Not a Fan of the Dark? Neither are Cows

Author: Ania Stilwell | February 01, 2018

Not a Fan of the Dark? Neither are Cows

Darkness may be a friend to some. For cows, it’s a different story. Aside from 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted darkness needed for their beauty sleep, cows like… and I mean *really* like… daylight. They’re more comfortable when it’s light out. Who can blame them? 

Cows Take Shine to LEDs

This time of year, natural daylight is in limited supply. Some farmers are using LED lighting in their barns to give cows their needed 14 to 16 hours of light each day – it’s what they’re used to in summertime. 

Fulper Family Farmstead installed new energy-friendly LED lights in their milking parlor. Photo via Fulper Family Farmstead. 

LEDs provide high-energy efficiency and they have an astounding 100,000-hour operating life! More efficient technologies like LEDs can reduce lighting energy use by 50 to 70%, while increasing cow comfort. 

No S.A.D. Cows Here

Missing out on light can be depressing and lead to less productivity. Same with cows! The lack of light slows down their metabolism. Adequate lighting in the barn creates a natural rhythm for cows, making them more comfortable and can have a positive impact on how much milk they make. Speaking of milk, it’s among the 4 foods you should eat to stave off seasonal depression

More Time for Cud

Back to cows… Cows commonly chew their cud when they’re comfortable and relaxed. 

Photo via Lamb Farms

Farmers go to great lengths to keep cows in a routine. It’s what cows like best. LED lights aren’t the only way to go. What makes them a standout is that in addition to their low energy use, there’s very little maintenance with LED lights.

Practicing environmental stewardship is something dairy farmers take seriously. Find out more about Dairy and the Environment

American Dairy Association North East is one of 19 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit

Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and creates real transformational change in more than 73,000 schools. Learn more at