Step 2: Get the lighting right
Once you have a good climate, how can you get the highest yields from it? We have done hundreds of research projects on growing plants indoor focusing on yield and the most optimal light intensity for a certain crop or variety. Yield however is not always the most crucial and single most important part. Let’s take red oak lettuce as an example. When this lettuce is grown outside in a field, it turns red because it is stressed by the sun or large temperature changes and it typically yields less compared to its’ green version. When the same variety is grown indoors, it remains mostly green because there is no UV light, but it does develop fast and shows comparable or sometimes even better growth than a green version. At Philips Lighting’s GrowWise Center, we have four full-time plant specialists who develop so-called light and growth recipes for specific crops. Based on their research, we developed a coloration light recipe for red oak lettuce that turns a mostly green head of red oak lettuce into a dark red lettuce in just three days. Growers can grow a large head of lettuce in their regular growth cycle, apply this light recipe as a pre-harvest treatment, and get a great quality crop with much higher yields and the proper appearance. Together with breeding companies we screen and help them develop varieties that could support growers to help them differentiate even more based on taste, quality or color.