Horticultural lighting news: Fluence in Israel, Signify aquaculture, and Heliospectra

Sept. 3, 2020
Fluence by Osram partners with Remy to serve the Israel market for medicinal cannabis, while Signify expands its aquaculture supply chain, and Heliospectra wins new cannabis orders.

Fluence Bioengineering, an Osram business unit referred to as Fluence by Osram, has announced a new solid-state lighting (SSL) distribution partnership with Israel-base Remy 108 Ltd, primarily focused on the burgeoning legalized cannabis market in Israel. Meanwhile, Signify has partnered with ScaleAQ on a global basis to expand the market for LED-based aquaculture applications where SSL can boost yields in fish farms. Heliospectra has, twice in a month, announced cannabis-centric lighting orders from an Oklahoma-based cannabis grower.

Israel and cannabis

The extent of the legal cannabis market in Israel may come as a surprise to some. Legal medicinal usage was first approved in 1993, and has reached 60,000 licensed consumers. Moreover, a bill intended to legalize recreational cannabis has passed the first of four required government approval stages. Family-run Remy has established itself as a supplier and consultant in the legal grower sector and will have exclusive rights to sell the Fluence LED luminaire portfolio in the country.

Remy understands that what it calls agronomic lighting is fundamentally different than lighting for humans and that success in the horticultural space requires the right spectra. That knowledge led to the Fluence deal. “It was always clear that knowledge and research are a key focus for Fluence,” said Elad Toby, founder of Remy. “We share the belief that knowledge in the agronomic lighting field cannot be limited to the lighting alone. The job doesn’t end when the light fixtures are installed. That’s when it begins, and where we can truly add value.”

For Osram, the deal was an opportunity to further expand its reach in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) region. “There’s incredible growth to come in the Israeli cannabis market over the next few years,” said Timo Bongartz, Fluence’s general manager for EMEA. “And, like any kind of agriculture or horticulture, the right conditions are crucial for success.”

Indeed, Fluence has been very active in Europe and throughout the EMEA region. Early this year, the company partnered with a number of growers in Germany that were part of a 100-hectare vegetable-farming cooperative.

Signify and fish

Moving from plant to fish farming, we covered Signify’s increased presence in aquaculture back in June. The company said that the Philips Seacage 340W luminaire used in ocean salmon pens cause the fish to swim deeper and avoid sea lice infestations. Moreover, the SSL keeps the fish in a grow stage longer.

ScaleAQ will now sell the Seacage products on a global basis. “The aquaculture industry is growing rapidly and needs partnerships like this to meet the increasing need for local presence and support, while at the same time using R&D resources to develop solutions for the future,” said Bill Bien, head of Signify’s Agricultural Lighting Business. “Our focus on lighting recipes, IoT, and data insights play a crucial role in optimizing agricultural businesses in the future, helping us to create customer solutions together with ScaleAQ that are solid growth platforms for fish farmers.”

For ScaleAQ, the company gets the knowledge gained via the R&D effort spent by Signify, and also global sales and service support. “We are very pleased to be partnering with Signify on aquaculture lighting systems,” said Per Ivar Lund, head of business development at ScaleAQ. “As a global partner and advisor to the aquaculture industry it’s important for us to be able to offer a wide variety of products, and the Philips lights will be an important addition for both our sea-based and future land-based efforts. We believe the industry will also benefit from our collaboration on servicing the lights. ScaleAQ will from now on be able to provide its customers with service on the Philips lights from its many local offices around the world.”

Heliospectra orders

Back to the cannabis space, the US state of Oklahoma is a relative newcomer to the market, having legalized medicinal cannabis back in 2018. But the market is among the fastest growing in the US.

Back at the beginning of August, Sweden-based Heliospectra announced a $120,000 order from Marcella Property Group LLC located in Dewey, OK. Presumably, the products covered in that order have been delivered. The medicinal cannabis grower placed a second order at the end of August for $87,920. Those luminaires will be delivered in October.

Remember our HortiCann Light + Tech conference will be held virtually this year due to the coronavirus health crisis. Still, we will have two days of live presentations and other online networking opportunities. Please join us.

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.