"TRACY & GRACY are our two-core tech-platforms that give us the ability to create advanced solutions customized to each farmer's specific needs. First, we choose the dimension and size of the panel, linear or 2D, then the desired spectrum, and lastly, how to install it. Our goal is to optimize the farmer's yield and reduce energy consumption with our advanced lighting solution. Therefore, we consider all aspects of the complete production facility, layout, and construction where numerous factors need to be considered to select the optimal lighting solutions," notes Martin Løbel, CEO at LED iBond.
LED iBond is a Danish GreenTech company that delivers sustainable and intelligent lighting solutions for vertical farming, smart buildings, disinfection devices with ultraviolet radiation, and more. The company's design philosophy is to enable food production with a lower CO2 footprint than any traditional farming techniques.
For any scale farms, LED iBond just launched TRACY & GRACY in predefined standard sizes with various options. Growers then have, e.g., the option to select from five standard spectra covering the full growth phase of the plant, from spout to harvest. This is to accommodate the demand the company sees from leading farmers who want to test the grounds of vertical farming and optimize various recipes for their specific types of crops.
Benefits of a unique and patented LED panel design
"Our core technology serves as a unique platform allowing us to create an optimized growth light panel with multiple design freedoms and possibilities that lead to the best lighting solution for the farmer. Our design provides the lowest cost per produced crop, and our data shows that our Growth Light panels have a 25% lower total cost of ownership compared to other traditional LED growth light panels due to our unique design and energy efficiency," affirms Martin.
The form factor for GRACY Horticulture allows the company to design a 2D light panel where LEDs are spread out wide for the usage of fewer LEDs to form the optimal uniformity giving a reduction in energy consumption. For TRACY Horticulture, with a thin linear form factor, we can create long slim lines, for ex. Top-lighting in Greenhouses where sunlight is present as a primary lighting source. Besides that, TRACY & GRACY allows us to move closer to the top of the plants as the LEDs can go as close as 15 cm (6 inches) above the plant, compared to traditional lamps that go +40 cm, which highly saves energy.
On top of that, physically, the 6 mm height of the panels gives the ability to add more layers on top of each other in a vertical farm – and thereby reducing CapEx per square meter of a growth facility.
"Due to the panel design, we create a broader area with our aluminum construction which transfer the heat effectively away from the LEDs and keep the operating temperature of the light-emitting diodes significantly lower. This too saves energy and gives longer lifespan."
The panel design is highly water resistant, and the smooth, clean surface on both sides of the panel hinders microbes, fungi, and pests to form and hide. This allows for easy cleaning of the panels, given the possibility of washing with a water hose on a regular basis if needed.
GRACY is available in standard sizes but can be easily fabricated up to 1,1 x 1,1 m/ 4x4 feet pr. panel giving the option to fit into any farm structure, whereas TRACY® can be connected to 9 meters in a linear length on one single PSU. The panels can hang, slide into existing shelf systems, or be fixed to the wall for horizontal light. The options are widespread.
'A mini farm' for advanced testing of growth recipes
Together with an international organization, LED iBond has recently developed and delivered an advanced testing setup (a mini farm) based on a compact but still advanced Growth Panel with adjustable luminosity and spectrum. The project scope is to find optimal growth and lighting recipes for cannabis cultivation used for the pharma industry. The first phase of the mini farm consists of 32 growth light panels.
As for the spectrum, the strength of blue, red, and far-red colors can be controlled through an advanced IT management platform. With this setup, the project owner can perform structured growth experiments and determine the precise and most optimal spectrum and luminosity for growing cannabis and scale it for a full production facility.
Aim for 2023
"We are looking into incorporating the use of big data into our product offering. We strongly believe that a farm should be optimized using extensive monitoring and collection of data throughout a production facility. We envision that our technology and solution will support growers in optimizing their farming recipes through big data," shares Martin.
Currently, LED iBond offers IT management software to control the Growth Light Panels. However, moving forward, growers will benefit from more advanced monitoring using sensors, cameras, plant analysis, and more. These will be incorporated into all technology platforms of Growth Light panels.