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 have come to the undeniable conclusion that the masks successfully advanced reproductive activity in my mares in time for the start of the breeding season. The quality, durability and reliability of the masks I must add is second to none."
The very best device I have seen in 25years of reproductive practice, second only to the introduction of the ultrasound. It will get them bred early.
"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."
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.
"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!"
Last season, I really put the Equilume Light Mask to the test. I used it on mares that for years would’nt cycle until April or May. With the EquilumeTM Light Mask the mares were cycling by the end of January. Staying outside with the mask is positive for the horse, for their life, for mares cycling, for their hair coat. I look forward to using the mask again this season. I am sold!
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 think that Equilume Light Masks will open the eyes of the horse industry to the benefits of light manipulation in the same way that deslorelin brought focus to ovulation-inducing drugs"
"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."
"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 2013 gestations in the same mares. We felt the light masks were effective at reducing prolonged gestations in pregnant mares and intend to use them again."