For immediate release:
September 8, 2006
For further information contact:
Orion Energy Services
Mike Hesselink, co-owner
Although Orion agricultural lighting is often purchased in conjunction with a Long-Day Lighting (LDL) program, this was not the reason for the new lighting just put in at Quonset farms, near Oostburg. Quonset hosted a major Wisconsin agricultural event, Farm technology Days, last summer.
LDL is a regimen where cows’ “days” are extended using artificial light. Research and actual on-farm usage has shown that an LDL program will increase milk production and income by 5-16%.
Quonset co-owner Mike Hesselink explained the purchase. “In our milking parlor, the metal halide lights we had kept shorting out. Some wire nuts used in their wiring would get real hot and melt right apart because there was so much heat. The electricians who installed the Orion replacements said they should never have been put in.”
Metal Halide (MH) is a type of High-Intensity Discharge lighting, a type in common agricultural use. In a typical MH light, there is an extremely hot component that operates at 1,000 to 2,000 degrees-plus F. Studies have shown that ten percent of an air conditioning load in an MH-equipped building will go just to compensate for the MH’s energy-wasting heat load, and that they are somewhat of a fire hazard. Orion’s state-of-the-art fluorescents, however, operate at 120 degrees F. — you can hold them in your hand. And they will not melt their wiring.
Typically, Orion high-intensity fluorescent lighting delivers twice the light for half the operating cost. In the Quonset parlor, this was borne out although the comparison is not exact: six 224W Orion Barnliter ® fixtures replaced eight 400W metal halide fixtures. Projected energy savings will be 16,602 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, with a drop in operating cost of better than 64%.
Light levels in the parlor rose by 20.6% percent overall, and 24.7% at the hookup points of the cow’s udder.
But there was still another reason he preferred the Orion replacements, Hesselink said. “Our metal halides would also take sometimes take a half hour to come back on in or after a storm. One time I even had to start up an auxiliary generator just to get them going. The Orions turn on and off like house lights, and we sure appreciate that.”
The other Quonset area where Orion lights were installed was brand-new.
“When we were looking at the milking parlor lighting, we were building a new machine shed and we wanted good light there,” Hesselink said. “With the energy savings Orion offered, the choice wasn’t difficult.”
This has been borne out by Hesselink’s own observation. “Even though they use less energy, I’d say they give off probably half again as much light as we had before. Our employees all like the new lights.”
As to changing for Long-Day Lighting, Hesselink commented, “We’ve been in long-day lighting a long time now. We don’t have the Orion lights in our free stall barn and aren’t sure when or if we might make a change there. The lights are still pretty new and they were quite an investment.”
Orion Agricultural Lighting is a unit of Orion Energy Services of Plymouth, WI. Orion has been in the agricultural lighting business since 1998 and its products, besides winning several prizes, have been enthusiastically received by the dairying and swine industries. Although Orion is better known for energy-efficient lighting for the commercial and industrial sectors, we manufacture lighting solutions for dairy, swine, equine sectors and other types of agriculture as well. Visit the Orion Agricultural website at http://www.barnliter.com/ or the Orion website at http://www.oriones.com./
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