The real breakthrough of LED lighting in horticulture took a while, but when the time came, Lightshine Cleaning was quick to offer a cleaning solution for these fixtures as well: Lightshine Cleaning Wipes. A cleaning cloth, although that is a bit disrespectful for a product that has taken a long time to develop.
The product was launched last year. This year the company from Monsterdam wants to 'really push the envelope' with the new product, says owner Jeffrey van den Bogert. "Customers asked us to develop this product. The introduction last year went very well. We quickly ran out of stock. So this year we have even more pallets in stock. The cleaning season can begin!"
Jeffrey van den Bogert with a Lightshine Cleaning Wipe
There is no real cleaning season for LED fixtures, by the way. "A wipe can be used all year round. That makes it so easy for the grower. We do visit the HPS reflectors to clean them. We work with a schedule for that. Now, the grower can plan the cleaning himself, independently of us. This gives the grower flexibility. All we have to do is deliver the cloths. With our stocks, that's no problem at all."
The advice to growers is to use one cloth per LED fixture. "It is a fact that LED fixtures, just like HPS bulbs, also get dirty. With HPS, we have pointed out for years that dirt results in light loss. Washing the caps is now commonplace. This awareness is sometimes still lacking in the case of LED fixtures. But even these fittings get dirty."
Lightshine Cleaning saw this itself during the cleaning of LED fixtures for a large LED manufacturer on site in Monster. "These fixtures were going from one test rig to another, and we were allowed to wash them in between. The manufacturer took care of a light measurement before and after washing, and it turned out that there was a light gain of several percent after cleaning."
Cleaning LED fixtures is not as easy as HPS. "The fixtures do not have a reflector and are not very water resistant." Machine cleaning, as the company does with HPS fixtures, is therefore not possible (yet). "Who knows in the future, but our Lightshine Cleaning Wipe is a godsend for now. The product has been extensively tested and has been provided with a special agent, which leaves a protective layer on the fixture after wiping."
During development, the company was able to draw on its expertise in other sectors, including the cleaning of shopping trolleys. "Through sister companies CleanCarts and CleanShopping, we have good contacts with all kinds of manufacturers of cleaning products. They have developed this specific cloth for us." After wiping, a protective layer remains. "But no fibers from the cloth, you don't want that," Jeffrey indicates. "It is a fiber-free cloth in which the dirt is well absorbed after wiping."
As for how often the grower needs to take a cloth over the fixtures, time will tell. In any case, Lightshine Cleaning has enough cloths. "We also export, with wipes going all over the world via intermediate suppliers. We really believe in this product. It's great to be able to unburden growers like this."