“Unlike other companies, Laava Tech works according to the light and dark phases of photosynthesis, which differs between plants and throughout the life cycle,” says Tatsiana Zaretskaya, CEO of Laava Tech, an Estonian provider of horticultural lighting solutions.
Laava Tech offers complete horticultural lighting solutions which include lights, controllers, cloud service and mobile device applications for remote control. With Laava Tech lighting solutions, a grower can control the spectrum, intensity, photoperiod and pulsation frequency. According to Tatsiana, Laava Tech lighting solutions can decrease light energy consumption by 80% through its innovative approach based on the light and dark phases of photosynthesis.
Plants consume light during the light phase while the dark phase converts the light into usable energy for the plant. During the dark phase, the plants are unable to absorb light. Laava Tech takes advantage of this process by flickering the lights at very high frequencies, up to 35,000 times per second, to correspond with light and dark phases. Laava Tech can control six different parameters per pulse, with that optimized control resulting in high energy savings.
Another interesting feature is the inclusion of UV wavelengths which allow growers to affect crop color and taste.
Laava Tech lamps
Easy sensor integration and computer vision
As Tatsiana explains, Laava Tech’s control system was designed to facilitate the integration of other sensors into the system. For example, Laava Tech can collect sensor information related to carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, outdoor light levels, etc. The cloud interface also offers the ability to control the hydroponic system from the platform, effectively centralizing farm operation.
“It’s important to choose devices that can be integrated. I’ve seen a lot of issues with clients who have products from different producers that don’t integrate well, so they need to control them individually,” says Tatsiana.
The cloud interface
In addition to sensor data, Laava Tech systems collect crop data from normal and infrared cameras as well as fluorescence and spectral analysis. Altogether, these data are used to detect plant status and deliver the exact amount of light needed.
“If a plant is 10 cm or taller, for example, the camera detects this and will automatically apply the appropriate light recipe. We are constantly training the computer vision system by collecting data on-site and in real-time,” Tatsiana explains.
Online store to launch soon
While its solutions can be installed in greenhouses, Laava Tech is currently focusing on the indoor farming industry due to its reliance on artificial lighting and high energy demands. Further, the company is focusing its efforts on northern Europe and plans to expand across Europe and into North America.
Laava Tech’s portfolio currently includes 30 crops, most of which are leafy greens and tomatoes. Due to pandemic-related supply chain challenges, Laava Tech has mostly been supplying its products to existing customers. However, Laava Tech has since hammered out many production challenges and will have an online shop operational within a few months.