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Lighting Your Farm building

Available lighting options.

Although not everyone does it, lighting your building is a good idea. It extends the possible hours of use and lets you better see what you are doing – and that is an important safety factor. There are four common choices: incandescent, tungsten halogen, fluorescent and high-intensity discharge. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.


  • Warm, inviting light
  • Relatively inefficient
  • Low initial cost 
  • Relatively low light output per watt
  • Short lamp life


  • Brighter, whiter light than standard incandescent
  • More efficient than standard incandescent
  • High initial cost


  • Low-cost fixtures and lamps
  • Highly efficient
  • Take very little headroom. 
  • Give more light than an incandescent bulb.
  • If they are more than 16’ high, they start to lose their lighting capability.
  • Long life 
  • Ballasts can be noisy

High-Intensity Discharge

  • Take up to several feet of headroom
  • Most efficient light output
  • Delayed startup 
  • Light color depends on the gas and phosphor used:
    • High Pressure Sodium = orange/yellow
    • Metal Halide = bright white, 
    • Mercury Vapor = blue/green
  • High initial cost