Alstroemeria growers benefit from hybrid lighting
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How Lighting Companies Are Tackling Plant Quality Greenhouse

How Lighting Companies Are Tackling Plant Quality Greenhouse How Lighting Companies Are Tackling Plant Quality Greenhouse

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The COB 350 and 700 Water-Cooled Greenhouse Light Fixture from NewLux features uniform spread. The water-cooling technology also allows growers to run the lights at a higher intensity and doubles the lifespan of the LED diodes, while eliminating the need for noisy cooling fans that are prone to failure. Because of the higher intensity output, fewer fixtures are required.

Has there been a recent situation where you’ve worked with a greenhouse grower to help them address a problem? Philips recently worked with a small tomato grower in Pennsylvania trying to grow tomatoes and lettuce in the winter. He knew he needed light but knew very little about LEDs. After a thorough analysis of his growing operations, we installed Philips LED toplighting and he’s seeing a significant increase in yield.

NewLux developed a light plan that fit the physical environment for microgreens and provided the intensity and uniformity they required. With the many different lens shapes available on NewLux’s COB fixtures, the lights projected a uniform spread with no hotspots on the production area when fixtures were installed in a carefully thought out light plan.

According to the company, research conducted in partnership with commercial growers and universities demonstrates the breakthrough capabilities of adjustable-spectrum LED lighting.

According to Derek McLaughlin, Marketing Manager at NewLux Horticulture LED Lighting, growers today are looking for a reliable LED grow light that is going to provide the proper wavelength that their crops require, without producing large amounts of heat, while reducing energy costs.

Making up a significant portion of the floriculture market, mini-roses typically require multiple applications of PGRs to prevent elongation, and achieve the targeted market height. PGRs also have been shown to present harmful environmental and health-related effects. It is hypothesized that applying a lower ratio of red:blue light to flowering mini-roses will achieve similar effects as PGRs, decreasing the total plant height without reducing flower count, production time, and quality.

“Our focus in the research center is optimal growth and better-tasting food, and we are constantly growing new crops and analyzing data to help our customers achieve the best results,” McLaughlin says.

Winter months in California have a Daily Light Integral (DLI) of 10 to 20, which is inadequate for optimal plant growth. To address this challenge, LED lamps are beginning to be used in preference over High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps for their higher energy efficiency and longevity.

The second two experiments were done at LumiGrow’s research facility in Emeryville, CA, using a sole-source environment. In one case, the research team used LED alone at varying light ratios, but at the same intensity, to determine the response of the plants under all LED conditions. By contrast, in the other sole-source experiment, the team mimicked winter sunlight conditions to create “January in a Box,” by using a broad spectrum HID lamp and pairing it with a LED lamp of varying light ratios.

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New Scientific Posters from LumiGrow Research Show How Spectra Can Influence Plant Characteristics

With lighting, consumers are aware of the energy savings that result from LEDs. Similarly, we find that growers are first and foremost interested in the energy savings.

Insights From Barbara Perzanowski, Marketing Communications Specialist at Philips Lighting

This project sought to determine the optimum light level for cut gerbera production during the 2015-2016 supplemental lighting season at higher latitudes.

Germany: A varied range of products for LED plant lighting LED plant lighting has been discussed for many years. LED lighting offers benefits such that the light spectrum can be set to suit the desired production aim.

For energy efficiency reasons LED can provide stronger light for the same power input. Many solutions allow this change in lighting systems without new installation and new light spectra are coming onto the market.

Specialist journalist Werner Oschek provides us with an overview.Sanlight is a new name in the LED plant lighting sector. Photo: Werner OschekNewly developed light LED-KE 300With its newly developed light LED-KE, DH Licht (Wülfrath) is replacing the LED production model III DRBFR, which is no longer manufactured.

The two newly constructed extruded aluminium housings – one for the electronic driver unit, the other for the LED circuit boards – can be easily connected without the need for tools but can also be operated separately.

Both housings are designed in such a way that the drivers and LED circuit boards can be carried out on site. Up to now it was necessary to dispose of the entire lamp, at least with some manufacturers.

The circuit boards are fitted with LEDs with five different spectra from 400 to 730 nm, of which four can be controlled using the software ViSuSpektrum or its upgrade ViSuSpektrum 2.0 with many new functions.

The driver technology allows flicker-free regulation of the LEDs. DH Licht calls this option hybrid dimming.With a power input of 300 Watt the LED-KE 300 produces more than 560 µmol/m²s and a very broad PAR spectrum that is accessible for plants.

The lighting angle is set using the LED lens technology – no further reflector is required in order to reduce the efficiency. Besides the opportunity to adjust the lamps as required to the cultures or the growth stage of the plants it is also possible to modify the growth pattern of the cultures.

Some research projects have already been created for this purpose.Reaction to UV radiationIt was possible to prove different reactions of the plants to UV-A or UV-B radiation. Particularly in young plant cultivation and when preparing plants for outdoor cultivation good results have already been achieved with UV light.

According to DH Licht other areas are waiting to be researched. The company is committed to looking into this radiation and has developed relevant products for horticulture and the research.The DIN must be observed for all UV lights and UV lamps.

The rooms where UV light is used must be clearly indicated. In particular people must protect their eyes and skin.Water jet protected LED light MGR-E 400 UVThe MGR-E 400 UV is an IP 65 water jet protected light that comprises two housings with an illuminant in principle wavelengths from 280 to 500 nm.

It thus covers the UV-range from 315 to 380 nm. With a power input of 400 Watt, driven by an electronic ballast by DH Licht, this light is suitable for intensive or large-scale radiation according to information from the company.

The MGR-E 424 UV is an IP 65 water jet protected light with UV-A radiation in the wavelength range 315 to 400 nm. A small proportion of two percent of UV-B radiation is also present. The lamp can be dimmed from one to 100 percent and can therefore also be used in smaller rooms.

The wide beam angle of the reflector allows the lighting of a large area with little power. The ballasts are integrated into the light. Connection is via the five-pole plug system in the MGR series.‘Hortisense’: software interprets dataHortilux Schréder (NL-Monster) is introducing the digital data platform ‘Hortisense’, which displays the light processing in the greenhouse for example.

This software interprets the data and offers the horticulturist all the important information that he or she can then call up anywhere and at any time using any device.A module prevents the overheating of transformers or electrical contacts and secures the power supply.

The ‘Light Management’ module displays the light quantity in real time that reached the plants from the sun and the lighting. The maintenance module displays information on further factors such as the lifespan of the lamps or notes on faults or discrepancies.

This gives the grower an overview of the lighting system at all times, thus improving the effectiveness of the system and securing the function of the electrical installation, according to Hortilux. The software combines all the relevant information for the lighting.

The software also offers further opportunities, for example lighting strategies on the basis of plant physiology or life cycle. It allows automatic light settings, based on the analysis of forecasts such as the weather forecast, energy or product prices.

‘Direct Drive’: alternatives to sodium steam lampsIndo Lighting (UK-Southampton) was established in 2007 and terms itself as a pioneer in ‘Direct Drive’ LED street lighting. Direct Drive is a LED technology that was developed by Indo in order to be able to do without LED drivers.

The company offers ‘Direct Drive’ LED growth lighting that can be exchanged 1:1 for existing sodium steam lights and save 50 percent of energy with a claimed lifespan of 100,000 operating hours. This is why the manufacturer claims that the system can be operated for 20 years without maintenance.

The otherwise standard LED drivers would normally need to be exchanged after four to eight years.The fittings are light and thin and do not require active cooling. The light spectrum can be optimised in accordance with the customer’s requirements and the LEDs can be dimmed.

New name in LED plant lightingOne relatively new name in LED plant lighting is Sanlight (A-Schruns). The company was established in 2012 by Martin Anker and David Schmidmayr. It sees its core competence in the development and production of high quality LED plant lighting solutions and in research and consultancy.

Besides its serial products the company also develops and produces special solutions. With its own research and through research cooperation it is continually generating new knowledge that is integrated into its products.

According to the company information the Sanlight LED lights increase productivity and improve cost efficiency. All Sanlight products are passively cooled and are characterised by a long lifespan, a robust nature and efficiency.

From a technological point of view Sanlight takes a different approach to many of its competitors. It tries to keep ‘colour conversion’, through which red light is generated from blue light, to a minimum.

If red is generated directly by means of the corresponding semiconductor combination then this is much more effective, according to Schmidmayr.Another point is the special free-form look, through which the light is applied purposely in a square form onto the target area, giving the same intensity at all points.

This results in homogeneous stocks across the cultivation area.The Sanlight P4 series offers lighting over large areasAccording to company information the Sanlight P4 series is the first choice for the lighting of large areas and in rough conditions.

It has an IP64 protection class and was developed for use in greenhouses and in multi-level systems with high light requirements. It is available in different versions, for example with regard to beam characteristics or spectra and it can therefore be adapted optimally to individual requirements.

It represents a full-value substitute for traditional lights.The standard spectrum produces a warm white light for pleasant working conditions and a natural display of the plants that looks similar to sunlight.

The growing pattern in this spectrum is also said to be comparable to that under natural sunlight. Besides the natural spectrum special spectra are also available, for example to promote compact growth.

For maximum economy and efficiency the company states that this requires the individual light planning and consultancy that it offers its customers.The Sanlight S2W was developed for medium-sized to small indoor cultivation areas.

The Sanlight M30 module was developed for small to very small indoor areas.The LED plant lighting modules Flex 10 and Flex 20 were developed as flexible, modular plant lighting systems for professional use, indoors and outdoors.

They are particularly suited to space-saving multi-level systems and as a replacement for traditional neon tubes.Natural spectrum with professional LED growth lightLightDNA is a new line of products with professional LED growth light by Valoya (FIN-Helsinki).

The aim of the LightDNA products is to deliver a natural outer beam with regard to the spectrum range, the light intensity and the photoperiod. After the Valoya LightDNA Dynamic Light, which was first presented in 2016, the ‘2 Channel Light’ and the ‘8 Channel Light’ are now being introduced.

The light spectrum in the ‘2 Channel Light’ is very close to the spectrum of sunlight in a clear sky and can simulate twilight and light cloud cover. The field light of any location around the world can be simulated using the ‘8 Channel Light’.

Werner Oschek is a freelance journalist for the green sector and works for the specialist periodical ‘Gärtnerbörse’ and other publications.For more information:MayerPoststraße 3089522 HeidenheimGermanyT: +49 7321 9594 290F: +49 7321 9594 [email protected]

We also worked with a tomato grower in Ontario, Canada, that was interested in extending his growing season through the winter. As a result of the greenhouse being a double-poly structure, the grower would not have been able to add high-pressure sodium lights because of the heat generated by the fixtures. With an installation of LED interlighting modules, the grower can deliver light to the crops while still managing the greenhouse climate.

Here are some of the key findings from the research, as well as links to the posters and the research team members.

• Plant compactness and stem elongation normally achieved with plant growth regulators (PGRs) in mini-rose production can also be attained using light spectra. Low-blue light environments resulted in taller plants, while high-blue environments resulted in more compact plants in mini-rose trials.

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At higher latitudes, cut-flower growers rely on supplemental lighting for maximizing production in the darker months. Horticultural LEDs have been proven to produce similar or better crops (in terms of yield and quality) compared to HPS, while also having longer lifespans and higher energy efficiencies.

LumiGrow sought to determine the optimum light level for cut gerbera production during the 2015-2016 supplemental lighting season at higher latitudes.

NewLux developed a light plan for Greenbelt Microgreens that fit its physical environment and provided the intensity and uniformity the company required.

LumiGrow Research, the research division of horticultural LED lighting manufacturer LumiGrow, Inc., has released a series of new scientific posters that show how light spectra can influence plant characteristics and commercial production.

Finally, growers are worried about the cost of switching to the new technology. Most growers are concerned that the LED lighting technology is advancing so quickly that it may not be mature enough to warrant the switching cost at the present time. In a market that is so new, it is hard to determine which manufacturer is going to be the right choice for this large investment.

• A light level of 135 µmol•m-2•s-1 was determined optimal for growing cut gerbera from November through February at high altitudes using LumiGrow Pro 325 LED greenhouse fixtures. Accelerated flower development, hardier stems, increased chlorophyll content, and increased leaf count were all achieved with supplemental light for cut gerbera.

NewLux Works With Microgreens Grower on Uniform Light Distribution

Previous work determined that light during the healing period influences morphology and quality of grafted tomatoes. Cool-white fluorescent (CWF) at a photosynthetic photon flux of 100 μmol·m-2·s-1 is recommended for healing chambers.

Battlefield Farms investigated using LEDs to help with a specific problem with their Heuchera tissue culture. After trying a couple different LED manufacturers and some different configurations, the grower was able to realize a higher transplant success rate with Philips LEDs.

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• LED light can be used to heal grafted tomatoes with equal efficiency to cool-white fluorescent lighting in a sole source lighting scenario.

Moving forward, McLaughlin says NewLux has been expanding and adapting its wireless technology to provide growers with greater overall system controls and more real-time data. NewLux also has a new research center that is responsible for testing current models, as well as concept LED bars and fixtures.

Greenbelt Microgreens had been looking for a lighting solution for its growing needs. Microgreens have an extremely short growing cycle and require accurate uniformity for harvesting. According to Adamson, most LED lighting on the market could not provide the operation with the light uniformity it was looking for.

What are you hearing from your grower customers in terms of what they are looking for in greenhouse lighting today? What are the biggest needs they have, or the biggest challenges they are trying to address?

Innovative growers are always looking to keep up with the latest research in new technology, including lighting. Recently, three lighting suppliers were involved in projects — one at the research level and one at a commercial growing operation — that address how light affects plant quality. Here’s a look at the results of their efforts.

The Philips GreenPower LED flowering lamp 2.0 provides an optimum spectrum and high light output and allows growers to save electricity costs by being 90% more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lamps.

This presentation included three experiments. The first experiment was done at Rocket Farms in Half Moon Bay, CA, in the greenhouse environment to examine the effect of both a High Red and High Blue LED light environment for a two- to three-week period at the end of the production season.

Looking into the future, what do you have planned in terms of new lighting product development? Philips is research/testing options for LED fixtures with a tunable spectrum or dimmable intensity.

NewLux has recently been working with Ian Adamson of Greenbelt Microgreens, which produces certified organic microgreens in Stouffville, ON, Canada. Adamson says that one of the biggest challenges for growers is that the market is being flooded with data by LED companies that can be confusing to growers. The volume of data and technology jargon makes it difficult for growers to make an informed purchase decision for their business.

Grafted tomato seedling propagation must be optimized to increase efficiencies. Grafting has several steps that include growing, grafting, healing, and acclimation. Healing, the joining of cambium between rootstock and scion to form vascular tissue, is considered the most important step and is commonly done under modified greenhouse conditions or inside healing chambers.

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What types of new products are you developing to address these needs? The Philips GreenPower LED flowering lamp 2.0 is an even more energy efficient way to extend daylight or interrupt the night growing cycle in greenhouses for growers that cultivate strawberries, cut flowers, bedding plants, and cuttings. The new Philips GreenPower LED flowering lamp 2.0 builds on the first generation of Philips GreenPower LED flowering lamp and comes in two different spectral versions with light recipes for growing cut flowers and soft fruit. The new highly energy-efficient lamp is designed to increase the yield, quality, and consistency of crops and stimulate flowering. The first generation of the Philips GreenPower flowering lamp provided an important benchmark for energy efficiency following trials in 2014 and 2015 at the Research Centre Hoogstraten in Belgium, an independent horticultural research center. The next generation lamp provides an optimum spectrum and high light output and allows growers to save electricity costs by being 90% more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lamps. The lamps have a standard E27 or E26 fitting, allowing them to be used in existing installations, avoiding unnecessary modifications and reducing set-up costs.

Horticultural Specialist – Emeryville (CA) USA Sales Manager Europe Division Grower – Delta, (OH) USA Export Sales – Perth, Australia Production Manager Indonesia – Magelang/Central Java, Indonesia Director ASIA Research Station Operations – Bangkok, Thailand Spécialiste Technique et commercial Biocontrôle pour l’Ouest de la France Technical sales Specialist North Europe – Benelux and Scandinavia Grower Manager – Tuakau, New Zealand Sales representative – (TN, KY, NC, SC and GA) USA

A distant second would be spectrum. Few growers truly understand the importance of spectrum and how plants use blue and red. LEDs are the hot thing now, everyone is talking about them, and it is not surprising that growers are a bit overwhelmed and confused. This is why we collaborate with the grower. We learn of their challenges and their growing objectives and then develop a custom solution based on their needs.

Misadvertised technical specifications also seem to be an issue. Growers report overstated mols by some manufacturers, leading to poor crop growth. The proposed solution by these companies is for the grower to purchase additional fixtures to reach the required mols, which ends up costing the grower more than was originally quoted.

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