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Does your stable and arena lighting system need an overhaul? Check out H&H’s top tips on the best and safest lighting for your yard

Top tips for stable lighting

1. Know your outdoor bulbs:Incandescent — traditional bulbs heated by a filament

Fluorescent — bulbs or tubes that emit ultraviolet light

CFL — use around 67% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs (note: health campaigners claim CFLs can trigger problems in people with light-sensitive medical conditions; anyone with a serious light-sensitive condition thinking of installing these lights should consult their GP first)

Halogen — more efficient than incandescent bulbs, less so than CFL

Light Emitting Diode (LED) — good for directional lighting

2. Safety: Use weatherproof casing on light switches and site away from horses’ reach

3. Power: Never exceed the fitting’s maximum wattage

4. Timers: Consider timer technology — many lighting systems have it built in. Digital timers are also available to control outdoor lights, and work with CFL

Top tips for arena lighting

1. Avoid HID sodium lights: While metal halide gives a white light, sodium gives a softer, “orangey” colour. Horses are less able to differentiate jumps beneath this light

2. Choose durable coatings: For weatherproofing, and tempered glass for safety

3. For optimal lighting: Place a floodlight at each corner of the arena, plus one down each long side at approximately B and E. You may manage with just four lights, sited at approximately K, H, M and F

4. Consider a pre-pay coin meter: These are useful if your arena has multiple users and are available from specialist electrical wholesalers and manufacturers of timers

For the full article on stable and arena lighting, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (1 October, ’09)

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