Download as pdf: Press Release: Growth Protocols for No-natural Light Environments.pdf

Dark Lettuce 1 

Valoya Ltd. finalizes multi-year test program with lettuce grown in no-natural light environments. The trial series verifies Valoya’s AP673 spectrum’s energy efficient performance to produce high quality plants in plant factories and other multi-layer installations without natural light. Traditional artificial light, such as High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and fluorescent (FL) tubes, has not been able to cost effectively produce high quality commercial grade lettuce and herbs without natural light. Thus, production of lettuce and herbs in no-natural light environments has not been possible on energy efficient industrial scale.

To enable scaling-up of plant factories and other multi-layer no-natural light environments, Valoya wanted to verify its light spectra in a wide range of no-natural light environments and documented growing protocols for these environments. During 2010-2012 Valoya conducted in-depth trials with some of its key light spectra to document their suitability in multi-layer applications without natural or other light sources.

The tests verified that Valoya’s wide light spectra have outstanding performance also without the support of natural light or other light sources. The AP673 spectrum provides very good results with leafy greens and the AP67 with other plants such as tree and tomato seedlings. In previous trials Valoya has also discovered that pollinator bumble bees can navigate under Valoya’s LED lights as sole light source and without support from natural light. Valoya’s lights showed excellent results at 100 µmol/m2/s and even in lower intensities with selected leafy greens. In terms of energy efficiency, about 80W/m2 is sufficient in static installations and even less than 40W/m2 in lines with moving gutters or moving lights.

Valoya CEO, Lars Aikala comments; “We already have several customers using our lights in no-natural light environments. The successful completion of this test program gives us detailed scientific data on the subject and enables us to better quantify the benefits. Our LED lights provide significant advantages to traditional lighting technologies and in comparison with conventional horticultural LED lights in terms of fast growth and high quality plants in all no-natural light environments.”