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7,500 square meters with interlighting for Jac Dings:

First large scale LED installation in high-wire cucumbers

Dutch grower Jac Dings has a scoop; he is the first high-wire cucumber grower to use Philips LED interlighting on a large scale. Recently he began to use the system for his new crop; on a total acreage of 7,500 square meters. "This cutting edge technology will help us to grow at the next level."

Kompany-grower Jac Dings of Gerja B.V.

For years already, the member of growers cooperative Kompany has been looking at adding extra light inside the crop. "We grow in an older greenhouse that is actually just a little too low (4.5 meters) in order to get the full potential from the high-wire cultivation. The height of the greenhouse limits the light penetration inside the crop."

Jac Dings together with Robert Bovend'Eert and Pascal Janzen of installer Cogas Zuid.

Installing HID lights above the cucumber crop was not an option for Dings; this would result in an excessive amount of heat; something that absolutely would not benefit the crop. Another option for Dings would have been increasing the height of the greenhouse by lifting it; again a very hefty investment. But Dings looked further and got inspired by the cucumber cultivation in Scandinavia. Together with Philips, he visited greenhouses in Scandinavia and Poland, where colleague cucumber growers seemed to achieve good results with interlighting. Here the foundation was laid for the project; along with Philips' horticulture LED specialist Wim Steeghs, the cucumber grower had a closer look at multiple LED scenarios and started to calculate all the available options.

"Eventually it turned out that LED interlighting was the best solution." The grower explained that the decisive factor for him especially lied in the added value for the plant. "LED interlighting results in a more vital and stronger plant, something I have seen for myself at fellow growers in Poland and Scandinavia."

The grower continued: "With the interlighting we will be able to grow at a higher level, we are able to start our production earlier. We can use it as a support tool to improve the quality; it brings more balance in the crop and a more stable production. Furthermore the extra light from the LEDs will also have positive impact on the shelf life of the fruits and perhaps it will also contribute to the taste experience. But most of all; the extra light ensures a continued production within the high-wire cultivation concept."

Udo van Slooten and Wim Steeghs of Philips Horticulture LED Solutions

The LED-installation at Dings will be used 18 hours per day, partly to extend the day. "This is equal to a weekly addition of 1800 to 2500 Joules/cm2 (comparable to natural light)," Dings said in growers jargon. Wim Steeghs of Philips added that the LEDs will be integrated in the complete cultivation strategy to realize maximum profit. "For example, the grower can use them to 'heat up' the crop a bit in the early morning, instead of using the heating pipes.'

The electricity of the grower's 1.6 mW CHP unit is used for the LEDs. The 7.500 m2 requires approximately 300 kW. The CHP has sufficient capacity to deliver power to install the LEDs on the entire three hectares of Dings in the future.

Via their extensive trials in various countries across the globe, Philips already had a lot information available on LEDs in cucumber cultivation. "Still, this is the first project on such a large scale for us. As a developer of LED solutions for horticulture we are delighted with a cooperation like Kompany and their grower Jac Dings. We will fully support them in this, but we are also very curious to the grower's findings. Like no other, Dings is able to 'read a plant', and his experience will eventually play a crucial role for the development and use of this technology in cucumber cultivation."

Father and son Dings together with Kompany chairman Theo Geven

Also growers cooperative Kompany is very happy with the forward thinking attitude of their grower. "As a year-round supplier of quality cucumbers, high-wire and supplemental lighting has always played a crucial role among our members," said chairman Theo Geven of Kompany. "Jac Dings is now our fourth grower with supplemental lighting and the first to use LED technology. This investment will contribute to the development of the year-round cultivation of quality high-wire cucumbers in the future."

For more information:

Philips Lighting
[email protected]

[email protected]

Cogas Zuid B.V.
[email protected]