The Austrian start-up company Etagrow has invented a lighting system for greenhouses and vertical farming. LED-based, it not only emits light, but can also create the right kind of climate.
When co-founders Stefan Huebl and Florian Ablinger first tried to make it through the winter with their own home-grown vegetables, they were using standard sodium vapor lamps. Light is essential for plant growth. It provides the energy for photosynthesis, as well as other things.
What they had not anticipated was the extreme energy consumption of sodium vapor lamps. Both had graduated from the Higher Technical Federal Education and Research Institute (HTL Wiener Neustadt) in Austria and wanted to find out what LED technology could do for greenhouse lighting. They built numerous prototypes before their product was ready for series production. In 2018 – it finally happened: their lighting system for greenhouses was now extremely efficient. They also succeeded in harnessing the heat waste from LED lamps for climate control.