Light is a key environmental factor that influences and directs physiological processes in all animals. Light facilitates sight which is a necessity for food search; It entrains the circadian cycle; And finally, light initiates and regulates the release of multiple hormones which are essential in metabolic regulation and reproduction. The lighting solution should also take into account the farmer’s need for visual performance.
In swine farming overall, temperature and light are viewed as major environmental factors affecting animal physiology. In domestic boars, there is seasonality in sperm production related to the light in the animal’s environment. Light exposure mediates the level of melatonin secretion, which ultimately affects the quality and quantity of the boar’s reproductive products. An 8-hour photoperiod for animal welfare purposes is prescribed by a number of different government regulations. Furthermore, lighting conditions should be kept stable, as pigs subjected to change from short days to long days need two weeks to reach full adjustment. Night lighting should be applied with care, as even minor deviations in the intensity and duration of environmental light at a given time of day can alter or disrupt various chrono-biological rhythms.

Another example is milking cows. Livestock exposed to longer periods of light combined with a night light breed faster and milk more. Light source selection plays an important role also for poultry growers. Chickens raised under full-spectrum lighting may live longer, lay more eggs, and are less aggressive than chickens raised under fluorescent lighting. Eggs may also be also larger and with stronger shells.

Lighting requirements in EN 12464-1

Industrial activities and crafts - Agriculture

Type of area, task or activity
 Lux-level (Em)
Glare rating (UGRL
 Colour rendition
 Specific requirements
Loading and operating of goods, handling equipment and machinery

Buildings for livestock 50 - 0,40 40  
Sick animal pens: calving stalls 200 25 0,60 80  
Feed preparation: dairy: utensil washing  200 25 0,60 60  

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