Signify celebrates 15 years of developing horticulture LED grow lighting – hortidaily.com
Signify is celebrating 15 years of Philips LED lighting solutions for horticulture. The Philips Horticulture LED Solutions team was formed in 2007 and has demonstrated the advantages of LED solutions to the industry.
LED as a production tool
“In the early 2000s, LED technology was developing rapidly. We knew it had a lot of potential,” says Udo van Slooten, Business Leader of Horticulture LED Solutions. “Compared to high-pressure sodium lighting, the dominant technology at the time, LED lights used considerably less energy. So, we started looking at applications where the efficiency of LED could help our customers transform their business. At the very start, the efficacy of the LEDs wasn’t good enough, but it has improved drastically over the past 15 years. We expected from the beginning that this would be the case, hence why we entered the market early and started developing products to improve crop growth.”
The Signify horti-team 2020
This led to the formation of the LED Horticulture Solutions team in 2007. The team began by discussing with growers the opportunities available to them, which evolved to field testing, looking at how LED technology could improve the operational costs and business model of greenhouses. “It required a mindset change for us,” says Udo. “Growers were using light as a production tool. For us, that was a totally new way of thinking about light. We had to learn how to optimize product development for that purpose and develop light recipes accordingly.”
Organizing projects around the grower
To bring such revolutionary technology to market, Philips developed its unique ‘triangle’ approach, which supports customers with a set of dedicated competencies that help them implement the benefits of LED lighting. The three areas of expertise in the ‘triangle’ are the key account manager, who selects the LED solution that fits the grower’s business case, the plant specialist, who decides on a custom-made light recipe that fits the crop, and the application engineer, who delivers the final lighting design for the best grow light solution.
“This is the golden combination,” says Udo. “We not only offer the best, most rigorously tested technology on the market – measured and tested according to international standards – but our customers also receive expert advice on how to grow their specific crops with our LED lights, such as how to achieve optimal taste for their basil or tomatoes or the longest stems for their roses. We help them make the best choices for their business.”
Research and technology
Philips’s research into the effect of lighting on plant growth began almost 90 years ago. In 1933, the company set up studies into the use of neon lights to support plant growth. By 1936, it was testing neon lighting tubes in greenhouses.
Since 2007, Philips has led the way in the race for efficient and high-output LED horticulture lighting. “In the early 2000s, LED lights were characterized by cold, white light,” says Udo. “But our technology teams developed new ways to improve the quality of light level, spectrum, and uniformity.” This has resulted in more than 150 dedicated light recipes, which are tailor-made instructions for lighting that help growers achieve the best results for their specific crop and conditions.
Knowledge, cooperation, and community
Philips light recipes and other such knowledge is the result of hundreds of trials and projects among growers, researchers, and Signify plant specialists to investigate how LED grow lights affect various crops and the growing phases of plants under different cultivation …….