Signify helps Havlandet salmon farm improve fish welfare and suppress maturation with Philips LED lights

November 24, 2022

  •  Newly-built, land-based RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) pilot plant improves growth and keeps salmon healthy
  • Uniform light distribution in the tanks suppresses sexual maturation of the salmon and improves harvest size, growth rate and food conversion ratio

Oslo, Norway – Signify installed Philips aquaculture LED lighting to help prevent maturation in the newly-built, land-based RAS (Recirculating aquaculture systems) pilot plant for salmon farming at Havlandet in Florø, Norway. Lighting improvements can stimulate growth and keep the salmon healthy. In the autumn of 2020, INC Group, which owns Havlandet, received 1.5 million euros from Innovation Norway to build a land-based RAS plant, and a license has been granted for an annual production of 200 tonnes. The long-term plan is to build a land-based fish farm with a large-scale production of 20-25,000 tonnes of salmon from 2026.

“Growing salmon on shore is exciting,” says Operations Manager Fredrik Grahl-Jacobsen. “We want to start a full-scale production and considered it best to start with a smaller pilot plant; there are several parameters for fish welfare that we use, so this allows us to test everything first.”

Little light is big challenge

“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,” adds Grahl-Jacobsen. “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.”

“Maturation produces salmon that cannot be eaten. For the salmon not to go into maturation they need enough light to mimic summer conditions,” Grahl-Jacobsen explains. “It has been a problem for many salmon farmers. Fish naturally perceive light differently than humans, and too much red in the light can cause more stressed salmon, and more algae to grow in the tanks.”

The optimal lighting for salmon

“With the drawings of the pilot plant, Signify gave us a detailed lighting plan with calculations of the light needs for our plant,” says 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.

“The lights are on a 24-hour fixed program,” adds Grahl-Jacobsen. “The fish are growing fast, and we see that they’re healthy. There is a very low mortality rate and by growing in a RAS, we avoid salmon lice. All in all, the collaboration with Signify has worked well and we’ve had useful follow-ups. They are easy to reach and when we ask questions, we get a quick response.”

Tailor-made lighting design

 “It is crucial to avoid dark spots in the tank and so reduce stress for the salmon,” says Sales Manager Aquaculture at Signify, Steinar Grønnerud. “Based on the customer’s situation, the depth of the tank and the water quality, we will develop a lighting plan in which the light is as uniform as possible.
Philips’s patented light spectrum has been developed specifically for salmon growth and health, providing 30% more light. 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 10 lux at the bottom of the system ensures optimal distribution of the light.”

Philips’s 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 increases the cortisol levels of the fish and so comprises their welfare. The control system can be connected to several tanks in the same facility, where each tank can be monitored and controlled separately.

Steinar Grønnerud concludes by saying: “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.”


Signify has been working with light for fish farming for over 10 years, based on a lot of research in this area. Research collaborations are underway with the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, the University of Shanghai and the University of Sterling in Scotland, where PhD students work in aquaculture. Five percent of Signify's revenue is returned to R&D.

Customers are all major players in the aquaculture industry, and lighting has been supplied to land-based facilities in Chile, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Signify has a high level of expertise in aquaculture, but also in related areas such as horticulture (plants) and light for animal husbandry.

For more information, visit Philips aquaculture solutions webpage at

For further information, please contact:  

Global Marcom Manager Agriculture at Signify
Daniela Damoiseaux
Tel: +31 6 31 65 29 69

About Signify

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2022 sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries, we’re unlocking the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We became a carbon-neutral company in 2020, since our stock market listing, we have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for five years in a row and were named Industry Leader in 20172018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the NewsroomTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.