Horticulture day set to reveal benefits of LED crop lighting

Light is the single most critical factor impacting the success of a controlled environment farm, but why is this the case?
Ninety per cent of plant genes are regulated by light. So, by changing the light spectrum, it is possible to change how a plant grows and how fast it develops.

Lux’s upcoming Horticultural Lighting Conference in Eindhoven is set to lay out what it takes to get crop lighting right, in order to increase yields.

The conference will begin with the basics and delve deeper as the day goes on.

Light is the single most critical factor impacting the success of a controlled environment farm, but why is this the case?

The first session of the day, which will be anchored by Anja Dieleman of Wageningen University and Research, will offer a crash course in applying photobiology to create a denser, healthier, greener crop of vegetables, which are ready for market in record time.

As well as considering a whole host of biological and morphological issues pertaining to the growing of crops in controlled greenhouses, the day will also set out to explain the technology behind LEDs.

Carolin Horst of Osram will use her talk to explain the difference between LEDs and traditional lighting sources. Horst will also set out to explain the unique light-distribution techniques that are possible with LEDs.

The main challenger to LEDs when growers come to considering what type of technology should be used to light their crops is high pressure sodium.

The plain truth of the matter is that high pressure sodium lights are, for the time being, more economical than LEDs. However, that is not the whole story.

Isabel Vandevelde and Stefaan Fabri of Proefstation, who research vegetable production, will proffer their advice and knowledge gleamed from years in the field and will attempt to offer a comparison between high pressure sodium sources and LED.

Most importantly the talk will decide if a best of both worlds scenario (high pressure sodium combined with LED) is the best way forward.

A further examination of the metrics behind LED will be offered by Viktor Zseller of Arrow, who produce a range of horticultural lighting products.

The distinct lack of heat that an LED produces, means that they can be placed quite close to the plants, without damaging them, meaning less energy is required to produce strong results. Zseller will go on to examine the payback potential of LED.

LED spectra can be adjusted to control many aspects of plant quality including appearance, height and flowering time.

One of the day’s keynote presentations will be given by Dr Phillip Davis of Stockbridge Technology Centre in Yorkshire, UK, who will examine the potential that LEDs have to change the way crops are grown in controlled environments. 

Because LEDs offer unprecedented opportunities to manipulate wavelength, pulse duration, synchrony and spectral output, they can modify the morphological and chemical characteristics of plants, enabling growers to extract greater value from crop production.

The specific light requirements in terms of red, blue and infra-red light for improving tomato yields will also be considered in a separate presentation.

To conclude the day Christine Zimmermann-Loessl of Vertical Farming and Jasper den Besten of HAS Hogeschool will offer advice on how to design and develop an LED lighting infrastructure for vertical farms, tiered growing installations and hydroponic vegetable facilities.

The talk will consider the economics of these installations and how they compare to more traditional methods.

  • A revolution is happening in horticulture. It’s a seismic shift that will change fundamentally how we grow plants – and it’s all down to lighting. Lux’s Horticulture Lighting Conference will take place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 14-15 May 2018. To find out more information and to register to attend please click here