Compatibility of dimmers and alternative technology lamps for commercial broiler houses

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The use of artificial lighting has become an integral component of the commercial broiler industry, as chickens possess visual acuity superior to that of humans. A variety of new light emitting diode (LED) lamps have become available specifically for use in poultry houses to reduce energy costs, causing many broiler growers to consider implementing LED technology. Lamp dimmers help maximize bird performance by reducing light intensity and often have multiple settings (profiles) used to accommodate different lamps. Because of the investment required to replace lamps in a broiler house, growers have requested information to assist in selecting an appropriate lamp-profile combination. This study evaluated the impact of 8 different commercial dimmers with 21 profiles total on the performance of 15 different LED lamps, one incandescent (INC), and one cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). Approximately 350 lamp-profile combinations were individually tested for multiple criteria as the lamps were dimmed. A scoring metric was developed that considered linearity, re-fire, luminous output, and efficacy. Dimmer and profile selection impacted lamp luminous output and efficiencies. No one lamp worked effectively with all dimmers and profiles, and no one dimmer or profile worked effectively with all lamps. There were statistically significant differences in scores based on technology, lamp, dimmer, and profile, suggesting that a multifaceted approach is necessary when evaluating the performance of lamps, dimmers, and profiles. A publically available selection tool website allows access to the combination scores. Growers can use this website to make informed decisions, promoting energy savings and agricultural sustainability.

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