GE Current, a Daintree company, is offering open access to the findings of its most recent research collaboration. The study, conducted by Wageningen University & Research (WUR), is the first major scientific investigation into the impact of intra-canopy lighting (ICL) on the quality and volume of vine tomato yields. The findings of this research, which also saw the first use of Current’s new Arize® Integral ICL fixture, offer growers of high-wire crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or bell peppers new options to significantly boost yields without increasing energy consumption or monthly bills.
Published in the form of an easily-digestible booklet designed to answer growers’ key questions, the study found that by delivering 34% of the daily light integral (DLI) to mature leaves deep within the canopy, and 66% from top lighting (TL), two of the most common tomato cultivars produced an average of 14% more fruit than those with 100% top lighting. There was also no impact on quality or taste, with the harvested fruit receiving similar Brix scores for sugar content and also recording similar levels of acidity to the fruit grown under 100% TL.
The Arize Integral ICL helped boost tomato yields by 14% in a recent Wageningen University & Research study, using a 66:34 ratio of top light to ICL
Malcolm Yare, Customer Success Director – Horticulture at Current, commented: “With global energy prices continuing to rise and the added pressures of needing to maintain ever-increasing food supplies, growers are looking for any advantage to help them increase production without incurring additional operating costs or sacrificing quality. For some growers, intra-canopy lighting could be exactly what they need to maximize their crops’ potential and secure the future of their business.”
Tomato crops growing in the greenhouse at Wageningen University & Research, with the Arize Integral intra-canopy lighting
The WUR study also saw the first deployment of Current’s new Arize Integral ICL fixture, which directs an optimized light spectrum across a wide, 120-degree angle from both sides of the fixture. Offering a market-leading lighting output of up to 346 µmol/s and an efficiency of 3.5 µmol/J, the Integral has been designed to deliver high light intensity with low energy consumption, allowing it to integrate seamlessly into existing installations and deliver significant gains.
Dr. Hans Spalholz, Horticulture Scientist at Current, noted: “We are currently discussing further potential collaboration with Wageningen University & Research to determine the most productive division of light energy between LED top lights and intra-canopy lighting. However, for now, the results at 34% ICL are extremely encouraging, and we would certainly recommend that growers of high-wire crops like tomatoes or cucumbers consider applying a high proportion of supplemental light through intra-canopy lighting to maximize returns.”
Tomatoes grown at WUR as part of the study