GE Current, a Daintree company is continuing its partnership with Jones Food Company (JFC) to drive the future of food and farming. The company’s latest-generation Arize® Lynk2 Horticultural LED lighting has been selected for JFC2, JFC’s ambitious, 148,000 sq ft facility, currently under construction near Bristol in south-west England. The equivalent growing area of 70 tennis courts, JFC2 builds on the work of the first facility launched in 2018, which employed Current’s Arize horticultural lighting to grow tonnes of leafy greens and microgreens for local retail. Set to open in summer 2022, the new facility is in the race to become the world’s largest vertical farm, employing close to 50km of Arize Lynk2 fixtures and aiming to supply 70% of the UK’s fresh leafy green produce within the next 10 years, using entirely renewable energy.
Malcolm Yare, Horticulture Commercial Leader at Current commented: “JFC’s first facility was ground-breaking in demonstrating how large-scale vertical farming could be commercially viable in the UK. Since then we’ve seen a huge evolution, both in terms of technology advances but also in retail and consumer appetite for hyper-local, fresh produce. JFC2 promises to make an equally large impact and we’re looking forward to ensuring that the lighting used plays its part in reducing overall energy consumption and environmental impact over the long term.”
Low-energy, high-performance lighting to unlock the future of farming
Designed for multi-layer, indoor vertical farming of herbs, leafy greens and microgreens, the Lynk2 will be arranged over up to 17 layers of growing racks to maximise all available space within the facility. The lighting design was created in close collaboration between Current’s lighting design team, plant scientists and JFC’s operational experts and involved painstaking modelling and multiple simulations to achieve the optimal layout with a minimal number of fixtures.
The Lynk2 is a true evolution of Current’s specialist horticultural LED technology, designed to be long-lasting, up to 54,000 hours to L90, and backed by a market-leading five-year warranty. It also features an energy efficiency rating of up to 3.2µmol/J, up to 15% more efficient than the first generation Arize Lynk, 0-10V dimming and a larger light-emitting surface area than the previous generation, requiring fewer luminaires to cover the same growing area.
The fixtures themselves are also designed to reduce landfill waste, using recyclable materials and minimal silicon to further reduce the Lynk2’s carbon footprint, making it ideally suited to operations where sustainability and productivity are paramount.
James Lloyd-Jones, Founder and CEO of JFC commented: “Our first vertical farm operation proved that not only can vertical farming be economically viable, it can also be a greener option that will help the UK meet its obligations for food security as well its environmental commitments. We learned a huge amount from our first vertical farm in Lincolnshire and will be applying the latest developments in plant and environmental science, as well as the latest technology to ensuring that JFC2 positions the UK as a world-leader in the future of food production.”
Photo: Vertical farmed basil