June 2, 2021

RED x Delphy Improvement Centre

Lisanne Helmus-Schuddebeurs
Manager Improvement Centre

Over 10 years of crop experimentation under LED

For about 15 years, Delphy Improvement Centre has been working in improving cultivation techniques and is currently one of the world’s experts in fruits, vegetables and flowers. In charge of greenhouse research, Lisanne Helmus focuses on field trials, which are the last step prior to a grower ‘s decision to change his production methods or investments.

Lisanne has great progression with the use of the LED technology ever since Delphy ‘s first trials using it within greenhouses back in 2010.

" At first we thought all crops could grow using only red and blue spectrum. However, it is not the case. There will be more and more focus on light spectrum. "
Lisanne Helmus

Delphy has carried out trials with LED light on all vegetable crops, including tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants. The research center seeks above all to better understand the interactions between LED light and crop development, which also means investigate the relation with climate conditions as well as irrigation strategy in order to define crop itineraries of the future.

6 months
150 m2
2 spectrums
" We compared a standard Red & Blue spectrum to a light spectrum based on the RED Horticulture strategy. First one is set up with a strategy common for Dutch greenhouses. RED’s one is focussing on efficiency.
It was very interesting to see RED’s vision and idea regarding crop growth using LED lighting especially with the spectrum. "
Lisanne Helmus
Broad Spectrum
Dimmed by SOLSTICE
RED/BLUE Spectrum
On/off by a Climate Computer

2 different strategies

The environmental set points were defined by Delphy according to the needs of the Red & Blue spectrum. During the trial, Delphy controls the growing conditions to obtain a qualitative production. They carry out the necessary measurements to observe the differences between the two modalities. The rate of brix, the yield and the development of the crop are important indicators.
PPFD : Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density
DLI : Daily Light Integral

The influence of the spectrum proven

The test run was successful on both sides. Lisanne was surprised by the high variability of data she had obtained during the winter period.

" The amount of light was almost equal on both sides, we saw a very interesting effect possibly caused by the spectrum.
When you put the same amount of electricity you want to use it the most efficient way. "
Lisanne Helmus
In fact, during the winter, the RED solution obtained a higher yield and above all a much higher quality.
As of February 8, the yield under the RED Horticulture spectrum is 13% higher. And the brix 8% higher.

Being competitive in winter is essential because the selling prices are more advantageous for the producer.
According to Lisanne there is a change in mentality in the Netherlands regarding greenhouse lighting. Before, growers thought that the solution to make lighting profitable was to light as much as possible. Nowadays the concern is when and how to use the light.

“ RED Horticulture is showing that they can do it in a different way and I think this is a trend that will continue, because of the energy transition. ”
Lisanne Helmus

Future of photobiology

Lisanne believes that the future of the LED lamp culture is based on the search for the optimum and not the maximum. That we will be more and more concerned by the taste and nutritional quality.
“Knowing how to implement photobiology within crop management is still in development” concludes Lisanne.

Working around the spectrum is essential today.

At RED Horticulture we work every day to make photobiology an essential science in vegetable and horticultural production. This essay proves the extent of the influence of light on crops.

" We are already planning our future trails in cooperation with Delphy. We are committed to offering growers ever more efficient cultivation itineraries. "
Camille Li-Marchetti
External R&D Manager at RED Horticulture