Fisheries Technology Associates, Inc.
Fisheries Technology Associates, Inc.

Lighting Systems

Sunrise/Sunset Simulation Technology for Fish

Simulation of sunrise and sunset (also called dawn/dusk simulation): Benefits to you and your animals--an investment that pays for itself

Lighting System Questions and Answers

We are huge proponents of sunrise/sunset simulation technology.  You can produce more natural lighting for your fish or other light-sensitive animals such as poultry, swine, dairy cattle, beef cattle, and aquarium pets.


Q: "What is sunrise/sunset simulation?"


A: Technology (electronics; hardware) exists to simulate gradually rising and falling light intensity, just as we see at dawn and dusk.


Q: "Specifically, how does the technology work?"


A: Most of the systems on the market today include a digital timer to activate and deactivate a ramp circuit which brings light intensity up and down.  When activated, the circuit begins a process of gradual increase of power (a period of time that you can select and change as you wish) to the lighting fixtures.  Light levels slowly "ramp up" from dark to full bright.  Similarly, when the circuit is deactivated, light levels "ramp down" from full bright to dark over the same period of time.


Q: "What are the benefits of sunrise/sunset simulation?"


A: We have all seen the reaction of fish and other animals when lights are activated or deactivated ("turned on or off") instantaneously.  They immediately become frantic and agitated, often swimming or moving erratically, and can injure themselves as they collide violently with tank walls or other objects.  These are stressful events that occur twice per day!  Damage to the fish's snout is common and can lead to infection.  Benefits from this technology can include the following:


  • Reduce stress and increase feeding and growth performance
  • Increase feeding efficiency (i.e., lower feed conversion ratio)
  • Reduce physical injuries and mortality losses from collisions and stress
  • Reduce incidence of disease and costs for medications
  • Increase overall fish stock well-being
  • Save money and save fish
  • Realize savings of 15% or more in feed and mortality costs per year
  • System quickly pays for itself in savings of feed and animals


Q: "Is this technology for new installations only?"


A: No!  Most manufacturers allow you to retrofit and easily incorporate lighting ramps into your existing lighting system.


Q: "Is this technology appropriate with all types of lighting?"


A: Many of these systems operate with a variety of lighting types.


Q: "Can I use this technology to extend day length in outdoor applications?"


A: Yes.  When used to extend day length over outdoor tanks, raceways, or other production systems, this technology provides your animals with additional time to feed and grow.


Q: "Is an investment in lighting-control circuitry a wise choice?"


A: Yes.  Without a doubt it's a wise investment, given the benefits that can be realized by using this technology (e.g., reduced feed costs, reduced mortality, shorter grow-out times, reduced costs for medications, etc.).  Within a short period of time, your investment will pay for itself.


Q: "How many circuits will I need to cover my facility?"


A: It depends on several factors.  You will need at least one circuit for each unique lighting regimen within your facility (e.g., at least one circuit for an area in your facility with a 10-hour day and at least one circuit for another area with a 16-hour day).  The maximum coverage of one circuit (depending on species; contact us for advice) will vary.


Q: "With whom do I make a purchase?"


A: We do not sell these systems ourselves.  We make recommendations and send you directly to a manufacturer.  Contact Once Innovations and Lutron.  By the way, we do not benefit in any way from your purchase.  Our goal simply is to see you succeed and produce healthy and happy fish.


Q: "What is the cost of one circuit; what is the cost to cover my entire facility?"


A: Costs vary according to the manufacturer.  Contact Once Innovations and Lutron.


If you have any other questions, please call us or send us an e-mail.

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