A recent retrofit in Shropshire led to improvments in performance and reduced energy costs.
In late 2019, Greengage retrofitted the lighting system in one of the broiler sheds at Shadwell Farm, Clun, Shropshire, where Tom Bright and his father John run a 210,000-broiler enterprise. At this time, the average seven-day weight was 190g but variation in chick weight was high. After observing chick behaviour and assessing their sheds, Tom and his father identified lighting as a limiting factor to bird performance.
Uneven light distribution
The shed to be retrofitted had conventional HF fluorescent strip lights which were controlled by a manual time dimmer. Uneven light distribution led to dark areas in one corner and along one long side of the shed. In Autumn 2019, the shed was fitted with 140 ALIS wide-angled lamps controlled by a dawn to dusk dimmer. The system took 2 days to install. There was an immediate visual difference in lighting quality. With Tom himself commenting in a recent article published in Farmers Weekly,
‘The whole floor space was evenly covered by light, with brightness equal at both ends of the shed and no flickering.’
We recently returned to Tom to see how he had been getting on since the new ALIS system had been installed. Tom told us that not only was the lighting in the shed greatly improved but there were noticeable improvements in chick growth and behaviour. Overall, flocks reared to date under the new lighting had an average increase in 7-day weight of 4g, but for individual flocks this increase was up to 8g. Final weight was, on average, increased by 25g, and there were significant gains in energy costs.
The annual savings from this improved bird performance and the reduced energy cost are estimated to total £5179.02, with a return on investment being achieved in under 2 years.
|Conventional HF fluorescent tubes||ALIS LED lights|
|Lighting needs||45 x 58W||140 x 11W|
|Average lifetime of lights||10,000 hrs||100,000 hrs|
|Hours of use per 40-day flock||640 hrs||640 hrs|
|Chick placement per shed||35,000||35,000|
|Mortality per flock||875||875|
|40-day running cost at 15p/kWh||£250.56||£147.84|
|Total annual use||4,480 hrs||4,480 hrs|
|Annual energy cost||£1,753.92||£1,034.88|
|Financial gain||–||£1.87p per bird = £638.14 per flock|
|Initial investment||£2,400 plus £1,800 install||£6,700 plus £2,100 install|
|Annual saving from bird performance & energy reduction||–||£5179.02|
|ROI||–||Less than 2 years|