The typical scenario for lighting the interiors of horse barns is simply to install overhead lighting and call it a day, but for high-end facilities that house the top horses in sport, lighting is a greater concern. “You have to think about the ability to see the horse closely when the horse is being groomed, with light from the side and not just from above,” said Brian Lynch, owner of Amberway Equine, a company that outfits and installs equestrian facilities with state-of-the-art products for the comfort, safety, and aesthetics of horses and their handlers.
“Another important aspect of lighting is being able to see them in their stalls. For night check, you don’t want to shock or disturb them by turning on a bank of overhead lights, but you still want to have a good look at them.” Amberway Equine’s clients are equestrian facility architects and builders and some of the top names in show jumping, racing, breeding, dressage, and polo. Outfitting facilities that house elite equine athletes is their specialty.Lynch was recently hired by Development to finish off a spec barn in the exclusive Mallet Hill neighborhood in Wellington, Florida. The project included installation of a stall comfort system, rubber pavers for the aisles, a Miele equine laundry, Cool Barn fans, and a lighting system.
“It was a great project because T&R founders Teddy Vlock and Rob Gray really have the horse in mind,” Lynch said. “They are not just flipping a property. Their goal is to create the ideal environment for equine athletes. They gave me carte blanche to do what I thought would be best.
“For the lighting in the grooming and wash stalls we added LED lighting inset flush into the wall and covered in clear, durable plastic,” he said. “This lighting is really functional and safe. There is nothing pro-truding, and there are no outlets, so spraying water on it is safe. A horse can kick the wall, and it’s no problem.”
For the stall lighting, Lynch did something that he believes has never been done before. He added LED lighting to the partitions with a control for each stall. LEDlighting is considered the safest possible lighting choice because it is cool, energy-efficient, and car-ries the lowest fire-hazard risk.
“We installed 3000 Kelvin LED lighting for a warm, amber look,” Lynch said. “The result is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The owner can light up all the stalls to showcase the barn, or it works perfectly for night check. The horses can remain at rest, and the barn manager can see the horses to make sure everything is OK.”
Lynch bases his company out of Midway, Kentucky, but spends the entire winter season in Wellington and has a design center on the Winter Equestrian Festival showgrounds.