B.C. Grower eyes energy savings with LEDs
By Brandi Cowen
Rainbow Greenhouses Inc. hopes its recently installed energy efficient LED luminaires will reduce lighting-related energy consumption by 60 per cent and achieve a full return on investment within two years.
The high costs of operating conventional high intensity discharge (HID) lighting prompted Rainbow Greenhouses to assess new lighting solutions. The grower’s management team selected LumiGrow LED luminaires that emit only those portions of the light spectrum that trigger healthy plant responses.
LumiGrow says that worldwide, its customers annually save an estimated 7.5 thousand megawatt hours, prevent the emission of more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide, and return millions of dollars to their bottom lines.
“It’s inevitable,” said Rob O’Hara, Rainbow’s head grower. “The industry is moving to LED lighting, and we want to be ahead of the pack.” O’Hara says Rainbow always considers “plant performance and payback” when it invests in new technology.
The Chilliwack, B.C., grower has a track record for implementing technologies and practices that improve the environmental and financial performance of its facilities. For example, Rainbow reduces costs and conserves natural resources with a waste wood-to-biofuel heating system and an irrigation and fertilizer capture system.
The Rainbow operation currently spans three locations and 36 acres. Expansion plans are underway.