LumiGrow and Spectral Science Add Vigor to Tomatoes

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North Carolina’s Patterson Greenhouses Expands Relationship with LumiGrow, Uses Supplemental Lighting for Better Tomato Plants

Thriving Tomatoes with LumiGrow Supplemental Lighting

The tomatoes we have under the LumiGrow lights show more vigor than those that aren’t.

LumiGrow, Inc., the leader in greenhouse spectrum control systems, expands its relationship with Patterson Greenhouses. The Broadway, North Carolina tomato grower first installed LumiGrow Pro 325™ LED fixtures to help germinate a new crop of 2,100 seedlings in October 2014. This initial foray into the use of LEDs as a single source (i.e. no sun) of lighting in the germination period led to thriving plants. That spurred the installation of lamps for supplemental lighting in one full bay of the three-bay greenhouse by December 2014 with plans to light the other two this year. It’s anticipated this will extend the growing season considerably.

Patterson Greenhouses has been successfully producing tomatoes since 1998, but owner Ryan Patterson said he’s been looking for a way to increase crop yields within the existing 7,400 square-foot space for a while. Due to North Carolina’s relatively long growing season and mild winters, the company hadn’t used supplemental lighting before. Patterson, who is also president of the North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, knew that installing supplemental lighting was the most likely way to achieve the company’s goal of growing more tomatoes without adding another bay to the greenhouse.

“If you average the amount of sunshine we receive each winter, it seems like we shouldn’t require extra light,” said Patterson. “If we have three cloudy days in a row, though, the plants don’t get what they need so they don’t grow as big or as fast. The tomatoes we have under the LumiGrow lights show more vigor than those that aren’t.”

Currently, one third of Patterson’s tomato crop benefits from LumiGrow LED supplemental lighting. The 700 plants soaking up the extra rays are growing faster than those using sunlight alone.

The spectral control enabled by LumiGrow lighting also allows growers to use light to encourage plant growth towards the vegetative or reproductive states. For instance, during the early stages of tomato growth when thicker stalks are desirable, the plants under supplemental lighting were .63 inches in diameter wider than those that didn’t receive extra light. This was a clear early indication of their superior vigor.

“We’re very happy to say that tomatoes love LumiGrow,” said Neil Coppinger, LumiGrow’s Vice President of Sales. “We’re dedicated to working with growers like Patterson to ensure they get specific results tailored to the needs of their crops.”

Patterson decided to use LEDs rather than another form of horticultural lighting for a couple of reasons. Tomatoes are relatively tall plants so he didn’t want to use lights that would potentially overheat or burn the crop as they grow to their full height. LEDs are a good choice in this instance because they produce less heat than other light sources. They also convert the electricity they use into light much more efficiently than legacy lighting systems — which means 60 percent lower monthly energy bills — another factor in Patterson’s decision.

The company turned to LumiGrow because of its knowledgeable sales and technical services teams and also because it tries to buy American products whenever possible. Patterson is now looking into other ways to fine-tune their operation with state-of-the-art control systems as well as considering adding even more supplemental lighting.

About LumiGrow, Inc.
LumiGrow, Inc., the leader in spectrum control systems, empowers growers and scientists with the ability to create individual lighting solutions that improve plant growth, boost crop yields, and achieve cost-saving operational efficiencies. LumiGrow offers a range of proven solutions for use in greenhouses, controlled environment agriculture and research chambers. LumiGrow solutions are eligible for energy-efficiency subsidies from utilities across North America. The company’s more than 3,000 installations in 30 countries include top global agribusinesses, many of the world’s top 100 produce and flower growers, more than 200 universities and the USDA. Headquartered in Novato, California, LumiGrow is privately owned and operated. For more information, call (800) 514-0487 or visit http://www.lumigrow.com.

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Caroline Nordahl Wells
LumiGrow, Inc.
(800) 514-0487 Ext: 102
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Kevin Lewis
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