Aquaculture Lighting

The Importance of Environmental Light to the Culture of Marine Fish Larvae

The following is the introduction to this paper authored by Dr. Juliette Delabbio, Director of Research and Development, ONCE Innovations.  The full paper can be downloaded here


Light intensity, spectrum and photoperiod have a significant effect on fish at all life stages. The effects of light on marine fish larvae have been studied in both the laboratory and in the field. The larval stage of a fish is exceptionally sensitive to environmental conditions and the newly hatched animal is particularly fragile. Research has indicated that environmental lighting for larval fish under culture is an important and complex parameter with broad effect on the survival and growth of the animal. To optimize performance in marine larvae aquaculture, an environmental lighting system should be designed to address 1) the specific lighting requirements of the species under culture, 2) the site-specific rearing conditions which affect the animal’s response to light , and 3) the human activities related to fish culture.

This paper will discuss the application of artificial lighting in aquaculture, specifically examining light intensity, light spectrum and photoperiod in relationship to marine larvae culture.  New developments in artificial lighting using LED technology are giving researchers a broader range of control beyond traditional lighting technologies.  The new technologies will allow more precise manipulation and measurement of the light intensity and spectrum from a single lighting system and help isolate the effects these may have on the species under study.

The full paper in pdf format is available here .

Advantages of LED Lighting Systems in Larval Fish Culture

The following is the introduction to this paper authored by Dr. Juliette Delabbio, Director of Research and Development, ONCE Innovations.  The full paper can be downloaded here


Fish need light to survive and grow; it is one of the essential inputs to life. In aquaculture there are natural and artificial sources of light. Regardless of source, environmental lighting in an aquaculture facility drives key biological processes that influence performance and ultimately affect production and profitability. Incandescent and fluorescent lighting are traditional artificial sources for environmental lighting, but LED lighting now offers another option for hatchery managers. Applications of LED lighting in aquaculture facilities have only recently become economically feasible, with the cost of lamps offset by accrued energy savings. More importantly, traditional light sources, such as incandescent or fluorescent lamps, do not provide the opportunity to change light spectrum and intensity and do not provide optimum lighting conditions for larval culture. Newly-developed LED lighting systems provide flexible adjustment of light intensity, photoperiod and spectrum in a single light source, thus serving as a powerful tool to influence growth and survival in larval fish culture.

…continue reading .

Effects of light during early larval development of some aquaculture teleosts

A thorough review, as printed in Aquaculture, of the effects of artificial lighting conditions on the performance, development and welfare of some fish larvae of commercial interest such as European sea bass, sole and Atlantic Cod. Addresses the effects or preferences of light spectrum by larvae and adult fish with specific reference to particular color wavelengths.

View the article (fee required for download).

Does light have an influence on fish growth?

This article from Aquaculture is a good reference to begin the study of the science behind Aquaculture Lighting. It addresses the receptivity of fish to light with more specific detail on spectrum, intensity and photoperiod and discusses many aspect of lighting effects on the fish both in nature and in an aquaculture environment. The article also touches on larvae minimum light threshold, daylength sensitivity and seasonal cycles.

View the article (fee required for download).

Exploring US Aquaculture

NOAA Fisheries. Read more.

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