The Fluence brand of LED
lighting, produced by international lighting company Osram, is to begin
marketing its horticultural lighting range in Europe.
Founded in Texas in 2012,
Fluence Bioengineering was founded in Texas in 2012 and has seen rapid growth,
resulting in them now being one of the biggest players in the US and Canadian
horticultural industry. In particular their LED solutions are used in vertical
farming and legal cannabis cultivation, where it has the biggest share of the
market. Last year Fluence was purchased by German-based Osram, whose LED chips
were already used in Fluence products.
Timo Bongartz has been
appointed as the new EMEA manager. He says that while the company expects legal
cannabis production to grow in Europe, it is also looking to supply producers
of more traditional horticultural crops. “With every country following its own
rules, [cannabis]is not an easy market,” he points out.
The company has already
supplied lights to indoor farming company Bowery Farming, and Timo adds, “Our
RAZR and SPYDR solutions match the crop very well, and the companies match as
well. These type of growers are used to innovating and are open to new
developments .Therefore we also have a good fit with similar farms, especially in
the Nordics: Sweden, Finland, Denmark for example. The fact that we’re
supported by Osram gives them trust in our products as well.”
Photo Caption: In the
US and Canada Fluence has become a leading supplier of LEDs for legal cannabis
Philips Lighting has unveiled its new Philips GreenPower LED toplighting with a light spectrum optimized for cut rose cultivation.
The new GreenPower LED toplighting with cut rose spectrum allows growers to increase light levels year-round without increasing heat. During trials by Delphy and Wageningen University, and monitored by experienced rose growers, the new lighting improved the quality of the roses and was 40 per cent more energy efficient compared to high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting.
“Since we first introduced LED toplighting in 2015, we have been working intensively with a group of about 30 rose growing companies, consultants, universities, research institutes and representatives from the Dutch government, active in developing the rose sector, to further refine our light recipes for rose cultivation,” said Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture at Philips Lighting. “The feedback from this network helped us improve the quality and quantity of roses grown under LED lighting.”
“The rose branches under the new spectrum are longer, heavier and have bigger buds,” Marc Koene, owner of SK Roses in the Netherlands added.
The new LED rose light recipe is available with the newest generation of Philips GreenPower LED toplighting. In the Philips GreenPower toplighting with rose spectrum, a small amount of white LEDs have been added to assist people working in the greenhouse to perform labour tasks like harvest and scouting.
New research from the University of Bristol has revealed that domestic LED lights are much less attractive to nuisance insects such as biting midges than traditional filament lamps.
Although the initial findings are of interest in terms of public health and preventing the spread of diseases such as malaria and Zika fever, there may be implications for the use of beneficial insects and pollinators in horticulture.
The study, which was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and UK lighting manufacturer Integral LED, used customised traps at 18 field test sites across south-west England. Over 4,000 insects were carefully identified and overall LEDs attracted four times fewer insects compared with traditional incandescent lamps, and half as many as were attracted to a compact fluorescent lamp.
Dr Andy Wakefield led the field research and said, “We were surprised by the number of biting flies drawn to the traditional tungsten lights. We do not know why this is but we know that some insects use thermal cues to find warm-blooded hosts in the night, so perhaps they were attracted to the heat given off by the filament bulb.”
Photo Caption: Research shows that LEDs attract fewer biting insects like mosquitoes than tungsten lamps
Researchers at Michigan State University have used LED lights to produce compact flower and tomato seedling plugs as part of work to look at the effect light wavelengths can have on a variety of plant processes including growth, flowering, fruiting and postharvest quality.
According to an article at Hort Americas, horticulture professor Erik Runkle and floriculture/nursery production extension educator Heidi Wollaeger studied the impact the ratio of red to blue light can have on the production of annual bedding plant seedlings. They looked at the effects of red and blue light on impatiens, petunia, salvia and tomato plugs.
“These four species are very common bedding plants for U.S. growers,” explained Wollaeger. “They are key crops for their sales. The tomato plugs were being grown as vegetable transplants and not for production as greenhouse tomatoes for fruiting.
Wollaeger said all of the species grown under the red light dominant background with a certain amount of blue light displayed desirable plant growth responses. “These plants showed compact growth, thicker leaves and thicker stems,” she said. “As a general rule of thumb, growers should provide at least 10 µmol·m−2·s–1 of blue light if they are providing a red dominant environment to increase plant quality, which results in compact, well-branched growth. This treatment might reduce the need for plant growth retardants. If the light environment is being altered to include more blue light in a sole-source environment, stem elongation is reduced.”