‘Lighting’ Interior Plantscapes

‘Lighting’ Interior Plantscapes

Undertaking research for an article on horticultural lighting recently, I came across some interesting news and products that did not end up making their way into print. I am sharing these titbits with you now …

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Carl Gray, a Brisbane-based lighting designer. Carl very generously shared his tips for lighting green walls and other indoor plants. You can find Carl’s advice in Interior Plantscape Association’s article in the July 2020 issue of Hort Journal Australia.

Carl Gray, Brisbane-based lighting designer, shares his tips for lighting green walls and other indoor plants in the July 2020 edition of Hort Journal Australia (Image: Carl Gray)

Carl Gray, Brisbane-based lighting designer, shares his tips for lighting green walls and other indoor plants in the July 2020 edition of Hort Journal Australia (Image: Carl Gray)

Recommended Practice for Horticultural Lighting

Carl is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Carl put me onto Ian Ashdown, describing him as an absolute guru on calculation of both daylight and horticultural lighting. Ian is a Senior Scientist at SunTracker Technologies Ltd and Chair of the IES’s Horticultural Lighting Committee.

This technical committee researches and develops best practices for horticultural lighting using climate-based annual daylighting and electric lighting with lighting and shading controls, and with a focus on greenhouses, vertical farms (plant factories), and building atria.

The IES Horticultural Lighting Committee is currently developing a Recommended Practice for Horticultural Lighting document, essentially a Design Guide for professional lighting designers who are tasked with horticultural lighting. The challenge will be to merge the domain knowledge of horticulturalists and lighting designers into a common knowledge base. Stay tuned for news of progress.

All Things Lighting blog

Ian Ashdown regularly blogs on all matter of lighting issues, ranging from architecture to entertainment and, most importantly, including horticulture. If you are like me and want to improve your understanding of the science behind horticultural lighting, then I highly recommend you sign up to receive Ian’s blog.

In France

Meanwhile, I got in touch with Pierre-Antoine Thévenin from the Union Nationale des Entreprises du Paysage (UNEP) to find out what’s happening in France. UNEP loosely translates into English as the National Union of Landscape Companies. Sounds so much nicer in French, doesn’t it? My partner would agree, but he’s French!

Union Nationale des Entreprises du Paysage (UNEP) loosely translates into English as the French National Union of Landscape Companies (Image: UNEP)

Union Nationale des Entreprises du Paysage (UNEP) loosely translates into English as the French National Union of Landscape Companies (Image: UNEP)

Anyway, back on the topic of horticultural lighting … Pierre-Antoine is the Technical Project Manager for UNEP’s ‘Professional Rules, Greening of Buildings and Interior Landscaping Technical Commission’. In Europe, the term interior landscaping is used to represent our industry, and not interior plantscaping. Pierre-Antoine informed me that this group will soon be working on a project looking at LED lights and indoor plants. I will keep in touch with Pierre-Antoine and share further news of this project’s outcomes when available.

Unique products!

Looking for innovative light-emitting diode (LED) lights, I came across these ‘specimens’ from overseas. The makers of Eco-Natura  http://www.parus.co.kr/item.php?it_id=1472710385&ca_id=10  are targeting restaurants, cafes and offices, claiming this set up is perfect for growing grow leafy greens, herbs and flowers indoors. They also claim that the i-SUN will help restore the vigour of poorly performing indoor pot plants.

Eco-Natura: An indoor growing system (Image: Parus)

Eco-Natura: An indoor growing system (Image: Parus)

i-SUN: The LED for plants in pots! (Image: Parus)

i-SUN: The LED for plants in pots! (Image: Parus)

Checking out the i-SUN’s specifications,

its makers claim that from 300mm, this light will deliver around 44 μmol photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). PPFD (µmol/m2/s) can be considered as the plant equivalent of lux and is the value used to measure light falling on foliage (e.g. when you use a PAR meter). It is the ‘useful’ part of light for plants.

When interviewing Carl during our interview (but not this specific product), he said: “If I can give between 45 and 110 PPFD over a green wall, that gives horticulturalists total flexibility as to species selection. Once we get below 30 PPFD, then species selection starts to be really impacted”. Using that ‘rating’, the i-SUN just fits in at the lower end of the scale.

Q) What is the most unique lighting feature you have used or seen in an interior plantscape?

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Written by:

Gabrielle Stannus / Inwardout Studio

IPA Board Member

By | 2020-06-25T14:41:15+00:00 June 24th, 2020|