Marcel van der Voort has a passion for technology that helps him optimize and automate his business processes. “Our quest to find efficient grow light for our pot lilies started in 2015,” he reflects. “Full LED was on the rise, but we couldn’t make the numbers work at the time. By late 2020 the energy market was becoming more dynamic and the outlook was better. One year later we set up some trials to get a clearer picture.”
The trials took place in one compartment and consisted of HPS lighting (reference), HPS + LED, and full LED with red and blue light. “Looking back, we rushed things a bit,” admits Van der Voort. “We had no far-red light at the time, we didn’t prepare properly, and we had too little time and knowledge. It was a tough lesson, but thanks to the assistance we got from companies like the consultancy Ledgnd and Plant Lighting, in 2022 we were able to engage in more focused discussions with our partners, including Mechatronix, Priva, and Enthoven Installatietechniek. That gave us the courage to invest in full LED.”
The HPS setup in a 15,000 m2 compartment was completely replaced with dimmable, dual driver Mechatronix Coolstack LED lights (1000 W) with a maximum output of 110 µmol/m2/sec PAR (red, blue, and green (white)) with separately controllable far-red light. Van der Voort realized straight away that it would be several years before he could get optimal use out of the installation because of the other climate factors and the need for efficient energy management.
“Buying an LED installation is one thing; learning to use it is another,” the grower says. “What we are aiming for is data-driven growing. That is based on three pillars. The first consists of reliable data on the essential climate and growth factors. This data should give us the information we need to avoid damaging the plants. The Vivent biosensor offers us insight into plant stress so we can identify and eliminate the causes more quickly.”