Mathematical modeling and control of artificial ecosystems, such as MELISSA, require first the study of physical and biological characteristics in optimal and limiting conditions. Following the previous determination of the stoichiometric equations (Spirulina compartment) and regarding the two phototrophic compartments of MELISSA (Rhodospirillaceae and Spirulina), we have first to focus our control study on the growth kinetics for the light source.In this paper, we recall the theoretical equations of microbial growth kinetics and emphasise the problem of the light transfer in a photobioreactor. We present their adaptations to our pilot plant taking into account technological and biological specifics (lamp spectrum, working illuminated volume, growth rate,…). We then develop the principles and structure of the control system and describe tests of both the hardware and software for several steady state configurations. Preliminary results from our pilot plant (Spirulina) are presented, and finally advantages and weaknesses of this approach are discussed.