Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DOES A HENLIGHT WORK?
Henlight uses a 40W solar panel to capture solar energy and charge a battery during the day, and then uses that battery to power the light in the early pre-dawn hours. Henlight only comes on in the morning, slowly brightening over 30 minutes to mimic sunrise. When the sun rises, Henlight will sense that and automatically turn off.
Henlight uses 50 micro energy efficient and long-lasting LEDs. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LEDs will not break, reducing the risk of fire or release of toxic chemicals. Henlight incorporates two different color LEDs, giving off a warm white/red glow to match the photo-receptors of poultry. These warm colored (more reddish) wavelengths are scientifically proven to promote egg production while reducing negative hen behaviors.
For help troubleshooting or if you would to see our instruction documents, please click here.
WHAT KIND OF LIGHT SOURCE IS USED?
Henlight uses 50 micro, energy-efficient LEDs, which will not break, do not get hot, and unlike CFLs, do not contain toxic chemicals (i.e. mercury).
Henlight uses a mixture of two different color wavelengths, optimized to poultry photo-receptors. Research has shown that poultry responds better to colors in the red spectrum, producing more eggs and reducing negative behaviors such as feather picking. For more on this topic, see a research article by Huber-Eichler (2013) "Effects of colore light-emitting diode illumination on behavior and performance of laying hens."
WHEN DOES THE LIGHT COME ON?
The Henlight system only comes on during the morning, before sunrise. While some practioners use lighting at night, we believe that nighttime lighting can interfere with natural roosting behavior, and therefore add stress to the birds.
DOES THE LIGHT BOTHER THE HENS?
Research has shown that properly implemented supplemental lighting doesn't affect hen health. The important paramenters are the photoperiod (length of lighting), intensity, and color. We based our illumination on the recommendations of poultry vets and welfare specialists. For example, we follow the Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) guidelines of no more than 16 hours total light (natural + supplemental), and the Henlight system has been approved by AWA. We've even installed a video camera into one of our test coops to watch what happens inside the coop when the light comes on! Feel free to watch part of the video and judge for yourself if the hens seem bothered by the light. (We start this video after the light has already come up to full brightness over 30 min so you can see the chickens start to wake up and move around ... the first 30 minutes is pretty boring).
HOW SHOULD I INSTALL THE LIGHTING UNIT IN MY COOP?
It really depends on the size of your coop and the orientation of the roosts. The goal is to have the Henlight angled directly at the roosts; therefore if you have a long skinny coop with roosts all the way down the long side, that might require more than one Henlight. Our basic rule of thumb is that one Henlight covers a typical 8' x 24' coop.
See the image below for more details:
Henlights can be mounted on the ceiling or the the wall, either vertically or horizontally. The goal is to install the light so that it shines as much as possible directly at the roosting area, but no closer than 3' or 4' from the nearest roost. You don't want to put the light right on top of where your birds like to sleep. The lighting unit has a built-in adjustable bracket with pre-drilled holes so you can mount the bracket flush with the wall/ceiling, and then adjust the angle at which the light shines.
HOW SHOULD I INSTALL THE SOLAR PANEL?
The solar panel comes with its own mounting bracket, and four pre-selected angles for orientating the panel toward the sun. In the northern hemisphere, the panel should be pointed south toward the equator; in the southern hemisphere, the opposite. The angle of the panel is determined by the latitude of your location--farmers in Texas, for example, will position the panel so it is "flatter," or more horizontal, while farmers in Canada will need to angle the panel more vertically. The panel and mounting bracket include instructions on which pre-selected angle to use based on your approximate location. The solar panel can be installed on the roof or side of the coop, or can be placed on the ground next to the coop (it comes with a 20' cable to connect with the lighting unit). If you install the panel on the coop, you have to maintain the same orientation of the coop when you move it (or, one of our farmers welded together a rotating Lazy Susan base for his panels so that he could move his coops any way he wanted, and then just spin the panels to point south).
HOW DOES THE AC CHARGING WORK? DO I NEED A SEPARATE PART FOR THIS?
The AC Charging allows anyone to hook their Henlight up to the power grid (i.e. an outlet in your house or barn), while still receiving the same timing function as before, but ensuring consistency during the darkest of winter days, which is especially useful in very more northern parts of the U.S./Canada. Henlight is reliable, but with any and every solar product, a major storm and winter in very northern areas can cause the power supply to be drastically reduced. Having the AC charging function gives farmers the option to plug their system in, and ensure 100% reliability.
FOR THE PASTURED, HOW DOES THE TIMER ADJUSTMENT SWITCH WORK?
The Timer Adjustment Switch gives farmers the option to apply less light to their hens if they so choose and/or if they have a special lighting program. The adjusting switch allows farmers to adjust to either 14, 15, or 16 hours of light (combined sun light and Henlight). This may be useful if introducing the light later in the season to help ease the hens into the introduction of a new light. There is a simple toggle switch allowing farmers this functionality right on the control unit.
DO YOU SHIP OUTSIDE THE U.S.?
Unfortunately, at this point we do not ship internationally. We plan and hope to in the future, but that is not the case now.