Sterling Suffolk

Project: New 5.7 Ha tomato greenhouse
Location: Ipswich, UK.
Lighting: 100% Hyperion 1750 LED top light in 1.4Ha
Greenhouse: Van der Hoeven

In April 2018, Sterling Suffolk installed Plessey’s  Hyperion 1750 LED top light in its first greenhouse, which measures 54,400 m².

The Hyperion 1750 was the latest LED grow light in the Hyperion product range and has a maximum light performance output of 1750 micromole/s, equivalent to a 1000 W SON-T. All Hyperion grow lights come in a range of standard and tailor-made spectrums, with a host of features and benefits designed to ensure a higher commercial return to growers. In 2017 Plessey introduced the Hyperion 1000 with a light output of 1000 micromole/s, equivalent to a 600 W SON-T.

Sterling Suffolk Limited is a new venture backed by an experienced management team, with Richard Lewis in charge of growing. The new greenhouse, completed at the end of 2018 near Ipswich in Suffolk, is the first phase of a construction plan to develop a tomato production facility of over 8 Ha, creating many new jobs in the area. Suncrop Produce Limited will be Sterling Suffolk’s main customer, with long-term contracts to supply tomatoes to major UK supermarkets already established.

The greenhouse is a state-of-the-art, semi-closed design, built by leading Dutch firm Van der Hoeven. Initially, 25% of the greenhouse, 1.36 Ha, will be lit 100% with Hyperion 1750 LED top lights to provide over 200 micromole/s/m² of artificial light. Plessey have delivered a total lighting solution, including supply and installation of the Hyperion grow lights. Sterling Suffolk plans to extend the area lit with LEDs in subsequent years.

To maximise production, quality and environmental efficiency, Sterling Suffolk will invest heavily in the semi-closed greenhouse design, CHP – an advanced growing system, and 100% LED lighting. LEDs give off much less heat than SON-T lamps and are up to 40% more energy efficient, allowing a higher light level than would be possible using SON-T lamps. The specific wavelengths of light available with Plessey’s Hyperion grow light are proven for high-yield, year-round tomato production.

Commenting on his decision to choose Plessey’s new Hyperion LED grow light, Sterling Suffolk’s Horticultural Innovations and Projects Director, Richard Lewis, said:

‘We decided that 100% LED was the way forward for the lit section of the new greenhouse, and wanted to choose an experienced and technologically advanced partner who would provide a total LED lighting solution. Plessey’s new Hyperion 1750 delivers the same amount of light as an equivalent 1000 W HPS, allowing us to install just five units per trellis, which reduces shading and installation costs. These substantial product benefits, combined with a long warranty, energy efficiency, ongoing agronomy support and competitive pricing made Plessey the right partner for us.’

Jonathan Barton, Director of Grow Lighting at Plessey, explained:

‘Following successes with our Hyperion in greenhouse installations with large growers in Holland and Belgium, we are delighted that Sterling Suffolk is our first major UK customer. Our new Hyperion 1750 is equivalent to a traditional 1000 W SON-T but with more efficient and productive light spectrums. It is also easy to install on the existing trellis and has user-replaceable components for hassle-free maintenance and long life. Hyperion offers growers a real alternative and a commercially viable LED lighting solution.’