Netled’s proprietary adjustable-spectrum LED lights are now being taken into use at the world’s northernmost vertical farm at Kainuu Vocational College, Kajaani, Finland. Netled has been developing the adjustable-spectrum technology throughout 2021.
Researchers working on the vertical farm at the vocational school in Kajaani had expressed a desire for broader spectrum LEDs for their experiments. “Normally, the spectrum is adjusted by way of separate control channels for different colored LED lights within one lighting unit, which results in a narrower range of adjustment.” Chief Procurement Officer, Johanna Kivioja, explains.
“For the Kajaani vertical farm we combined three lighting units with LEDs of different spectra and developed software that automatically adjusts the intensity of the LEDs in relation to one another. This setup allows for an extremely broad range of adjustment throughout the spectrum, and thus we can offer very different systems according to customer requirements.” Kivioja continues.
The adjustable-spectrum lights are being used for research conducted by Kainuu Vocational School and The Natural Resources Institute Finland into the effects of different light wavelengths on the growth of different plants at different stages.
Plants react to more than just the spectrum of light that hits them, of course. The Kajaani vertical farm is now beginning to study not only how ventilation and irrigation affects the plants, but also how adjusting the spectrum of light in combination with the other factors affects the plants.
“Besides the wavelengths and wavebands of light, the relationship between them is important, the red:far-red ratio being the most studied one. Also, there can be interaction between the light colour and the intensity of the light, when it comes to plant responses.” explains Titta Kotilainen, Senior Scientist at LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland.
There is lots of research ongoing in these areas, but it tends to be on a laboratory scale, which means a few plants in a small cabinet in a lab somewhere. Researchers at the Kajaani facility will now be able to do research much closer to actual production scale, which will provide industry with information that can be directly applied to production-scale operations.” Johanna Kivioja expounds.
“Our ultimate goal is to find the spectra that produce the best quality and yield in each species of plant at every stage of growth”, she concludes.