Specialism is the game-changer
At Signify, we believe light quality - and the quality of plants it helps produce - is of fundamental importance. It’s for that reason that we have a team of plant specialists who dedicate themselves to specific crops, drawing knowledge from all the markets we operate in, so that they are able to give specialist, expert advice to growers on what works best for them.
Our light recipe consists of three key ingredients: the light intensity, the spectrum and the photoperiod (that is, the hours of lighting).
Whereas HPS has only one spectrum, with LED we can tailor the percentages of PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) according to the plant - even down to the variety. This means the plant gets the absolute best lighting treatment to maximise the investment. In fact, our growers repeatedly tell us their winter crop quality is on a par with, or better than, their summer one.
Crops love consistency
By using artificial light in the winter, you’re removing one of the variables you have to contend with over the summer. Because the light the plants receive is consistent, growers tend to find their winter crops are, at the very least, as good as their summer crops in terms of quality and consistency - if not better.
In theory you can grow anything under lights but, ultimately, some crops are more profitable than others. Lit tomato production is probably the most mature, in terms of adoption, but herbs, lettuce, strawberry and cucumber certainly aren’t too far behind. We expect peppers and blackberries to be the next crops to be lit - we’re doing trials in the UK and the Netherlands on those.