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LED Lighting: It’s Not Just for Turkeys Anymore

July 31, 2013

Back in April 2012, Oklahoma State University concluded an LED lighting project with a dairy farm.  Much like TMP’s LED poultry project, the OSU researchers sought to test the LED lights’ energy savings potential and the durabi

Howe Cow

lity of the bulbs. In addition, they tracked cow health and milk productivity out of concern the LEDs might harm the dairy cows.  The researchers were pleasantly surprised to find the dairy cows increased milk production by 6% with no negative side effects. In other words, the dairy farmer was getting more product with lowered production costs – quite the ideal.  You can read more on the 2012 study in Holstein World or in Iowa Farmer Today

Though the 6% production increase is only one data point in the short LED history on dairy cows, LEDs are showing promise, especially in light of a dairy practice known as Long Day Lighting.  In brief, Long Day Lighting involves keeping the dairy barn lights on a little longer, usually 16-18 hours, during the shorter days of the year.  This practice has been proven to boost milk production 5-16% with no harm to the cows.  Combining ultra-efficient LEDs with Long Day Lighting practices in the dairy industry has real potential to boost profitability.  In the meantime, keep your eyes open for more research on LEDs for dairies.  Increased milk production by LED bulb is not science quite yet, but LEDs might just give the competitive advantage to keep your farm at the top.




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