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Collaborative Science: Fluence is the Lighting Partner of Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

Illuminating the Serre Red high-containment greenhouse and Netherlands Plant Eco-Phenotyping Center (NPEC)

The Wageningen University campus is home to world-class researchers and state-of-the-art science facilities -in particular the Serre Red high-containment greenhouse and the Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Center. Fluence’s selection as the LED technology partner of WUR means both Serre Red and NPEC are now home to Fluence lighting.

NPEC consists of six modules across two university campuses, each offering dedicated phenotyping platforms with its own measurement systems. A specialized greenhouse at the WUR campus houses five climate-controlled compartments outfitted with Fluence VYPR DUO 3×2 fixtures. The compartments’ 3D and hyperspectral imaging, conveyor systems and various sensors produce high-precision measurements – including of plant size, color and leaf positioning – that can be examined to understand the genetic response of plants to varied conditions and treatments, such as heat, drought or increased soil salinification.

Serre Red is the ultra-modern, fully electric, high-containment greenhouse built by Bosman van Zaal on the WUR campus. This remarkable greenhouse is one of the most advanced quarantine research facilities in the world and focuses its experiments on existing and emerging plant diseases – caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasitic nematodes – as well as studying quarantine pathogens and genetically modified organisms. Fluence’s broad spectrum LEDs represent a keystone technology in Serre Red’s hyper-controlled environment. More specifically, Serre Red utilizes compact VYPR 2×2 full spectrum LED fixtures with the new compact PSU drivers and VYPR reflectors to reduce the influence of artificial light in their experiments.

Images taken of the Serre Red Facility.

Key Achievements: Together, the Future is Bright and Green

Numerous academic and corporate R&D departments rely on NPEC’s research to carry out accurate and high-throughput plant phenotyping. What is more, NPEC provides industry insights by studying plant performance in relation to relevant biotic and abiotic factors across a range of scales.

Serre Red features 63 compartments, ranging from 15 to 52 square meters with individual climate control, air filtering, and access locks. The facility’s design incorporates a variety of optimizations, such as insulated double glazing, external shading, heat/cold storage, and autoclaving, which sterilizes all materials – including water and waste – before leaving the greenhouse. These technologies, coupled with Fluence’s VYPR LEDs, will allow for maximum precision and control while conducting vital research on crop health and resistance.

In addition to lighting these two best-in-class facilities, Fluence LEDs can be found in WUR’s insect greenhouse and phenotyping climate rooms. The first is a specifically equipped and climatized greenhouse with forced cooling to conduct critical research on insects. The second is a high-throughput phenotyping climate chamber that can be used to analyze thousands of plants in a single experiment. As WUR continues to expand its research capabilities, Fluence will be there to light the way.

LED by Science: Cutting-edge research demands top-notch lighting solutions.

The state-of-the-art NPEC greenhouse employs only the most advanced technologies, including Fluence VYPR top lights with PhysioSpec™️ BROAD R4 white spectrum. This broad white spectrum is most similar to natural sunlight and works best for a majority of crops.

Furthermore, the spread of viral infections—such as the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV)—remains a top concern for growers everywhere. The new Serre Red facility enables WUR to expand and intensify its research capabilities, maintaining its position as a world leader in research on horticultural crop pathogens. Fluence broad spectrum VYPR LEDs will not only reduce the influence of artificial light on experiments, but will also provide optimal light levels that meet spectral requirements.

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