How Do I Light my Horse Arena with Solar Lights | BlackFrog Solar

How Do I Light my Horse Arena with Solar Lights

horse arena

Lighting in General

Lighting a horse arena can be a beneficial and rewarding experience gaining additional riding hours, especially in the winter months given the shorter days. Horse arena lighting can be achieved either by mains power, generator or solar power.  Each has advantages and disadvantages and you will need to determine which option is best suited for your application.  Different applications and personal preferences also require varying levels of light.  To help, below are some advantages and disadvantages for each. 

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Mains power lighting:

  • Can achieve high illumination up to competition lighting standards*
  • Considerable financial commitment at installation including lights, poles, trenching and electrician services
  • Underground wiring required
  • Ongoing power costs
  • Susceptible to rising electricity tariffs
  • Susceptible to power outages

* The light output of a 400W metal halide (cleanest light) globe diminishes over time and will reduce to 200W output after only 10,000 hours. Energy consumption remains the same.

Generators

  • Portable power source, ideal for remote locations
  • Can achieve high illumination up to competition lighting standards*
  • Considerable financial commitment at installation including generator, lights, poles, trenching and electrician services
  • Underground wiring required
  • Not affected by power outages, but reliant on sufficient fuel
  • Total wattage of lights are limited to generator capacity
  • Can be noisy
  • Have ongoing fuel and maintenance costs

 Solar Horse Arena Lighting

  • Independent power source; ideal for remote locations
  • Smaller financial commitment at installation including lights, solar panels and poles
  • No ongoing power or fuel costs
  • All wiring is contained at the light pole
  • Not affected by power outages
  • Reliant on sufficient UV light to charge the batteries (models are available with up to 36 hours battery storage capacity)
  • Batteries will need to be replaced (every 1-5 years depending on battery type)
  • Light output from each light head is limited to battery capacity and may not provide sufficient illumination for some users

Solar power can be a more economical and practical solution especially in locations where mains power is not easily accessible.  Commercial quality solar flood lights are becoming an increasingly popular choice for horse owners.  There is a growing range of high-quality solar lights available that can provide lighting to suit your individual requirements.  This is not limited to horse arenas, but also to horse stables, cattle yards, machinery storage areas etc. 

horse-arena-solar-flood-lights

Typical Lighting Levels for Outdoor Arenas

Show jumping practice and training:     150 lux
Show jumping competition:       300 lux
Dressage practice and training:    200 lux
Dressage competition:      200 lux
Private use 70-100 lux

 

Things You Should Consider

Solar lights contain rechargeable batteries which can and will need to be replaced after a period of time.  When the lighting times no longer meet your requirements, it is time to replace the battery.  Look for solar lights that have easily accessible batteries, preferably with ground or in-ground battery packs.

Solar panels will need to be positioned where they can receive maximum sunlight.  Be aware that in dusty environments, solar panels may require regular cleaning to ensure maximum charging ability.  Rainfall will generally remove most dust, but an annual clean would still be beneficial.

Individuals should consider how they will mount the lights: on poles or building facades.  the eye level of a rider is typically between 2m and 2.5m above ground level and may significantly increase when jumps are taken.  This should be considered when determining mounting heights for lights.  Place light poles symmetrically around the arena.  The number of poles will depend on the size of the arena, but ideally, there should be four to avoid shadows which can spook horses.   Put as many lights on each pole as possible.

Consider the illumination required for your particular horse riding needs.  Illumination is provided to enable the safe movement of both horse and rider appropriate to the use.  The lighting installation should provide even illumination over the total floor area.

 

Horse Arena Lighting using Solar Flood Lights

The number of solar flood lights required for your horse arena will depend on the size of your arena and your illumination requirements. The minimum should be four to avoid shadowing.  As a rough guide, four Flinders floodlights will provide the approximate equivalent of street lighting or outdoor car park lighting over a standard sized arena. For best results and/or a range of alternatives, please contact us for advice.

 

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