Nic Van Roosmalen, operational director at Agro Care in Rilland, was already aware of the benefits of LED interlighting. Recent studies had shown that adding one micromole of LED light in the form of interlighting is 1.4 times more effective than adding one micromole of SON-T light above the crop. However, Van Roosmalen and Philips expected that a hybrid system involving both SON-T and LED can achieve much more.
The new system was set up with SON-T fixtures providing top-lighting, and LED technology providing interlighting to the lower parts of the plant. “The ultimate aim of the test is to achieve more efficient use of a micromole of light by the plant, resulting in increased production. We expect that these LEDs will be able to do this”, said Van Roosmalen.
Early reports from the tests appear positive. “The test has not quite finished yet, but we can already see that the results are very satisfying”, said Van Roosmalen. “The production was excellent, in fact considerably better than expected. And energy consumption is lower. A winning combination for the future of tomato cultivation. I’m certain that with more testing we will develop an even better light recipe customized to my specific circumstances.”
Thanks to the energy-efficient performance of LED plant growing lights, the new system is reducing Agro Care’s operational costs too.