Optient: a new lighting solution for the poultry industry

Signify partnered with Tyson to create a lighting solution that mimics natural lighting.

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting has launched Optient, a revolutionary lighting solution focused on optimizing animal health and productivity, set to transform the poultry industry. Developed in collaboration with one of the world’s largest food companies and industry-leading poultry producer, Tyson Foods, Optient offers multiple unique advantages to poultry farmers. Benefits range from improved animal welfare and feed conversion to reduced energy usage.

Drawing inspiration from nature and science, Optient uses non-uniform or gradient lighting to mimic the varied lighting environments found in the wild, promoting the natural behavior of chickens, keeping flocks calm and stress-free and resulting in improved animal welfare. By utilizing energy-efficient LED technology, Optient can also reduce energy usage by up to 70%, making it a greener choice for poultry farmers.

Jeffrey Lewis, general manager of Signify’s agriculture division, said of the product’s development, "Optient is a revolutionary system. Designed with the welfare of poultry in mind, it creates lighting gradients across the barn floor enabling the birds to choose their preferred light intensity, leading to a happier and healthier flock. Our engineers, scientists and account managers have worked together to create this solution to fit Tyson Foods’ need for responsible and sustainable farming. It is a game-changer in animal-lighting technology, promoting better welfare for the birds and improved efficiency for farmers. Optient is poised to revolutionize the way poultry is raised and will benefit many more across the industry worldwide.”

Optient's design is a result of significant research and development by Signify’s team of experts at Once, informed by a series of studies originating from the University of Arkansas by then-Associate Professor Karen Christensen. The research found that when given a choice in light intensities, chickens preferred to eat in the bright light and then move to dimmer areas to feel safer and rest.

Professor Karen Christensen, MSc, PhD, and now Senior Director of Animal Welfare at Tyson Foods said, “In today’s world, food companies must keep pace with population growth and increased food demand, especially in animal protein, while having animal welfare and climate risks and opportunities at front of mind. Engaging supply chain partners, such as Signify, who can deliver innovative solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while enabling us to improve animal welfare and bring high-quality animal protein to our customers sustainably and affordably, is a must.”

Christensen adds, “Our studies have found that poultry prefer brighter light intensity when they are young, and a gradient of light intensities as they get older. This provides the birds with a bit of control over their environment and choices. Gradient lighting is the future for broiler farming as you can give the birds a choice in lighting environment. This in turn allows the chickens to express more natural behaviors and promotes healthy growth at every stage in their life on the farm.”

Signify has been carrying out commercial trials of the gradient system with promising results and a full scientific report on the benefits of Optient will be shared as more data is gathered and analyzed.

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