“Is dynamic controlled LED the future for horticulture?”

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Is dynamic-controlled LED our future when it comes to additional lights for horticulture? Phalaenopsis grower Jan has bought a full-LED installation with 5% blue and 95% red LEDs with an efficiency of 3.2 micromole/Watt. He has a standard that gives light to his crop for 16 hours a day. We see in the measurement data that the efficiency of photosynthesis decreases after 13 hours. That means that 20% of the energy use is less efficient. Although Jan has chosen a high-efficiency spectrum of 3.2 micromole/Watt, this is less efficient when you look at the light utilization efficiency of the crop. 

Light utilization efficiency is an important factor to consider to see how efficiently the plant converts photons into growth. This can depend on the crop, the color of the LEDs but also the climate. You find all this out by measuring what is optimal for the crop and what gives the best return on your investment. One way of realizing optimal light use is dynamic control by dimming the different colors of LEDs separately in a fixture.

By applying dynamic control, a direct cost increase of 15-20% per fixture can be seen. The dynamic control is programmed based on the specific needs of the crop in your greenhouse. It is therefore essential that you install the right sensors in your greenhouse. 

Dynamic control of supplemental lighting has many advantages for the crop and your wallet. Not only does it save energy and extend the LED lifetime, but it will also help you to maximize the use of natural light with total spectral understanding. Besides, a crop-specific light recipe gives your crop what it needs at the right time. 

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