TomatoMasters in Belgium Deploying Plessey Hyperion LED Grow Lights in Greenhouses

Plessey Semiconductor, a UK-based developer of LED technologies that recently delved into the grow lighting market reported that TomatoMasters will deploy Plessey’s new Hyperion 1750 LED top-light in a new greenhouse development measuring 54.560 m². The company’s new Hyperion 1750 is the company’s latest LED grow light in the Hyperion product range. The grow light and features a maximum light performance output of 1750 micromole/s, equivalent to a 1000W SON-T.

Plessey supplies Hyperion LED grow lights for TomatoMasters of Belgium.

Plessey supplies Hyperion LED grow lights for TomatoMasters of Belgium.

Challenge of Using LED Grow Lights for Green Houses — Shading

Greenhouses present unique grow light design challenges that some growers may not take into account. The most important of which is that part of the formula for figuring out overall light exposure and PPFD has to take into account the sunlight and the shading from the grow light fixtures.

So a genuinely equivalent grow light also has to minimize shading from the sun while providing the same or more output in PPFD. If it is more output, the increased output can compensate for the usually increased shading of LED grow lights compared to non-LED grow lights. For this reason, Plessey contends that its Hyperion Grow Lights feature less shading than any competitive LED fixtures.

Hyperion Grow Lights Come with Standard and Custom Spectrums

The company makes its Hyperion grow lights in a range of standard and tailor-made spectrums, with a multitude of features and benefits designed to give a higher return on investment to commercial growers. Back in 2017 Plessey launched its first LED grow light in the Hyperion range with the Hyperion 1000, which provides light output of 1000 micromole/s, equivalent to a 600W SON-T.

Julien Vlaemynck founded TomatoMasters in Belgium in 1966.  Now, his sons Herman, Dirk, and Johan run the business along with grandson Tom. At their farm in Deinze, Belgium, the TomatoMasters grows a variety of high-quality tomatoes in 10.7 Ha of greenhouses.

TomatoMasters sells locally and internationally via Veiling Hoogstraten under the Flandria label, and the company is in negotiation with a dominant supermarket chain which will require a capacity increase of 6 Ha. Consequently, TomatoMasters is constructing an additional 5.4 Ha greenhouse at the Deinze location. Like the others, it will be illuminated with Plessey LEDs, to meet year-round demand.

The Vlaemynck family and their company Tomato Masters are committed to the most sustainable and environmentally friendly food production. As part of its effort to be sustainable and environmentally friendly in the operations, the new greenhouse, being built by Havecon, will use diffused glass, 100% rainwater from large existing basins where 8,000m² is available per Ha, and 100% LED light. Also in a unique partnership, existing co-generation onsite supplies a local fish farm with heat and power in exchange for nutrient-rich fish water.

In hopes of maximizing year-round tomato production, quality, environmental efficiency and long-term return on investment, TomatoMasters will deploy 100% Plessey Hyperion 1750 LED top lighting. Each Hyperion LED grow light is equivalent to a 1000w SON-T lamp in light output. However, the LED grow light features a spectrum more efficiently tuned to activate photosynthesis in tomato plants.

Fewer Units Needed

Plessey contends that the high output of Hyperion LED grow lights require far fewer units than other LED systems to deliver the demanded 200+ micromole/s/m². Also, Plessey points out, because the grow lights are installed on the trellis, the shading is very minimal. The company says that low radiant heat of the Hyperion grow lights also allows for a more flexible lighting strategy when greenhouse temperatures are high. Heating pipes installed in the top level of the greenhouse will replace the radiant heat normally provided by HPS lighting.

Commenting on his decision to choose Plessey’s new Hyperion LED grow light system, TomatoMaster’s head grower, Tom Vlaemynck said, “We were made aware of Plessey by our consultants at Delphy and have worked with them on the lighting strategy for the project from the start. We were impressed by the long-life features of the Hyperion system and the simple, efficient design of the lights. This is a big investment for our business and we wanted a technologically advanced partner that would provide a long-term lighting solution.”

Jonathan Barton, Director of Grow Lighting at Plessey, commented, “We are committed to lowering the lifetime costs of LED horticultural lighting and have designed the Hyperion system with that focus in mind, from the quality and efficiency of the light itself to the practical costs of installing and maintaining the lights for years of productive use. Working with companies like TomatoMasters, who have a clear, long-term vision and are willing to innovate is what Hyperion is all about – offering growers a real alternative and a commercially viable LED lighting solution.”