Sollum adds real-time growth data to its horticultural lighting system

July 9, 2024
The Montreal company partners with Pittsburgh’s Leaficient to enhance the SUN as a Service offering.

Horticultural lighting specialist Sollum Technologies, which is known for a control system that dynamically changes spectra and intensity to suit specific crop needs and conditions, has fortified that capability through a partnership with a horticultural lighting control startup.

The alliance with Leaficient enables Montreal-based Sollum to integrate real-time data about plant growth into its SUN as a Service (SUNaaS) system, and thus further fine- tune lighting output. Leaficient is based in Evans City, Penn. in the Pittsburgh area.

Leaficient uses sensors and cameras to capture growth information that it uses in its own horticultural lighting control systems. In the Sollum partnership, the data will inform Sollum controls. Leaficient captures information that conveys biometrics, plant stress,  photosynthetic capability, and other factors at any one moment.

By adding such granular metrics, Sollum can tailor lighting strategies “more than ever to the specific needs of each crop and cultivar at every stage of growth,” said Sollum co-founder and chief technology officer François R-Moisan.

Sollum’s customers such as Canadian tomato grower Red Sun have typically cited the dynamic lighting system as a feature that drove their decision to tap Sollum technology.

The enhancement comes a couple months after Sollum itself added features to SUNaaS that enriched light recipe management and that can also override utility “load shedding” by keeping the lights on when it would be beneficial to plants.

The partnership with Leaficient marks the second time recently that Sollum has joined forces with another company to expand its technological capability. In May, it hooked up with Terrebonne, Canada–based Damatex, which provides greenhouse controls for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and for the delivery of fertilizers and nutrients via irrigation systems, a process known as fertigation.

Horticultural lighting is rebounding after a lengthy dry spell. With the renewed activity, Sollum is not the only vendor finding technology mates. Signify, for instance, recently hooked up with vertical farm climate control specialist Hoogendoorn.

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.