The Circadian Group was founded in 2016 by the management team at Equilume. Equilume, based at the heart of the Irish Equine Industry in Co. Kildare, is a world leader in the research and development of light therapy solutions to assist the global horse industry maximise reproductive efficiency and performance. The formation of Agrilume was underpinned by the predicted population growth that the world will experience over the next 30 to 80 years. With that growth, there is an expected calorie food gap which presents a great opportunity for us to do things better. Through our experience in equine and our understanding of the effects of light on animal performance, Agrilume was founded with the aim to deliver innovative science-based lighting products across new animal sectors. These products will produce higher performing farms with much improved animal welfare, while creating a better environment for animals.
There is a global milk shortage and lack of sustainability within the global dairy industry. 50% of cows are grass based and mainly maintained outdoors. Intensive indoor systems benefit from the use of artificial light to increase milk production. Our aim is to make this increased productivity also available to grass based dairy systems. The Bovine Light Mask is a headpiece for cows that provides timed low intensity blue light to one eye to extend natural daylight. By identifying the threshold level of light delivered to a single eye to suppress circulating concentrations of the hormone melatonin to levels observed under bright barn lighting, we have successfully developed a mobile lighting solution for light therapy provision to cows. Use of the bovine light mask on lactating cows has been shown to increase milk yield by 9% in initial trials providing a sustainable means to improve dairy farm efficiency and productivity.
Further research will identify additional applications of light for fertility, growth, health and welfare. We are in the process of conducting further research and commercialising the Agrilume suite of products with the aim to launch to the market in 2019. The Circadian Group represents our core USP, which is to scientifically understand and augment the natural circadian rhythms of animals to optimise performance.
Equilume’s New Bovine Light Mask designed to Increase Milk Yield wins Agri-Tech Innovation Award and Design Partners Award at 2017 National Ploughing Championship. Bovine Light Mask wins Innovation Awards Read Story >>
"I initially used the Equilume Light Mask on "The Job is Right" during the darkest days of winter as I felt the horse just wasn't thriving. A month later he started to look and feel a lot better in himself and was enjoying his work more. I also used a mask on a barren mare who shortly afterwards started cycling and went in foal on her first cover."
"I was delighted with the benefits we gained from our first season using the Equilume Light Masks in 2013. Aside from the obvious efficiencies of not having to box our mares under lights, our barren and maidens had strong heats in early September with excellent fertility. Without any hesitation, we will be using the light masks again next season."
We at Taylor Made used the Equilume Light Masks on over 50 barren and maiden mares this season (2016) to bring forward seasonal reproductive activity. We found that the light masks worked just as well as conventional stable lighting at ensuring early cyclicity. In addition we believe that there are significant advantages to extended turn-out for mares that Equilume facilitates.
"We purchased one of these new masks for a mare here in Ballydorgan Stud who has consistently foaled well past her due date. 6 weeks overdue in 2012! She foaled bang on time last night, so we are well impressed with this new concept and product."
"My two barren mares that wore masks since november both cycled, were bred, and got in foal just as I had hoped. I bred the first one on feb 14th and the second on feb 20th. Figuring normal gestation of 11 months 10 days, my first two mares to foal were right on target. Thats almost perfect in my opinion. Using the masks have been a life changer. I love them! They have given me confidence in the future."
"We decided to give Equilume a try for the first time this year (2017) as winters in the Northwest are dark, wet and cold. It can be a real challenge to get mares to build follicles and ovulate in a timely manner up here. We found Equilume at the Fort Worth Futurity in December last year and brought home a few and put them on our mares in Mid December and by February they were cycling as if it were May. The horses that weren't wearing the masks didn't build follicles as fast and in some cases we couldn't get a good heat cycle. We found it so convenient, no need for lights, out in their paddocks with the masks was all we needed."
Equilume is the best lighting program I have ever experienced! We used it on 100% of our mares (including Recipient mares). My mares were cycling better than ever before on February 1st. I always said that mares that lived outside had less uterine fluid, this was the proof! This year my mares were outside grazing and playing with their buddies 16 more hours a day than they had in the past. My old mares this year had minimal problems with poor uterine clearance and urine pooling. I have no doubt that is because of being outside 24/7.
"Debbie and I used Equilume Light Masks on four barren mares and one maiden mare last season at Jackson Purchase Farm. I was a little reluctant to part with proven ways, but I am happy to say that the masks worked great. All of the mares had breedable follicles and had gone through transition by the February 14th. Four of the mares conceived on the first cover while one was more challenging. In the winter of 2014 we had zero issues with the mares being outside 24/7, often in sub-zero temperatures. Besides the fact that the mares all cycled as I hoped, I am still married, spent less on van and vet charges and had healthier mares. Like extended turnout for any class of horse, daily observation, occasional adjusting of masks and adjustment of feed and hay is necessary. For me the economics were good and the mares simply did better outside. I am a believer!"
We used the Equilume Light Masks last season on a selection of our in-foal mares with a history of long gestation lengths. We found that the masks worked to good effect and resulted in a significant reduction in gestation lengths compared to the same mare's gestations last year. We intend to use them again.
“I loved having the light mask this past winter for my mare. It worked SO well. She is an older mare, and absolutely hates being stalled. So I had no choice than to either wait til summer to start breeding her, or use the light mask. I took a chance and used the light mask. It worked like a charm! She started cycling early (March), kept her weight on beautifully, and most importantly, she was HAPPY to be outside. The mask held up great! I never had any issues with her rubbing it off, or it falling apart, etc. I would love to have another one!"