US (MI): Grower reduces labor with Philips LED toplighting

Kalamazoo Specialty Plants (KSP) propagates hundreds of varieties of bedding annuals and perennials, and more than one million herbs under 700,000 square feet of greenhouses. They sell liners to independent garden centers (IGC), and finished plants through their own local retail operation.

Customer challenge
Low light levels December through February means supplemental lighting is essential at KSP in order for them to fill orders for independent garden centers in southern states. KSP owner, Rick Ouding jokes, “during the winter we measure our sunlight in hours per month not hours per day.” As with most growers in North America, KSP does multi-crop propagation, which means many crops and cultivars are continuously moving from one greenhouse to another.

The right lighting
Ouding spent several years researching numerous LED brands before choosing in 2016, to install a trial of Philips LED toplighting. With the installation of Philips LED toplighting, Ouding concluded that the LEDs helped “root our crops more quickly and more uniformly. Some crop-specific benefits noted by Ouding include more crop uniformity, faster rooting and flowering, and thicker, stronger stem."

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