Lighting – Day & Night Cycles

communal cat roomTo maximize animal welfare, consider all aspects of lighting including wavelength, timing and intensity.

Lighting conditions in animal centres are designed for human convenience. The animals may experience:

  • Inconsistent light levels
  • Strong contrasts between light and dark areas of an animal’s environment may arouse fear
  • Flickering of fluorescent light bulbs
  • Disruption of sleep and circadian cycles induces stress and adversely affects animal behaviour

Consider the following:

  • Is there access to natural light from a window or skylight in every area?
  • Are there security lights or street lights that shine into housing areas all night?
  • Does natural light shine directly into an enclosure causing a temperature change?

Note: Lights should be turned off at night and on during daytime hours to support the animals’ natural circadian rhythm. Irregular patterns or continuous light or darkness are inherently stressful.

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