As a variety of new poultry specific LED lamps have become available, many broiler growers are
considering replacing their older technology bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce energy costs. Most broiler
grow-out programs use dimmers to reduce light intensity to maximize performance. Incandescent, cold
cathode compact fluorescents, and LED bulbs respond differently to dimming and changes in bulb
technology may require different dimmers or dimmer profiles/curves.
Because of the large financial investment required to replace all the bulbs in a broiler house, broiler
growers and integrators have been requesting lamp and dimmer information to assist in bulb, dimmer
and dimmer profile selection. The purpose of this project was to provide an internet available tool for
broiler growers and integrators to learn about the performance of specific bulbs when paired with
specific dimmers. There are many LED lamps that can work well in a poultry setting, however, there are
some combinations of LED lamps and dimmers that are not well matched and should not be used.
Currently this project has evaluated the impact of 8 different commercial dimmers on the performance
of 15 different LED bulbs. In addition, many of the dimmers have multiple dimmer profiles that were
evaluated. An integrated spectrometer system was used to individually evaluate each bulb, dimmer, and
dimmer setting combination. This testing system recorded input and output voltage, power
consumption, luminous flux (light output) and spectral power distribution of the bulbs tested. These
measurements were recorded for each combination of bulb, dimmer, and dimmer settings from 0 -
100% at 10% increments.
Using the tabs at the top of the page you can access the scores of the bulb-dimmer interactions and
view by bulb listing or by dimmer listing. The information can be sorted by column. Graphs of the light
output curves, efficiency, and spectral power distribution (not yet available) of each bulb-dimmer
combination are available by clicking the tab at the end of row of each table. Information on each bulb
and dimmers is provided when available. There is also a tab at the top of the page to access a glossary of
Other important information to consider when choosing the best lamps for your broiler house are:
- What is the lumen output of the bulb needed to provide the necessary light level at bird height?
Bulbs will list wattage and lumens produced by the bulb. The wattage/lumen output you require
will vary with the ceiling height of your house.
- Bulb design (shape) such as A19 compared to PAR. The A19 tends to be used more with lower
ceiling heights while the PAR design may be needed with higher ceilings. This along with lamp
placement will impact light level and uniformity of light level throughout the house.
- What is the cost of the bulb and what is the warranty on the bulb?
- What is the estimated hour life expectancy or how will the bulb last?
- What is the power factor for the bulb (range up to 1.0). This is one way to determine the
efficiency of the bulb. An example of a very high power would be >0.90.
- Some bulbs now have constant current drivers which maintain a constant lumen output over a
wider range of voltage conditions. Variations of voltage being delivered to a grower’s farm may
vary during peak usage times and impact bulb performance. Low voltage could for example
require a higher dimmer setting for your bulbs to come back on (re-fire) or cause only a limited
number to come back on after bulbs are turned off for a period of time.
All or most of this bulb information should be available in the bulb literature or is available from the bulb
distributor or manufacturer.
Sarah Morrissey, Dan
Hougentogler, Greg Keane, Robert Alphin
and Eric Benson
Dr. Eric Benson, Robert Alphin, or Dan
531 South College Ave.
Newark De 19716
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