【Exclusive Interview】Nichia Full Spectrum White Light Solution Leads Horticulture LED Lighting Market

Leading LED manufacturer Nichia has been dedicated in innovation of LED technology for a wide range of applications. LEDinside had an opportunity to interview Yoshihiko Naito, Deputy General Manager of Nichia’s Hong Kong subsidiary to learn more about the technology progress of Nichia in horticulture lighting and the current market trend.

(Image: Nichia)

LEDinside: From Nichia’s perspective, how is the global horticultural lighting market in 2019~2020? Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether the horticultural lighting market will see in a fast growth or not in your opinions?

Yoshihiko Naito: Nichia consider horticultural lighting market is one of the growing segments, in terms of replacement of LED from traditional light source. This is because of LED spectrum has become mature enough to provide necessary wavelength for horticultural target. The other aspect is that stable production for professional users like plant factories have to ensure high quality production, which will rely on horticulture lighting based on LED technology.

The global economy is for sure significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is still difficult to evaluate the impact of the crisis on the lighting industry, also for horticulture lighting. However, the demands of horticulture LED lighting are still going up in the long run.

LEDinside: Currently, what are the technical challenges in horticultural lighting LED? Compared with other LEDs players, what are Nichia’s advantages?

Yoshihiko Naito: Nichia’s competitive advantage is self-development and in-house supply for key materials, such as chip and phosphors. Horticultural spectrum is a combination of different wavelengths, created by both chip and phosphors optimization. Nichia solution is all necessary spectrum included in white light. White light enables horticultural plant workers to maintain visibility, especially for the growing environment of green leaf vegetable plants.

Horticultural LED efficiency is needed to be measured by actual target test, not just by integral sphere. Nichia Shanghai factory plays an important role for testing LED spectrum development. Through mass producing and selling horticultural products around Shanghai with the crops from Nichia’s plant factory, the company can understand productivity, weight and quantity for each product. Tasting is believing!

(Image: Nichia)

LEDinside: Do you think special spectrum (far red / UV-B LED) will become more popular amongst growers?

Yoshihiko Naito: Far red wavelength is an essential growth factor for plants. Nichia provides all-in white solution that contains far red spectrum. UV contribution is still unknown, however, Nichia already has mass production line up for UV, depending on customers needs in terms of wavelength and/or power.

LEDinside: How the full spectrum influences plant growth? In consideration of nutrition and taste, some functions can be able to implant into plants, how about the research so far?

Yoshihiko Naito: Nichia’s all-in white solution is considered as full spectrum, containing several different wavelengths all at once. Sun light is the benchmark of full spectrum and natural white. White enables people to see things at natural color. However light in general is not major factor for taste or nutrition. Vegetables targeting special diet market like diabetics for example, will focus more on fertilizer instead of light as they need to take low K (Potassium) foods.

(Image: Nichia)

LEDinside: In the year of 2020, what could our readers expect from Nichia?

Yoshihiko Naito: Nichia continues to create new lighting market by own technology. One of the unique examples is phosphor converted red, minimized thermal droop (better lm maintenance under hot temperature) and less wavelength shift (better color stability). This characteristic might be solution beyond horticulture lighting and architectural lighting could also be the application field.

LEDinside will release 2021 Globlal Horticulutre Lighting Market Outlook soon, contact us for more details. 

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