“Put out that light!”
Serious amounts of energy can be saved on many pig farms just by managing lighting. A typical farm could save around £2,000 on a single piggery over a year, according to an environmental specialist.
“Pig Farmers and managers don’t have to emulate ARP warden, William Hodges, in Dad’s Army, by screaming ‘Put out that light’ at their staff. It can now be done relatively easily using modern technology,” says Tim Miller of ARM Buildings.
For example, a finishing house holding 1,000 pigs in a single rooms often has 20 fluorescent lights left on for 16 hours a day, usually with timer control. Many such buildings have windows but even those without, don’t need this level of lighting, providing it fulfils the welfare requirements.
“Pigs are, basically, forest animals living in a shady environment, so four lights should be sufficient with full lighting only switched on when needed by the stockperson for work or checking the pigs,” he declared. The four lights should be controlled by timer.
“Twenty 53W LED tubes on for 16 hours a day in a large finishing house would each use 16.96 kW per day costing £2,913 a year at 40p per kW hr. Instead of having all lights on, using just four would cost £1.36 per day or £496.40 a year, saving over £2, 000 annually,” explained Mr Miller. “Some farmers are paying far more per unit.”
Savings can be made automatically by re-setting timers, using light sensors – so that the lights only come on when needed – and motion sensors. Motion sensors are particularly useful in long corridors in windowless buildings. “Lights are only needed when the corridors are used by staff or when moving pigs so sensors can reduce energy wastage considerably,” he said.
With soaring energy costs and with autumn and winter approaching, Tim Miller says a professional ‘light audit’ is a sensible investment.
Farmers can save thousands of pounds by managing their lighting more carefully, says Tim Miller.