LED Lights Save Benton Farmer Thousands

6 years 2 months 3 weeks ago April 28, 2011 Apr 28, 2011 Thursday, April 28 2011 Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:09:00 PM CDT in News
By: Erica Coghill
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BENTON COUNTY -  Danny Mazelin is a chicken farmer and for the last 14 years, he has been using the same 275 watt bulbs for his chicken coops, until last August when he decided to renovate the barns. 

Co-Mo Electric got word of his plans and proposed what Mazelin calls a "money saving deal."  The company wanted to run an experiment where it would replace two of Mazelin's six barns with LED lights and compare the two.

It found that one of the old bulbs used more electricity than 60 of the old bulbs, which leads to big savings with 60 lights per chicken house.  With six chicken houses, Mazelin needs at total of 360 lights to support each house. 

At the beginning of the experiment, Co-Mo Electric and Mazelin decided to test out the LED lights on only two of the houses, which ended up saving him about $1,900 so far this year.  Now that he has the LED  lights in all six of the houses, he expects to save about $3,900 per year in electric bills.  "The LED lights are much more efficient, they use a lot less electricity, I will be saving about $650 per year, per house," said Mazelin.  

Mazelin isn't just saving money, he is also getting more money for his bigger chickens, which he sells to Tyson Foods, Inc.  The LED lights are dimmer, which keep the light-sensitive chickens calm, moving less and burning fewer calories.  "It looks like a little better weight gain, also a better mortality rate on the end and also a little better feed conversion," said Mazelin.  He said more chickens are surviving because they are staying more calm.  He also said he is keeping more money in his pockets, because the chickens are burning less calories, they aren't needing as much food.  "We noticed a 1 point weight gain in the chickens, the houses without the new bulbs weighed 7.20 and chickens in the houses with the new bulbs weighed 7.30," said Mazelin.

The special 75 watt poultry bulbs last between 7 and 10 years- a much longer lifespan than the older, 275 watt bulbs, which last about 8 months.  "I won't have to get up and down ladders all the time to change bulbs, it's a hassle when you have to change 360 bulbs," said Mazelin.  A hassle he said typically turns into about a two day project. 

Mazelin said Co-Mo Electric is offering a 30% rebate for the bulbs.  He said it was worth it to install the new lights.  "A lot of money up front, but they will pay for themselves in about four years," said Mazelin.

The bulbs are shipped from a Minnesota based company, called Once Innovations, Inc.  Mazelin said he has tried to convince the company to sell their special poultry LED lights locally.  

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