Signify's commercial leader horticulture UK and Ireland Nathanael Dannenberg talks about coping with the energy crisis and how to use light strategy to keep lights shining when prices are at their lowest.
Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting, says growers who go with innovation will thrive more. Government funds and grants are explained as more and more growers are seeing that extending their season or indeed growing year-round has significant benefits to them. Also, aside from the obvious of increasing yield per square metre, against a backdrop of labour shortages, growers can offer permanent work to highly skilled staff which has significant benefits for them operationally.
The future of horticulture lighting is examined with a focus around controls, data and ways to make lighting work harder for customers as the switch from High Pressure Sodium (HPS) to LED is accelerated.
Dannenberg says there’s no denying the energy prices are causing major issues across the industry. The reality is that many growers are deciding against planting over the winter as it’s not economically sustainable in certain instances. Where we have been able to help some of our customers is developing energy saving lighting strategies that walk the tightrope between lower lighting hours to save energy while not compromising yield too much.
LED offers growers a flexible, lower energy alternative to conventional light sources – and the best bit is we continue to innovate and refine spectrum in order to help growers further maximise the impact of their investments. The growth/shift witnessed in the market is a testimony to this.
He adds that glasshouse demand is definitely still the dominant sub-segment for us (around 85%) but the number of larger scale vertical farms is increasing year on year so we expect that to form a larger part of the business in coming years.
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