New mobile vertical farming solution with smart shelves

Vertical farm with LED grow lights

As a pioneer in the lighting industry, LED iBond International A/S (LED iBond) has been developing new technology in the vertical farming sphere, making equipment more intelligent, sustainable, and convenient for commercial use.

In late 2021, the company signed an agreement with UNI-TROLL Europe ApS and TPS Rental Systems Ltd to deliver smart shelves for a patented new load carrier trolley (UT-M2 VF Rack).

The trolley is designed as a mobile vertical farming solution for the growth and maintenance of fresh herbs and microgreens, and it can be used in crop farming, transportation, and storage.

It will carry smart shelves from LED iBond that have built-in LED grow lights embedded in super-slim LED panels. These lights have previously been tested for light uniformity and overall performance, and the results have been impressive.

 

LED iBond’s light uniformity and performance test

In late 2021, LED iBond did a real-life experiment at a vertical farm with a Moving Gutter System (MGS) to test the light uniformity of our LEDs versus those on the market. Researchers compared LEDs in LED iBond’s grow light panels to traditional lighting from Linear Horticulture Luminaires.

Specifications for the test
Both grow light panels tested had the same light spectrum distribution with 6% blue, 15% green, and 79% red light. They shined on a grid of crops that measured 105 x 1050mm at a distance of 36cm, and light uniformity was measured with UPRtek PG200N, a spectral meter used to measure the quantity and quality of light in indoor farming.

Superior light uniformity and performance from LED iBond
With an average light intensity of 185 μmol/s/m2, LED iBond’s lights only varied between 175-215 μmol/s/m2. This is a variation of only +/- 10%. On the other hand, traditional lighting from Linear Horticulture Luminaires varied by +/- 50% at between 100-300 μmol/s/m2.

According to the owner of the vertical farm tested, the results obtained were significant to obtaining a uniform plant harvest and optimizing plant yield, giving 6% more growth per W/m2.

LED iBond emphasizes light uniformity as an extremely valuable factor for plant growth and farm operations. A high light uniformity regulates crop growth, flowering, and fruit-formation schedules.

Combined with the ability to adjust beam angles in the smart shelves in our grow light system, crops grown with light supplied by LED iBond have the potential to be significantly more nutritious and flavorful.

 

Details of the mobile vertical farming solution agreement

The agreement between the three companies sees a distribution of responsibilities.

UNI-TROLL Europe will produce the new green trolley, LED iBond will manufacture the smart shelves with LED grow lights, and TPS Rental Systems will take part in the rental, financing, and sale of the trolleys in the European market.

LED iBond’s CEO Pia Stangerup says:
— LED iBond is deeply engaged in developing new solutions for the booming vertical farming industry. We are particularly pleased to supply our vertical farming technology to UNI-TROLL Europe’s mobile vertical farming solution.

Stangerup adds that with the new green trolley, LED iBond can support the opportunity for users to get fresh herbs and microgreens while ensuring a minimal spill-rate.

She continues to explain that the trolley will also make a valuable contribution to reducing vertical farming costs by increasing the operational efficiency of the farming, harvesting, and distribution processes.

It is commonly known that LED grow lights are more energy-efficient compared to traditional lighting solutions such as fluorescent and incandescent lights. Additionally, the green trolleys can be used in transportation to and storage in restaurants and supermarkets, keeping produce fresh for extended periods.

Søren Bøgede Andersen, CEO of UNI-TROLL EUROPE, remarks that he is ‘delighted’ with the collaboration between the three companies. He says:

— LED iBond’s technology and vertical farming know-how have been essential ingredients in the final vertical farming trolley. Together with TPS Rental Systems, we are going to market with a top-efficient solution for flexible, scalable – and most of all mobile – vertical farming solution, a unique offering to a very large market.

Michael Gotfredsen, COO of TPS Rental Systems, has also chimed in to confirm the company’s ‘financial and organizational strength’ and ability to take the innovative lighting solution to market. He adds:

— The mobile vertical farming solution is an attractive value proposition to a very large and interesting group of customers that we are looking forward to serving.

Indeed, as populations shift from rural to urban areas, the Vertical Farming market has seen a boom.

 

The landscape of the Vertical Farming industry

Globally, the Vertical Farming market was valued at $5.50 billion US in 2020, and it is projected to reach $19.86 billion in 2026, registering an estimated compound annual growth rate of 24.3% in six years.

The major driving force of vertical farming in Europe is the increasing demand for organic foods, crops free from pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

With the increasing popularity of the practice, there has also been advancement in farming technology and methods, including innovation in smart shelves and grow light panels.

Within the industry, vertical LED grow lights are often the largest single capital investment for farmers. A new, mobile solution in crop growth and transportation can significantly reduce vertical farming costs by increasing operational efficiency.

Simultaneously, mobile vertical farming solutions can contribute to LED iBond’s commitment to the United Nations Global Goal of reducing food wastage. When vertical farms in urban areas thrive, farmers can feed local populations and shorten supply chains.

LED iBond’s LED grow light journey

LED iBond has been offering innovative solutions at the crossroads of light and data since the company’s founding in Denmark in 2014. With deep knowledge of modern LED technology and years of experience in lighting development, we have completed the transformation from a technology startup to a listed company with large and international growth ambitions.

Over the years, Vertical Farming has become one of our key business lines, alongside Smart Building and UV Disinfection. We previously began a strategic partnership with Senmatic A/S in 2020 that will be fully phased in over a few years.
Senmatic A/S is an industrial expert in sensor and horticulture technology with over four decades of experience with indoor plant production. The agreement sees the inclusion of LED iBond’s smart shelves with built-in LED grow lights in Senmatic’s offering of industrial vertical farming solutions.

These wireless and super-slim smart shelves have superior cooling characteristics and a high carrying capacity. Thanks to our patented heat management technology, they are only 6mm thick, making their arrangement highly customizable.

LED iBond’s latest partnership with UNI-TROLL Europe and TPS Rental Systems will utilize this same technology in the new load carrier trolley. We are excited for this new mobile solution to reduce vertical farming costs and improve profit margins for farmers.

 

Get in touch

The new agreement on mobile vertical farming does not change LED iBond’s previously announced financial outlook. For more information on our LED grow lights or custom grow light panels, please contact Henrik Fabricius, VP Sales, Vertical Farming, by calling (+45) 8161 7910 or emailing hfa@ledibond.com

New mobile vertical farming solution with smart shelves