Most farmers are surprised at how quickly Henlight pays for itself. To prove it, we built a calculator folks can play with different scenarios and get a good sense of their ROI for a full Henlight Lighting System.
For the increase in lay rate due to Henlight, we conservatively estimate 15%. So if your non-lit lay rate is 60%, with Henlight you should expect at least 69%. Feel free to play around with different numbers in the shaded gray boxes to see your ROI estimate.
Instructions: Enter the appropriate numbers in each of the shaded boxes, and the final return on investment (ROI)/ payback period for one Henlight will automatically calculate.
Poultry & Lighting Science
Chickens and other poultry experience a seasonal drop in egg production during the winter months, when shorter days cause them to lay fewer eggs. Supplemental lighting has been proven to be a safe and effective way to help keep egg supply more regular, and conventional producers have been using supplemental lighting for decades.
Yet Henlight is the first lighting system designed for pastured poultry farmers, who need mobile, off-grid solutions. Working closely with one of our customers, we've recorded the first research on lighting of pastured poultry, showing an average increase in lay rate of 20% over the course of three winter months.
In designing Henlight, we examined all of the available research as well as talked with a number of poultry veterinarians and behavior specialists to determine the optimal lighting characteristics. Below is a list of some of the research publications on poultry lighting that we found useful. If you have any questions, please don't be shy about reaching out to us!
Poultry researchers and animal welfare specialists have shown that supplemental lighting should follow appropriate guidelines for color, intensity, and lighting length. Guidelines from Animal Welfare Approved, for example, specificy that hens should not see more than 16 hours of lighting per day.
In terms of color, it is important to know that chickens and other poultry have different photoreceptors than humans, meaning that the light visible to humans is different from the light visible to the birds. Specifically, there are certain color wavelengths in the red spectrum that are most effective in stimulating egg production, while also reducing negative behaviors such as feather pecking.
Results from the Field
This data is from an actual pasture raised poultry farm in beautiful Capay Valley, California, where during the fall/winter of 2014/2015, two identical groups of 250 hens were separated. They both received the same feed, pasture (fenced apart), and all other equal inputs. However, one group got Henlight; the other, nothing.
Sure enough, by the end of winter, the lay rate of the two groups had diverged significantly, leading to an average 20% increase in egg production for the Henlight coop. For this farmer, that increase in lay rate resulted in an additional 2,253 eggs, or 188 dozen. Sold at $6/doz, the result was $1,126 (USD), and an ROI in one season!
Headquarted in Davis, California, Team Henlight brings together a group of passionate, engaged, and driven entrepreneurs committed to helping good farmers do well.
After winning the Thought For Food Challenge, Henlight launched in 2013 with the goal of helping poultry farmers around the world be more productive. Farmers work so hard for the eggs their hens produce, and shouldn't lost out on so many just because of a few hours of sunlight.
We have seen the positive impact small scale farmers can have on a community, and the boost they give to local and global economies. Our goal is to support them with appropriate technology that keeps their business viable.