The Ultimate Barn and Arena Lighting Guide for Horse Owners
How many times have you wished you had better lighting in your barn, arena, or along causeways? When it comes to handling horses, good lighting is more than a luxury; it’s a prerequisite to a healthy
and safe horse experience.
Article by Karen Elizabeth Baril
Poor lighting may even be a liability issue. Trying to navigate a dimly lit aisle or riding your frisky horse into that shadowy corner of the arena is just not fun.
Regular incandescent bulbs inside the barn simply do not offer safe or adequate lighting for horse handling. Dark shadows make it
tough to navigate aisles with horses in hand and those dark places tend to spook even the calmest horse. Good lighting offers a
daylight quality and will help your horse feel more confident when he requires veterinary attention or is having his feet trimmed.
Investing in quality lighting is one of those farm improvements that offers so much bang for the buck. In fact, quality lighting saves you
money in the long run. Let’s take a look at lighting for the barn, the arena, and even your wash stall.
Grooming requires adequate lighting as well. It’s easy to miss a cut or wound in a shadow-filled barn aisle. When choosing lights for the barn or stalls, keep the following in mind:
• If you have old wiring or lighting, enlist the help of a licensed electrician to remove it. Keep in mind that incandescent bulbs
generate heat and are a serious fire hazard in the barn. Dust, cobwebs, and bird nesting material are highly flammable. Incandescent bulbs also can shatter when the temperatures rise or drop.
• Choose fixtures that are designed for agricultural, but specifically for equines. Lighting should be UL approved and must offer daylight quality.
• LED lights are cool burning and last up to 40 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. They cost more initially, but you’ll save
on electricity, protect your horses from the risk of fire, and they require little effort to maintain.
• Fixtures must be gasketed and enclosed to seal out moisture, dust, and insects.
• Consider lights that offer a timer option or a night-light option.
Quality lighting for arenas is more than a luxury. It’s a critical component to a safe and comfortable riding environment. Many horses
avoid or even shy at shadowy corners. My horse spooks at shadows, creating a safety risk for riders and spectators alike.
Conversely, if the arena lighting is too glaring, it can also spook horses and interfere with sight lines to jumps.
Arena builders recommend LED high bay strip lights. A 35,000 Lumen bulb (only uses 300 watts of power) offers high quality daylight quality illumination. Look for fixtures that promise:
• No ballast to repair or replace
• Shatterproof UV stabilized polycarbonate lenses-(frosted to reduce glare)
• Neutral daylight colored light
• 120° light distribution
• Minimum fixture height of 18’
• Dimmable lights
• Daylight quality
Wash Stall Lighting
Take a thousand pound flight animal, a slippery floor, dangling power cords, and one tiny reason to spook—you guessed it, it’s a
recipe for horse and human disaster. Don’t bother to stir the ingredients—your horse will do that for you.
If you’ve lived through a few spooky moments, you know that bad things happen with no warning. One minute your horse is
standing quietly with his leg cocked and a nano-second later he’s in a full-blown panic. That’s bad enough if you’re leading him , but
if you’re trapped in a wash stall with him, the situation can get downright dangerous. If the lighting is unsafe and your footing is iffy, you’re in double trouble.
Let's take a look at the essentials of safe conditions in the wash stall.
• At least 5,000 lumens
• Clear LED tubes
• Shatterproof Polycarbonate Lens Covers
• No Ballasts to repair or replace
• UL Certified for wet locations
• Use a waterproof grommet so the cord is airtight, preventing water from leaking into the fixture.
Outdoor Lighting for Walkways and Drives
Security and safety are the primary concerns for outdoor lighting. Choose dusk to dawn lights that turn on automatically or are set on
a timer to avoid having to remember to turn lights on and off. Motion sensor lights can work well, but some horses take a little time
to get used to them. Consider dark sky lights for outdoors; these lights offer less glare and help to protect the night sky for star gazers.
To advertise your horse product or service, Contact Ann
InfoHorse.com, Horse Information Lives Here ®
Contact Us to Advertise to over a million Horse Owners.
All images and content Copyright© 2022 by InfoHorse.com,
Articles, Academic Schools, Arena Maintenance, Animal Communicators, Barns, Barn and Accessories, Barn Equipment and Tractors, Breast Collars, Grooming Products for Horses, Hay Feeders, Horse Blankets, Horse Breeders, Horse Camping Gear, Career Schools, Horse Training Clinicians, Equestrian Clothing, Dogs and Puppies, Horse Fencing, Horse Products For Sale, Fly Control, Foal Care, Horse Footings, Horse Gifts, Horse Health and Nutrition, Hoof and Leg, Horse Insurance, Certified Trainers, Equine Lawyers, Leather Care, Links , Portable Horse Stalls, Arenas and Roundpens, Horse Riding Schools, Horse Schools, Safety Products, Services for Horses, Horse Trailers, Horse Shipping, Horse
Skin Coat Care, Specialty Trainers, Horse Summer Camps, Tack, Horse Trainers, Treats and Snacks, Truck Accessories, Trucks, Horse Vacations, Western Lifestyle