Grodan and Signify collaborate to conduct low-energy tomato cultivation research with an expected savings on heat-input up to 40%

Ellen Seelen
October 30, 2023

Horst, Limburg, the Netherlands — 30 October 2023 — Grodan, the global leader in supplying innovative, sustainable stone wool growing media solutions for the professional horticulture industry and Signify, the world leader in lighting, will continue their partnership and collaborate on a research trial at Botany, the Netherlands, to further refine tomato cultivation strategy and continue to make advancements in sustainable agriculture. The trial started September 2023 and will explore principles of low energy growing under fully dimmable Philips LED lights. Focus will be on plant transpiration and nutrient uptake in a 260 m2 department fitted with active air de-humidification. This year's strategy is built on the knowledge gained from last year's successful tomato trial by Signify. By modelling the expected crop development and performance, both Grodan and Signify expect to reduce up to 40% on heat input by dimming the lights based on crop needs, energy prices, and outside light conditions.

"Collaborating with the right partner can take research to new heights, and we at Signify are excited to collaborate in this journey with Grodan. After conducting successful trials over the lighting season 2022, in which we focused on light scheduling and -spectra, we realized more needed to be done to define how an LED-winter crop could be grown in 5 years from now. This trial will serve as a showcase for the Benelux market.” said Erik Stappers, Plant Specialist Vegetables & Fruit at Signify. “The combination of 2 irrigation treatments and the application of active dehumidification will give lots of information on how plants perform and can be steered in these conditions. We know that this way is not common practice yet, but we see a clear need for more proof points and knowledge at our customers on how to reduce the heat-input in LED crops. Our goal is to save 40% on heat-input compared to current practice.”

Grodan and Signify will work with other suppliers in the industry (BASF Vegetable Seeds, Ridder, Normec Groen Agro-Control and Wireless value) to organise knowledge transfer events and create content during the cultivation period sharing our joint knowledge with growers and other stakeholders. The tomato variety chosen for the trial in 2023 is the TOBRFV-resistant cherry-on-the-vine cv Vitalion from BASF Vegetable Seeds. Dimmable Philips GreenPower LED toplighting compact will be controlled by Ridder Climate computer Nutrient and uptake analysis will be undertaken by Normec Groen Agro Control. Sensors from Wireless value will be used to understand and determine the impact on plant growth. Finally, Grodan slabs and GroSens sensors were installed to collect data and optimise the irrigation strategy.

“Grodan understands that low energy growing is not a trend but is now the norm and new growing solutions are required to ensure we continue to produce high yields of high-quality fruit,” said Andrew Lee, Knowledge Manager at Grodan. “We have lower pipe temperatures, less energy input and with the LED lights 40% less radiant heat. All this adds up to lower transpiration levels in the crop, especially in the winter months. We must adjust root zone management strategies and monitor in more detail when. Not just irrigation start and stop times and the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water but also the balance of the different nutrient elements. We are confident these new trials will not only highlight the importance of root zone management in low energy growing, but will also lead to new ways to improve cultivation practices which ultimately improve our customers’ bottom line to increase efficiency and profitability.”

“At Botany BV we understand the importance of ground-breaking research. We are excited to host trials which support innovative ways of thinking such as those being showcased by Grodan and Signify. The findings of these trials will be backed by solid data sets coming from our state-of-the-art facility which should provide additional piece of mind to growers giving them confidence of high yields with lower energy inputs,” contributes Maarten Vliex, Managing director Botany.

About Grodan

Grodan is the global leader in supplying innovative, sustainable stone wool growing media solutions for the professional horticulture industry, based on Precision Growing principles. These solutions are applied to the cultivation of vegetables and flowers, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, egg plants, roses and gerberas. Sustainability plays a prominent role within Grodan, from the manufacture of stone wool substrates to recycling solutions. Grodan was founded in 1969 and is active in more than seventy countries worldwide. The head office is located in Roermond, the Netherlands. For more information, please visit

About Signify

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in our operations in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page. 

About Botany BV

Since 2003 Botany tests and develops new products and cultivation methods for international companies on a commercial basis, with great success. The focus is mainly on developments and research questions in the agri- and horticultural sector. Botany supports clients with complex plant related issues and provides reliable data resulting from research. To guarantee the quality of our research in crop protection products, we have achieved GEP accreditation. We move with the market demand and continue to innovate and invest. For more information, please visit Botany Group | Keep knowledge growing

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Ellen Seelen



Emmanouela Alexopoulou



Philips horticulture LED solutions by Signify

Daniela Damoiseaux – Global Marcom Manager

Tel: +316 40578311


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