Scandinavian companies embedding LEDs into vertical farm shelving

Oct. 15, 2020
There’s something thin in the state of Denmark, and it’s working its way into some tight spaces.

A Danish maker of thin LEDs continues to wedge its product into tight spaces, as it has partnered with a horticultural lighting specialist to embed light sources into shelving used in vertical farms.

LED iBond’s agreement with Swedish-owned Senmatic marks the second time in recent weeks that iBond has leveraged its 6-mm chip (about a quarter of an inch) into areas where a slim profile can be an advantage. Earlier this month, it landed a deal to provide ultraviolet LEDs for disinfection use in airport baggage systems.

Its new OEM accord with Senmatic is aimed at an entirely different market, utilizing grow light spectra for indoor vertical farming. Senmatic already provides a range of horticultural products and services including indoor LED lighting, climate control, and irrigation, using a blend of technologies such as LEDs, sensors, and software. It is now adding the LED iBond-equipped shelving to the mix.

”We will combine LED iBond’s super-slim and energy-efficient shelf-and-lighting panels with our controllers and software to create a multifunctional vertical farming solution with best-in-class growth conditions for industrial indoor horticulture,” said Senmatic CEO Mads Nychel.

Senmatic, based in Søndersø, Denmark, expects to start shipping the shelving by the end of this year.

To construct thin LEDs, LED iBond uses what it calls a “sandwich” technology that it says eliminates printed circuit boards, conventional heat sinks, and drivers and instead places an LED between two aluminum composite panels. The aluminum conducts electricity, and can also serve as a conduit for data communications — which should help make the grow lights controllable via software.

“This new partnership with Senmatic marks LED iBond’s commercial entry into the industrial vertical farming market,” said Rolf H. Sprunk-Jansen, CEO of iBond, based in Hørsholm, Denmark. “With their vertical farming technology and their global network of 40 dealers, Senmatic is an ideal partner for us, bringing our LED panel technology into play in an emerging industry with huge growth potential.”

The two companies did not announce any end users for the vertical farm shelving.

Senmatic is active in industries outside of horticulture. It provides wide range of sensors including humidity, temperature, oxygen, CO2, and many others to the food processing industry, oil and gas companies, food transporters, wind energy firms, machinery companies, HVAC providers, and others.

The company is part of Indutrade, an SEK 18.4 billion ($2.1B) Kista, Sweden based group that acquires and develops technology firms focused on industrial applications.

Vertical farming will be a spotlight topic during LEDs Magazine’s HortiCann Light + Tech conference, which will be held online from Oct. 20‒21 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Register for the program and learn about the latest in plant science, AgTech and solid-state lighting systems, and business solutions offered via energy management programs.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.