lettuce yields

Izegem, Belgium

Johan Desmet and Mirjan Vandoorne began the year-round cultivation of lettuce in Izegem, Belgium in 2004 with a greenhouse of 18,000 m2. In 2012, this was expanded with a new facility of about 14,000 m2, equipped with five meter high beds, a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system, screens, and a transport system.

Higher lettuce yields

 I want to get
the highest yields

of the best quality crops out of every square meter.”


- Johan Desmet, Co-owner Desmet Lettuce Nursery

Desmet 3

Customer challenge

“With this intensive cultivation method in water gutters, I want to get the highest yields of the best quality crops out of every square meter,” says Desmet. To maximize his production potential, he began looking for ways to increase the lighting levels. However, he quickly reached the limits of using the HPS to increase light levels given the constraints of the Benelux climate.
Desmet 4

The right lighting 


In 2013 the Research Station for Vegetable Cultivation (Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt (PSKW) in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium compared Philips HPS lighting Johan Desmet, Co-owner Desmet Lettuce Nursery and Philips GreenPower LED toplighting, at light levels of 50 μmol/m2 , with each other. In the LED cell, red lettuce varieties showed better red coloration in the winter and had less tipburn damage. The Red Oak Leaf lettuce was compacter and the Lollo Rossa heads were significantly heavier. The installation of this hybrid lighting system clears the way to higher production because the lights can be turned on at moments when the exterior climate is too ‘mild’. The plants get the light energy they need at the right moment.

By increasing light levels and lighting hours, Desmet expects to shorten his growing cycles. For Johan, LED technology is a possibility to further improve his business results. He firmly believes that with LED’s he is no longer hindered in optimizing his production and that concessions do not have to be made. “I can fully push the accelerator and get as much production as possible from every square meter in my greenhouse.”


Philips GreenPower LED toplighting


Philips is introducing an LED-based toplighting solution for greenhouse growers, easy to install and no need for water cooling systems.


View product

The flowering lamp is the alternative for extending day length for plants that are sensitive to the photoperiod.

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