Greenhouse Canada

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LEDs raise light levels and yields for BC grower


March 31, 2021
By Fluence Bioengineering

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Fluence by OSRAM and Glenwood Valley Farms, a British Columbia-based greenhouse grower, announced the successful installation of Fluence’s broad-spectrum LED technology across one hectare of Glenwood’s cucumber greenhouse. 

Glenwood — located in one of the most prominent regions in North America for greenhouse farming — grows tomatoes, cucumbers and various fruits year-round and distributes produce to local grocery stores and retailers through its strategic partnership with BC Hot House, a division of The Star Group.

Herb Schlacht, the farm’s president and CEO, founded Glenwood more than 30 years ago. A progressive grower in constant search of innovative cultivation solutions, Schlacht is already recording greater crop yields following the first harvests under Fluence’s LEDs.

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“Our partnership with Fluence is producing great results after just one crop cycle,” Schlacht said. “Together, I’m confident we will exceed our goals to grow bigger, more beautiful and tasty crops without sacrificing energy usage.”

Schlacht also noted a key advantage LEDs offer in comparison to high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures: the ability to increase light intensity by decoupling light and heat parameters. Decoupling reduces the risk of overheating the facility and ensures control over environmental conditions, resulting in better plant morphology and production response. Specifically, Schlacht achieved a photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 275 μmol/m2/s with Fluence’s LED technology—about a 50 percent increase over Glenwood’s HPS PPFD of 180 μmol/m2/s.

“Our greenhouse is four and a half meters tall. It would be impossible for us to reach that high of a light level with conventional HPS technology—we simply do not have an adequate buffer above our crop. Our Fluence fixtures allow us to grow in our existing greenhouse without risking excessive heat output,” Schlacht added.

“The possibilities for optimized energy efficiency and increased crop yields through LED technology are endless,” said Ron DeKok, senior vice president of North American sales for Fluence. “Herb’s early success also reinforces how LEDs are best suited to meet changing grocer and consumer demand for locally sourced, sustainably grown food year-round.”