THE PLANET'S largest LED lighting installation in a horticultural project is set to double in size following its success in improving yields.
The massive 28-hectare greenhouse – 350 km south west of Moscow, Russia – currently uses over 120,000 luminaires to boost the growth of tomatoes and cucumbers. The LED lighting has been so successful in enabling year-round growing, improving supply and predictability and saving energy that owner Agro-Inwest will now double its size to 68.5 hectares, an area equivalent to 100 soccer pitches. It costs half as much to run as the high-pressure sodium lighting installations it is replacing.
‘The LEDs have improved growth predictability, crop appearance and yield,’ Agro-Inwest deputy CEO and general director Irina Meshkova told Lux. ‘We’re on track to recoup our costs on that project in two to four years, a very attractive return on investment’.
She said the supplier, Signify – formerly Philips Lighting – had proved very accurate in projecting yields.
The Putin government is determined that Russia becomes self-sufficient in vegetables and the project is set to significantly secure the supply of domestically-grown tomatoes and cucumbers into the Russian market.
The greenhouse complex, located in Lyudinovo, uses special ‘light recipes’ optimised for growing tomatoes and cucumbers to provide the exact light requirement at each stage of the growing cycle.
‘They deliver the right light for the plant, exactly when and where the plant needs it the most, while radiating far less heat than conventional lighting’, said Meshkova. ‘This allows us to place them much closer to the plants.
She said the technology is crucial in increasing yields in the darker Russian winter months.
The horticulture consultants are the Dutch firm Agrolux, the installer is LLC ST Solutions and the luminaires and training are being supplied by Signify.
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