Let your grow light system stay on track with the latest developments
When investing in a new grow light system, a one-off calculation is made of the costs and yields. But what if, over time, things start to change – within your business, in the market, or due to new insights in new cultivation technology? Then it's important to take a look at whether your grow light system is still as well-tuned to the current situation as possible. Hortilux can help you with this: using our special Scenario Calculation Model, we calculate the returns from various grow light scenarios, so that you always make the right choices at the right time.
Grow light is one of a horticultural business’s most important operational costs. At the same time, a grow light system is a business-critical system: it contributes to the delivering of optimum quality, offers continuity in production, and in this way helps to safeguard the company’s competitiveness – particularly when careful consideration has been given to the financial returns on an installation and the way in which the grow light system can contribute to a higher yield and/or quality.
Influence of internal and external developments
A calculation of returns is usually made as standard when investing in a grow light system. “It generally involves a payback period of a maximum of five years. During this period, however, the returns and the associated Total Cost of Ownership are rarely re-examined,” Mitchel Visser, Area Sales Manager at Hortilux, says. “It’s a shame, because a lot of developments – both inside and outside the greenhouse – impact on the grow light system’s efficiency and make new demands on the system. For example there are changing energy costs, subsidy options, and changes to environmental legislation. Or a customer who would like a more constant supply of produce, meaning that additional lighting is needed in spring and summer. All of these things can mean that at a certain time, it might be a good idea to make different choices with regard to grow light. Factors in the greenhouse have an impact too, for example a new cultivation strategy or lamps declining in performance.”
More possibilities in existing greenhouse situation
Developments in grow light systems – and particularly with regard to LEDs – are moving incredibly quickly, and this plays an important role too. “The systems are becoming increasingly efficient, but also much more flexible, which means that they fit even better into an existing greenhouse situation,” Visser says. “This flexibility has a direct effect on a grow light system’s returns. This results in better light uniformity and, for example, also gives growers more control over their energy input. These sorts of developments also mean that it’s a good idea to review the grow light system’s returns regularly, along with the related scenarios.”
Comparison of multiple scenarios
Hortilux makes a comparison of multiple grow light scenarios to help growers to gain more insight into the various possibilities. A special Scenario Calculation Model has been developed for this. The model can be used to calculate the returns on a particular scenario and what this will mean for the grower. “In this model we put multiple scenarios side by side, for example a fully HPS grow light system, a hybrid installation, and an installation that consists entirely of LED,” Visser explains. “With the assistance of all sorts of data – greenhouse surface area, number of lighting hours, the desired light intensity, type of fittings, etc. – we’re able to provide insight into the returns from various scenarios. This then clarifies the impact of particular developments or wishes: a higher energy price, a higher light intensity, a new subsidy scheme, etc.”
Thinking along with the grower
The model shows exactly what a particular grow light system costs per square metre, in terms of investment, energy consumption, maintenance, and so forth. It also makes clear the added value that can be realised with a specific scenario, for example in terms of production. “By doing so, the most interesting system at a given time is also made clear, as well as which scenario is best suited to the developments – within the company and in the market – and to the grower’s objectives. On top of that, by doing things like varying the light intensity, the light spectrum or the fittings, we’re also able to steer the lighting towards the desired situation. We really think along with the grower and help them to choose the right grow light scenario at the right time.”
Would you like to know more?
Would you like insight into the returns various grow light scenarios could deliver for your company and for your specific situation? Hortilux is keen to help you examine the possibilities. For more information, please contact us by sending an email to Info@hortilux.com or call +31 (0) 174 286 628.