“Although LED technology isn’t new, there haven’t been any sports surfaces grown on a large scale successfully with the help of LED light yet. Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany have purchased four LED systems from SGL, with integrated and fully automatic Infrared Radiation and irrigation, which together cover the entire width of the pitch.
Since 2009, Allianz Arena had successfully been using the conventional HPS* lighting units from SGL. Their ambitious sustainability goals were the reason to look into possibilities for a more sustainable grow lighting system.
SGL founder Nico van Vuuren explained the challenge of creating top quality growth with LED: “LED is a fast developing technology and a lot of research is still being done in regards to its use for plant growth. There are many choices to be made in order to get the same quality at lower costs as the HPS armatures. Apart from looking at the energy efficiency side of the story, it’s crucial to look at the plant physiological side, practical side and investment costs too. LED has many advantages, such as the flexibility in light spectrum and the energy efficiency, but also some challenges such as the high investment costs, the lack of Infrared Radiation and the weight.
“While many know LED for its sustainable character, another unique feature that LED has is the possibility to create a so-called ‘light recipe’. This means you can choose the colors of the light spectrum that are used by the plant for specific purposes. The success of an LED armature greatly depends on the right choice of colors.”