OK, real talk time. We are lighting out arena this year with some of our tax return, and I need opinions. I'm not sure how many responses I'll get on this, because I know many of you board (and didn't handle the lighting of your arenas), but I figured it was still worth asking.
I'm trying to figure out the most cost effective way to get lights in my arena so I can work year-round (as the daylight is great in the summer, but not so much in the spring, fall, and winter!
|Great attempt at spelling "Myles"|
Things to consider:
- Initial cost/ease to install
- Cost to maintain (not just electric costs to run, but also replacement bulbs)
- Adequate lighting for my needs
I'm an AA on a budget and this arena is just for personal use -- so it doesn't need to be daylight-bright, nor can I afford that! Haha.
We've discussed the pros and cons of using telephone poles or metal poles for lights -- telephone poles will be much harder to install, but when it comes to changing out bulbs, you can lean a ladder against them. Metal poles would be simpler to install, but then tricky to change out bulbs on.
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For a 70x120, how many lights will I need? We only have 110 electric run out to the arena, so I can't go too crazy with lights. I've looked at some LED ones, but am definitely open to suggestions (preferably with links to purchase).
I know this is fairly disjointed, but I've been researching for weeks and my head is still in a muddle.... so teach me Tuesday... help me figure out lights so I can ride year-round!
LED should be fine. I installed solar LEDS and they work well for me. I just did half my ring and that allows for me to ride in pretty much 3/4 of my 20 x 60 metre ring. I put in 6 lights and on wood poles- but I can reach them from horse back. :)ReplyDelete
What wattage are your LEDs? And how did you space them for maximum coverage? How tall are your poles?Delete
I hadn't thought about changing them from the horses back, haha, but actually the back of the truck could probably serve the same purpose!
we got them at Costco: http://www.costco.ca/Sunforce-Solar-Motion-Light---2-Pack.product.100280489.htmlDelete
they are pretty bright and I spaced them At the centre halfway between center and the corner and on the short side on the quarterlines. I probably didn't need that many but it's nice.
That's really helpful information, thank you!!Delete
Thanks for your assistance SB 😋Delete
at my last barn, they had two telephone poles with two lights each along a single long side of a 100x200 arena and that was plenty sufficient - esp when they installed brighter LED lights. for the smaller arena, they were able to mount one light to the roof of a barn structure that shared a wall with the arena, and that was plenty sufficient too. i think you can control pretty well for the number of lights by putting them in the optimal spots.ReplyDelete
also it seems like you guys are pretty good about upkeep on your property - but there's something to be said for investing up front for something that will be easier to maintain down the road. the lights at my old barn went on the fritz and remained unfixed for MONTHS for like, reasons or something, idk, and it was massively annoying to "have" lights but not be able to rely on them haha.
anyway good luck!
That's massively helpful Emma, thank you! I was considering mounting two lights per pole and just angling them opposite directions for more light coverage via less poles.Delete
Yeah I'm trying to think ahead so that it's not just ease of install, but also maintenance. Because the lights won't do me a damn bit of good if I can't use them! I think if we did short poles we could probably change the lights out without too many issues using the truck bed. I'm just unsure if short poles will give me the light coverage I want? And I think telephone poles would probably be the ideal long term solution it's just that getting them set would be super hard for us without a big tractor or like... 10 strong friends, haha.
Sooooo many decisions!
My MIL has something like this installed. Hers are up pretty high and they have to use a cherry picker to do any maintenance on the lights. I'll check in with them about the cost and plans for ya.Delete
You're the bomb Nicole! I will probably have to avoid anything that requires a cherry picker to do maintenance... because I don't have access to one, haha. But the more info the better!!!Delete
We just did ours this fall. Full disclosure my dad is an electrician, so we didnt have to pay labor but I think it ended up costing us about $6000. We put up LED lights on 25ft poles. Its pretty bright. I can find out exactly what kind for you if you want.ReplyDelete
I think I made a post about the lights on here:Delete
Yeah I think I remember reading a post about it! While I appreciate the offer, that's significantly out of my budget 😇 even if I knew an electrician, haha. But thank you! I'm quite jealous of your set up, it's lovely!Delete
My neighbor used some smaller lights on I think 12' poles. They had to run electric from the barn but other than that did the install themselves. I think with smaller lights you just have to put up more of them? I dont really know, there is some calculation my dad did involving watts and height to calculate how many we needed.
Another option is talk to your electric company if you have a light pole near the ring-in KY they will install a dawn to dusk light for free-it puts out of ton of light and only costs a little bit each month.
We ran the electric out to the arena already so it's ready and waiting! My husband can do a lot of basic electrical work, so he should be able to install the lights, if I can ever figure out what to buy! 😂Delete
I had kind of guessed that with the smaller lights we would need more. I think at this point we're gonna have to do some of it by trial and error to see what works. And at least we have lots of outbuildings so if the lights I initially buy don't work for the arena, I'm sure they'll get repurposed haha.
I have two motion activated spot lights on each side of my barn (which faces the ring) and it lights about half the ring up well enough. (My ring is about 90x180.) I had a third light on the hay barn on the other side, but it never seemed to work right.ReplyDelete
The two lights I have aren't bright enough to do any jumping safely in my opinion. But they're fine for flatting. On most horses... Jamp's afraid of the dark though, so not so great with him!
Any chance you know the wattage of your lights? I hadn't considered motion activated, but I guess that's an easy enough possibility haha. I don't jump, so bright enough for flatting would be A-OK with me!Delete
I'm not actually sure... I'll see if I can find out though!Delete
If you can, I'd be super appreciative! If you can't, no biggie though ☺ I'm getting some useful tips from all the comments regardless!!Delete
I have two LED floodlights mounted on the roof of my barn that point down into my arena (arena is just 20 feet or so from the back of the barn). They're angled left and right and cover the whole 70x20m arena. They're mounted around 15' high, easily accessible by ladder (although, being LED, I've never had to replace the bulbs). I think they're 50 watt, but I'm not climbing up there to look.ReplyDelete
Yassssss THANK YOU this is immensely helpful. Any chance you remember roughly what you paid? (As that might help me narrow down the wattage haha 😋). Did you buy online or from a local hardware store or something? How long have you been using them? ☺Delete
The ring at my barn is about your size, maybe a little larger?? Not sure. We have a single light on each short side & two on each long side, on telephone poles. Its a single bulb in each one, and the lights take abt 5 minutes to get good & bright. They're also on timers so they never get left on by accident.ReplyDelete
Oh I quite like the timer idea! Although since the arena is at my house, unlikely the lights could get left on by accident haha. But it would be nice to be able to leave the arena and head back to the barn with the lights on knowing they would shut off, without having to make a separate trip back out to turn them off. Thanks for sharing!Delete
We have a 15x20 m arena (yeah i know, tiny) connected directly to the barn, and we've got 3 CFL floods mounted on the peak of the barn, which is roughly 16 feet up. I think we spent a whopping $100 for the fixture and the bulbs. They light everything except one corner pretty well... enough for dressage work although I wouldn't jump. Only problem is that the bulbs are SUPER hard to change because of the location.ReplyDelete
If we were going to install more lights, I'd probably run them up 14 or 16 foot metal conduit (super cheap) and bolt the conduit to one of our 6' arena fence posts. Again, not fancy, but functional. I've also seen someone make a telescoping metal conduit thingy so changing the lights was easier, but idk how that worked. Oh, and I've seen someone string LED white Christmas lights between two poles... festive and it worked pretty well as long as it doesn't drape too low, although your neighbors might question your year-round Christmas decorations. :)
Hey, no judgement on arena size from me, we all do the best we can! Haha. I like the metal conduit idea! I am currently trolling some 300W LED floodlights on eBay that I think would be more than sufficient. But yes, ability to change the bulbs is something I'm DEFINITELY trying to consider before we jump into buying anything -- long term planning ftw?Delete
The Christmas lights/neighbor comment made me laugh out loud. Our nearest neighbor has some screws loose (okay ALL of his screws) and he currently has random sections of rope lights run through the woods around his (partially painted blue) house on stilts 😂
I have two friends who have installed rope type LED lights all along their arena fence. Both have been happy with the results and I believe they are fairly cheap. That's what I'm planning to use for my arena.ReplyDelete
That's really interesting! I think I'd have to see that in person before I could commit to doing it myself, haha. Hopefully when you put your arena up you can post some pictures of your lights!Delete