US Researchers: Long-term LED Lighting Can Increase Milk Production

- Aug 23, 2019-

According to foreign media reports, Michigan State University recently announced a new research results. The study is about the effects of long-day lighting (LDL) on milk production based on LED lighting technology. The results show that milk production has increased by 8% over the past year.


The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Biological Systems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA).


Prior to this, we have learned that LED-based solid-state lighting products are increasingly used in life sciences. LED lighting is not only used to increase the productivity of poultry, but also to improve the growth of indoor plants.

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Image source: US Department of Agriculture


Studies that have been in the past for 33 years have proven that long-term lighting does have a positive effect on milk production. Long-term lighting means that the cows are exposed to 16-18 hours of intense light (light intensity of 15-20 feet of candlelight) and then 6-8 hours of dark light (light intensity is 3 feet of candlelight). Or lower) illumination.


However, due to technical limitations, Michigan dairy farmers are unable to accurately measure and maintain light, and lack proper lighting control systems, so they have not really benefited from “long-term lighting”. Now, with LED lighting, automatic sensors and automated control systems, the Wing Acres Dairy Farm in Michigan has built a truly accurate LDL system that was officially launched in January 2014.


In addition to being able to increase milk production by 8%, LED lighting is energy efficient and easy to control. Compared to the previously used metal halide lamps, lighting energy costs have been reduced by 50%, coupled with the income from milk production, a farm can recover the investment cost of LED retrofit in just over a year.


LED lighting offers additional benefits. Compared to metal halide lamps, LED fixtures can be dimmed directly to provide less than 3 foot candles of light on the farm. In addition, LED luminaires are more reliable in relatively harsh environments with less maintenance requirements. Interestingly, the dairy farmers said that the cows seemed to be more docile after the lighting renovation.