Interview | Refond adhere to create value as the guidance, and win the trust from customers in horticulture lighting area.

Jul 11, 2021

(Editor's note:

Based on rich product series, Refond can provide customized solutions according to the special requirements of customers' horticulture lighting fixtures, and realize the solutions for different package sizes, powers, wavelengths and spectrum.Refond Horticulture LEDs covering the mainstream packages 2835/3030/3535 etc, involving the power 0.2W-1W, even higher power led with color light, white light, dimmable light are available.

In recent years, the general lighting market has become a competitive market. Niche market of LED lighting and lighting products with high value-added gradually become the main driving force to the development of the LED industry. The LED horticulture lighting market segment will see an explosive growth in the special year of 2020, and the future crossover integration with smart agriculture is promising.

Mr. Chen Hua, the General Manager of Special Lighting Department from Shenzhen Refond Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., in an interview with LEDINSIDE said that Chinese LED package manufacturers have won more attention from the international market in the field of horticulture lighting application:

Considering the situation, with the help of the current market opportunities and new demands of agriculture cross-border integration, if Chinese manufacturers want to be deeply involved in horticulture lighting market, they need to create value as the guidance, regard the product development ability as the main focus, develop customers as the driving forces, actively cooperate with the end customers.It’s necessary to study plants growing lighting system, to perfectly match the products of those international LED suppliers. Thus, providing cost down solutions for global customers with the advantages of Chinese LED supply chain and promoting the further integration LED to agriculture.

Under the current background, indoor planting industry has received unprecedented universal attention.

The COVID-19 outbreak did not slow down the use of cannabis, on the contrary, it has simplified and accelerated the legalization process of cannabis cultivation in North America, leading to the rapid growth of the market for medical and recreational cannabis in North America.

In addition, global extreme climate changes are becoming more and more frequent, whether in China or overseas, investment and construction projects for indoor planting agriculture have sprung up in response to the food safety crisis.

In addition, with the development of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data and AI artificial intelligence, agricultural growers' demand for products and services is constantly upgrading. The cross-border deep integration of LED and smart agriculture brings new opportunities and challenges to domestic LED packaging factories.

Regarding the fact that China’s LED lighting packaging plants are gaining more international market attention in the plant lighting market. LEDinside,the Optoelectronics Research Division of TrendForce Consulting, had the honor to interview the current head of Refond Special Lighting Department who has extensive experience in product development and management at home and abroad. Manager Mr. Chen Hua, when express his insights into the current LED horticulture lighting market, he also gave an in-depth introduction to the progress of the LED horticulture lighting market of Refond, how it’s product technology helps the integration of LED and indoor agriculture planting, and the future market development plan.

Mr. Chen Hua, the General Manager of Refond Special Lighting Department
Mr. Chen Hua, the General Manager of Refond Special Lighting Department

Reducing the cost of horticulture lighting and improving the scientificity of plant spectrum formula are the key points to create value for plant lighting LED enterprises

Comparing with the large scale of the LED general lighting market, the current LED horticulture lighting market is still a niche emerging market. According to research data from Trend Force, in 2020 the global output value of LED packaging components for horticulture lighting and the market scale of horticulture lighting fixtures will be US$261 million and US$898 million, respectively.

Although the cost of LED products for horticulture lighting has dropped significantly, including the unit price of red LED and high-power LED, which reduces the construction cost of horticulture lighting products it is far from enough to convince indoor growers to use traditional products. Replaced with LED lighting products, except for farmers who grow hemp and other high-value cash crops. In addition, the plant spectrum formula is also the key to improving the yield and quality of indoor crops.

"From the perspective of market commonality, companies in the field of horticulture lighting urgently need to solve problems such as the high price of lighting products and unscientific spectra formulas, so that more farm owners can actively embrace the traditional benefits brought by LED horticulture lighting products" Chen Hua Said.

In the interview, Chen Hua further stated that there are still problems in the Chinese market such as product disorder and irregular production design, which are mainly attributed to the lack of uniform standards and product quality control management in the industry. At the same time, he also pointed out other problems in the industry: for example, the lack of compound talents who understand both biological cultivating science and LED technology, causing most of manufacturers lacking basic research for different plant spectral and living conditions, and cultivation environment. At present, these problems still plague companies in many industries, and they are also the main reasons why the horticulture lighting market has been always well received.

Although the problems in the industry are relatively prominent, it does not affect the concentration of advantageous resources of domestic lighting packaging factories, relying on the capabilities granted by their own platforms to actively cooperate to meet the needs of downstream end customers, and help customers quickly enter the market.

ince 2020, Europe, North America, Japan, China and other regions have seen a substantial increase in the amount of investment in emerging indoor farming agricultural technology. Indoor growers have a high demand for LED lighting equipment, especially the demand for equipment of cannabis cultivation in North America, which caused many packaging factories at home and abroad have poured into this market. Facing the situation of international manufacturers consolidating step by step and domestic manufacturers gearing up, Refond still insists on steady running, and wins with product innovation and high quality.

According to the introduction by Chen Hua, Refond has specially equipped with advantageous resources and platforms for the horticulture lighting business, and has successively launched two major products of LED component and modules for horticulture lighting. Low and middle-power LED products for plants include 2835 LED, PCT 3030 LED, EMC 3030 LED, and ceramic high-power products include 3030 LED and 3535 LED, etc. The typical wavelength covering 450nm, 660nm and 730nm monochromatic light and high-efficiency white light products. At the same time, Refond also launched phosphor conversion products, such as PC Amber, PC Red, PC Green, etc. In addition, different spectrum can be customized based on customer needs.

Refond special lighting department horticulture lighting LED
Refond special lighting department horticulture lighting LED

For lettuce, hemp, dragon fruit, algae, home gardening plants, etc., Refond reserves the spectral light distribution solution of different plants. In addition, Refond has also equipped with module solutions for the customer's linear lights, quantum boards, octopus and other conventional plant lighting fixtures, which greatly reduces the time and cost of customer introduction.

Recommended spectra and reference protocols for hemp growth/flowering
Recommended spectra and reference protocols for hemp growth/flowering

"Horticulture lighting products need to have a long life, stable light color and accurate spectra formula, but also need to have a high air tightness to cope with the complex growing environment of plants. In addition to the lighting system, plant growth also has the control of nutrient solution, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity, which is a test for SMD LED." Chen Hua further said that the advantage of Refond is to accurately control the spectrum and wavelength of different stages of plant growth, and to ensure that the LED products provided have higher photosynthetic efficiency (PPF/W), especially in 660nm red light products.

Based on LEDinside observation, with new technologies such as the Internet of things, big data and AI technology become more practical applications, plant factory keep up with the trend of the technology development and develop towards a more advanced stage, in 2021 many smart LED plant factories in Chinese market debut, such as the first LED smart plant factory was built in Ningxia, and Hunan invested 120 million RMB to introduce the first IoT plant factory project in ZhuZhou High-tech Zone.

Finally, when mentioned Refond’s roadmap in horticulture lighting market, Chen Hua said, marijuana application is the starting line, horticulture lighting will have a broader prospect in the future. And horticulture lighting is actually a kind of intelligent illumination, Refond combined in both plant growth mechanism and the lighting at the same time, will pay more attention to the platform of intelligent monitoring, analysis, early warning and control technology, and will carry on the system research for the LED light source integrated sensor, the planting and supply nutrient, light bioreactors, pest control and so on, going deep into the hinterland of facilities agriculture; In the product, Refond integrate these key equipments and provide modular system solutions, which better help customers to quickly introduce products to the market.

Article source: TrendForce Consulting

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