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Tips for installing electricity in the barn

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  • Tips for installing electricity in the barn

    We would like to install electricity in our run-in shed and in our hay shed next year. (Getting tired of not being able to see anything through the long, cold winters!)

    Any tips for how to install, where to install, bulbs to use, cases around the bulbs to use, etc.? Any particular lighting you should use in a hay shed vs. a run-in shed? Of course we will consult professionals to follow codes and safety.

  • #2
    What I don't like is any lighting that generates lots of heat, like halogen, mercury vapor or sodium halide. I have flourescents just about everywhere. I'm in KY so the cold weather ballasts work just fine, though they do take a few minutes to get to full brightness when it's really cold. In my old barn I had incandescent fixtures with the heavy glass jar that protected the bulb- the bulbs blew alot (because of the heat?) and eventually I replaced them w/ compact flourescents to save the hassle of dragging out the big stepladder on a regular basis.

    My run-in shed currently has no lighting and I've thought about some sort of small solar powered light because I'm not going to the trouble and expense of running electric to it. I figure the rechargeable flashlight is a dandy alternative if I feel the need to check on the critters in the shed at night.

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    • #3
      My barns( shedrow and hay storage and goat areas) are near the house so we dug a trench and buried conduit /wiring from a designated circuit . It powers the outside barn lights as well as inside ones. I use incandescent bulbs inside and they seem to last forever, but I pretty much just need lighting in the winter. My stalls have very high ceilings so i don't have any "cages" around the bulbs, but it would be a good idea in general. I turn lights on/off from the house and power is off at night. If I have a "sitter" , i can set a switch on the side of the house to turn lights on/off from there. I just turn the lights "on" from inside , then off from the outside switch. I run a cable from another designated outlet from Mr CB/TB's work barn for my water trough heater.

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      • #4
        We just built a barn, and went solar. It was really easy. One panel, a charger pack, and the rest is wired like a regular barn with outlets, light switches, GFCI, etc. We even run the water pump with solar. I know nothing about solar and it was very easy.

        Then we have what we call a night-light, which is a one light unit, powered by it's own panel that I hit a switch to turn on and off, separate from everything else, as a just-in-case situation (which we have not had any problems, but it's not a bright so I like it for night checks). They are made for small hunting sheds or out buildings where you want a simple solution.

        The cost was less than digging a trench and all the other stuff like a breaker panel, etc.

        No special electrician needed.

        Just a thought...

        There are pictures of the barn up here, http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/ the panel at the top right of the roof of the barn is the panel. We used florescents with reflectors which guides the light down, it is brigher than daylight in the barn with the lights on.
        The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Javasmom View Post
          We just built a barn, and went solar. It was really easy. One panel, a charger pack, and the rest is wired like a regular barn with outlets, light switches, GFCI, etc. We even run the water pump with solar. I know nothing about solar and it was very easy.
          Brilliant. Why did I not think of this for my barn?

          Did you get your solar panel locally or is it something that can be found online?
          We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson

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          • #6
            My Dad came out and helped us run power and install electricity in our barns a couple years ago. (Good to know my honey and Papa love to work together on projects like that! For all the pissing and moaning, the 2 of them had a blast working together.)

            Anyway - I can't think of the name of the light fixtures we used, but we chose them because the bulb is encased in a heavy dome that is inside a cage for safety. They carry them at Home Depot and Lowes, and we really like them, and aren't worried about the winds here kicking something into the glass or bulb and breaking it. Last thing I want is to find broken glass inside the stalls.

            4 of these fixtures completely illuminate the inside of the an 8 stall breezeway barn wonderfully.
            There's Knothing Like a Knabstrupper!

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            • #7
              I would recommend a dusk to dawn light - had one installed on my barn and LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Javasmom View Post
                We just built a barn, and went solar. It was really easy. One panel, a charger pack, and the rest is wired like a regular barn with outlets, light switches, GFCI, etc. We even run the water pump with solar. I know nothing about solar and it was very easy.

                Then we have what we call a night-light, which is a one light unit, powered by it's own panel that I hit a switch to turn on and off, separate from everything else, as a just-in-case situation (which we have not had any problems, but it's not a bright so I like it for night checks). They are made for small hunting sheds or out buildings where you want a simple solution.

                The cost was less than digging a trench and all the other stuff like a breaker panel, etc.

                No special electrician needed.

                Just a thought...

                There are pictures of the barn up here, http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/ the panel at the top right of the roof of the barn is the panel. We used florescents with reflectors which guides the light down, it is brigher than daylight in the barn with the lights on.
                Where on your blog is the details of the lighting? I really enjoyed your site too...discovered Bedlams blog and also the Pioneer Women site.
                "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is an example of the solar panel (this should take you to a post that has a photo of it). The panel is on the right side of the barn roof:

                  http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/2008/1...g-routine.html

                  Hang on, I'll post something about the electrical and re-post on here with pics of the lights, power packs, etc... give me a minute... I'll be right back...
                  The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, here we go, this new post has most of the info:

                    http://javasbarn.blogspot.com/

                    We purhcased most of the stuff, battery pack, and I think the panel through Northern Tool.
                    www.NorthernTool.com

                    I'm happy to help with other questions, etc. For a run in shed, this would be really really easy.
                    The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by regeventer View Post
                      I would recommend a dusk to dawn light - had one installed on my barn and LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!
                      Having such a light attached to the outside of your barn significantly increases the chances of your horses developing Potomac Horse Fever. Lights attract Mayflies. Mayflies carry the PHF bacteria. This is an expensive disease to treat & occasionally fatal. The vaccine against it is not very effective.

                      I will admit I do not like such lights due to light pollution & the unnecessary use of resourses. PHF is just another reason NOT to keep the lights on all night.

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                      • #12
                        Here's the type of fixture I'd recommend. It's sturdy, designed for damp locations, and if the bulb shatters, it contains the glass fragments and sparks from the filament.
                        The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                        Winston Churchill

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