Lighting solution improves salmon performance in RAS

LED lighting installed by Signify in INC Group’s RAS pilot plant increases salmon growth and helps prevent sexual maturation.

Signify - Havlandet 3
INC’s Group RAS pilot plant at Havlandet
November 25, 2022

Signify, which is focused on R&D and has been working for over 10 years in lighting solutions for aquaculture, has recently installed Philips aquaculture LED lighting in the newly-built INC’s Group RAS pilot plant at Havlandet in Florø, Norway.

The facility is a small land-based salmon farm that was supported by a EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.6 million) fund that Innovation Norway granted to the INC Group in 2020. Aimed to test all parameters for fish welfare before starting full-scale production, the small pilot plant has a license for only 200 tonnes per year with plans to build a land-based fish farm with a larger scale production capacity of 20,000-25,000 tonnes of salmon from 2026.

After Signify installed the 24-hour fixed light program, the company observed improvement in welfare, lower mortality, better growth parameters, and the suppression of sexual maturation in salmon.

“Philips’ patented light spectrum has been developed specifically for salmon growth and health, providing 30% more light,” said Steinar Grønnerud, sales manager aquaculture at Signify. “In larger tanks and at a depth of more than 4.5 meters, underwater lighting should be considered as an addition to surface lighting. A light amount of 1,000 lux on the surface and a minimum of ten lux at the bottom of the system ensures optimal distribution of light.”

“We initially used only surface lights for the RAS plant but observed that the salmon gathered close together down in the darker parts of the tank, at a depth of about three meters,” said Fredrik Grahl-Jacobsen, operations manager at Havlandet. “We wanted to generate more uniform light at the bottom of the tanks, as this suppresses the sexual maturation of the salmon. We, therefore, began to search for a supplier of underwater lights and got in touch with Signify.”

“With the drawings of the pilot plant, Signify gave us a detailed lighting plan with calculations of the light needs for our plant,” said Kristian Hoyland, department manager at NBN Electro, an INC Group company. “We switched from using surface lighting only to a combination with Philips underwater lighting and a control system. With underwater light, there is more uniform light in the tank. Thanks to Philips aquaculture LED lights, we have control over the factors that affect the sex maturity of the salmon. The system allows for control of the lights and gives insights into their performance”

Philips’ aquaculture control system helps define different light recipes, including how much light is needed and for how long. When the salmon receive light over longer periods, they will eat more and grow faster. The lighting can also be dimmed all the way down to 0.3% if needed without the lights flickering. Flickering, sudden disruptions and non-natural photoperiod behavior are key triggers for stress responses, which increase the cortisol levels of the fish and so comprise their welfare. The control system can be connected to several tanks in the same facility where each tank can be monitored and controlled separately.

“We are very pleased that Havlandet farm put their trust in us, and that they can now control the factors that affect sexual maturation using Philips’s LED lights and control system,” said Grønnerud.