Interview with Simon Deacon, CEO at Light Science Technologies (LST)

We provide the sensor and lighting technology for an enclosed environment, be it a polytunnel, a greenhouse or a modern vertical farm where it is a controlled environment. Through a highly bespoke process, we ascertain the correct recipe needed for growers to achieve optimum crop yield and reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs.

We assess and measure an enclosed environment – that is the environment plants are being grown in – and then we emulate the same conditions in our in-house lab. Using real-time data, we measure and fine-tune all the elements – such as CO2 levels, airflow and light – to show the impact of identified changes and to determine the right solution for that specific grower’s needs, to get the best results for their crop.

To help create the right growing recipe, we purposely constructed our lab in 2020 for plant science and the development of horticulture lighting and environmental technologies.
Our laboratory has four fully equipped scientist workstations and is one of the first in the world designed to allow our scientists to continue working safely even through a pandemic. We offer light testing and simulation using state of the art in-house equipment, plant recipe tests in controlled environment chambers and plant health tests.
Image result for Light Science Technologies (LST)

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We saw an opportunity when we were working with an existing client in the test, design and build of a lighting product for one of the first vertical farms in the UK.
We realised the full market growth potential. The global CEA market is huge, projected to reach USD 8.9 Billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 21.4%. We brought in an established team of AgTech specialists with a wealth of experience, which enabled us to start developing a series of products and sensors to address the key issues the industry faces.

Globally, we are facing a deepening crisis with food production on many levels and we need to urgently address these major issues concerning the environment, pollution, food security, population and sustainability. It is about resolving these problems with a viable solution which we have developed.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Researching your market is crucial; also make sure there is a growing market and demand for it. It’s important that you’ve got the financial backing as the last thing you want to be worrying about is money when you’re trying to develop and grow your business. Then do it better than everyone else who is doing it.

What can we hope to see from LST in the future?

We have our eyes firmly set on the global market. We want to ensure we have an AgTech base here in the UK with our lab and manufacturing facilities, then extend our operations further afield with labs and a manufacturing base in the Far East, covering regions including Singapore, India, China and the Middle East, and also in the Americas.