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How much energy can you save using LEDs compared to HPS?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How do LEDs save greenhouse energy costs? 

It’s no wonder that with rising energy prices many growers are making the switch to using LEDs over HPS (High Pressure Sodium Lamps). LEDs are the more energy-efficient option, and the benefits don’t stop there (Valoya LEDs also provide tailored spectra to boost plant quality and productivity, as well as being energy-efficient). In fact, a recent study out of Wageningen University showed that LEDs use a massive 44% less energy compared to HPS1. That’s nearly twice as efficient! 

However, because HPS lamps are inefficient, they produce heat, contributing to the greenhouse heating budget. This has left some wondering if they’ll save money when switching to LEDs because they might also have to change their heating plan.

The same study from Wageningen University showed that LEDs still come out on top as the best performer. Even considering heating costs, you save greenhouse energy up to 25% when switching to LEDs1.

Many growers are understandably concerned about energy prices and the cost of electricity. At Valoya, we want to make sure you get not only the best product from the right light spectra, but the best plan to fit with your energy costs.  

Is there a third option? Can’t we just use both LEDs and HPS lamps? 

You can absolutely use a hybrid solution with both LEDs and HPS lamps. In fact, Valoya has plenty of experience tailoring hybrid solutions to suit growers needs. Using a hybrid approach of both LEDs and HPS combines the following two things:

1) a better light spectrum produced by LEDs

2) excess heat produced from HPS lamps.

The advantage to following this hybrid approach, is that you gain an improved light spectrum for growing your plants, but you don’t have to make large changes to your heating plan.

Just check out Valoya’s success story with Lantmännen SW Seed  who were able to significantly improve the greenhouse cultivation of oilseed rape, with Valoya’s hybrid approach. Read more by clicking here. Using a Hybrid approach of LEDs and HPS, they boosted the quality of their lettuce by having an improved light spectrum for their plants.

Some greenhouses even opt for just using their cooler LEDs in the warmer months, because they don’t want to produce the excess heat from the light source. Whereas in winter, they can choose a mixture of HPS and LEDs.

One study even found that the overall energy costs of a cucumber greenhouse were lower when using a hybrid approach of LEDs and HPS2.

What do we recommend at Valoya

Considering the total energy budget for greenhouses, you are still more likely to save using LEDs over the long term – up to 10-25% in energy savings1 compared to using HPS.

If you want to use HPS some of the time, or use a mixture, then using LEDs in combination with HPS  improves the quality of your crops by giving a better light spectrum.

If you want to know more, feel free to contact us for a free lighting plan, and see how we can give the right lighting solution to fit your needs.

References: 

1Katzin D, Marcelis LFM, van Mourik S. Energy savings in greenhouses by transition from high-pressure sodium to LED lighting. Applied Energy. 2021; 281

2Kowalczyk K, Olewnicki D, Mirgos M, Gajc-Wolska J. Comparison of Selected Costs in Greenhouse Cucumber Production with LED and HPS Supplemental Assimilation Lighting. Agronomy. 2020; 10(9):1342.

The blog posts are written by Valoya’s biologists and engineers. All of the content is original and is aimed at helping growers and researchers get a better understanding of the LED grow light technology.

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