26 September 2018
Investment in LED should increase production and quality
LED in alstroemeria is hot: more and more growers are choosing LED fixtures as an addition to HPS lighting. Alstroemeria company Together2Grow has also followed this. They have installed HORTILED Top fixtures from Hortilux. Grower Bernard Zuidgeest expects to increase production by 10 to 15% and improve the quality of the crop.
The use of supplemental lighting has been commonplace in the alstroemeria growth; as this helps growers to produce year round and optimize the quality. Although many growers have limitations; especially with the heat radiation of the HPS fixtures. “Alstroemeria is a cold crop”, says Bernard Zuidgeest, co-owner of Together2Grow. This company grows alstroemeria on 8.8ha, divided over 3 locations (Kwintsheul, Schipluiden and Poeldijk). “Naturally this crop grows around the equator, where they have cold nights. This means that you can only use the HPS fixture to a certain level. At our location in Kwintsheul, for example, we have for 140 micromol/m2/s of HPS light. This is too much, which means we have a lot of excess heat. In short; alstroemeria wants the light but not the heat.”
For this reason Together2Grow decided to invest in 5000m2 in LED for their location in Poeldijk. At the beginning of this month, 47 micromol of LED was installed in addition to the existing 95 micromol/m2/s of HPS. “In this greenhouse we grow Virginia; a crop that reacts very well to extra light. I expect with the LED fixtures an increase of 10 to 15% in production. On top of that we think the quality of the crop will improve in the winter months, especially with better bud setting and heavier stems. With these expectations we hope to earn the investment back within five to six years.”
Conscious choice for HORTILED Top and Hortilux
Together2Grow consciously chose HORTILED Top fixtures from Hortilux for multiple reasons. “Important for us, was that we could install the fixtures in the existing C-profiles; behind each HPS fixture hangs an LED fixture”, says Zuidgeest. “We did not have to purchase extra profiles. The more profiles you have the more light you lose. Beside this, the HORTILED Top fixtures are robust an solid, and provide us with the ideal light distribution per m2. Now we have the right amount of light everywhere in the greenhouse.”
Zuidgeest is also very satisfied with the collaboration with Hortilux. “It is a knowledgeable company. An advantage is that Hortilux produces and installs the fixtures, so you only have one point of contact. Next to that they are practically around the corner which makes it possible to switch quickly.”