The trial comprised four rows of 16 GreenPower interlighting modules, used together with the existing HPS system. These fixtures were positioned to provide light in between the plants. Previous trials with cucumbers and tomatoes have proved that this positioning can enable more efficient plant production.
To fully test the LED grow lights, they were used on one group of crops, while a control groups was lit with HPS and daylight only as comparison. Two production rounds were run, with a Philips plant physiologist providing support. The LEDs were installed with an optimized light spectrum designed to keep leaves active.
The trial was a success. The average increase in production was 19%, after adding only 8% extra light. This indicates that the light from LEDs was absorbed very efficiently. Visible improvements could be seen in the crops, which had faster maturing, darker fruit. Significant changes were also seen in the size and positioning of the leaves. Overall, the trial indicates that LED light can be converted more efficiently into sugar, leading to improved growth.
Tests with hybrid systems have shown an increase in plant production, due to the more efficient absorption of light. This provides the farmers with better growing conditions in winter, and in summer it provides more opportunities to keep a crop under control.