Innovation PME Sollum | Programmable sun in greenhouse


Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson
Journalism

L’innovation

Sollum’s SF05A luminaire is a smart, programmable LED lighting system that recreates solar lighting in a greenhouse. The device can reproduce and adjust all visible spectra of natural sunlight, corresponding to any time, latitude or season.

Who is the

Image provided by SOLLUM

Gabriel Dubras, Co-Founder and Vice President of Research and Development, Sollum, Louis Brun, Co-Founder, President and CEO, and François Roy-Moisan, Co-Founder and CTO

Sollum was founded in 2015 by François-Roy Moissan, Gabriel Dubras and Jacques Poirier, three students from the Ecole Polytechnique Supérieure (ETS) who sought to artificially reproduce sunlight to characterize the solar panels they were working on. Louis Brun joined the team in 2016 as president.

The designers first targeted the museum environment, where quality lighting is essential to preserving the works. They switched from farming to farming when an acquaintance used their bulbs to grow her plants, with remarkable success. So they dedicated the fruits of their research to the production of greenhouse horticulture.

The company is headquartered in Montreal, and now has 47 employees.

Its lights are assembled by a partner on South Beach.

Sollum’s premise is to be able to give control to the customer. We recreate sunlight with dynamic LED lighting. Recreate the sunrise in Montreal, enjoy the midday sun in Tokyo, and enjoy the sunset in Tahiti.

François-Roy Moissan, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

the device

Each luminaire, in the form of a 90 cm long rod, holds approximately 800 LEDs in ten colours.

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Their clusters and densities, programmed and monitored, reproduce the solar spectrum that will best promote plant growth, depending on the type and stage of their growth.

At the rate of one device per 4 m2 On the roof, lights connected to a cloud computing platform can recreate out-of-season solar cycles. “Our technology makes it possible to extend the days. We are able to make the sun rise in the middle of the night and provide the necessary illumination for the plants,” explains François-Roy Moissan, Co-founder and Head of Technology at Sollum.

“We are able to adjust our spectra in real time so that we can compensate. When it acclimates to the appearance of the real star of the day, the system corrects the lighting to maintain the desired brightness.”

It reacts the same way during cloudy days. or winter.

One of our customers successfully made their first Canadian winter pepper in January. It produced 90 tons of red, yellow and orange peppers last winter. It is a great achievement and we are very proud of it. ”

Benefits

The company claims that compared to other types of greenhouse lights, its device can reduce electricity consumption by up to 40% and maintenance costs by 75%.

Image provided by SOLLUM

A Sollum customer produced 90 tons of peppers last winter, a Canadian first.

The system can speed up plant growth by 25%, assures François-Roy Moissan.

“In the less quantifiable effects, we have observed that the products maintain their freshness for longer. We are able to extend the time on the shelves.”

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the future

In 2020, Sollum installed 7,800 lights in two large greenhouses in Quebec, while completing a series of funding with more than $12 million. About 10,000 luminaires have been added this year.

The model officially launched this fall is the culmination of this testing phase.

“Our new product is more efficient and we are spreading it widely,” says François-Roy Moissan.

The lamp was certified by DesignLights Consortium in July.

“Our prospects for the future? This year and next year, we want to continue our expansion in Canada. Next year, we should start getting into the US, and in the medium term, it will be all outside North America.”

The company plans to sell 30,000 to 40,000 bulbs in 2022.

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