Piotr Kociszewski's farm, which is part of the VegaPOL Group, has a greenhouse complex of 6 hectares, of which about 2 hectares are equipped with an LED supplementary lighting system with an output of up to 260 µmol/s/sqm. This is the first project of this size with such a powerful supplementary lighting system in a greenhouse for growing pink tomatoes, not only in Poland but in the whole of Central Europe.
Innovative solutions for sustainable development
VegaPOL-Kociszewski uses an exposure solution with 100% LED exposure, each providing 260 µmol/s/sqm. This high performance allows intensive cultivation of tomatoes during the winter months, despite the lack of natural light. This project follows the global trend of maximizing the amount of light per sqm of cultivated area. The usual light output in greenhouses in this region is around 200 µmol/s/sqm, but in Poland the actual output is often lower.
Tomato grower Piotr Kociszewski / Image: Signify
The greenhouse was built in 1998 and Piotr Kociszewski is now continuing the family tradition. He focuses on fully organic pink tomato cultivation, which is now made possible by technological innovations such as LED lighting and diffused glass that support the goals of sustainable development in horticulture.
Vegetable cultivation without chemical additives
"The project with 100% LED on a large scale in our greenhouse was a success," says Kociszewski. "Signify's specialists helped us with their extensive knowledge of growing tomatoes under LED lighting. This was very important for us, especially since our installation would become the first 100% LED installation of this size in Poland, with an output of 260 µmol/s/sqm. Our goal is to use only growing methods that make the tomatoes we sell healthy, without chemical additives and grown in the most sustainable way."
"Consumers today are more and more aware of the sustainability of tomato cultivation, and this leads to higher commercial value for companies growing tomatoes under LED lighting," said Maciej Król, Horti LED Business Development Manager CEE at Signify. "We are very pleased that after first small trials, Piotr Kociszewski decided to go for a large-scale LED solution in 2019 and almost doubled the area of LED installation this season to a total of almost 2ha."
Year-round cultivation in Poland
In Poland, year-round cultivation of tomatoes in a greenhouse is possible only with artificial lighting. In most cases, Son-T lights are used, but they are not very efficient in energy consumption. The alternative is modern horticultural technologies based on LED lighting. These solutions offer up to 50% energy savings compared to Son-T, making them much more environmentally friendly. LED lighting also emits much less heat than Son-T, so the greenhouse does not overheat and the climate inside is optimized. It is the most environmentally friendly way to grow tomatoes year-round currently available.