PhytoLux, the Surrey based LED plant growth manufacturer, has been working closely with UK universities in order to establish the Attis-7 plant growth light as the first choice for those wanting to take advantage of the improved plant growth potential and large energy saving that can be achieved.
The catalyst for this change was PhytoLux’s GBGO (Great British Grow Off) programme, through which more than 30 UK universities, colleges and research organisations tested Attis LED lights in order to establish the effect on the plants being grown and the energy being saved versus the HPS lights that are traditionally used. The programme, which commenced in 2013, ran for 18 months and was a huge success, with almost all of the trials proving that plant growth is at least equal, and in most cases improved, by using PhytoLux lights. With average energy savings of 65%, the decision to swap over to the PhytoLux solution has started to gain real momentum.
Since 2013, many universities/colleges and research establishments have either rolled-out or are in the process of trialing PhytoLux LED lights, including; University of Bristol, University of Oxford, Bangor University, Shipley College, Sparsholt College, Moulton College, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff University, University of Greenwich, Aberdeen University, University of York, University of Reading, Newcastle University, University of Hull, University of South Wales, University of Wolverhampton, Bath University, Pershore College, University of Nottingham, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Rothamsted Research, FERA, East Malling Research and Syngenta.
Feedback from universities
University of Wolverhampton
Dr Tim Baldwin, Reader in Plant Cell Biology at the Faculty of Science and Engineering who was involved in the design of this facility commented; “We have designed and built the new glasshouses not just for use by the current generation of staff and students, but also for future generations. As such, we wanted to install the best quality plant growth lights available, that we could afford. Sodium lighting is old technology and uses much energy. Everyone knows that LED technology is the way forward. We wanted the latest technology, and talking to friends at Cambridge and Birmingham Universities, found out that PhytoLux were the best company to deal with.”
Dr. Wanda McCormick, Research and Knowledge Transfer Co- Ordinator at Moulton College comments, "The trial has produced some interesting and positive results which suggest that plant growth is enhanced when grown under PhytoLux's LED lights, including; more compact plant morphology, higher chlorophyll content, thicker and sturdier leaves and a faster growth rate.”
Rick Carter, Environmental Manager in the Estates and Facilities Department, explains, “At Bangor University we are committed to reducing our environmental impacts as well as our energy costs, and this project is an excellent example of how we are achieving this. The LED lighting system provided by Phytolux will not only significantly reduce our electricity bills, but will also cut our carbon emissions by around 20 tonnes each year, thereby making a valuable contribution to the energy and carbon targets set out in our Environmental Management System.”
University of Bristol
As a result of the trial, the predicted energy save per year of changing to LED lighting is 71%, well in excess of the 60% target that we set at the outset of the trial. The predicted carbon saving is 44 tonnes per year. PhytoLux’s Attis-7 LED lights require minimal maintenance and have a low heat output, meaning additional savings will be made on maintenance costs and substantial savings on air-conditioning.
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