At his farm in Zuromin, Polish tomato and lettuce grower Pawel Karpinski grows tomatoes in 3.5 ha of glasshouses. He found it difficult to expand due to rising production costs, stagnating prices and growing international competition. In 2017, Karpinski started hydroponic production of lettuce in a new 6200m² greenhouse and in 2019 is doubling the size of this greenhouse to 1.24 m².
Hyperion LED top light
One of the first
Hydroponic production of lettuce is just developing in Poland with good growth in the market for fresh and living salads. Karpinski is one of the first growers to supply this local market, selling direct to large supermarket groups and delivering to distribution centres themselves.
The greenhouse constructed by BOM has diffused glass, energy and light break screens and a moving gutter system from FGM to maximise the number of plants per m².
Phase 1 of the new greenhouse in Zorumin
Energy prices in Poland are some of the highest in Europe and so Karpinski has decided to invest in Plessey’s Hyperion LED top lights in a hybrid lighting system with HPS to get the best out of both technologies for his new hydroponic lettuce greenhouse.
The trellis mounted Hyperion top light has an output equivalent to a 1000W HPS but offers substantial energy savings. All Hyperion grow lights come in a range of standard and tailor-made spectrums, with a host of features and benefits designed to give higher commercial returns to growers.
Commenting on his decision to choose Plessey, Pawel Karpinksi said: “LED is the next logical step in Poland because our electricity costs are very high, so the energy saving and specific colour spectrum is positive. One of the reasons to choose Plessey is their experience with lettuce in Holland and Belgium. However, with the cold winters in Poland, we also need the heat from HPS to raise the plant temperature and keep it dry, as we cannot ventilate when there is a heavy frost.”
Phase 2 under construction in 2019
Jonathan Barton, Director of Hyperion Grow Lights at Plessey, commented: “Our previous installations for lettuce have been 100% LED but Pawel has made the right decision to go with hybrid lighting, so he can benefit from the best of both systems during the cold Polish winters. Hyperion LED top lights are 1:1 equivalent to 1000W HPS in light output and are interchangeable from an installation perspective, so the system can be easily expanded or modified in future”
Hyperion Grow Lights