Readers find interesting hooks in top horticultural SSL content

Dec. 3, 2021
Only three lighting companies featured in 2021’s top four horticultural articles on the LEDs Magazine website. Can you guess which ones they are?

December marks a time of reflection here at LEDs Magazine. We spend extra time looking at our website analytics and gauging what LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) readers made the most popular over the past year.

To kick that off, I’ve gathered data on the top four horticultural articles published on the LEDs Magazine website in 2021, and plan to offer similar insights into several hot site topics over the coming weeks before we culminate our lists with the full top 20 most-read articles of the year. As always, remember that stories often have long-tail traffic from being on the website for longer, and that’s our one caveat.

Two big players featured in the top four most-read horticultural stories of 2021. Let’s be honest Signify releases a lot of information on projects with its GrowWise and other horticultural SSL and controls customers. So we get a lot of that into the mix already. What was a little more telling was that Fluence by Osram also made this list twice. Over the past few years, we have seen a greater volume of quality information coming from that organization, research findings in particular. Fluence has grown in profile under the wings of Osram since its acquisition. Let’s hope that continues with the combined ams Osram entity.

“Two big players,” you say. “But it states three companies up in the teaser.” Yes, friends, that is true. But the third company was a bit under the radar as far as our news sources go.

1. Signify CEO eyes $2B agricultural lighting market

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, our Mark Halper reported on the expectations expressed by Signify CEO Eric Rondolat that the company’s “sustainability” businesses, including agriculture, would drive revenue over the next couple of years. Again, given the number of horticultural SSL projects and partnerships Signify has announced over the past several years, this doesn’t amaze me but I will say the estimated market potential seemed a bit more optimistic than perhaps it will turn out over the long haul of pandemic-related economic and supply forces.

2. Fluence research shows LED spectra and intensity can boost cannabis yield

Fluence has been hard at work on boosting the business potential of the cash-rich but energy-hungry cannabis crop. Backing its SSL product developments with established research partners like Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands, the ams Osram business unit has applied its learnings on the impact of LED spectra and intensity on cannabis flower biomass yield. This makes sense: The bigger the flowers, the greater the mass of the crop, and the more potential profit for cannabis growers.

3. Swiss medicinal cannabis farm deploys Fluence SSL in vertical layers

Fluence also shared details of a project with Swiss medical cannabis grower Cannerald. What’s interesting is that the entire project utilized LED lighting, for all stages of cannabis growth, which isn’t the case yet in a lot of operations. Also, the vertical, space-constrained nature of this controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operation meant the fixtures must be placed close to the plant canopy and radiate less heat. Mission accomplished.

4. Lettuce farm in Poland goes all LED, pumps in warmth

Finally, fourth on the list is a lettuce story with a side of added heat when the Gospodarstwo Ogrodnicze Karpińscy farm in Poland tested out various light sources over several phases, with Hyperion Grow Lights featuring in the combined and LED-only phases. “Hyperion who?” some of you may be thinking. The company was established by semiconductor specialists from Plessey and backed by IP initially developed and later licensed to Plessey by UK lighting company Phytolux. According to the Hyperion website, its LED grow lights continue to use Plessey and Osram technology. At any rate, what’s noteworthy about this story is that the farm operator determined additional boilers were needed to compensate for the heat-lacking LEDs. The balance of energy efficiency, crop needs, and climate is a delicate dance, according to some speakers at this year’s HortiCann Light + Tech Conference.

CARRIE MEADOWS is associate editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20 years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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