Optoelectronics

Controlling plant growth with horticulture LEDs

18th June 2020
Alex Lynn

The new Lighting Development Kit from Würth Elektronik with horticulture LEDs accelerates the development of systems for targeted plant lighting. Companies developing solutions for vertical farming in cities or optimised ‘supplemental lighting’ in greenhouses can use the Development Kit to explore the effect of different ‘lighting recipes’ on plants and in their different growth phases.

The circuit developed by Würth Elektronik thus accelerates the development of lighting control systems.

The aim of horticulture LED solutions is to optimise various properties such as: the light spectrum, lighting intensity growth intervals for different plants and other quality parameters in order to increase the yield or to increase the content of valuable secondary substances such as flavonols. The Lighting Development Kit offers a simple solution to mix RGBW colors for different lighting strategies and to control plant growth with the supplied Horticulture Panel (includes LEDs with wavelength 450 nm, 660 nm, 730 nm and RGBW LEDs).

The Magl³C multi-color LED driver supplies the panel with power. With four Magl³C LED Step Down High Current Modules at its centerpiece, it is possible to individually control the intensity of the four LED strings. This makes it possible to generate light with different wavelength ratios and to investigate their effect on different plants in their growth phases.

The control is done with the free iOS app ‘WEilluminate’ via Bluetooth LE. A version for Android will be available soon.

The kit is suitable for individual developers, start-ups, agricultural research and lighting manufacturers. The board contains an EMI filter to meet the limits of the lighting standard specified in EN55015 and the industry standard CISPR32, even when dimming the LED strings. The circuit is therefore also a prototype for larger applications.

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