Oreon’s LED fixtures can supply your crops with all the light they need for at least 15 years, without compromising output. Furthermore, they produce less light pollution and significantly reduce waste. The fixture discharges its own heat by means of active water cooling, and the water can be reused. How exactly does all of this work? In this blog we’ll be talking about sustainability, specifically in relation to LED lighting. And that it deserves more than just passing consideration over time.
We compare LED with traditional HPS lamps because these are still used most often. Which makes sense, as they are cheaper to buy and they do what they are supposed to do. However, the output of these lamps declines at such a rapid rate that they have to be replaced after a few years. Furthermore, they regularly break down due to overheating. When you add the installation costs, you realize that the replacement of HPS lamps adds up to a considerable cost item.
But how are the LED fixtures any different? While they require a higher upfront investment, the investment pays for itself over a period of a few years. This is not only due to the significantly longer service life of at least fifteen years, but
the reduced electricity consumption is a major benefit as well. With LED lighting you can adjust the light spectrum and light intensity. For example, a tomato requires a different light recipe from a strawberry. Aside from a gain in crop quality, LED fixtures on average consume 40% less electricity compared to HPS lamps.
Of course, the fact that overall production quality goes up is a major benefit in itself. But this in turn leads to another major benefit that should not be overlooked. With the increased harvest quality there is less waste. Think about the person hours required in the past to separate failed crop from quality crop.
There is one other form of waste that growers need to take into consideration: light pollution. Because the Oreon LED fixtures immediately discharge their heat, there is no rise in temperature in the ridge of the greenhouse. This means that as grower you do not need to regularly ventilate and this in turn means that the light-reflecting screens can stay in place. This way you are ensured that the light in your greenhouse does not disturb the day/night rhythm of humans and animals. In other words, light pollution is reduced to virtually nil.
‘The Oreon LED fixtures are constantly cooled with water. The heat is removed from the fixture by water, so that the lamp’s temperature, and therefore the water as well, never exceeds 35 degrees. This keeps the LED fixtures considerably cooler than passively cooled lamps,’ says Arnold de Kievit, Sales Manager at Oreon. The water cooling is what makes Oreon’s LED fixtures unique. Other LED manufacturers add a fan, comparable to the fan in a computer. By definition this creates a larger unit, while Oreon considers the compactness of its fixture a major added value. The small lamp means less shade, which also allows the grower to make optimal use of the sunlight in the greenhouse.
However, there is still another reason why Oreon opted for active water cooling. As we mentioned above, water cooling removes the lamp’s heat from the greenhouse. By contrast, passively cooled lamps heat up the greenhouse. The heat then accumulates in the ridge. To solve that problem, the windows are opened. The heat and the CO₂ then escape. Thanks to Oreon’s water cooling system, the temperature inside the greenhouse remains stable and the heat can be captured for subsequent use.
And what about the electronic components? Because they do not become too hot, they last much longer.
LED lighting developments are proceeding at a rapid pace and the quality of the LEDs is constantly improving. This explains why the investment costs are higher than for HPS lamps. However, the investment cost can be recovered over a period of three to five years. To summarize:
- Significantly lower maintenance costs;
- At least fifteen years of high-quality light output;
- Consumes less electricity;
- Reduces light pollution;
- Produces higher-quality crops;
- Reduces waste;
- Reuse of heat due to water cooling.