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Equilux Performance Lighting

28-February-2017
28-February-2017 9:03
in General
by Admin

Today we made an alteration to the example 'Owner Login' page, that we put together to show the public and potential owners the facility we use to ensure our owners are kept in the loop, with vet reports, comments and photos/videos of their horse/s. Mrs Ann Starkie has very kindly allowed us to replicate her page from the 2016 season when both her horses, CHANT and CUPPACOFFEE won races. Should you wish to have a look, click the orange Owner Login button found on the homepage in the top right corner and use adr for both the username and the password. 

Last month we had a new lighting system installed. This was a major project and the latest inovation to the yard that we are already seeing massive benefits from - the horses look fantastic in their skin (as you can see in photos below). Please see the information below, taken from the Equilux website.

The Equilux Performance Lighting system is a fully automated intelligent lighting system specifically designed to maximise health, growth and performance in horses. This revolutionary system harnesses all the benefits of natural daylight for the stabled horse.

The lengthening days of spring have long been associated with increased fertility, growth and performance. In nature, this prepares an animal for breeding, foaling and protection of the herd.

• Alertness & mood are enhanced

• Muscle metabolism is improved

• Feed is better utilised for growth & development

By understanding the qualities of natural daylight, we can mimic these positive effects on physiology using a custom designed ‘smart lighting’ system for horses. The Equilux system provides the horse with biologically effective light, incorporating the correct spectral intensities of light that have been validated by university research studies for maximum daytime activity and night time rest.

Each light fixture contains a real time self-adjusting light sensor that detects the intensity of natural light in the stable provided by doors and windows. As natural light levels change throughout the day, the system will continuously adjust up and down to maintain the correct level of biologically effective light in the stable, reducing energy requirements. The lighting gradually dims throughout the evening, into a dim red light rather than going from bright, stark lighting to complete darkness. 

Horses need light for more than just vision. It synchronises their ‘internal clock’ – a complex control system that coordinates all bodily functions to a 24-hour (circadian) or 365-day (circannual) rhythm. Without biologically effective lighting that mimics daylight, a horse’s internal clock can become depressed or out of synch leading to impaired growth and performance.

Modern management of the competition horse requires that they spend a large proportion of the 24-h day indoors and unexposed to optimal daily light intensities or to a natural light/dark cycle. Benefits of optimal and regularly timed lighting for both physical and mental health are now clearly recognised and implemented for humans. 

Natural daylight has a high amount of blue, short wavelength light. Blue-enriched light boosts activity and alertness levels and promotes feelings of well-being. The Equilux system comes pre-programmed with sunrise and sunset times for the entire world. Upon entering the GPS location, the system will simulate dawn and dusk at a pre-set time interval prior to and post natural dawn and dusk, providing an extended day length that gradually increases and decreases in phase with the seasons.  A minimum winter day length of 10-12 h is set to facilitate the workings of a busy yard, and a maximum summer day length of 15-17 h ensures that horses always receive sufficient night time rest. This unique ‘Astro’ system allows horses to experience a shorter 10-week winter photoperiod and a longer 42- week summer photoperiod. In short, spring is brought forward and autumn delayed, extending the period of peak physical performance and training capacity.

Dim red light or darkness is required for the nightly rise in melatonin levels that regulates internal timing. White light at night disturbs melatonin production and reduces rest, immune function and daytime performance capacity. Ideal lighting facilitates rest and regeneration at night while permitting visibility for management routines.

 

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