Sunburst Nurseries is known for cultivating dragon fruit, a mildly sweet flavored fruit often described as a blend of pear and kiwi. The fruit grows on a climbing cactus called hylocereus, which is typically found in tropical regions around the world. To grow dragon fruit in California, it is imperative that growers have the environmental and lighting carefully designed and operated.
Sunburst Nurseries recently installed the California Lightworks' MegaDrive® LED Lighting system in their Central Valley facility that distributes dragon fruit throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. The MegaDrive is a cost-effective LED lighting system for indoor grow operations that is simple to install yet highly effective in increasing both crop quality and yield.
"In summer we are mostly growing outdoors, but for new plants and rooting the plants, we need to grow these plants indoors. That's why we chose MegaDrive lighting—these tropical plants need meticulously crafted climate controls," said Jose Acosta, with Sunburst Nurseries. "With MegaDrive we are able to grow plants faster—they take off. We are very impressed with these lights."
The name "dragon fruit" has been used since around 1963, apparently resulting from the leather-like skin and prominent scaly spikes on the fruit's exterior.
"The MegaDrive installations are great because you can have the system that powers and controls the lights, installed outside of the grow room. This makes is so that the lighting system is resistant to the high humidity levels needed for the dragon fruit plants," added California Lightworks CEO George Mekhtarian. "The system is able to be carefully turned for spectrum and intensity. The lighting can simulate sunrise and sunset, and the lighting intensity can be dialed up and down as necessary. With all the power electronics removed from the fixtures, the lights become very robust and ideal for high humidity environments."
Controlling the MegaDrive is also incredibly easy: an entire crop's life-cycle can be programmed from a single touchscreen, and can be saved & repeated for all future crops. Every aspect of the yield can be adjusted from this one point, which can control an unlimited number of lights.
"Aside from a streamlined growing process, the MegaDrive also makes indoor set-up a breeze, with the ability to chain up to 27 fixtures from a single driver," added Mekhtarian. "Our technology leads to a great reduction in heat, and with less drivers to power, it all adds up to significant savings and energy efficiency."
"You will notice that if you walk around, the plants under the MegaDrive lighting are growing thicker, and faster," added Acosta. "The automation and reliability offered by California Lightworks is a game changer for us."
For more information: californialightworks.com