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New Farm Lighting Guidelines Save Money

New Farm Lighting Guidelines Save Money

New publication from ISU Extension's Farm Energy program provides illumination guidelines for farm lighting that can save you money and still meet your needs for various uses on the farm.

Farm lighting systems should be designed to meet minimum lighting requirements in a manner that is both energy efficient and cost effective. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension addresses minimum illumination levels for various production agriculture settings.

The publication, titled Indoor Lighting For Livestock, Poultry, And Farm Shop Facilities (PM 2089R), is available to download from the ISU Extension Online Store at

Farm lighting systems

"When selecting lighting for farm applications, you should consider energy efficiency in addition to the initial cost of ballasts and fixtures," says Jay Harmon, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. "Also keep in mind that bulbs may not achieve their 'rated life' as shown on the package in a typical farm facility where dust, humidity and temperature fluctuations often shorten bulb life."

Incandescent light bulbs are beginning to disappear from retail shelves

This publication explains different types of indoor lighting and addresses minimum recommendations for lighting levels inside farm production facilities. It also includes a cost comparison for replacing incandescent bulbs, which are beginning to disappear from retail shelves. The incandescent phase-out officially begins with 100W bulbs this coming January and will grow to include the lower wattage bulbs during the next few years.

"Energy efficient lighting can significantly reduce farm operating costs, especially in a large production facility with many fixtures," notes Dana Petersen, ISU Extension program coordinator with ISU Farm Energy. "Contact your local electric utility provider to learn about available rebates for energy efficient lighting alternatives."

For more tips on energy efficiency around the farmstead, visit or follow @ISU_Farm_Energy on Twitter.

The Farm Energy publications are part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the ISU Farm Energy Initiative. The purpose is to increase farmers' awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers and utility providers to explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.

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