LED inter and top lighting to extend UK season:

UK: First 100% LED trial at Melrow Salads

Melrow Salads, part of Bakkavor Group, has committed to an industry leading trial of Philips LED lighting. Working with Philips & Cambridge HOK, Melrow Salads will be trialling the Philips hybrid LED lighting system on a crop of speciality tomatoes at the Flavourfresh Salads Ltd Lansdale Nursery site in Lancashire this winter. This will be the first 100% LED trial in the UK, utilising Philips GreenPower LED interlighting and Philips GreenPower LED top lighting.

Lancashire-based Melrow Salads has a recognised track record of varietal development and trials into crop production technologies. This trial will allow them to review the benefits of LED lighting including the potential to extend the UK season, improving consistency in flavour and increasing yield in speciality tomatoes.

Through utilising the expertise offered by Philips, Cambridge HOK and the Flavourfresh production team led by Growing Manager, Andy Roe, Melrow are hoping to take its research carried out at the Wageningen Research Centre and deliver it into the commercial environment.

The use of Philips Greenpower LED interlighting, which provides the light between the plants, in conjunction with overhead SONT is already being explored commercially on a number of sites around Europe with some very good results. The replacement of sodium lights with top lighting LED’s, however, has only been explored at a research level so this step by Melrow Salads is a very exciting move forward.

Philips’ horticultural lighting solutions are based on years of experience and close co-operation with the horticultural world. Successful field tests with growers and breeders around the globe have given them an unparalleled knowledge of the growth effects of lighting on different crops throughout their growth cycle. It has allowed Philips to create a unique approach to lighting with specific “light recipes” that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of every grower.

Andy Roe, Grower Manager, comments that it is vitally important that Melrow Salads are pushing the boundaries of technology and evaluating installations at the very earliest stage of their development. To this end a trial area will be established within a crop being planted this winter with a robust research plan behind it. This will allow for the detailed analysis of the benefits to be measured and determined in a commercial environment.

There is an increasing demand for the UK tomato season to be extended from the retailers but with the cost of energy ever increasing it is important that the correct source of light energy is selected to provide the maximum return per KW of energy.

For more information:
For more information:
Philips Horticultural Lighting, the Netherlands
Marjan Welvaarts, Global Marcom Manager Horticulture
Tel.: +31 (0)40 275 64 99
E-mail: marjan.welvaarts@philips.com

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