Rothamsted Research is a world-leading, non-profit research centre that focuses on strategic, agricultural science for the worldwide benefit of farmers and society. Established in 1843, it is one of the oldest research institutes in the world covering a wide range of UK grown crops; from wheat, barley and oilseed rape, through to tomato and salad crops, willow and poplar as well as more exotic plants like jojoba. Their primary goal is to find different strategies for growing plants, to improve crop productivity and resistance to disease and pests.
Rothamsted Research prides itself on a strong history of innovation through collaboration and partnerships with numerous research institutions and universities in over 50 countries.
The team approached INDO to look at replacing its 400W SON-T, High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting in their glasshouse facilities. The aim was, not only to save substantially on energy and maintenance but also to maintain consistent light output and grow better quality plants. After reviewing a range of different grow light manufacturers, the ELEMENT solution was chosen for the lifetime and reliability benefits offered by Direct Drive, backed by a 10-year warranty, as well as the small form factor and light spectrum quality. INDO’s success and innovation in the street lighting sector gave the team additional confidence in the unique technology and its reliability over the long term in challenging environments. Because INDO grow lights have no electrical wear-out components, other than the LEDs themselves, this was another important factor in the decision to choose the INDO ELEMENT since Rothamsted had already experienced other LED units failing due to driver issues.
The small, lightweight units minimise shading, meaning Rothamsted benefit from having artificial light in the glasshouse without obscuring too much natural daylight. On a cloudy day, supplementary lighting is used to ensure good light intensity across the crop, so plants continue to grow and develop the ‘bio engineering’ systems the team are studying so closely. Similarly, our broad-spectrum option, close to natural sunlight, was found to be ideal for the work Rothamsted carries out over a range of different plants. The team specifically wanted a product that could create a controlled environment most closely replicating the field environment.
In terms of installation, our contracting partners at PPG carried out the work over a two week period, creating a programme of works to achieve the quick turnaround that Rothamsted wanted. They utilised concurrent operations with multiple project teams working in separate areas to both maintain social distancing and keep the timescales as short as possible. Since this was a live facility, the requirement for advanced planning and client communication with Rothamsted was imperative, to allow operations to continue without disruption. They found the ELEMENT “very easy to work with”.
Having completed the installation in Feb 2021, INDO will remain in close contact with Rothamsted and publish a project update in a year’s time, to find out how the crops have performed over the coming seasons.View product >