Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Study shows dairy cows prefer LED lights

The Kansas City Star Published on 27 April 2012

A study overseen by Oklahoma State University (OSU) found that cows at one of the dairy farms in that state produced 6 percent more milk when LED lights were used compared with cows under fluorescent lights.

LED technology, which stands for light-emitting diode, uses semiconductor chips to convert electricity. LEDs are more energy efficient than either incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lights.



The discovery was not the main focus of the OSU study.

Funded in part by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the study investigated the lights’ energy savings and how they performed overall, including their durability on a working farm.

The Kansas City Star reported that the study tracked milk production because of concerns that the LED lights could have a negative effect on the animals.

A drop in milk production would signal a problem. Instead, the average cow delivered an extra half gallon of milk per day.

The newspaper article also pointed out that LED lights are still expensive upfront.


Proving that LED lights can help increase milk production in dairy cows would transform the economics of LEDs. Recovering the cost of the lights through energy savings can take four or more years. But the payback for dairy farmers using LEDs could be slashed to just a few months. PD

—From The Kansas City Star