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New educational program

How artificial lighting can optimize efficiency

Have you thought about improving the distribution and uniformity of light in your greenhouse? What about the heat produced from your grow lights? Are you providing light in the optimal spectrum? And why (and how) should you be measuring the PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation)? We launched a new educational program to help growers answer these and other questions.

Get new insights on the Plant Empowerment philosophy

Making changes to your lighting strategy, can help you improve plant health while saving energy in the process. The Lighting program is zooming in on how growers can use artificial lighting more effectively. This not only improves plant health and boosts yield, but it also helps them to save energy – and therefore improves both their sustainability and their profitability – in the process.

The program includes an online course and an e-book, going into more depth about the role of lighting. The e-book is written by several grow-light specialists from Plant Empowerment Implementation Partner Hortilux Schréder, who are keen to share their expert knowledge with growers around the world.

The online course called “How to get the most out of your artificial lighting” is part of the four Plant Empowerment online courses, about various aspects of energy saving. All participants that register for the Energy course can follow the educational program (course and e-book) for free.

Register for the Energy course

 

Register for the lighting program

Useful insights for all growers

A plant’s growth processes are mainly determined by its three balances: water, energy and assimilates. Based on the laws of physics and plant physiology, the Plant Empowerment philosophy is focused on helping the plant to keep these three balances in equilibrium. This supports plant strength, health, resilience and efficient use of water, fertilizers, CO2 and energy. The result: higher production, better crop quality and a more sustainable approach to growing. “In terms of the energy balance, light is one of the most important energy sources – either from the sun or from artificial lighting,” explain the Hortilux grow-light specialists.

“The water balance is also important because the plant needs to take up the right amount of water in combination with nutrients so that the energy inputs can maintain the evaporation cycle. And then we have the assimilates balance, which is about ensuring that the plant can produce and consume enough sugars. These sugars are produced as a result of photosynthesis, and light once again plays a key role in this. Grow light is also known as ‘assimilate lighting’ for a reason!” they say.

“By paying more attention to lighting as part of the Plant Empowerment principles, it’s possible to maximize efficiency by creating the optimum balance of light intensity, energy consumption and crop growth, resulting in the highest possible yield per square metre,” continue the specialists.

Look at grow light in a different way

This educational program is being developed in close collaboration with Hortilux Schréder, one of the Plant Empowerment Implementation Partners. Hortilux looks at grow light in a different way, putting the client’s yield centre stage. The company supports growers all over the planet, sharing knowledge to help them obtain the maximum results out of their usage of grow light (LED, HPS and hybrid). Key in this process are Hortilux’s grow-light consultants who advise growers during the orientation, implementation and operational phases.

Many growers are facing extremely high energy prices at the moment and are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption, but for some crops it is not an option to leave the lights off completely. “The more you understand about lighting, the easier it is to spot new ways in which you can save energy without compromising on crop performance,” say the grow-light specialists from Hortilux. “We are always willing to help growers personally, but we hope to enable many more growers to benefit from our expertise by publishing the detailed e-book, including four separate topics.” To share their knowledge as insightfully as possible, the lighting specialists have worked together with Tijs Kierkels on writing the e-book. Tijs is a journalist with long-standing experience in the horticultural sector and a regular contributor to respected trade journals including Onder Glas and In Greenhouses

Preview chapter 1: Heat from lighting
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Heat from lighting: LED Lighting

Energy balance changes significantly when switching to LED lighting // The ...

About the program

Based on their own analysis plus conversations with various customers, colleagues and other horticultural professionals, the grow-light consultants decided to write an e-book, including four separate chapters, going into more depth about the role of lighting, around the following four subtopics:

 

1. Heat from lighting

Zooming in on the various types of heat and the differences between HPS and LED lighting. How does the heat produced by lighting affect the temperature and climate in the greenhouse, and therefore the plant’s energy balance? And what does this mean from an efficiency perspective?

Publication: Already available

 

2. PAR measurement

Light has traditionally been measured in joules, but in order to implement the Plant Empowerment principles successfully, it is actually more important to measure the PAR light in the greenhouse. But what is PAR exactly, and why is it so relevant? Above all, what is the best way to measure it?

Publication:Already available

 

3. Spectrum

Each colour of light affects plant growth and development in a different way. By identifying which colour settings are truly effective for your particular crop, you can boost the efficiency of your lighting strategy and avoid wasting energy unnecessarily. A lot of research has been conducted into this area, so where can growers find reliable information and objective advice?

Publication: January 5, 2023

 

4. Optimal use of lighting

A closer look at light distribution and uniformity. How can you choose the right type of light source and light fitting for your specific crop? And how can you ensure that the maximum amount of light reaches the right places so that the plants can convert the light energy into growth as efficiently as possible?

Publication: January 26, 2023

“We’ve noticed that the level of lighting knowledge among growers varies widely, so it is difficult to generalize about the ‘knowledge gap’ in the horticultural sector. For example, most growers of flowering plants have been working with the PAR spectrum for years, whereas it’s still a relatively new idea for many tomato growers. That’s why we believe it’s so important to keep sharing this kind of knowledge as often and as widely as possible. No matter what kind of grower you are, if you’re looking to improve your efficiency by producing stronger, healthier, more resilient plants while also reducing inputs such as energy, there are likely to be some lighting-related changes you can make. And these white papers contain lots of useful insights to point you in the right direction,”

Grow-light specialists - Hortilux Schreder

Ticket sales

You can register for the online lighting program for €49,-. You also can buy the separate e-book, if you don’t want to follow the online course for €14,95 via the button below*. The first chapter about the difference between LED lighting and HPS is already available. The other chapters will follow later.

 

Get the e-book

* All revenue generated by this educational lighting program will be reinvested in the further development of the Plant Empowerment philosophy.

Do you have any additional questions about the program?

Consultant Hortilux

Stéphane André