Vertical farmers typically opt for LED tubes to illuminate their crops as these can be placed close to the canopy, produce optimal light intensity and minimal heat. Other suitable applications for such luminaires may include research settings, grafting of seedlings etc. Valoya’s L-Series (T8 tubes) have been designed for these uses and installed in many vertical farms, growth rooms and similar settings all around the world. The L-Series technology has recently been developed dramatically and Valoya is now bringing two new models to the market
The technological improvement refers to more densely packed LED chips and a more efficient driver. In practice this means greater light intensity with less Watts used. The production of the new models became more optimized lowering the price for the end user significantly. This makes that vertical farmers can get reliable, long-lasting luminaires with research grade spectra at a price that doesn’t endanger their profitability.
The first two models to enter the market are:
– L28, a 1,2 m (47.2”) long tube that uses 28Watts, typically lasts 50000 hours and produces an output of 2,1 µmol/m2/s (spectrum dependent)
– L35, a 1,5 m (59”) long tube that uses 35Watts, typically lasts 50000 hours and produces an output of 2,1 µmol/m2/s (spectrum dependent)
Typical applications of the two new models include research (tissue culture, propagation etc) and vertical farming. Each LED chip inside this tube contains the entire light spectrum meaning there is absolute light uniformity at all distances of the luminaire and the plant. This enables uniform growth of plants during all stages including the most delicate one, seedling.
The choice of the light spectrum to be placed inside the luminaire upon order is based on the desired output. For instance, vertical farmers may opt for spectrum AP673L which is designed to promote strong vegetative growth, high phenolic content and to delay the flowering response. In practical terms this could be a basil plant, a lettuce head or a microgreen variety with great mass, high nutritional value and more flavor than when grown under sunlight.
Researchers, on the other hand may choose spectrum NS1 which is a close match to sunlight and feeds the widest variety of plants with all signals they need from light. Additionally, its white/color-free appearance to human eyes makes it easy to work under and do visual inspection of the plants.
The L28 and L35 models are now available to order worldwide (except for North America where they become available in September 2017). With this addition to the L-Series, Valoya now offers 7 different models of LED T8 tubes. These tubes can be fitted with optional endcaps with different IP ratings (up to IP67 – for settings with extremely high humidity). Additionally, chain endcaps are available with which even up to 60 luminaires can be connected in a chain with a single mains cable.