The greenhouse horticulture sector is evolving rapidly with new techniques ensuring optimum crop growth and energy consumption reduction. Vitarom Neurath, a grower in North Rhine-Westphalia, is an innovator using the latest technologies. The Smart LED Grow Light solution by Mymesh provides a sustainable balance between yield and energy consumption in greenhouses. This brings autonomous growing with plant sensor technology and AI applications within reach.
During the day, the intensity of red light in greenhouses is automatically adjusted to the needs of the crop. This ensures an optimal light recipe. However, in semi darkness or in the dark, it creates (1.) less comfortable working conditions and (2.) it is difficult for employees (pickers) to estimate the colour (ripeness) of a tomato. As a result, employees will also pick green, unripe tomatoes which leads to production losses. Time for a solution!
For Vitarom Neurath, Mymesh and Food Autonomy successfully established a Proof of Concept where the aim was to improve the working conditions and to enable employees to properly estimate the ripeness.
In the Proof of Concept, the lighting in a radius around the employee is switched from red to white based on the location of the Mymesh employee tag. This allows the employee to work during twilight hours and in the dark in a white-lit environment and to properly estimate whether a tomato is ripe or not. As soon as the picker walks on, the colour of the lighting fixtures (outside the radius) will turn back to red.
The lighting control is based on a physical tag carried by the employee. The tag determines the employee’s location in relation to the fixtures that have a fixed location in the Mymesh network. Using a pre-set setpoint, the Mymesh network can temporarily change the colour of the surrounding fixtures to white, in a certain radius, making motion sensors obsolete.
Location-based lighting control can also be beneficial in sectors other than greenhouse farming where staff members walk through a (large) building. We already see demand for this solution for order pickers in, for instance, logistics distribution centres (mezzanines). The setpoint can also be configured in such a way that it not only changes the colour (red → white → red), but also:
The light follows you…