Caged House Poultry Lighting - The Way Forward

The lighting of caged layer houses has always been a challenge for lighting designers. The lighting in a layer house should be providing uniform light along the feed troughs of each tier while providing enough Lux levels for peak bird performance. This is however not as simple as it may sound.

Traditionally, farmers would install a staggered layout to try and improve uniformity on the cages. The design would allow for two staggered rows of lights at different heights. The problem with this design is that it leaves "Hot Spots" along the cage walls and more importantly along the feeding troughs.

Initially, SUNBIRD also went with the staggered designs using a light that we specially made to cast light in the same way that an Incandescent bulb would. At the time we were speaking to various professors and industry professionals about our challenge with caged houses. It became apparent that uniformity along the feed troughs was the most important factor. A variance of Lux levels on the different tiers was not as important. There just needed to be enough light on all tiers. The birds for example on Tier 1 (darkest tier), would accept their Lux levels as Day and distinguish between Day and Night accordingly and so too would the birds on Tier 4 (brightest tier).

To overcome the "Hot Spot" effect and keep the costs of the system down, we came up with a very simple and a very cost-effective solution. We use our standard 10W warm white lights installed in rows above the cages. We then use an Aluminium shade on each light which channels direct light off the top cages into the corridors and onto the feeding troughs. This system is now used by SUNBIRD Layer customers all over the world with great success.

For installations that have 5 or more tiers and where passages are very narrow, we revert to the conventional two row staggered system. We still use the system described above but will include a staggered row of 5W SUNBIRD lights below to get enough light onto the drinking nipples in the bottom cages. The use of lenses from a single row of lights above a tall cage system does help to channel the light down to the bottom tiers but the shadows caused by the lower feed troughs can prevent enough light from entering the cage. The directional aspect of LED lighting has its pros’ and cons.

“Sunbird lighting has exceeded all expectations, from great technical support to results on the farm. I highly recommend this great product”

Lance Simpson, Pedigree Farm Manager, Cobb- Vantress USA

“We have installed numerous Sunbird systems in our Hatcheries, Broiler and Breeder operations. All are working perfectly with excellent results and no maintenance required. The service from Sunbird has been exemplary”

Raymond Laing, Technical Manager, Ross Breeders Africa (Pty) Ltd

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