install them. But often, local contractors or the phone company itself can help you out with that, too.

katarine
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:44 PM
lighting for jumping is a whole different animal.


I only do flatwork and cavalletti from time to time. 20' poles are ample plenty tall for that.

We put ours in with a derrick attachment on the tractor. and an auger attachment on it first to dig DEEP holes. We bought the poles at a pressure treated lumber place and hauled them home on a flat bed. DH is an electrician- he wired up the lights and we set up the poles.

If you don't have a stout tractor and a foolish streak, hire the whole thing done LOL. Putting those poles in scared the bejesus out of me.

you can see one of the light poles on the right, for perspective.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7dc09b3127ccec02c12ec737000000010O08AZN2TRm4Ytw e3nwA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Dinahmare
Oct. 30, 2009, 10:12 PM
We have spotlights on our barn and house which are pointed to the arena and they work just great.

I do vote for paying someone with the equipment, training and insurance to put up and change this stuff despite being one half of a strictly DYI couple.

But whatever you decide buy the bulbs from a reputable dealer, test them all before the installer arrives (or starts up the ladder) and have extras on hand.

Jeesh, I may test them in the doggone store next time just for laughs.

Oh, and look out for compatibility issues between the newer energy efficient bulbs which are not compatible with the older model spot light fixtures.

Good luck. Its fun to ride at night.

Guin
Oct. 31, 2009, 06:41 AM
I have been at a barn that made do just fine with some sort of outdoor "construction" lights on a metal frame that they bought at Home Depot. I think each frame had two lights on it, and were about 5 or 6 feet high. The BO used two on each side of the very big outdoor (four in total), and they really worked fine. Not as good as taller lights on a pole, but definitely adequate, plus they were cheap and portable.

sidepasser
Oct. 31, 2009, 09:43 AM
It's worth noting that, depending on who your power company is, sometimes you can call them and have them put up streetlights for you. One place I boarded with did this at my suggestion and you definitely could jump by it - white stuff anyway! Don't quote me on this but I *think* she said it only cost her a few extra dollars a month... Worth a call anyway. GA Power will definitely do it, I know that...

The problem with that is if the arena is near a neighbor who doesn't appreciate the lights being on all night. I asked about a switch to turn the lights off when finished riding and the power company told me they did not provide switches and I would have to have an electrician install the lights and the switch. In other words, the lights come on at dusk and stay on all night and the power company will not provide the on/off switch.

Might be able to get an electrician to bypass the sensors on the lights, but may be costly.

ESG
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:21 AM
lighting for jumping is a whole different animal.

Shouldn't be. Safe lighting is safe lighting - period.



I only do flatwork and cavalletti from time to time. 20' poles are ample plenty tall for that.

Only if you're riding a mini. On a 16h horse, you're already sitting 5'6" in the air; add another 3" to that to get approximate eye level, and you're nearly nine feet up. Across a 100' arena, the light will be almost exactly in your eyes. Ask me how I know this. :sigh:


We put ours in with a derrick attachment on the tractor. and an auger attachment on it first to dig DEEP holes. We bought the poles at a pressure treated lumber place and hauled them home on a flat bed. DH is an electrician- he wired up the lights and we set up the poles.

If you don't have a stout tractor and a foolish streak, hire the whole thing done LOL. Putting those poles in scared the bejesus out of me.

you can see one of the light poles on the right, for perspective.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7dc09b3127ccec02c12ec737000000010O08AZN2TRm4Ytw e3nwA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Y'all are brave folks! I can see where putting those monsters up yourselves would have left a stain on the upholstery. Yikes! :eek:

katarine
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:39 AM
ESG we can disagree then and I've no idea why Smart Ass is your default setting. You don't need to be able to read a newspaper at midnight in the arena. I was trying to meet you in the middle and allow that jumping would require better lighting than riding around in circles, but you won't have that.

I rode my 16.2 hand mare last night in my arena. We had no issues with the lights in my eyes. They are angled and adjusted so they are not aiming straight at me no matter the angle. It is plenty safe and those poles are plenty tall.

We don't hire much done and there was absolutely no reason to kill ourselves with 40' poles or some such monstrosity to light a 66X125' home arena. What we did is absolutely fine and provides a reasonable, safe level of light for riding, longeing, etc.

ESG
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:57 AM
Where, exactly, do you get smartass? :confused:

I said what was my experience. And, if you look, your arena is approximately half the width of the one I'm referencing for necessity of a 30-40' pole. I had a 120' wide arena with 20' poles, and no matter where the lights were angled (I had four), you always got blinded when riding toward one.

And I don't know why your default setting appears to be Supernaturally Defensive, either.

katarine
Oct. 31, 2009, 11:02 AM
Where, exactly, do you get smartass? :confused:

I said what was my experience. And, if you look, your arena is approximately half the width of the one I'm referencing for necessity of a 30-40' pole. I had a 120' wide arena with 20' poles, and no matter where the lights were angled (I had four), you always got blinded when riding toward one.

And I don't know why your default setting appears to be Supernaturally Defensive, either.

who's riding mini's, missy? How is that NOT a smart ass remark?

and what IS safe lighting? Oh, wait, it MIGHT depend on the size of the arena.

so MY arena poles and lighting heights might well be fine in my size arena, and safely lit. YOUR arena was twice the size so the suggested height would be different. Eur-freakin-reka.

I'm right and you're right. and no one has to ride a mini to be right.

ESG
Oct. 31, 2009, 11:04 AM
<sigh>

Go back and read again, madam. :rolleyes:

katarine
Oct. 31, 2009, 11:09 AM
I read your post just fine. The flaw in the communications here sits in your lap. You can't admit you were a smart ass, that's your perogative.

Put that in your eyerolly pipe and smoke it.

jazzrider
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:16 PM
15-20' poles

400 watt metal halide lights.

4 lights does my 66X120' arena just fine.

Sorry to interrupt, but Kat, I google "400 watt metal halide lights" and just keep coming up with vegetable growing light bulbs. :lol: Could you post a link as an example?

I've given up on my two year search for solar powered lights that won't break the bank, and am researching other lighting that we can install ourselves. It's time to just put something up on my 18 foot poles. Though I'm not sure I should, since I hear I'll be blinded if I ride with them on. :winkgrin:

katarine
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:34 PM
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/4EA36?Pid=search

there you go, and on clearance.

Wear a visor if your arena's bigger than mine :)

Do NOT get talked into High Pressure Sodium lighting. It makes that ugly orangey light that just invites boogers and spooks. Hate 'em.

Uncle Fester
Nov. 3, 2009, 06:12 PM
I lit my outdoor arena 72'/200' a few years ago by myself and did it with easy to get wood and floodlights.

The longest 2x4s I could get at the local Lowe's was 16 feet. I used 2 sections per per pole and screwed them together at right angles to minimize warping.

I have 3 board fence around the arena so I bolted the light poles to the fence posts to keep them as high as possible by not having to bury them in.

I placed 6 light posts around the arena and each has a floodlight fixture with 3 bulbs. Plenty of light for dressage.

The wiring I used was rated for 120 watt bulbs but the highest wattage I could find at Lowe's was 90 watt. This works fine.

I painted the posts black to match the fence and they look great.

The whole project cost me approx. $1000.

Oh, to change the bulbs, my JD tractor bucket will reach that high.

Bacchus
Nov. 6, 2009, 03:52 PM
I'm thinking about doing the same thing, including using existing fence posts to add "poles" to. Would this light work?

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=74015-337-QL500WLUT&lpage=none