Storied Dutch cultivator Westlandse Plantenkwekerij (WPK) has been working with Austin, TX-based LED lighting specialist Fluence in qualifying the effectiveness of LED lighting in cannabis production. WPK’s dedication to science-based seed-to-plant techniques has led to decades of success for the Rotterdam, Netherlands-based company.
Serving growers across Europe, WPK has specialized as a propagator of young plants for more than 90 years. The multi-generational family-run business, operated by founder Arie van der Arend’s descendants, Erik and Eviek, provides vegetable and tray plants for greenhouse horticulture.
High-efficiency lighting for stable conditions
The company’s scientific approach to cultivation drove WPK to chose Fluence’s high-efficiency, research-backed LED lighting for the very first installation of LED’s at WPK’s ’s-Gravenzande facility in South Holland.
WPK installed Fluence’s VYPR Series top lights alongside existing legacy high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures for the control hybrid lighting offers in optimizing environmental factors, including ambient heat. WPK confirmed the hybrid lighting model at it facilities led to better management of seasonal growing conditions and notable energy savings, according to the companies.
“After installing Fluence’s LED lighting solutions, we learned that young plants thrive in LED-lit environments,” said Erik van der Arend, managing director of WPK. “This has allowed us the flexibility to grow a wide range of crops in the same environment and under the same lighting conditions.”
40 to 50% estimated savings in electricity
In collaboration with Fluence’s horticultural lighting experts, WPK fine-tuned the LEDs’ spectra to optimize operational costs for the grower’s tomato, cucumber, pepper and flower crops. Early results show that WPK is realizing an estimated electricity savings between 40 and 50% by using two-thirds Fluence LED fixtures and one-third HPS in the greenhouse.Advertisement
Additionally, WPK increased total light levels by 30% due to the overall efficiency of LED technology. The post-installation harvests produced more compact, generative and vigorous plants that were darker or richer in color, reported WPK.
“The interesting thing about Fluence’s lighting technology is the right degree of cooling—the luminaire doesn’t get very hot,” van der Arend adds. “Moreover, the spectrum is widely applicable.”
For more information about the collaboration, visit here.
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