LIGHT CASCADES® technology for a sustainable agriculture
Light is an essential component in plant development
Interactions of plants with light are complex and involve two different processes: photosynthesis and morphogenesis. The former is a process by which light is converted into chemical energy, whereas morphogenesis is a biological process in which plant’s development is affected by light signals perceived by plant’s photoreceptors.
The key wavelengths involved in photosynthesis are blue (400-500nm) and red (600-700nm) whereas the mechanism of morphogenesis is highly dependent on the species of plant involved.
The controlled management of light provides a powerful way to significantly boost agronomic crop yields.
The LIGHT CASCADES® technology adapts light to the needs of the plants
Only a fraction of natural solar radiation is used effectively in photosynthesis. LIGHT CASCADES® formulations for agricultural films adapt the solar spectrum to the specific light requirements of plants. The part of the solar spectrum that is of little use to plants is converted into wavelengths that stimulate photosynthesis, thereby leading to enhanced crop growth and overall productivity. LIGHT CASCADES® formulations are also optimized to maximize the complex effects of the morphogenesis processes. To verify the performance improvements, CASCADE conducts numerous agronomic trials on various crops in collaboration with experimental farms and experts in agronomic research in France, Spain and internationally.
A societal agricultural challenge at the heart of sustainable development issues
In a context of change in agricultural practices, reduction of cultivated areas due to the development of urbanization and increase in the world population, increasing agronomic yields, producing quality food and meeting the societal demand for a more sustainable agriculture represent a major societal challenge for the coming years to come.
By optimizing the sunlight received by plants under greenhouse films, CASCADE allows both better efficiency of the inputs used to grow plants (fertilizers, water…) and significant gains in agronomic yields.
LIGHT CASCADES® technology provides an ecological and cost-effective means to increase the yields of protected crops while simultaneously reducing production costs and improving the efficiency of land use.
Results Validated by Multiple Field Trials
More than 100 agronomic trials have been carried out, over more than 7 years, on berries, tomatoes, cucumber peppers, melons ... both at producers and at experimental farms. They showed yield gains of more than 10% to 20 % and effects of earliness of several days depending on the crop. Yield gains were obtained by maintaining or improving the qualitative and taste characteristics of fruits and vegetables harvested. CASCADE is continuing its trial campaigns on many other crops and regions in order to further optimize its formulations and adapt them to different specific grower’s demands.
LIGHT CASCADES® technology manipulating the propagation of light within materials is transferable to any application using light. Multiple fields of applications have already been identified or explored in the laboratory.
Beyond plastic greenhouse films, work on the durability of our formulations allows LIGHT CASCADES® technology to be applied to glass greenhouses used in Northern Europe or America, regions where light is a critical issue for winter crops
Mulch films, Algae & Microalgae production (Photosynthesis)
Mulch films, widely used in agriculture to help crops get started or limit the growth of competing weeds, offer strong prospects for LIGHT CASCADES® application.
Tests on microalgae carried out with CEA Cadarache research laboratory showed positive results on the growth of spirulina or chlorella confirming that algae and microalgae are promising markets for LIGHT CASCADES® technology.
Industrial applications: Photovoltaics, Lighting (LED's...), Fluo Paints, Print marking...
CASCADE already explored its technology for various industrial applications such as photovoltaics, print security marking, fluorescent paints and even the LED lighting, these applications and markets are in demand to better select the wavelength ranges of light emission. CASCADE recent technological achievements resulting from the industrialization of the first CASCADES LUMINEUSES® products for greenhouses allow CASCADE to transfer its know-how to many other applications and new markets
More generally, LIGHT CASCADES® technology can be adapted to any application involving light, allowing a wide range of potential uses.
Other applications evaluated using LIGHT CASCADES® technology :
- Microalgae : CEA
- Fiduciary applications : Banque de France
- Print marking & Document authentification : Imprimerie Nationale
- Photovoltaic Modules : Total
- Military stealth solutions (in collaboration with a defense organization)