Osram unveils tool to create LED designs for plants

Plant biologist Sebastian Olschowski of Osram at the company's horticulture lighting laboratory in Munich, Germany

OSRAM HAS unveiled an online calculator for horticultural lighting which can help design LED lighting set ups.

The tool also calculates the performance under application conditions and gives customised spectral outputs.

A render from Osram’s online tool for designing an LED lighting system for horticultural applications.

Sebastian Olschowski of Osram told the Horticultural Lighting Conference in the Netherlands last week that the tool can help growers determine the ideal lighting installation for their crops.

Each plant needs different light at different times during the day and at different times of its growth.

Most growers opt for a mixture of deep blue at a wavelength of 450 nanometres, which helps with chlorophyl and beta-carotene production, and hyper red at 660 nm, which influences germination, plant growth, leave building and flowering.

More red light would, typically, lead to a greater yield with a crop such as tomatoes and increased vitamin C content in crops such as mustard, spinach and green onions.

However, the application of far red, at a wavelength of 730nm, is much more complicated. The 730nm LED – which should be in a separate circuit and dimmable in the luminaire – is necessary to control the growth of the plant.

The 730nm LEDs can be used to influence the length of the plant. Shining 730nm light on a plant makes the plant feel like it is in the shadow of a bigger plant and triggers the ‘shade escape reaction’ which means it grows very fast.

Another effect which can be influenced by the 730nm LEDs is the timing of blossoming of flowers. It can make the flowers blossom in winter time or even prevent the blossoming in summer time.

See the online tool HERE

The next Lighting for Horticulture conference takes place on Tuesday 9 October and Wednesday 10 October 2018 in Portland, Oregon. To see the full programme and register for a place, click HERE.