Switching to LED lighting is a big, expensive decision. It's, however, worth the investment, according to MechaTronix's Patrick Casteleyn. "Investing in LED lighting is a sustainable choice," he explains. "It contributes enormously to reducing growers' environmental footprint, certainly in the long run."
MechaTronix has further expanded its CoolStack LED product range with the CoolStack MAX. “The CoolStack MAX is a powerful, passive cooled and modular LED grow lamp. It's now available on the market. It's a 1000 Watt LED grow light fixture with up to 3520µmol/s light output."
Plug & Play
“In a greenhouse, you can easily replace SON-T or HPS lamps with these lamps. That's done via ‘Plug & Play’. We use the same cabling and connectors that are already present," says Patrick. The lamps are placed directly under the greenhouse's trellis.
So, there's minimal shade on the crops. "With these 1000Watt LED fixtures, you can drastically reduce the number of lamps and connection points in new greenhouses. The installed µmol investment cost per m² becomes far cheaper for growers."
Installed CoolStack LED lamps in hybrid with existing HPS
“You can upgrade anytime”
"These lamps provide about twice as much light. That's compared to 1000Watt HPS or SON-T lamps", Patrick continues. "It also depends on the light recipe. According to Patrick, LED efficiency will only increase further in the coming years. "That's why it's interesting for growers that our lamps can be upgraded at any time."
"Should growers need a different light recipe or a more energy-efficient LED module further down the line, they don't have to buy new lamps. That's still necessary with current horticultural lighting. The lamps' passive cooling also contributes to a longer lifespan. It's a truly sustainable long-term investment."
LED lighting throughout the year
“You can also control these LED grow lamps wirelessly. You don't need any additional secondary data cables for that. You can dim these lamps without needing a stepladder. You can easily switch them on/off remotely, separately from the lamp cables. That means there's always good, even light distribution in the greenhouse." In practice, growers can control their LED year round. They can then achieve the greatest amount of growth for their crop type.
Fine-tuning the greenhouse climate
“In current SON-T greenhouses, it's an easy first step," says Patrick. "You can use a hybrid HPS-LED installation to switch entirely to complete LED farming. That can be done over a few years. LED and SON-T/HPS have different radiation and convection heat levels. Because of that, growers can also gradually fine-tune the climate in their greenhouse. This will keep their plants in a healthy balance."
"Many growers get 180µmol/sm² PPFD with 4 SON-T/HPS lamps. They replace 2 SON-T/HPS lamps with 2 of our CoolStack MAX. That means they achieve about 265µmol/sm² hybrid PPFD. That can significantly increase the growers' yield and yield efficiency per m². The electricity/energy costs are the same. That depends on the crop."
"We're convinced we're moving greenhouse horticulture in the right direction. That's thanks to our LED grow lighting innovations. We're doing so in a sustainable, environmental footprint-focused manner. We manufacture LED grow lights. We, therefore, have a clear task. In the coming years, we must continue to innovate for the benefit of our horticulturists. 'Together' we're optimistic about further developments as well as our long-term cooperation with our clients," concludes Patrick.