“We want to integrate our system with equipment that growers already have. There are many people working for horticulture, so a grower needs to work with lighting companies, research universities. They give recipes and recommendations, and the technology comes together with us. We want to make sure that the light is what you need it to be, for the right plant,” says the team with Ocean Insight. This is a spectrometer company, focusing on high quality, accuracy and reliability, mainly for industrial applications. The company started Wave Illumination to focus more specifically in horticultural applications.
Two types of people use the products, growers and horticulture lighting companies like Signify, GE Current, Osram Fluence, Hortilux, they invest a lot in LED lighting systems for horticulture. Some systems are tuneable, some have a unique lighting recipe. “Growers often have older technology, and are looking to upgrade to LED lighting. We offer Wave Go: a handheld spectrometer.” Greenhouse material blocks some of the natural sunlight, that can be measured as well.
Some people also like to mix natural and artificial light, in order to balance the energy consumption with the right amount of light for the crop. This special sensor connects to a cellphone via Bluetooth and an app, connected to an interface in the cloud. There you can see, display and record the measurements.
A database from a university is built in to the app, and it lets you choose the crop family you grow. This will show if you have the right lighting recipe. “People want a broad spectrum, like sunlight, but also certain peaks like the sunlight has.” The aim for the app/solution is to be able to see and compare light systems, and adjust it according to the stage that the plant is in. When the plants are just sprouting, nothing is blocking them so they don’t need that much light. But as the plant grows and more leaves and other things are blocking the light, they need more.
Many growers have computer control systems, that sense many different things like temperature, humidity, the soil circumstances and light. The company is working on a way to report this data, in the cloud but also in growers’ computer systems so that they can see all the data plains side by side. “We want to have integration with other platforms.”
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