LEDs light up the future

LED lighting is not altogether new, but there are many new developments that are exciting for the pig industry, writes Sam Walton.

John Matchman of Agri Lamp has spent most of his life working on and analysing light patterns and their various effects, and a presentation he gave to a group of farmers in East Yorkshire at a meeting organised by ARN Services was not only fascinating, but mind boggling.

We know there are many colours in the spectrum, what we maybe don’t realise is that pigs, and poultry for that matter, see light differently from human beings. And it appears that different colours within the spectrum have varying effects on these species.

A lot of work has been done in the poultry industry, where different coloured LED lights can be used to “persuade” chickens to either huddle together, lie apart, eat, drink or be selective with the different-coloured ingredients in their feed.

Overall, there is a huge calming effect on them, which is showing two or three days quicker to slaughter, less feather loss, no cannibalism, lower mortality and I believe dryer bedding was mentioned too.

Very little work has been done with pigs so far, but Agri Lamp now has trials underway with Dr Sandra Edwards at Newcastle University and Dr Nina Taylor at Bristol. This work is ongoing, but Mr Matchman said it had already been established that there’s a calming influence on pigs using differing light colours and patterns, and that pigs can be made to dung in a certain area, thus keeping cleaner, by painting different colours on the floor in conjunction with LED lighting.

At this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair, the Agri Lamp Induction System (ALIS) will be on show for the first time. This ground-breaking system makes it easier than ever to install LED lighting in your buildings. ALIS uses contactless power technology that means the system can be installed by anyone using basic tools. The ALIS bulbs are simply clamped over a length of cable running from a controller and can be placed wherever you need them.

The ALIS LED bulbs are waterproof and can be pressure washed, although you must keep the lance more than 1.5m away. They have a design life of 40,000 hours and can be unclipped and moved if necessary. They’re also virtually unbreakable in normal usage.

Best of all, however, the ALIS system uses considerably less power than conventional bulbs or strip lights for the same light output, with savings of up to 90% possible. They also provide a much better quality of light, with no flickering in a stabilised temperature environment, and operate at low temperature, vastly reducing fire risks.

For more information contact distributor ARN Services on 01652 649119, or visit: www.agrilamp.com

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