Dutch orchid farm goes LED

You don’t have to be a big Dutch lighting company – i.e. Signify – to land a horticultural lighting job in Holland. Montreal’s Sollum Technologies has won a contract to provide superior LED lighting to a 22-acre orchid farm approximately 80 miles northwest of Signify’s headquarters.

Maarel Orchids, in Maasdijk near the west coast, installs the system to supplement natural light, especially in winter and on cloudy days. The Sollum package includes controls that allow Maarel to modify not only the intensity but also the spectral content of light to meet the changing needs of orchids over time, Sollum said. LED magazine.

Sollum declined to reveal how much of the 22 acres he lights, or how much Maarel pays. Maarel and Sollum are currently planning an optimal layout and recipes, together with Dutch horticultural lighting consultants Ledgnd BV The actual installation will take place later, when Sollum replaces the existing high-pressure sodium lamps, a Sollum spokesperson said. . LEDs.

“Sollum’s dynamic LED lighting solution gives us the ability to control every aspect of our lighting so that it always meets the needs of our factories, even when they change,” said Maarel Managing Director Rene Screw.

Maarel cultivates 25 varieties of Phalaenopsis orchids, with an average of two branches and fourteen flowers. Various horticultural websites note that Phalaenopsis prefers indirect sunlight, which Sollum software and planners would take into account when designing the Maarel scheme.

Phalaenopsis also loves heat, a factor that Sollum, Maarel and Ledgnd will need to consider when replacing the physically hotter HPS lamps. As LEDs repeatedly reported, growers of different flowers, fruits and vegetables have considered the thermal ramifications of cooler but more efficient LEDs versus warmer and less efficient HPS in making their lighting decisions.

Sollum refers to its hardware and software combination as “SUN as a Service”, which it describes as a cloud platform loaded with information on light recipes for different cultures and the spectral patterns of the sun from morning to night everywhere. in the world. Producers can adjust settings from phones and tablets. SUN as a Service technology won a LED magazine Sapphire Award for Horticulture Lighting Product Innovation. It is not clear if Sollum provides the software on a service basis or if it is part of a package.

Deal with Maarel marks the company’s first move in seven years outside of Canada or the United States

While Sollum has now encroached on Signify’s backyard, Eindhoven-based Signify have had their own share of wins in Sollum’s home country. Some of Signify’s Canadian projects include a vertical greenery farm in Guelph, Ontario; a cucumber grower in Kingsville, Ontario (Canada’s southernmost town where Sollum lights up a pepper farm – see photos); a tomato and strawberry farm in Acme, Alberta, and a lettuce grower in Aldergrove, British Columbia.

BRAND HALPER is editor of LEDs Magazine and a journalist specializing in energy, technology and business ([email protected]).

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