“Our customers can count on a uniform product with constant quality”
The brand new joint cultivation site of Westlandse Plantenkwekerij (hereafter WPK) and P. van Geest at Aaksterlaan 10 in ‘s-Gravenzande has been enriched with hybrid lighting: a combination of LED and HPS. Thanks to the professional efforts of different parties, the old tomato nursery was turned into a nursery within four months. Because quality, flexibility and durability are of great value to WPK and P. van Geest, this unique form of lighting could not be left out. How exactly does this form of lighting work? And what’s so interesting about it? Erik van der Arend, one of the directors of WPK, and Dennis and Leo, the professionals involved in this Fluence project, explain.
What came before
Before the renovation of the joint cultivation site of WPK and P. van Geest in ‘s-Gravenzande, a team of professionals faced a number of decisions, one of which was very important: lighting. Many different options have literally been brought to light. After all, lighting has to meet a long list of requirements. From a sustainability point of view, it has to contribute to the mission of making the world a little greener every day, and at the same time, it is extremely important to be able to guarantee top quality. After extensive research and various tests, the choice fell on Fluence’s hybrid lighting solution. Hybrid lighting is a combination of LED and HPS lighting (also called Son-T). Both types of light can be turned on simultaneously or separately.
The “golden combination” called hybrid lighting
“At certain times of the year, additional heat in the greenhouse is not desirable from a growing point of view. Thanks to hybrid lighting, at these times we are able to light exclusively with LEDs, ”explains Erik. Leo adds: “WPK and P. van Geest have a good level of lighting as standard and can illuminate the crop in a sustainable way. In spring, summer and autumn, they can do this in an even more sustainable way, namely by using LED lighting. LED uses less electricity because electricity is converted into light more efficiently.
“What is interesting with the lighting chosen by Fluence is the right degree of cooling. The luminaire does not heat up too much. In addition, the spectrum is widely applicable, ”explains Erik. “For WPK and P. van Geest, this offers flexibility. The HPS and the wide white spectrum used by LED lights are not only suitable for cucumber or tomato plants, but for a much wider range of crops, ”adds Dennis. Leo is also very positive about the results of the hybrid form of lighting. “At WPK and P. van Geest we have opted for a wide white spectrum. This is comparable to the spectrum of sunlight. The plant itself will therefore not quickly notice the difference between natural light and LED light. two forms of light blend well WPK and P. van Geest customers can therefore count on a uniform product with constant quality that connects seamlessly with the customer’s own growing conditions – especially in winter, ”explains Leo.
Of course, like any long-term choice, this change brings challenges and requires special attention. “We must rediscover the limits, including in terms of cultivation technique. But hey, you’re WPK and P. van Geest for that. They have the qualities necessary to achieve this. People here love the job and see it as a wonderful learning process, ”says Dennis.