For the autumn, the strawberry and asparagus grower Kwekerij Loos will have 2.1 hectares fitted with LED lighting. The installation of Signify’s 100% LED lighting follows a successful initial installation last year. With the installation, the grower gets significantly more light in the greenhouses, more efficient plant growth and about 40% energy savings.
Philips GreenPower LED top lighting compact in combination with fluorescent lamps was chosen for both Moerstraten (North Brabant) and Lepelstraat. With this investment, the nursery will switch to a 100% full LED installation in less than a year, which will allow them to save around 40% energy. A partial switch to LED lighting was already made last year and it went really well. With the current high energy prices, the company from Brabant did not have to think long about a next step.
Arno and Sandra Loos
Kwekerij Loos is strengthening its position in the market with this investment in grow light. “There are growers who want to be on the market early, and there are growers who want to deliver all year round,” says owner Arno Loos. He himself falls into the latter category, making him one of the few in the Netherlands who grows strawberries all year round. “We sell a lot of strawberries through vending machines,” he explains. “We do this in sixteen different places in cities and in hospitals.”
Takes a big step with the amount of light
And you as a supplier would like to have those vending machines filled. Reason enough for Kwekerij Loos to focus on year-round production in 2005, making the company one of the pioneers in strawberry growing. Back then, this was still done solely using SON-T lighting.
More than fifteen years later, with Signify, a cultivation division switched to Philips LED. “In that department, with an area of 9,000 square meters, we had significantly less light output. That meant we could take a big step with Philips LED and save energy at the same time. “
Kwekerij Loos already achieved more light output in the other cultivation departments. “But with current energy prices, you want to look at how you can grow as efficiently as possible,” Loos says. “Then you quickly end up with LED lighting. In our case, we will save about 40% energy compared to the previous setup. If current energy prices continue, which is not to be hoped for, then we can recoup our investment in three to four years. ”
The optimal light for strawberry plants
Kwekerij Loos has chosen an arrangement with Philips GreenPower top-lighting compact and flowering lamps at both cultivation sites. The company likes this combination: “The plants get started more easily,” says Loos. “We were also looking for a light spectrum with more distant red and a little green light. Adding long red light to the usual red / blue spectrum promotes elongation of leaf stalks and racemes during the winter period. With the new FR_5 spectrum, we realize the optimal light for the strawberry plant. During the period when we do not need a long red light, we can turn off these lamps. ”
This allows Loos to better control the cultivation, achieve uniformity in the crop and at the same time save energy. A big advantage, according to Peer Hermans, plant specialist at Signify, is that the new lamps are easy to install. “In this respect, the Philips GreenPower toplighting compact is a one-to-one replacement for the SON-T. One difference is that LED produces almost no radiant heat. challenge. Kwekerij Loos managed to realize good product quality last winter. It gives you enough confidence to switch completely to LED. “
Light level and production up
Kwekerij Loos will increase the light level from 195 to 220 µmol per square meter with the same amount of lamps. “We expect production to increase, but how much do we need to see,” Loos says.
In total, these are 2.1 hectares of greenhouses that will be installed with the LED lamps by installation partner Hortipar in September / October. The choice of Signify was logical for Kwekerij Loos. “Signify is a solid party that has already proven itself. After an initial successful installation, we have 100% confidence in the company. The possibilities and color spectrum that Signify offers are right up your alley. ”