LED-based indoor vertical farming being tested in Japan

LED-based indoor vertical farming being tested in Japan

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

Both Innovatus Inc., one of the world’s largest vertical farms and Delicious Cook Co. Ltd have adopted Philips Lighting’s horticultural LED lighting for their respective trials (lasting 14 months and 10 months, respectively), and are sharing their results now.

In these vertical farms, growing conditions are controlled carefully using tailored growth recipes where random sun illumination from natural daylight has no role to play. Light recipes are devised as well as temperature and watering profiles. Such farming methods are said to yield cleaner, pesticide-free crops with a consistent taste, with higher yields and less waste thanks to the strictly-controlled, growing environment.

Philips’ first commercial vertical farming project was opened at Osaka University in Japan in 2014. Now, Japan is one of the company’s fastest growing markets for horticultural LED systems.

“Increasingly, Japanese consumers are interested in a diverse variety of foods that have superior taste, are safe and nutritious as well as being offered at a reasonable price, said Udo van Slooten, business leader for Philips Lighting’s Horticulture business. “Vertical farms are an ideal way to meet this growing demand for safe, fresh food especially in a country with highly-urbanized areas where space is at a premium.”

After a trial starting in March 2015 at its Fuji Farm with a total floor area of 1,851 m2, Innovatus, from a standing start, now produces 12,000 heads of lettuce a day. This is one of the largest completely closed-environment, vertical farms in the world using horticultural LED lighting.

“The trial using Philips GreenPower LED production module, has allowed us to grow five varieties of lettuces, mainly frilled lettuce, green leaf and romaine that are of a consistent quality and locally-produced, using only a fraction of the water compared to lettuces grown in open fields, said Hitoshi Wada, director at Innovatus.

Also, the quality and control it has given us with our lettuce crops has enabled us to get lettuces to Tokyo supermarkets in just two hours after shipment. Furthermore, as the lettuces are grown and packaged in an extremely hygienic environment, there is no need to wash them before eating.”

In October 2015, Delicious Cook created a new city farm in Narashino City in the Chiba Prefecture of the urbanized Kanto region of Japan. During its 10 month trial led by Philips Lighting business partner, CCS, Delicious Cook has used Philips GreenPower LED production module in three layers in a total cultivation area of roughly 80m2 on a footprint of 80m2 to grow relatively uncommon herbs.

These include edible chrysanthemums and coriander for the company’s processed foods. The company’s transition from externally-produced food to crops grown indoors is a strategic move to have all year round access to key ingredients, without having to rely on external suppliers.

Visit Philips Horticulture LED Solutions at

Related articles:
LED lighting spurring growth in indoor farming
LED horticultural growth system allows dynamic light recipes
Philips, CSU partner on horticultural LED lighting
Plessey adds agronomist to drive horticultural LED growth
LED lighting can grow food efficiently for astronauts, says study
City farming research center to develop LED ‘growth recipes’

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