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Placement of Stall Lights: Center vs. Corner

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  • Placement of Stall Lights: Center vs. Corner

    In preparation for (HOPEFULLY) getting electricity run down to my barn, I'm in the process of planning the lighting and electrical outlet placement. Those of you who have seen my barn, either in real life or in photos, will know that this is a HUGE source of excitement for me!

    I have always seen the stall lights placed on the ceiling in the center of the stall, but Cherry Hill's book, Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage, says (re: stall lights), "If you locate the lights above the stall dividers and toward one corner, you may have fewer dark spots in the stall."

    Does anyone have their stall lights placed as Cherry Hill's book states? If so, do you think it's better than a centered placement?
    Jennifer Thomas Alcott
    Culpeper, VA

  • #2
    Neither! The BEST lighting I have ever had in stalls is when the lights are the longer flourescent type, suspended directly over each stall wall. So each stall is lit from both sides.

    One light just doesn't do it, no matter where it is. If it's in a corner, you'd have some major shadows on the opposite side if you're grooming or clipping.

    Of course, you can't really have individual lights this way. You'd have one light switch that turns on the whole bank of stalls... And, you have to install one extra light - but it is the best IMHO.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lights right above the centers will definitely create shadows. We don't have horses in there yet, but our lights are hanging above the stalls over the front stall divider and it isn't nearly as shadowy. I definitely wouldn't do them smack dab over the middle of the stalls/aisles.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tiffani B View Post
        Neither! The BEST lighting I have ever had in stalls is when the lights are the longer flourescent type, suspended directly over each stall wall. So each stall is lit from both sides.

        One light just doesn't do it, no matter where it is. If it's in a corner, you'd have some major shadows on the opposite side if you're grooming or clipping.

        Of course, you can't really have individual lights this way. You'd have one light switch that turns on the whole bank of stalls... And, you have to install one extra light - but it is the best IMHO.
        That sounds like what ours might be. They are outdoor pendant lights (I didn't want to do the fluorescent strips) and there are 6 hanging down the center of the barn- which is over the front of the front stall walls basically since we don't have a center aisle. We have ours on two different switches. Every other light is wired together so we don't have to have them all on if we don't need it as bright (or for nighttime stall check or something). I REALLY like the incandescents though. I've not been in a barn with them before and it feels so warm and cozy with "house lighting".

        Comment


        • #5
          Just think about illuminating the horse from straight above and then you can't see the legs.
          Better try to get lights so they shine from the side and some under the horse, so you can see the side and legs better.

          Our lights are about above the front walls and we can see very well inside the stalls and horses down to the legs.

          The same if you have an aisle, get the light coming to the horse you are grooming or saddling from the side and you can see more of the horse without shadows.

          I think that today most barn builders know that is best.

          Our electrician told us that, if we are going to leave lights on long, use the outdoor type light, even if they take longer to turn on, because they use a fraction of the light the incandescents do and that adds with as many lights as we may use in a barn.

          Comment


          • #6
            By accident my husband placed the individual stall lights on the rafter toward the front of the stall instead of on the rafter in the dead center. It has worked out perfectly because it illuminates the entire stall. I have the benefit of having pipe walls so the lights from adjacent stalls and the aisle flood the entire area.

            We went with regular screw in lights with the pig tail flouresent bulbs in each one. In a matter of a moment or two the barn is nice and bright.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
              That sounds like what ours might be. They are outdoor pendant lights (I didn't want to do the fluorescent strips) and there are 6 hanging down the center of the barn- which is over the front of the front stall walls basically since we don't have a center aisle.
              I'm sorry if my description wasn't clear. Drinking wine with dinner.

              I meant the lights are over the walls on the SIDES of each stall. So if you go in the stall door, the lights are on your left and right. The lights hang centered above each wall, so they illuminate the stall on each side.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tiffani B View Post
                I'm sorry if my description wasn't clear. Drinking wine with dinner.

                I meant the lights are over the walls on the SIDES of each stall. So if you go in the stall door, the lights are on your left and right. The lights hang centered above each wall, so they illuminate the stall on each side.
                You can do something similar if you can hang them over the front walls, so the same light illuminates the aisle and stall.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                  You can do something similar if you can hang them over the front walls, so the same light illuminates the aisle and stall.
                  Yes, but if the horse is standing between you and the light, there are shadows.

                  Unless you put a light on the back wall as well.
                  Last edited by Tiffani B; Dec. 27, 2009, 10:41 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have the long florescents. Something to think of is keeping dust off the bulbs in a barn.

                    I found out about the plastic tube covers for those kind of bulbs. Anyway, with the covers on, you have less chance of shattering the bulb and scattering glass all over. Bulbs can get more brittle with age and use.

                    Plastic bulb covers are cheap, easy to change if you replace the bulbs. I think the plastic is easier to wipe clean, but you need to make sure the cover is put on correctly to not melt it.

                    I do have the CF bulbs, curly type for some places in the barn. However they are COVERED with glass bulb covers in the fixtures. Prevents the dust settling on the bulbs themselves. The CF bulbs do put out a nice bright light, last a LONG time without changing, even if flipped on and off a lot. Worth the extra cost at purchase, do save electric costs to have them. Make sure the fixtures can take the size bulb brightness, of light you want. MANY fixtures should only use a 60W equivilent bulb, NOT the 100W bulbs that are common. Maybe write bulb size ON the fixture with marker, to prevent over-heating with too-large wattage, replacement bulbs.

                    Dust can get explosive when heated on a light bulb, be a severe fire problem with time. So think about how you will be at keeping the bulbs clean in the barn on a regular basis. Should be on the yearly list of things you do once or twice each season.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tiffani B View Post
                      Neither! The BEST lighting I have ever had in stalls is when the lights are the longer flourescent type, suspended directly over each stall wall. So each stall is lit from both sides.
                      I did something similar, but put the lights above the front stall wall, so it lights both the aisle and the stall. Works very well, the only time I have shadows is if the horse is in the stall as I am trying to pick out manure.

                      Here is a link to a picture of the inside of the barn, and you can see the lights above the stall fronts:

                      http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL214.../305923351.jpg
                      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you all for your comments! This is very helpful...

                        JTA
                        Jennifer Thomas Alcott
                        Culpeper, VA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey, Jennifer!! Thanks so much for this thread! Um, now...after we learn how to light/electrical placement for our lil' barns, will you do all the research for me on the proper hot water heater/set up needs for a few stall barn too?
                          ayrabz
                          "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                          --Jimmy Buffett

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We use vapor-tight fixtures with 100 Watt-equivalent CFLs located in the center of the stalls. If we had it to do over, we'd locate them over the stall walls.

                            Even in the coldest weather, they'll reach full brilliance in about a minute.
                            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                            Winston Churchill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We use the same fixtures that Frank B uses with a 100w incandescent bulb in the stall, in the middle of the rafter at the front of the stall. I really, really wish I had another bulb at the back of the stall in the same place. It is shadowy in there- really need to pull horses out in the aisle to see them well (we have fluorescent strips there). I wish we had put them over the partitions as folks are suggesting here!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have two lights in each stall, one at front and the other toward the back. That way, I can eliminate shadows as much as possible. You will greatly appreciate it when you have to doctor your horse in the stall.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Frank B, those are the EXACT light fixtures that I am considering for my stalls--I just went light-shopping yesterday (well, "window shopping" anyway, didn't buy anything yet)!

                                  ayrabz, the hot water issue IS high on my "to be researched" list. I looked at some of the small in-line point-of-use water heaters a while back and will revisit that issue. Used hot water heaters are a dime a dozen on craigslist, but give the small size of our barns, I'm thinking that they might be too bulky. I was envisioning one of the small point-of-use water heaters hung on the front of my barn under the porch (to the right of the door, where I have the mats set up for hosing) with a little wooden box of some sort that's lined and insulated to keep it from freezing?
                                  Jennifer Thomas Alcott
                                  Culpeper, VA

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                                    We use vapor-tight fixtures with 100 Watt-equivalent CFLs located in the center of the stalls. .

                                    We have similar fixtures in the entire barn - just very long fluroescents. uh.... is that spelled correctly?

                                    It's been as cold as 5 degrees (very cold for this area) and the lights came on immediately.

                                    The place lights up like a Christmas tree so I don't have any real problems with shadows.

                                    The fixtures were much more expensive - but a friend who put up cheap ones goes through bulbs like crazy. I'm still using the ones I bought ten years ago. Had them in the old barn - moved them to the new one.
                                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                    -Rudyard Kipling

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have one flourescent (sp) light above each stall, approx in the center (on whichever truss was closest to center) and then I have lights on every other truss in th aisle. My stalls are 4' of solid wood and then wire between them on the top so very open and allows for a lot of light to pass between stalls and in from the aisles. I have no dark spots or shadows but I think that more to do with my stall design than the light placement.

                                      You can kind of see the lights up on the trusses in this pic
                                      http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...8-04-24007.jpg

                                      This is at night so you can see how well lit everything is and you can see the lights at the top
                                      http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...1/IMG_0030.jpg

                                      http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...1/IMG_0033.jpg

                                      Here you can see at night how well lit everything is too... this is the front of one stall with the aisle in front of it
                                      http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...88002_0001.jpg

                                      And this is inside of my big stall but you can see how open the stalls are to each other so the light can easily pass between
                                      http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r.../IMG_7695a.jpg


                                      Congrats on moving forward with your barn!! How exciting!
                                      ~~~~~~~~~

                                      Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by KrazyTBMare View Post
                                        I have one flourescent (sp) light above each stall, approx in the center (on whichever truss was closest to center) and then I have lights on every other truss in th aisle. My stalls are 4' of solid wood and then wire between them on the top so very open and allows for a lot of light to pass between stalls and in from the aisles. I have no dark spots or shadows but I think that more to do with my stall design than the light placement.

                                        You can kind of see the lights up on the trusses in this pic
                                        http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...8-04-24007.jpg

                                        This is at night so you can see how well lit everything is and you can see the lights at the top
                                        http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...1/IMG_0030.jpg

                                        http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...1/IMG_0033.jpg

                                        Here you can see at night how well lit everything is too... this is the front of one stall with the aisle in front of it
                                        http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...88002_0001.jpg

                                        And this is inside of my big stall but you can see how open the stalls are to each other so the light can easily pass between
                                        http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r.../IMG_7695a.jpg


                                        Congrats on moving forward with your barn!! How exciting!
                                        Oh my goodness. You must have calm horses. Mine is a douf and would surely kill himself on that light hanging in the middle of the stall. Is it higher than it looks?

                                        Comment

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