Engineering 101

Fish Lights Increase Growth By Harnessing The Sun

Signify has launched new Philips solar fish grow lights that help to optimize farming for ponds, while harnessing the power of the sun. It provides spectral light specifically designed to suit many fish species, including tilapia.

The grow lights enable fish farmers to increase fish productivity and efficiency. Research by the South China Agricultural University in a commercial size trial at a tilapia farm using 60 solar luminaires in a 7,000 m2 pond confirmed a 10% increase in fish growth and a ten percent reduction in feed conversion ratio (FCR), meaning that fish farmers need less feed per kilogram of fish.

Based on an earlier study in cooperation with the Ocean University of Shanghai1, which showed similar results, South China Agricultural University started the trial in a live setting. This new trial, done at the tilapia farm in Taishan, Jiangmen, Guangdong in the south of China, proved the impact of the new solar fish lights, confirmed a ten percent improved growth and found a positive effect on water quality. The commercial size trial lasted 117 days and resulted in an additional 1,770 kg of tilapia that was harvested compared to the reference ponds.

“It was very good to see that the results we obtained in the laboratory test in Shanghai could be repeated in an actual farming situation in the south of China. This is a breakthrough in tilapia farming efficiency improvements,” said Remco Lansbergen, General Manager Aquaculture at Signify.

The Philips solar fish light is easy to install and only one luminaire is needed per 100-150 m2 of pond surface. The luminaires, equally spaced in the pond, are attached by rope to the center line or to each other to keep them in place. The best operation is achieved with clean solar panels and LED unit.

Light impact on fish is complex and there are multiple elements to consider: intensity and distribution, quality of light expressed in spectral composition, and photoperiod undergoing daily and seasonal cycles. Signify’s Aquaculture lighting team is committed to push the boundaries of lighting applications supporting the needs of fish farmers and their hatchery and grow-out sites either on land or offshore.

Fish lighting is developed in close collaboration with leading universities and institutes and produced with the finest marine grade materials ensuring durability under the toughest conditions. Light has proven to be a powerful tool for enhancing fish production, while protecting its welfare.

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