Hybrid lighting installation provides more beneficial light spectrum in cut lilies

Marco van Uden.

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands: Dutch cut lily grower A. Bakker & Zn. BV from Heerhugowaard says that a hybrid installation not only adds to bud size and stem strength and caliper, but also promotes higher bud count.

The Philips GreenPower LED Toplighting is an absolute first for the nursery’s managing director Marco van Uden, who is the world’s first lily grower to use LED grow light from Signify in his greenhouses.

The company has switched to Philips GreenPower LED toplighting  to improve flower quality and increase production efficiency. Managing Director Marco van Uden is satisfied with the choice of the new light: “The outlook is favorable. The plants look exceptionally good.”

Nursery Bakker has branches in the Netherlands, France and New Zealand. The company specialises in bulbs and cut flower forcing. 3.5 hectares of the flowers are grown in a greenhouse for a global customer portfolio. Cultivation under LED-lighting is currently done on an area of 1.6 hectares

Kwekerij Bakker takes care of the virus-free propagation up to the flower cultivation in-house.

Cut flower cultivation takes place in four phases, because cultivation takes place on rolling tables. In the initial stage, only LED lighting is used. In stages two and three LED and HPS lighting are combined and in the last stage only HPS light is used. The results are promising, according to the managing director. “This is demonstrated by the firmness, the size of the bud, length of the stem, number of buds and leaf colour.”

Bakker nursery is always looking for ways to increase sustainability. For example, by reducing the waste from energy and raw materials and by using crop protection more effectively. “We want to make better use of our hectarage and reduce the cost price,” says Van Uden. He adds,  “We saw in other flowers such as lisianthus and chrysanthemums that production increases with a higher light level under LED grow lights. That was the decisive factor for us to switch to LED toplighting.”

Currently, the effects of LED lighting on flower quality are being mapped out. After that, scaling up to more LED toplighting to achieve a higher production yield and better quality of lilies seems to be the obvious thing to do. Van Uden comments, “We are always looking for the ideal balance. This also applies to our energy consumption. The energy surplus we have in the fall can now be compensated by using LED lighting, while we can use LED grow lights much more precisely. After the winter we can review the optimum energy use and see if the share of A2 flowers has decreased. This is an exciting moment that we look forward to with confidence.”

Nursery Bakker’s switch shows Signify the possibilities of LED grow lights in lily cultivation. “We are delighted to see that next to cultivating roses, chrysanthemums, alstroemeria and lisianthus, lily growing also has confidence in the added value of Signify’s LED grow lights,” says Signify’s Business Leader Horticulture LED Solutions Udo van Slooten. Any upscaling at Nursery Bakker will be done in consultation with their permanent Horti LED partner Van der Laan. They also took care of the installation of the system.

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