This new product is our simplest to use poultry lighting controller to date. Where our previous systems required connection to a digital programmable timer, the REUK Super Poultry Lighting controller is an single integrated unit with a built in timer.
Stimulating Egg Production with Artificial Light
When using artificial light to stimulate egg production of housed birds, there are three key conditions which must be met:
1) The birds must experience 14-16 hours of continuous light (daylight and artificial light) during the ‘day’.
2) The birds need artificial lighting in the late afternoon / early evening (11-16 hours after dawn) to have the sensation of a long day which will in turn stimulate egg laying.
3) The birds must be allowed 8-9 hours of continuous darkness at ‘night’ to rest.
How It Works
The REUK Super Poultry Lighting Controller is fitted with a light detector and a user-programmable timer. The user simply programmes in the number of hours after dusk that the artificial lights are to stay on for, and everything else happens automatically.
Assuming the user programmes in 5 hours (of artificial light after dusk) – this means that in the depths of winter the artificial lights will turn on at around 4:00pm (dusk) and stay on until around 9:00pm. The artificial lights will then turn off and stay off for 9 hours – until in this example 6:00am. The artificial lights will then turn on again, and stay on until dawn – in this example until around 7:30-8:00am. After dawn, the controller will go to sleep for four hours so that if after dawn a very large dark cloud covered the sun for a long time the controller will not think that dusk has arrived again.
This controller is designed to be used with 12VDC LED spotlight bulbs – of a maximum of 8 Watts power output in total (e.g. 8 x 1W bulbs, 5 x 1.5W bulbs, 2 x 4W bulbs etc). LED spotlights are vulnerable to high voltage (>13.5V), but a typical 12V battery will output up to 15V when being charged, and over 13.5V when fully charged. Therefore a 12V Regulator is built into the controller which therefore outputs a bulb-safe 12.0V.
An inline fuse holder is supplied together with 3 x 1 Amp fuses for connection between the battery and controller for protection.
(If you would like to switch more than 8 Watts with this controller, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your requirements and we will come up with something suitable.
If you need any MR16 bulb holders for standard 12VDC LED spotlights – we have those for sale here: MR16 bulbholders.
Insulated red and black cables are available here: 1.4A red cable, and 1.4A black cable.
For storing power, click here for 12V deep cycle batteries, here for solar panels, and here for MR16 12V LED spotlights.
Using the REUK Super Poultry Lighting Controller
Pictured above is the connection diagram for the lighting controller. Everything should be connected up as shown with particular attention paid to the power input connections which must be connected with correct polarity. Note also that the inline fuse holder should be attached as near to the positive terminal of the battery as possible in the (red) positive cable to the controller.
Programming the Controller
Press the small programming button on the circuit board once. The red LED will light up and stay on for 2 seconds. When this LED turns off, press the button X times where X is the number of hours you would like the artificial lights to remain on for after dusk. After waiting 5 seconds, the red LED will blink X times to give you visual confirmation of successful programming. The programmed setting is stored in memory and is not lost if you disconnect the controller from the power source for any reason. If you would like to change the programmed setting in the future, simply repeat the steps above.
Callibrating the Light Detector
The controller is fitted with a (non waterproof) light detector pre-wired with 300mm leads. These leads can be extended by the user if required to ensure that the light detector can be located such that it is protected from the rain, it is not going to be shaded during the day or hit by the artificial lights in the poultry house or any other external lighting, and it is not going to get covered with lots of dust or debris over time.
With the light detector in its permanent location, and at dusk, rotate the light sensitivity adjuster using a small phillips head screwdriver so that the LED is just turning on. In future, when the light level is measured to be darker than this dusky light level, the controller will judge it to be ‘night’, and when the light level is brighter than this, the controller will judge it to be ‘day’.
The green LED indicator is turned on when the output to the bulbs is on. The red LED indicator is used during programming, and otherwise is on when the light level on the light detector is darker than the light level at dusk (manually calibrated in the paragraph above). During the 9 hours of sleep time in the middle of the night the red LED blinks (on for 0.05s, off for 0.95s) while the light detector is being ignored (and the birds are roosting). During the four hours after dawn was first detected, the red LED blinks off (on for 0.8s, off for 0.2s) while the light detector is again ignored.
If you have any more questions about the functionality or use of this controller either before or after making a purchase, please email email@example.com. We are also able to provide controllers to switch more than 8W power (via a relay), or tailor controllers to your exact requirements (for example, our most popular alternative is a controller which starts a 9 hour timer at dusk, and only then turns on the artificial lights until dawn).