Sion Young Plants B.V., a breeder and supplier of Phalaenopsis cuttings to commercial growers around the world, is to update its 6.6-hectare facility with Current's advanced horticulture LED lighting. In addition to a hybrid lighting plan that combines high-efficiency Arize Element R1000 top lighting with HPS lamps, Sion will also be one of the first companies to deploy Current's new, modular Arize Element L2000. The L2000 fixtures will span two separate greenhouse zones with a growing area of close to 4,600m2 and will allow Sion to test a 100% LED set-up and explore the impact of two different light spectra on orchid propagation, growth, and flowering. The installation of new lamps will be completed by early December 2022.

Photo credit: Sion Young Plants B.V. 

The Arize Element L2000 is the first LED top light on the market to feature three separate LED modules that can easily be swapped out without needing to change the surrounding fixture or electrical infrastructure. Growers can combine different light spectra within the same fixture according to the needs of their crop or simply swap out the LED light bars at the end of life, replacing them with the latest generation. This modular design generates less landfill waste and reduces the cost of lighting upgrades.

With a choice of seven different light spectra, offering efficacy levels that surpass 3.6µmol/J and a maximum output of 3600µmol/s, the L2000 is a powerful replacement for 1000W HPS lamps, helping growers save on their energy bills without compromising productivity. The ability to mix and match up to three different light spectra within the same fixture allows growers to fine-tune their lighting plans as more insights into the impact of different light wavelengths on various crops are shared. By only swapping out individual LED modules for those that deliver the optimized spectrum for their plants, growers can evolve their operations with the latest research, maximizing yields and profit without the cost of a full refit.

Photo credit: Sion Young Plants B.V. 

René 't Hoen, Supply Chain Manager at Sion, comments, "We specialize in producing the highest-quality Phalaenopsis cuttings for our customers to grow and sell around the world, but we also take pride in the incredible new varieties developed by our expert team of breeders. As a company, we aren't just focused on the immediate pressures to control our energy bills and meet the increasingly stringent environmental targets to reduce our carbon footprint. These are important, of course, but we are also looking to the future of our industry. The research into the impact of varying light wavelengths on orchid growth and development is still extremely limited, but we feel there is huge untapped potential in LED lighting that could give us more tools to create even more exciting and beautiful orchids for everyone to enjoy."

With the full installation of close to 2000 fixtures (of which 25% will be the modular L2000 units) due to be completed by early December, the team at Sion will immediately start to reap the rewards of using Current's energy-efficient horticultural LEDs. James Fleet, Current General Manager for EME & ANZ, notes, "With energy costs reaching unsustainable levels for growers around the world, the time has never been better to look at every possible way to reduce operating expenses, and lighting should form an important part of that strategy. We're excited to work with Sion and help them explore the potential of our newest modular top light and compare a 100% LED set-up with the more common hybrid model."

Phalaenopsis orchid cuttings. Photo credit: Sion Young Plants B.V.   

Offering a more than 40% reduction in energy consumption vs. traditional 1000W HPS lamps, the Arize Element R1000 fixtures will help reduce Sion's reliance on HPS while adding more targeted light wavelengths to complement the HPS' broad spectrum. "It's important for growers to approach any new installation, upgrade or retrofit with as much data as possible," adds Fleet. "Our lighting designers worked closely with Sion to create a lighting plan that would not only address their immediate needs but would allow them to explore the potential of new technology to transform their future business. The L2000 design allows us to take another significant step forward in offering more sustainable solutions to our customers, combining reliability, energy efficiency, and performance with a lower carbon footprint."

Members of the Sion team. Photo credit: Sion Young Plants B.V.  

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