Gerbera grower and lily grower reduce disease pressure with light and ionization
JHL Plants from Pijnacker and Artemis Lilies in Almere have had lighting installed by Freshlight Hortis. The luminaires contain both full spectrum LEDs and carbon brushes. Both companies want to achieve better growth and reduce disease pressure through a combination of light and ionization.
Combination of LEDs and ionization purifies the air
The potgerbera company wants to reduce the botrytis pressure in the dispatch hall. Plants are buffered there for a day to a week, depending on the speed of sale. In that situation they are more vulnerable than during the growth in the greenhouse. The lily company is looking for a method to reduce virus pressure during cultivation and to lower the energy bill.
Both companies approached Aad van der Starre and Age Bakker of Freshlight Hortis, because this company achieved good results with barn lighting in combination with ionization. Bakker: "By means of ionization we can reduce the emission of ammonia and purify the air in chicken houses. The combination of light and ionization results in fewer outages and chickens become heavier. As a result, the use of antibiotics can be reduced."
It was a matter of time before this technique would spread to other sectors. Bakker calls the first results at the greenhouse horticultural companies hopeful. At the lily farm the LEDs replace a SON-T installation in the greenhouse, at the potgerbera farm they replace fluorescent light. "What is special is that we have lamps in our range that mimic almost the entire spectrum of sunlight. Moreover, the light is frequency-free. There are many differences between LED installations that are now on the market. Sometimes these differences are difficult to explain. In our case, the LEDs provide more lumens per watt, which increases the quality of the light." If the plants then grow better due to the good light quality, their resilience increases. It is already apparent that the lilies are firmer and more uniform, while the potgerbera grower sees that his end product continues to grow under the lamps. That did not happen before. Moreover, there has not been a single Botrytis outbreak.
Carbon brushes in the luminaires purify the air from particulate matter, germs and bacteria. This effect is achieved through ionization. In this reaction, an atom loses an electron. These negative electrons attach themselves primarily to particulate matter, which then falls to the ground as a residue due to gravity. The company will soon launch three new lamps. Bakker: "There is a lot of interest in our product. We know that they are successful in hospitals, offices and in the agricultural sector. In horticulture, the lamps still have to prove themselves, but the first signs are good."
Text: Pieternel van Velden