Screensign Arts (SSA) the New Zealand-based supplier of Even Light Distribution systems is set to release a new Lighting Panel for the horticulture industry. "This system incorporates many unique performance features over conventional lighting systems," they say.
SSA Managing Director and system developer is Richard Hunter, who is based at the office and plant in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. Richard said “We undertook a thorough evaluation of conventional vertical farm lighting systems and concluded that the features which have made our Edge Lighting technology so successful in other industries sectors could potentially generate significant improvements to crop yield percentages and overall plant quality".
“Our research into current or existing lighting systems highlighted three common issues and those were: uncontrolled heat; uneven light distribution onto the plants and the inability to infinitely and accurately blend all key wavelength colours,” said Richard.
To solve these problems, Richard and his team called on their experience in lighting design and coupled with recent improvements in light density, control and distribution of light, they searched to provide the vital steps needed in the new products’ development, which they hope will have far-reaching benefits for the Horticulture Industry. The SSA technology is the development of specialised Edge Lighting lighting panels, developed for indoor growing applications such as tissue and seedling, commercial leafy greens, micro greens as well as large vertical farm installations.
The industry’s issues
“Firstly, we looked the issue of inevitable heat rise which is inherent with all conventional Lighting Systems. We overcame this by extracting the heat at source where it can be removed and re-introduced as and where required in a controlled manner”, remarked Richard.
Richard went on to say “Secondly, most existing or current Lighting Systems fail to provide optimal or even light distribution, which can result in stifled or ‘no-grow’ areas particularly at the plant tray edges. We solved this problem by utilising our unique Photometric edge-lighting technology where the light is evenly distributed within 3% across the entire panel face by a screen-printed computer-generated dot matrix. This results in no “hot spots” and provides even controlled growth with every installation.”
Further developments to follow
Richard also reported that the SSA Photometric technology has the potential to be retro-fitted into existing moulded lighting enclosures as the Photometric Panels can be designed to any shape.
The next and perhaps final phase to this development is going to be teaming up with an existing Entity in the Horticulture Industry, to look at how the overall lighting technology could be field-trialled and subsequently packaged.