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Using a "barn" with no electricity?

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  • #21
    I have crossties and rubber mats in my well-lit garage, so if we have an issue, we just pull a car out and horse meets vet there, rather than in my badly lit run in barn area.


    • #22
      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post

      Ceiling/beam or wall mount battery LED lights. These aren't dim, they're pretty powerful and bright. This type uses D batteries, which you can buy the large containers of at a radio Shack, etc for not very much.

      They also make these types with rechargeable batteries. Then just keep the batteries on a charger in the house, grab batteries before walking out to barn so you always have brightest light.
      Yup, Mr HwNN rigged something like this up for me last year after we'd done three years of solar powered lights and two years in the dark. Works really well and gives good light.
      where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?


      • #23
        During Super Storm Sandy DH ran the TV off of my car with a power inverter. If you can get a truck/car by the barn you could run a good sized lamp off of the vehicle battery using an inverter. The one my husband used had a low battery sensor and automatically shut down before it totally drained the car battery.
        You could keep a car battery at the house on a trickle charger and in an emergency bring it down to the barn with the inverter to run a light.

        Actually how about one of these:
        We have one similar to this to jump start the car or lawn mower when the battery dies. There is a power inverter as part of it.
        Last edited by SonnysMom; Dec. 3, 2012, 10:41 AM. Reason: Added jump box
        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


        • #24
          For the motion-detector lights, could you maybe direct the motion detector away from where the horse is? Hang a tarp or mount it inside a box to block it's "view" in one direction?
          If you go with the puck lights (or any light, for that matter), try to mount the light as high as you can, so it's above your line of sight. The puck lights work fine as long as you are walking away from them. When you turn and walk back in that direction, you eyes adjust to that bright light and you're basically blinded. Might as well not have any light. I have the same problem with the headlamps: when you are carrying a hay bale in front of you, or just a few flakes, the lamp ends up lighting the hay directly in front of you, quite brightly. Again, your eyes adjust to that brightness and you can't see much besides that.


          • #25
            A solar water trough, www.horse.com, will help you keep water available on cold nights. They are expensive, but mine is in good condition despite over 10 years of use.


            • #26
              Originally posted by bdj View Post
              Did surprisingly well last winter with 2 good sized LED flashlights that I stood up inside a couple of empty dog supplement containers, stabilized with a partial roll of paper towels (a Maglite barrel will fit quite nicely inside a roll of paper towels!). Totally ghetto, but it worked well enough that I contemplated rigging up some sort of PVC pipe brackets to affix to the walls to hold the flashlights.
              Nice arrangement, very clever of you! Here's another possibility: At this time of year you can usually find flat "flashlights" with lots of LEDs to make the night bright, and a hook on one end to hang it by. I have found these at local farm stores and home stores. They don't cost much, and if you install a couple of small screw eyes inside the shed (someplace where you can locate them quickly with your hand, but the horses aren't likely to run into them), you can just carry one or two with you and turn them on and hang them up as needed. I don't suggest leaving them in the shed, ever, because horses will be horses. 'Nuff said.

              My most creative set of lights for an after-dark vet visit, before I had proper working electricity in my barn (cough converted shed cough), was two big long connected strings of all-white Christmas lights that ran off batteries. The lights were all LEDs, and when they were strung along the sides of the barn aisle, they were very effective. Although I should probably admit that the "aisle" in question was maybe 24' long and 12' wide, so two strings were enough. After-Christmas sales are WONDERFUL if you want to buy lights (plug-in, solar, or battery-powered) for very little money.

              Plus, they're pretty - just don't put them where the horses can reach them. What worked for me was figuring out how far the horses could reach, then adding another 4 or 5 feet, because for some reason horses can always reach farther than they can reach, if you follow me.
              Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
              Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org


              • Original Poster

                Thanks everyone for the excellent ideas! The thought of blocking the motion detector, and then unblocking it for use seems so simple, why didn't I think of that? Will do some more investigating, but that could work.

                So... I put batteries in the fancy $40 rugged LED lantern from Sportsman's Warehouse (a NICE camping lantern, not the walmart special!). The box said 230 Lumen, CREE LEDs, has dual hanging hooks, three brightness modes... and it is useless. I don't think I could read with it if it was on top of the page. My $1 Lowe's mini-lantern (6 LEDs, 5" tall) is like daylight compared to the high dollar weatherproof lantern. I took the batteries out and put them back in...still dim as can be, in all 3 modes. Definitely want my money back on that one!

                I've used puck lights before (even LED puck lights) and did not find them particularly useful-- while bright, the light did not extend very far beyond 12". I'll look into the LED strips (I have plug-in ones in the kitchen that rock!), and solar Christmas lights? Now that sounds interesting, definitely need to investigate those.

                Thanks again!
                “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                ? Albert Einstein



                • #28
                  I've had horses and other farm critters at home without electricity for 18 years. I've used camping lamps (that have improved over the years) but I think my favorite is just a very good headlamp. If I have a vet emergency my vet practice sends the vet out with a headlamp too, although I do have an extra. So far the lack of electricity thing was only a hindrance when we needed to do a scope on a pony. We walked the pony up to the house.


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by atr View Post
                    I have crossties and rubber mats in my well-lit garage, so if we have an issue, we just pull a car out and horse meets vet there, rather than in my badly lit run in barn area.
                    That is so freaking brilliant I'm smacking myself for not thinking of it. We are going to add on to our one car attached garage and I could go tandem and add a tack-up area and just have heat/electric in one building instead of two. I think I love you.

                    I could have a wash sink in there too for nasty stuff and then I would have hot water for horse stuff and for dog baths.

                    Can add floor drains.

                    Why didn't I think of this??
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                      That is so freaking brilliant I'm smacking myself for not thinking of it. We are going to add on to our one car attached garage and I could go tandem and add a tack-up area and just have heat/electric in one building instead of two. I think I love you.

                      I could have a wash sink in there too for nasty stuff and then I would have hot water for horse stuff and for dog baths.

                      Can add floor drains.

                      Why didn't I think of this??
                      Ha hah!! You did!
                      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                      • #31
                        You are not looking in the correect place in Lowes or home Depot..."PortFolio makes High out put solar spotlights in various sizes and LED light output... they also have an # 800-645-0067...for close to 10 years I had a small barn/shed w/ 2 stalls tack/feed room all on Solar power. there is a webbsite that sold very high quality Solar powered flood lights that had a cord leading to panel you routed outside and a set of flood lights w/ on/off switch for inside. Cost was $100++??? but so worth it. In summer we ran contractor quality extension cord ran it thru PSI100 black pipe partially buried onto a multi plug for Fans on a timer...same w/ hose for water convience.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                          That is so freaking brilliant I'm smacking myself for not thinking of it. We are going to add on to our one car attached garage and I could go tandem and add a tack-up area and just have heat/electric in one building instead of two. I think I love you.

                          I could have a wash sink in there too for nasty stuff and then I would have hot water for horse stuff and for dog baths.

                          Can add floor drains.

                          Why didn't I think of this??
                          Have to laugh at this because my current tack/grooming area is our garage, and that's a big reason we're finally renovating the barn. My husband can't WAIT to get my horse crap out of the garage.