Making a striking statement all year round

A good, constant light level is essential to grow beautiful Phalaenopsis. For this reason Opti-flor replaced the old 600 Watt lighting installation by HSE fixtures with 1000 Watt lighting. For the grading department, the Phalaenopsis grower opted to install HORTILED® Multi LED fixtures. Thanks to these new fittings, Opti-flor can guarantee the consistent quality of its orchids all year round.

High light level

Raymond van der Knaap has worked at the family business Opti-flor since 2003. He joined the board of directors six years ago, and is tasked with responsibility for cultivation and energy. “Light is an essential element of making our mission of ‘creating orchids’ a reality.” An orchid is an example of a CAM plant. These plants have reverse photosynthesis and assimilate at night. A high light level plays an important role in contributing to the stunning blooms produced by the Phalaenopsis. Sufficient grow light is essential for good production, particularly in the dark months of the year from September to the end of April. “Opti-flor has a long working relationship with Hortilux dating back to the establishment of our company”, says Raymond van der Knaap. “In 2015, Hortilux replaced one of our older lighting installations. In early 2016, in our new energy-efficient greenhouse, we invested in a combination of conventional grow light in the greenhouse and LED lighting in the grading department.”

Efficient solution

“To improve our Phalaenopsis cultivation we needed a higher light level”, explains Van der Knaap. “On Hortilux’s advice, we replaced the 600 Watt installation by a 1000 Watt installation. These HSE fixtures give more light while consuming the same amount of electricity. An efficient solution, as at Opti-flor sustainability is high on the priority list along with quality.” The new LED lighting in the grading department also contributes to the high quality standards placed by the grower on the extensive range of orchids. “About one week before being sold, the Phalaenopsis arrive at this department for packing. You obviously want the flowers and buds to stay in optimal condition. Thanks to the HORTILED® Multi the orchids receive enough light to prevent the buds from yellowing, for example. The huge advantage of LEDs compared with conventional lamps is that they release very little heat. And that helps prevent over-heating and dehydration of the Phalaenopsis plants.”

Consistent quality

“The transplant and open way of working at Hortilux really appeals to me”, explains Raymond. “Hortilux measures the performance of the lighting installations each year. They provide clear reports outlining how I can optimise the light levels in the greenhouse and the costs involved. This enables me to make well-informed choices between cleaning the existing lamps, and installing new fixtures or lamps. It’s an example many others could follow. Opti-flor can continue to guarantee the quality of its Phalaenopsis creations to exporters, retailers and consumers for years to come thanks to our new lighting installations and cleaning the existing grow lights.”